h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s






To waken every morning a new man.
That really is all that my poems mean
since I’m asked by a critic for “subtexts,”
critics specializing in texts, fissures,
hypertexts where I sign off—in silence.

That saying done, I can begin to sing
words which are musics as they fall in lines.
I can begin my work, which is to play.

Williams wrote: all sonnets say the same thing:
nothing. All right, then, I’ll write a sonnet.
With four lines left, let’s make this a garden.
We who have never looked into the sun
see light blossoming out of the flowers.

Name them!  You’re no one until you name them!







Yes, I would rather have been a sculptor.

But here, my first job is to mold the air
from its invisibilities to words.
Or, that failing, to chip away at light
until I find the properties within
permitting me to lift an arm, a leg,
a body imitating human form.
Then, when I’ve cast myself, to break the mold
or smash the armature and stand alone.

When I walk around this form, I am dying,
what I thought yesterday already dead.
I see myself again, a man I’ve never seen:
everything, space and time unremembered,
everything an arrival as I turn.





What can I tell you that will make you know
 my version, dwelling place for fire:
two lightnings coiled together in a dance,
meeting and not: solitude, company.

The corporality of living things?
No, souls of seabirds, two wings stopped in flight.
Or: Paolo, Francesca, separate.

I don‘t want to write personal poems.
But I will tell you when I see white flames
like these I am drawn back to childhood:

mornings like these I can start life over
and then a second time over, a third—




BIO: Peter Cooley has published nine books of poetry, the most recent of which is NIGHT BUS TO THE AFTERLIFE.  He is Director of Creative Writing and Senior Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Tulane University and lives in New Orleans. Peter is the current Louisiana Poet Laureate.


Copyright © 2015 Literary Pool, Inc.