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i. in february

in february

when the cold cruises past

like a pet gander

in a snuffle of wind

when afternoon light

stumbles over the house

& the moon

elbows propped on the window

shimmy-shuffles in to our room

on cold hens feet

mercury curls in on himself

like an intestine

the tungsten frost

shunts the sky

like boxcars startled awake

& night

ratchets down on us

with a buzz

xiii. expecting / the sun

it has

jumped down

upon her

the sun

has jumped

& soon now

the moon

strolls slow

beside her

low inside her

like a white



v. pastoral



     breaking winters entrails

               shreds of fat


          in their beaks

xiv. by the red river

by the red river

river so low

walk by the willows

feel the rains blow

feel the slow rains dear

feel the rains flow

september mornin

cold rain like snow

if you cant call now

call when you can

warm in your voice love

glad in your hands

you at my window

you at my door

hold me once more dear

hold me once more

leave you a letter 

leave you this song

leave you my love dear

sayin so long

by the red river

river so low

walk by the willows

blowin in snow

ix. psychic

the hard thread


over it

hand full of tendons

they are yellow

her crochet

needle hooks like thumb bones

in my chest pulling

and pulling


she is


she is twisting

the red and purple



inch by inch

she is

drawing in

a bed-spread

the limp weight of it

drowning the mouth and nose

up and over

the broken parts





me a linen doily in her hands

poetry generously shared with permission of author Dennis Cooley

all poems from "Bloody Jack," 1984

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