Hear Matthew Cooperman read “Country Mulligan” here.
A kinder enclosure, bower, clover— the planet turns cooler, greener, bluer Al Gore is president and 9/11 never happened A Moslem spring flowers into poly-Arabian nights solar heating, Scheherazadism, desalination The Kyoto Accord begins a new epoch of collectivity, polymorphous perversity, multilateral address, global council, everyone at the table No jumbo anything happened anywhere ever— The bubble never burst, and dot.com’s greener, bluer, browner, co-capital blooms in the Capital, the war machine is undone Cars get cleaner, smaller, saner, they drive themselves silently through the streets alone A little boy falls into Apeland at the Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe the Silverback, saves the boy and signals mother to the mother, walls fall, enclosures flower over A jet over Ukraine flies calmly to its destination Bashar Al Assad dies peacefully in his sleep, 2003, while Damascus hums under its new glass dome Wake up CD Wright Wake up Jake Adam York Wake up Tomaz Salamun Wake up Okla Eliot Wake up Akilah Oliver My friends, my dogs, my next door neighbor Wake up John, wake up On a summer street in Manhattan two cops joke with a large wheezy black man about selling copied cassettes Officer ___________ buys Outlandas d’Amore We never learn the large man’s name On a quiet cul-de-sac in a non-descript golf community north of Orlando a black teenager walks to his aunt’s house, nodding to a nodding short white man in a golf cart He flips up his hoodie against the cold February night Meanwhile, on a BART station platform near Oakland another black man simply walks home A collective decrease in the actual hum A diminution of shooting and driving and yelling lights growing smarter when they are unturned A new technology turns carbon capture into photovoltaic glass, and coal fire burns sentient orbs into Cleveland factories for a new millennia In Missouri unemployment permanently drops as the glass factory shines its new smart windows at Delhi, Dakar, Venice and Utrecht In East St. Louis Black & Blue have a picnic, play softball, give toys and socks to homeless kids growing stronger, softer, keener A new species of human is discovered to have been here all along Lobes in the front of the medulla oblongata light up with photovoltaic consciousness, speaking to the windows who speak to the whales through the glittering plankton net Sandy Hook Elementary opens a new playground A community outreach center in San Bernardino welcomes a new Moslem couple into the community They have a six-year old autistic boy named Omar In Aurora, Colorado the Metrolux 16 goes green and expands into a four-dimensional entertainment center replete with hover skating, SkyFall, and an exotic petting zoo where the animals pet the humans A schizophrenic youth named James enjoys the petting and becomes a counselor for troubled teens & pets In South Carolina, the Emanuel African Episcopal Methodist Church celebrates 127 years of peaceful worship and Dylan Roof gets a girlfriend, a Filipina named Viola who is studying to be an occupational therapist The new species of human begins to feel all the lonely people in the world, and listens quietly through the morning air Everyone’s brains light up in the glass of the morning air Difference begins a band and everyone’s in it, everyone plays their part and then some, and gets equally paid though not everyone plays as well, the new humans help everyone sing with their best brains Dolphins spread a new technology of breathing and everyone takes only as much as they need The dolphins in their delight take the new humans to Atlantis which turns out to be under Hawaii My future wife, looking back in the memory glass pauses before the Nader bubble, shrugs, and votes for Gore Youth become undisaffected listening to the new humans in a band called Difference On an underground sea mount in the Atlantic the other Atlanteans wake up and open the ocean door Meanwhile, Al Gore, after finishing up his invention of the world wide web, develops the first ontologically real inter-species think tank, and he gets in it, with the dolphins and the new humans and the thinking glass, and he thinks All the dead poets wake up, and the dead musicians too And all the dead painters wake up and the dancers too and all the lonely people undone & bored by slight things to think— a kinder enclosure, a bower interclover a planet turned cooler turned greener & bluer
Matthew Cooperman is the author of, most recently, NOS (disorder, not otherwise specified), w/Aby Kaupang, (Futurepoem, 2018), as well as Spool, winner of the New Measure Prize (Free Verse Editions, 2016), the text + image collaboration Imago for the Fallen World, w/Marius Lehene (Jaded Ibis, 2013), Still: of the Earth as the Ark which Does Not Move (Counterpath, 2011) and other books. A Poetry Editor for Colorado Review, and Professor of English at Colorado State University, he lives in Fort Collins with his wife, the poet Aby Kaupang, and their two children. You can find out more about Cooperman and his work by visiting his website: matthewcooperman.org.