John Cotter
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After Benn


The subtitles blink at a fancy movie
but you know what they're saying.

That night, you grow thirsty,
but you've run out of money.

The sounding waves
remind you of your friend’s

great stories. You dance and light
their cigarettes, laughing.

You come home empty.
You grow full alone.

When you’re gone, they’ll bury you
under a pearl-blue sky,

Earth will help you down
from pallbearers’ hands.


Monkey See


The backyard trees woke
at night and spoke to one another
viciously. Voices came and went
as the world grew large.

I learned about myself: the way
the room decreased inside me,
hand size. It fit my eye.
Was I alone?

My sister sang
her dolls to sleep,
when mom would drive in late
from rest-home hours making car-

slam sounds in the drive, the house
made house-slam sounds
and settled down, I eased
the trees together. They laughed

into each other. The dead party
of TV noise, beds ringed
with coat-moats.
The march from cold to cars

occurred downstairs,
while I dreamed allowance
for the half-world, the world between
TV channels.

Our attic’s acres grew,
while a murmur rose in me—the one I heard—
so. I don't speak tree; but


Kevin Caron's Nuclear Dream


The first clue was
My friend’s rich roommate

The benefactor
Goes back for his dog
It’s just a terrible storm

Royalty looking for answers
There was a seismograph

The place was totally empty
Then the crazy rain came

In a room where it couldn’t have been