February 2-8, 1998: Mary McLean and April Cooper

Week of February 2, 1998-February 8, 1998

Mary McLean and April Cooper

Mary McLean


Mary is a poet from Amarillo, Texas who helps coordinate a performance group called PHRANC ( Poetic Harmonious Readings and Nifty Commentary) They do live (video and audio) readings on the internet.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by Mary McLean and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.


That night
I got all spruced up like a janitor on Corpus Christi day
That night
I walked with such confidence
sure that my feet would take me where I needed to go
sure that they knew the way
I went to the bookstore
stopped and read for awhile
and then wandered some more
A man asked me if I needed help
finding what I was looking for
I couldn’t begin to reply
Later that night
I met up with you
we had coffee and talked
and I was no longer confident
Our conversation took on an elliptical shape
and then I realized
I knew nothing at all
except that we had come from dust
and like dust we
would eventually wash away
A few days later
I was wandering again
I ran into you
You asked “How do you have?”
“Healthy as a fish”, I said.


If it means something to you
say it right now
only loud enough to confuse the blind
loud enough to satisfy only you
tell nothing of it to interested strangers
they know nothing of this
and if it’s love
say not one word
love is never what is said or intimated
love is only a legend
a dream of unattainable euphoria
a pituitary secretion dulling our sense of priority
don’t sing of it
don’t dance
don’t change your life for it
it’s too fleeting and not dependable
it always comes at the wrong time
leaves before morning
and never flushes.

April Cooper


I have been published in my first magazine/e-zine this month, PIF I live in Arcata, California (far north) I am an undergraduate student at Humboldt State University studying english and theatre, with ambitions for performance art.

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by April Cooper and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner
whatsover without written permission from the author.

To Lucille Clifton

i listened to your story
with my eyes today
four books
a hundred poems
linear landscapes &
naked word gardens
that i cultivate
into curves
inside my own woman spaces

and it’s curious
because i found
the whisper of my boldness
tucked beneath these healthy breasts
bursting into screams
from inside these magic mother hips
and even in that almost hole
above my eye
that echoes

“I don’t want to die”

and my first words
spoken out loud

Thank You

familiar voices

a dewdrop pirouhette
audible grace
falling like the soft
toddler pads of my
daughter’s feet on
the drum of my ear

melody muffin crumbs
guide me through a new
familiar forest where
i feast on russet
leaves delicately
crumbling into shadows
of wild rose petals

a crescendo of quiet
spoken songs of every
day bliss caressing my
heart flesh like an
april shower of raindrops
tumbling down my skin

these are the sounds
breathing fresh honey
into my daily bread

Of Separation
scene one

the window panes on tomorrow
for you for me for the man in the alley

back is turn you’re around
face to face tear to silent
shadows embark zootsuit class
pinstripe requiem in black and white
breath exhaled
revolvers cocked
i am on the ground
blood is all around
sticky puddles
yours mine theirs
it doesn’t matter
it is of separation

rippling a barren parking lot
rippling ashes of our fallen world
rippling in tangerine and cherry
rippling on horizon breaks the
green of spring death
rippling in these eyelid movies

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