Reading Corina Copp’s work, one gets the sense that she is part of a long lineage of poets whose language is less a means to express what can be said than what should be said, or what has long been waiting to be said. She pushes against the boundaries of our expectations as if to make language speak the truths of life that are as yet unearthed. That Copp’s poems suggest dramatic speech acts should come as no surprise—she is an accomplished playwright as well as a poet, and her poems jog the edges between the two genres while always retaining the great writerly quality all the poems worth rereading possess. She shares much with past and contemporary poets who have done work in the theatre, too—poets who, as Yeats explained, “feel most alive at the moment when a roomful of people have the one lofty emotion.” Like Gertrude Stein, herself a playwright as well as a poet, Copp makes a living stage where words are actors, where the performance of sound becomes equally important to the meaning that sounds make. And like the contemporary poet-playwright Mac Wellman, Copp constructs narratives out of gaps and ellipses to reveal something of the interplay of under- and over-currents in language as well as in society. There is never-ending delight in the gymnastics of Copp’s poems, and her reader cannot help but marvel at what she can do with the language. And yet a gorgeous verbal performance is not all these poems have to offer; in “Miracle Mare” and “Pro Magenta,” she demonstrates the pressing and electric feeling of dark thought, the brightly colored lights of endless emotion, both good and bad, all of it felt in real time. One of Copp’s great strengths is her ability to create a sense of depth, of another story folding into the dominant one. And she also provides a sense of hope that we, as poets, have only just begun to change our language, to bring it closer to the vitality of life as we actually experience it, to reconnect us to the beauty of things that matter.

—Dorothea Lasky


Antagonist, never let
Go, never be the house-
Hold perfect soil and
Ideal climate, be a love
That does not know
How to know human
Genre crashed on
The purblind sea, how-
Ever austerely sun-
Sick, I made
Hares and eggs
Enraptured, trundled
One of my reveries even
Amidst a violet party
Decision to help
Force a whale
Under the point
Of the green pencil
It will like pulsing
I don’t, well would
Do but how to
Achieve purblind
Handcrafting raw
Product at the hop

Knew one person
In the lush room a block
A business down the
Street in lilac
Hesitation a pro lulling
Room where two
More I knew entrée
The skin of the skate
Late and married
Swans absent a
Stretch otherwise
Promises «Get the
Naturally welcome
And faith was it
A dullery glass (I
Believe in fantasy—
Not resigning to
Waters well in
Easter spirit three
Joyful leaps:
Fellated in plaid, a
Prisoner’s sky-
Scape, and air
Conditioning made by
Petals lazily
(Oh delicate hands)
Finish fat with little time
For incredible tea
Supine inside Golden
Lotus now, care-
Fully get up and
Throw the meal down
Hare-pie Road
Dad’s vital light
Hand against
Palinopsia fishtank)
Non! Orchard St.
Inside mind-acetylene
I think I feel
The visible beams
Cut I learnt Mother on
My watch in the room
Pairs are bad
Lead to the place and the
Wall cooing

(Unless 100 pale
Heads in sticky shit
Split and form
A cloud of dust
In the drawing
I see mallard end I
See my liege
Lietmotif allergent I see
My gentle it’s
An agent is
Coloring her lips in
With this color
Agent is six
Now and his
Coloring book is Art
Nouveau Figurative Designs
By Alphonse Marie
Mucha Jr. and he is
Filling in the Fall
And Winter lips with

No coarse cloth in
Attendance synon
Small Tahitian grave
Let rest here my lyre and
Hear soon the moon’s fair
Lecture in black So I stay
Tonight, pre-
Heated saucepans
In seats sorry A group
Of philosophers
In my many books
Opacity no longer hides
Novice blankly always
Holed up she’s a miraculous
Fast her ribs
GO GO GO that they
Rift in 1984 Rib-

Clone lives without
Life a vacant God
Prattles lets a tricycle’s
2” steel tube slam
Into a hymen
«All left feet»
To do, I cry Hey
Novice, my day starts
At 3 swill and event
Culture at 7 My
Eyelid in the room begins
To sacrificially tremble
My nose knew not Eye
A smallflower sachet
Weakening while
Deciphering a twit a
Measurement of
Nothing, nb spare hill
Transition metal
I have no physiological
Control madrigal ever
And assuming a rapid
Movement the slap from
Baker to her biscuit
Is a turning good
Public might think
Of nerves, or
Heart-flip at first
Onscreen locomotive
And so then Luminal,
And then interconnected
Pastries, I admit only
Only my sunk
Agency, corn stock
Two cobs boil

After the symposium
Carved long scars
The author on using
Heresy to mutate
Sufficiency’s going
Form stood before
My indifferent lid (now
Aging me) To
(Oh delicate hands)
Constantly refer to and
Understand each other
In a bind, we should
Say what we think
The man thinks while
Seated next to the
Man himself or sleep
In the room next to her
Hand releases glass
Her shoot-up approach
To alterity changes
Hers habits hers work
We write are Non-
Axiomatic, fearsome
Now, making
Grace contingent on
Presence, a graceful
Insecure curette:
«I made this
For you, eat it»
Hair and smoke appears
Woven in a beyond
Slot cut when «I worry
Those people
Aren’t talking»

I’m calling
Desire beneath
The Garbagemen
April rain tires
April rain hurled into
The night, Georgia
Particle hurled o’er a
Mtn or through mtn
Either way it reaches
A damp other side
Immanence, Red-
Hot pits are snow
Dad’s light fact
I bet on safe
Simultaneity, my
Pampering so finally
Make a special effort
And wipe up this
Counter I practiced on
A row of chairs
Drip then vanish or
The white stars of
Blueberry comments
Are found to accompany
Sorrow in case
That says anything
Fresh ribbon
«Get up, well
stop, then get up»

In France they know
What it’s like
What another’s
Feeling when feeling
And fowl was it
Stand next to
Their shoes, not in
A Peasant’s stabbed
Boot of the parting or
Loafer ta gueule
M’lady, parsley or
Fucker in this sense
I want dead
He sorts a paper
Well, and appears in dark
Silhouette behind
Deer standing
Alert in the moonlit
Night, it’s just that
The jam taken
From the whatever
Frigidaire we swum down
River was made by
My grandmother
Doris, a girl called,
Doris? I said, no


Miracle-male in verdant denim
Meant miracle-mare a horse
inside ejaculates its world-building
in cries, hums, whinnies
Skin, flay, mangle, that’s us
staring down the crocus
too handing us a new coral optics

A man drinks too much, and he took
someone’s hand and it was
the wrong person’s hand and he
thought that this mother balked
floridly because he was the right
person and deserved that reaction not
because he was not who she felt she was
walking alongside in the pink
against burnished burnished coral night.

                                                                      Must have been three people
                                                                      learning the flute
                                                                      from children while the radio
                                                                      barked orders for evacuation.
                                                                      Why would we have to evacuate,
                                                                      we wouldn’t. We wouldn’t.


Can you re-do that movement, he had asked
initially, so I can see if the light catches your
skirt this time. Mildred walked breezily by the
bellhop again, this time oddly lifting her left hip
about five steps in as if that would help light
the fabric, yes lifting it hold much listen down
the valley. Then she slammed against the
blonde woodgrain of the kid’s fake saddle
with her right side in total. He filmed it.

                                                                      The light remained the same.
                                                                      I should say she touched like a fabric remnant
                                                                      nustling a pig’s prognostic of elms the blonde
                                                                      woodgrain rather than slammed against, as a
                                                                      gentle verb for Mildred is always more acute;
                                                                      though I couldn’t stand it when he and I were
                                                                      in the same room with her and she could only
                                                                      appear gentle when I knew she knew those
                                                                      hooligans had knocked over her ashtray and
                                                                      that we, soiled, hardly cared. And she, soiled,
                                                                      only lifted her left eyebrow oddly as if she’d
                                                                      practiced before the mirror for years as she
                                                                      passed the once white, linen-cloaked room
                                                                      and moved like a highbeam into the darker
                                                                      modernism of it all.

But that was a long time ago, and the new
room had a humor to it despite these piously
decrepit edges . . . laments made ponds here
along the walls. Try aiming at her with a
lament, but she runs from the atelier with her,
why a bottle message, her promise suffered
to grow a great length. Oh, Mildred, I’m your
husband, don’t you recognize me? Oh
Jupiter. Oh, Mildred. Oh

                                                                      I allure, she said. I draw forth, entice, she
                                                                      said. I send or cast (pro) into
                                                                      a distance. Prolato, I defer. I carry forward,
                                                                      put off to a distant time.

                                                                      That is, I put forward, hold out, hold
                                                                      forth a promise. I stand and stone
                                                                      garrulous freezes the miracle-mare
                                                                      who looks to the squarest for ruin which
                                                                      natch ruins us, or parts of our tapping
                                                                      are off, for a delicate mare of wood a
                                                                      masterpiece, a bulb a lightbulb of nubuck
                                                                      not. We try to heave it near import, but
                                                                      this miracle-mare is almost redundant
                                                                      description. «I am putting my head
                                                                      on the wheel.» «My finger points
                                                                      to the newspaper story.» A plateful

of Scheherazade ygot nah, mine explodes te
car do not put yr bonny head awheel you’ll
blow up the mom’s best work and for her
part she does stay through the credits.
Then he films the mom scratching her knee
through kissen linens, once cloaked, now
heaved a polished body into the lighter de
rarum natura. She sees her

name roll down her cheek,
her cheeks both cradle, I like
long grief, I like long long
grief in a musical, she says,
I like long grief seen through.

                                                                      Royal, in origin near rego, of course regal. Ask
                                                                      you to do something for me in a Royals cap.
                                                                      Rub my mucous on your platypus bills and I’ll
                                                                      be a chaise you can fuck, Mildred said
                                                                      fluently, and they got to work finding a duck in
                                                                      one of the wall ponds made from wails.
                                                                      «There’d be less weirdness if we like, had
                                                                      an openness policy.» In digits indication of
                                                                      disease for marionettes. You left me for the
                                                                      south I am disconsolate, she said, but she
                                                                      didn’t mean it. She looks undecided and
                                                                      touches briefly her lips to prove it, such a
                                                                      dalliance with the azure racecar parked oddly
                                                                      across the sidewalk near kids’ saddles. At
                                                                      times, the upholsterers were godly in that
                                                                      they were faultless fern sounds trying to aim
                                                                      at her with their lament. I am shallow, I entice,

I use my outlaws to impress the norms, side
mirror, listen. «Thno more I to speak ofth, as
the I climbed the rotten wood to save himself
from drowning but like I said, he was hungry,
he was very hungry too, was it mentioned, I
said he ate rotting wood and wood being not
for that purpose, I was wrong, so I drowned
himself in nail polish remover, and his foot
trembled first, and in trembling shook, and in
shook sungth like Doris, and timidity befell I,
and it was all before a court, and the court
ordered I to be taken into custody for
contempt, and in custody I hit someone in the
eye with a pen I was quickly using to scribble
a bottle message, and the person’s eye all
smashed and tearing and losing self-
envy, the person said, I look familiar,

                                                                      I am disconsolate, pointed wildly and shot
                                                                      me to death, who was idly watching a partial
                                                                      sprinkler in evidently the wrong corner.»
                                                                      A green ray.

                                                                      And countries hear her and are made of
                                                                      ebony still and don’t care, and incidently she
                                                                      slams herself against the wavelike saddles
                                                                      and the black dress mushrooms the legs dos-
                                                                      à-dos become a rioting hoof once dwelt in
                                                                      majestic demonstrates of ergo, now f’real
                                                                      scrape at the tile and think.

We treat our civil hands in civil cleaning fluid,
hold frame you drew with orange marker a
point before choking on orange marker,
swung between chairs sucking on it baw-ring
for history or the mere idea of heightening
soils somebody he feels deeply is gentle and
resents or she in fatigues bloodthirsty runs
mind-numbing, mind-numb and bloodlust can
be just, I dream of you every night, real name,
marriage a marker in the room for singles who
care more about the content of their white
flowers and the polite little bones in the pale
pink flowers next to them

                                                                      Miracle-mare sits on a gardening book.
                                                                      The roses kill her with no sign of stopping
                                                                      effulgence. Vase optics from a looming in fact
                                                                      out of scale. Milk-glass vase my glance fell on
                                                                      swanned, for a dissolving optician owns
                                                                      plexiglas in every light, maps without
                                                                      exception areas of land where a horse runs
                                                                      kind of looking for us, a sonata effulgent in
                                                                      fact helps gardening if we want. We gaze at
                                                                      vanishing, with nothing on I’ve never seen a
                                                                      floor so verdure except in person. Picasso:
                                                                      A miracle not to melt in the bathtub, like a
                                                                      lump of sugar.


I gallops from, words your eat, eaves I ate,
beheaded slowly by a painter’s voided
boilish deer-hair and a twinge of bells
falls to unclean substances. Lost indicator
lights present as possible as clay sunk in your
plated eyes a finality extra can leave feelingly.
Within minutes, a small light was pro in bed.
Admit me to reach after, reach after the poem
I longs for not for long

                                                                      You are a violet, which is a lie
                                                                      but strongly stands on Horse-shoe

                                                                      Very very very very
                                                                      very very very sorry in the hollow