Very interesting

The Coop: A Poetry Cooperative

If you should precede meWyatt Townley Headshot (color)

if you cross the line

after which no shoes are required

if you grow out of your clothes

before I grow out of mine

and enter the atmosphere I breathe

I will hunt you down eyes closed

every day every night every

breath one breath closer I

will take you in breathe you out

a cosmic CPR

on the couch in the car

in the woods in bed

for if you should precede me

you’ll be in front of me forever

ahead of everywhere

I turn as I push off

to the word ahead of this one

~ Wyatt Townley

Wyatt Townley’s books of poems include The Breathing Field (Little, Brown), Perfectly Normal (The Smith), and her latest, The Afterlives of Trees (Woodley), a Kansas Notable Book and winner of the Nelson Award, completed with a fellowship from the Kansas Arts Commission and just nominated…

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Sam's Online Journal

I died again last night
A guttural exhalation
that scattered stars
Cozied up in my trestle bed
Where you used to lie
And we would sleep
in the spoon fashion
Breathe in, breathe out
Dreaming of love’s release
That took shape with each move
However subtle
However serpentine
But you’re gone
Away to Neverland
Without so much as a whisper
Or even a sigh
And I’m here comatose
In the bed you always made
On the morning of your birth
With all that it entails
Drained of my essence
Because I let you in
I let you breathe for me
And you’ve stopped my breath
But I must exhale
And start again.

And breathe again.


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Really good

my protagonist is contemplating rainbows

The hummingbird council convenes,
Once every three centuries,
Aligned with prime numbers,

She desecrates time,
Reveals hidden things like decisions
Made veiled as myth for the next
five centuries.

She tells me stories laced with tragedy,
Ribboned with defeat;

She sings them so very pretty,
She strings them like coral beads or
Turquoise bangles, Phoenix feathers,
For gunpowder to trade;

When she rides it is a slow burn,
Whispers loud enough
Her secrets spilled compromise
National security,
Bring down a kingdom or two;

She is flippant with the facts,
Her fingers a tyranny of sorts,
Yet she sings it oh so pretty,
When she burns dominion.

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Beautifully written

God's Only Toys


It’s not getting any better.
And I’m not going to be alright.
The water’s frozen over.
With the cracking of the ice.
Like the cracking of my back.
I can hear no movement coming.
There is nothing.
And I have become it.
I sleep too much and I speak too low.
For in their silence, I can still hear your laugh.
The voices of others are the sound of ground glass.
The chaos of crickets as I lay my head on the grass.

There are photos of us.
You and I in the background
Of somebody’s memories.
I found them by chance.
In a hole in a wall that you built.
I hold them too close.
Don’t I always?
I don’t suppose you know they exist.
I lit them by moonlight at my window.
To put a bit of fight in my chest.
I smoke a lot of cigarettes.

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I salute you

I want to know
what that word means.

Irrational though
the thought may be,
I can’t help but cling
to believing that knowing
what you mean whenever you
flippantly throw that word at me
would unlock the secret to all
the things you’ve hidden
from me since the
very beginning.

Every door will open,
every wall will fall,
and when you look up
at me again you will
finally see what has
been here all along.


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{ commas + karma }

i’m not a smooth talker.
i consider conversations
that are covered in fucks
cordial, if not clever.
i parallel genitalia to
any awkward utterance,
enunciating the word penis
in oversensitive cafeterias,
rehashing knowledge by way of
internet recollection–

i zone out–quite–like no other,
dream of other things
when my interrogators bore me,
like fucking or sleeping or
loving or trying or taking–
taking bets and
losing them,
taking shits and
flushing them,
taking hearts and
spitting on them,
taking chances and
robin-hooding them,
taking compliments and
returning them,

taking everything worthwhile,
everything worth keeping,
and returning it to the desires
that know how to smooth talk
the generic mold that is a

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