Matthew Cooperman

Country Mulligan

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                    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’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 
			         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:

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