“It’s as if,” writes Gillian Conoley of Still: Of the Earth as the Ark which Does Not Move, “in our still lives, in the still shots of cultural, historical and individual atomized memory, Matthew Cooperman is holding a Geiger counter, a microphone, a mixing bowl and a spatula, defying his own lines, ‘we cannot sing dragging our saddles after and befores.’ On a big canvas, both global and the glottal, all history and information aswirl, this book risks being courageous, even heroic, in how it works a lyric out of its rage. Matthew Cooperman is an indexical, flaneur-prone excavator. I love the anger in this book, and I like following Cooperman’s miner’s lamp.”
Matthew Cooperman is the author of DaZE (Salt, 2006), and A Sacrificial Zinc (Pleiades/LSU, 2001), winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize, as well as three chapbooks, Still: (to be) Perpetual (dove | tail poetry, 2007), Words About James (Phylum Press, 2005) and Surge (Kent State University Press, 1999). A founding editor of Quarter After Eight, Cooperman teaches at Colorado State University, where he is a poetry editor of Colorado Review.
from Dale Smith: Matthew Cooperman’s Still plunges into the chaotic and violent conditions of the present, mimicking the velocity of our images, memes, tweets, blog posts, and headlines with stark, intrusive blasts of wit and archival cultural references. He seeks a kind of self-exposure, too, in the accumulating frames that document his projections: the poems are as startling, infectious, and exhilarating as any created by the masters of American social invective. It’s a thrilling ride through contemporary climates.
from Martha Ronk: A book as capacious as the “capacious being” at its center, an anti/epic with an antic narrator demonstrating heroic ways to work and love and sing in this, our corrupt and entrapping world. Alternating prophetic poems stunningly rich with references, definitions, and history with poems riffing their song: “say you do/not belong here/where you gonna/ go it’s cold/ out baby.” Inspiration to keep the ark moving comes from Hesiod, Corinthians, Hopi prayers, Stephen Dedalus, Hart Crane, Harriet Tubman—partial uplift given that some of the letters are missing: “If you hear the d gs/Keep on going.” Matthew Cooperman’s words are of both passionate scope and touching intimacy, from Achilles’s rage to thusband’s promises to thwife.
Each entry acknowledges being stuck in grief and disappointment, but takes on and passes on the crucial poetic challenge to act with purpose and conviction. The weighty ark may yet go forward.
Still: Of the Earth as the Ark which Does Not Move
$15.95, 120 pgs.