Category Archives: CPR Volume 22, Issue 2

CPR Volume 22, Issue 2, July, 2020

Jungfrau, With Wild Cows
by Derek JG Williams

The jumpers wake us
after landing, laughing & packing
their parachutes into tight bundles in the sloping field
outside our window. So we turn into light & rise.
From miles above, they fall all day
from the mountain, hurling themselves
through clouds. The inky eyes of the wild cows
watch them plummet, then drift
back down to earth, where we walk & eat & talk
together. Where I hold your hand
after scrambling for hours over the rocks hanging above.
Dear wild cows, set free for summer, never idle,
roaming, this is no mild now.
Even stranded on a steep bluff, beset
on all sides by thick ether, your bell slaps
back & forth, sounding out
a song. Every step, every dip & rise of your soft head,
eating or shitting, sounds out an alarm.
Helicopters carry you down if the way becomes
too steep. You’re never too meek for singing.
Witness from above & watcher down below,
we listen to you in the morning. On a farm across
the dirt lane, you worry the fence posts & rails.
You’re brother & sister to the wildness.
Bearing Wolfs-Bane & Larkspur, Daphne & Dragon’s Head;
wearing Edelweiss & Cyclamen, Jungfrau watches us all.
The cows circle its craggy brow
in weather fair & foul. When our paths cross, I sing
to them because I have a voice: an ode
to their freedom, which is mine too.
But summer ends. I’d have stayed, but the wild cows
have done & gone, back to their farms,
& me on mine. Oh, I long for escape, release
from this unmerciful seat—
the time is cow.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 2.

Derek JG WilliamsDerek JG Williams is an American poet and essayist. He is the author of Poetry Is a Disease, forthcoming from Greying Ghost Press. He is a doctoral candidate at Ohio University. He lives in Germany with his wife. Learn more about him at www.derekjgwilliams.com.

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Evolution
by Michael Atkinson

At first, there was cow.
Cow stood chewing.
You kill it, with a rock.
Next you let it mate and spawn,
so your rock will always know cow.
Your rock has a name now: eegah.
Then, you confine cow, with a fence
made of other cows’ bones.
You’ve been killing and eating cows
for awhile, so the bones are everywhere.
A house made of them, perhaps, someday?
Next, you milk, and decide to kill
half the cows, the ones that don’t nurse.
Then, since they linger now and you’ve
grown fond, you name them, even those
without milk: Sally, Robespierre, Too Fat,
Rockaway, Mars, Nairobi, Fred.
Your land is a mess of bones and milk
and cowshit and dirt too trampled
to grow grass. So cows begin to kill
each other. You write a dissertation on why.
Your wife having left for greener fields,
next you sleep in the dead pasture
surrounded by bones, coming up behind
cows at night, whether or not they want you to.
When they protest by bucking and running,
you kill them again, but bury them.
The acquiescent cows bears acquiescent calves,
and you fuck them and sell their milk.
Weary from cow-sex, you let the milk
curdle in the dirt and invent cheese.
Thereafter, all of it is performed by
a staff of thousands, even the sex.
You think about branching out: horse.
What does its milk taste like?
That brings us up to the present.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 2.

Michael AtkinsonMichael Atkinson has published seven books, including the poetry collection One Hundred Children Waiting for a Train, and has had poems in Crazyhorse, New Letters, Ontario Review, The Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, and many other journals. He teaches at Long Island University.

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The Eels Have It
by Robert Beveridge

The snakes have come to Highland
Square, wriggle and thrust
like hipsters at a White Stripes
reunion gig.

We sit on the front
porch and play bingo, search
for O65, skinny jeans, a non-
ironic handlebar mustache.

The sweat of August drips onto glasses,
second week of busted AC
and peanut butter crackers. Your slick
hand as much a comfort as in the late
March snow. “Turn left
on Conger”, the GPS tells us,
and we do, headed for home,
the open freezer door, the shed
skin, the sheets of water.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 2.

Robert BeveridgeRobert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Red Coyote Review, Deep South Magazine, and Aromatica Poetica, among others.

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