Tag Archives: Gemma Cooper-Novack

Cicadas
by Gemma Cooper-Novack

in memoriam EK

I would have been here whether you died or not. Fish twist
their tails out of the water, the ripples
broaden the pond. I would

have been here, young girls using laughter to keep
their bodies afloat, my own legs
kicking the water aside so it covers
the deafening buzz and spills
over the sunset. A wet dog barks
herself in circles, fills her mouth with a stick
that’s bigger than her leg. I would have been

here, meat crisping
above crumbling coals, and in
a hospital room spongy new marrow would fill
your bones like moss—your muscles
slackening further, the knobby mole on your hand-shorn head
focusing like an eye. I would have

been here. The last time the cicadas came
out you were a newlywed,
reflective smile and hair falling straighter
than guitar strings that trickle music
down to the water now.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 3.

gemma_bganske_web6Gemma Cooper-Novack is a writer, writing coach, and arts educator who lived in New York, Chicago, and Pokuase, Ghana before moving to Boston. She writes poetry, fiction, plays and articles. She enjoys walking on stilts in her spare time.

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CPR Best of Volume 16 Now Available

CPR Volume 16 Front CoverAfter more than a week of stuffing envelopes, the hard-copy “Best of Volume 16” Cider Press Review is on its way to contributors, subscribers, and former Book Award contest entrants.

The “Best of” issue features poems by Rebecca Baggett, Carol Berg, Jennifer Jackson Berry, Maggie Blake, Ace Boggess, John Bradley, Christine Butterworth-McDermott, Sharon Chmielarz, Lisa J. Cihlar, Joan Colby, Michael Collins, Gemma Cooper-Novack, Jimmie Cumbie, Carol V. Davis, Paul Dickey, Iris Jamahl Dunkle, Carol Ellis, Sarah Estes, David Eye, Evelyn Clark Farbman, Shawn Fawson, Janice Greenwood, David Hathwell, Gary Hawkins, Sara Henning, Brian Patrick Heston, Louisa Howerow, Ann Hudson, Amie Keddy, Heather Lang, Susanna Lang, Mercedes Lawry, Bernadette McBride, Amy Meckler, Colleen Michaels, Nancy Carol Moody, Carolyn Moore, Mary Moore, Susannah Nevison, Amy Newday, Autumn Newman, Sharon Olson, Mary Elizabeth Parker, Lynn Pedersen, Kevin Phan, Katherine Rauk, Geri Rosenzweig, Michael G. Smith, Heather Sommer, Sarah Sousa, Joannie Stangeland, Kelly Terwilliger, Lisken Van Pelt Dus, Ryan Vine, Donna Vorreyer, Chelsea Wagenaar, Mark Wagenaar, Marq Wilson, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Anne Harding Woodworth, Matthew Zingg. Book reviews by Ken Hada and Gary Leising.

To order your own or extra copies, please visit the CPR Bookstore.

Tulsa
by Gemma Cooper-Novack

That’s just where I’ve decided
you are. All I know is you’re waiting in an airport as I am, between
Arkansas and the Grand Canyon, about to wing
home. You travel light and square-shouldered, wrists close against
backpack straps, and you’re trying to leave airport and road
trip behind you, stand alone in geological grandeur, maybe trying not to
think of me. The airplane rises and the city regroups
into mollusks of light, you are leaning now
on the window and watching, cheek and forehead arced against the plastic
wall. You didn’t know Tulsa, drifted into it out of
convenience, and here you are flying—there’s something to be
said for that. I don’t know that it was Tulsa at all, but you’re not
falling asleep the way I am, I think you’re as astonished by
crossing above clouds as you are by poetics or lacework, anything linked
together, holding you. You won’t call me when you land,
will shoulder your backpack again and go home, where there’s water
pressing up and everything else is quiet.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 3.

gemma_bganske_web6Gemma Cooper-Novack is a writer, writing coach, and arts educator who lived in New York, Chicago, and Pokuase, Ghana before moving to Boston. She  writes poetry, fiction, plays and articles. She enjoys walking on stilts in her spare time.

See all items about Gemma Cooper-Novack

Visit Gemma Cooper-Novack’s contributors page.