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Roots & Branches Series
In Arias Let Into, Joseph Cooper’s poems seek to contain the uncontainable, fear. Captured in a construction that is hard to identify, yet familiar all the same, this collection seeks to open up what is space, “from within echoing going fathoming geography.” The cycles of these prose-like poems create a choral effect that evokes fragments of honest reflection sparkling in musical concentration. In bold candors, expressive susceptibilities and lyrical integrity this work is imaginative, friendly and charmingly measured. “A hand offered is structureless as conflict from self-renewal.” Persuasively, these poems split open the spatial interpretation to engage and familiarize one with the presence of the poem and create something new and brilliant, alien. “With the hum and the hurry of this fragmentary utterance I fear cold prose.”
Geoffrey Gatza, author of Apollo: A Ballet
“I do not so much as write a book as move at will from one word to another.” Cooper is traversing a “tendency to pervert tweak”—not afraid of the essentials, the elemental words like love and lonesome, face, alter-egos, lip and chart he also willingly wills himself a laboratory where phrases are involved in a creeping and revealing spectrum. They gnaw and slide, they slither from gestation to full-on presence. Arias Let Into “believes authentic reality is empty-handed”—in desperate need of some tighter grip, some triggery tip, some gravitas gift by practicing graft as others might practice a religion. It’s all in here: psyche, body, surreal merges. These Arias are “ebullient comics” wherein “borrowed organs” become “cosmic hostage[s].” An obdurate can feel free to enter here. This is where an obdurate enters for nourishment.
j/j hastain, author of Graphomania
Joseph Cooper invites you to navigate (at your own risk) this menagerie of mistaken landscapes and visceral interiors. Where carefully plotted courses are continuously warped and images are interrupted with cinematographic precision. Where every straight line shimmers and dissolves into a more organic topography of thought-in-motion. These spliced scenes of sex and domesticity, revelation and disguise, place and dislocation are deftly captured in prose-sonnet traps that give a nod to, then go beyond, Berrigan’s experiments in the form. By “stitching together the disparate imprisoned in symmetry” Cooper creates a series of panoramic depictions at once darkly magical and deeply practical, innocently pictorial and disconcertingly primordial.
Travis Macdonald, author of The O Mission Repo [Vol. 1]
Joseph Cooper is currently writing in Winston-Salem, NC and is the author of the full-length books Touch Me (BlazeVox 2009) and Autobiography of a Stutterer (BlazeVox 2007). His fifth chapbook entitled The Caves of Ice is forthcoming from Furniture Press.