Christal Ann Rice Cooper

Christal Ann Rice Cooper
Self Portrait: Chris on June 2, 2017

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Poetry Chapbook Dedicated to Victims of Domestic Violence: Men, Women, and Children.

Christal Cooper


*Poems Copyright by Christal Rice Cooper
**Images attributed to Renee Sheridan and copyright by Christal Rice Cooper


Chapbook of Poetry
Dedicated To All Victims of Domestic Violence: 
Men, Women And Children.



FOR WORSE

Now these screams,
this yank of hair.
You’re tired of dreams.

Each punch
demands obedience,
kick to the ribs.
Laughter
when I collapse to my knees.
You kick my face, flat on my back,
ripping my clothes, “What do you think of that?”

My eyes are shut
I pretend I am dead.
You grunt, and stand,
grab a shovel, and hit my head.

Cold snow and hot blood,
my last incantation,
is frozen.



PREY

When I lay in bed,
he permeates
the corners of my body,                      
blocks me
from everything
But him. 

Blood floods
my arms and legs.
Freezing.

His bloodshot eyes bleed on me:
His lips open to yellow bones,             
embedded in thick red gruel,
his tongue stretching, sliding

He rams in me,
surging with energy              
exploding with disdain.         

After he is finishes,
he walks out the door
into another corner.



DOMESTIC MURDER

I come through the door
as a cold night comes.
Cutting.

My hand on the blade
her heart in gaps
chafed lips kissing her damp mouth bloody.
Good night.

Cold,
the handle in my hand
her soft soul cutting the velvet of night.


TEARS

He did it mostly at night,
at home.  Drunk

Beat her face
with his fists
When she cried
he laughed
ripped her skirt

She said to go
to our room.
But he said, watch.

She tried not to cry,
tried to smile
Wanted us to think
she enjoyed it.

He turned her over
on her stomach
swung his belt
beating her red, black and blue.

He put his pants on.
fastened the belt.
And left.

We would hear her whimper then.
But not this time . . .

For the first the time in my life
I wanted to hear her cry.



THE LAMB

Thomas hears them
in an upstairs room
Wrestling, he thinks,

Then Father says honor
to Mommy
The way to honor life
is to take it away.

Now he remembers
Father as a lion.
He didn’t believe.
But Father ate mommy,

and growled.
And Thomas ran,
to the woods beyond -
the branches tearing at his eyes,
bark gritty in his mouth,
the wings of deer flies
clinging.

He wore pajamas, they said
with sad blue lambs,

Wet hair in his face
Deer flies pasted to bare legs

He wore pajamas, they said
with sad blue lambs.
sweat rolling down his legs
And blood

He hid behind a bush
unspeaking,
wiped his blood and smelled it. 
Mother’s.
The way Father taught him the hunt.

And he ran,  Called her.
Asleep, Father said.
like he said when she swallowed
Sixty-nine pills.   And Thomas called 9-1-1.
The white people came.

Long ago, she sang
But not tonight. 

Tonight there is gurgling.
a growl.
Then running,
and dogs yelping.

He hid with them in the straw
on the doghouse floor.

Then Father,
panting,
as if he carried heavy things.

There was a noise-
the kind of sound a lion makes
while eating prey.
Then the counting of sixty-nine pills,
white like moons,
in the palm of Father’s hand.

The dogs stopped yelping
Thomas stood
beneath the moon
He didn’t know
he was standing beneath the moon
until he felt the light,
and  Father’s hands
crushed the sad blue lambs



BEAUTIFUL BOY

This is what righteousness sounds like,
the sound of his zipper’s teeth, opening

Even now I hear the groans,
You’re my beautiful boy.

I hate that word
My wife asked why I cringe, I say,
because of the beatings

My empty food, my full vile,
cooking of my belly,
his pearl onion bleeding over me,
in me,
God’s mana.

He made me wait
till it dried, scrapped it on a plate.
When I vomited it back up,
he put that on the plate, too.

This is the Lord’s Supper
No room to move my tongue
that weapon of bad burn
fleshy pink elephant.

Even now.
I feel the stream of onions
scalding my tongue, throat.

I vomit hot air.
I feel beautiful.

I want to be frozen,
not his inebriated angel
He was, is, will be
I Am The Great I Am

his beautiful boy
shedding pink blood.

Pink, Beautiful
marked out
of our dictionaries, books,
magazines, newspapers

I scare my wife, but not
little boy blue, asleep,
swimming beautifully
in a pink sea of repetition.

The sins of the father

I wake up with desire,
not for my wife.
For my boy.

Forgetting what I remember
Remembering what I forget.

I put the gun, bullets
in the freezer,
in the garage,

My own land
No man’s land.



MARK

Mark was severely beaten and had sustained serious injuries –abdomen injuries, defense wounds, brain swelling, his liver was almost split in two, bruising on the back of his hands, blisters on his chest, and burn marks (from what experts believe was a sauntering iron) on his thighs and ears.  Mark succumbed to his injuries and died due to severe bleeding.

Excerpt from The Altus Times article dated Sunday, April 6, 2003
By Chris Cooper

I shop at Belles and Beaus
for a blue onesy
and white booties, then

drive to the grave marked
by dead grass and weeds,
and a flat stone epitaph,
Mark Gomez
1986-1987 . . ..

The police said
His clothes were red.

I lay the onesy beneath the stone,
and then the booties,
as if I were dressing a baby

just before he climbs on the beer-stained couch
to sit next to Mommy’s boyfriend,
to feel his whiskered face.

Maybe he was sucking his thumb, giggly,
Marked for death.

Must every mother cradle guns
shimmering like the twinkling star,
pacing the park
where the vulnerable
crawl and play?
Where he hunts

I am at home, watching the news.
After ten years his sentence is carried out.
Imagine the sound
of his body cells boiling.

I walk into my son’s room
marked by life, asleep,
his body swaying with each breath.
His clothes are laid out for tomorrow:
red onesy, toddler jeans.

Someday I’ll say I knew
I’d hold him safe -
but even now

my arms are empty.


Other Poems Written By Chris Rice Cooper
































2 comments:

  1. My Son knew Norman Smart who was raised in Lakemore, Ohio. When my Son went into the Marines, Norman and his friends gave my son a sort of going-away party at a local hotel, and as I understand it, it is there they beat my son terribly in the face, leaving his left eye swollen, bruised and he had cuts all over him. I WAS FURIOUS AT THOSE BOYS. I still have the photos I took of him the next day. I went over to talk to his Father and he assured me he would take care of it so we did not press charges. My son grew up with the Smart family, spending nites camping with them and a few other friends, while they attended Springfield, High School. They were all fairly nasty kids, except the oldest, William, who was a really nice decent teen who ate dinner at our home on occasion and went on to better himself and became an EMT. If I had know what kind of evil this kids was capable of, If I had pressed charges then, maybe it would have kept him from meeting Lauren Brown. My heart goes out to her family because I KNOW WHAT A MONSTER NORMAL SMART IS. Norman WILL FACE GOD for his actions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Sherry,

    Thanks so much for reading and your comment. I would love to to know more about this in greater detail. Would you be interested in sharing a bit more? My email is caccoop@aol.com
    cp 618 420 6386
    Facebook - CHRISTAL ANN RICE COOPER

    Take care and thanks again
    Chris

    ReplyDelete