Tuesday, March 14, 2017

On March 13, 1964 Kitty Genovese was brutally murdered, raped while 38 people chose to ignore her cries for help . . . .

Christal Cooper

*Poem and Painting attributed to Christal Ann Rice Cooper

Senses of the 38 for Kitty Genovese

This body you see,
stabbed seventy times seven,
stumbling, fleeing from
him, the stocking cap                                     
finding a dim hallway.
Then him again, the black fedora

His psychopathic touch
The scent of death.
And then, this body, 
no longer shedding blood.
no longer my habitat . . .

My screams whisper
at the corners of your ears

this tragic song
too sad to sing back.

380 fingers refused to dial,
refused to hear the tone
of a simple black phone.

My hands are pierced.
Not your 38 pairs of hands,

closing their palms
into tight fists.

38 pairs of arms
urged to open like wings
upon a wounded animal

instead arms crossed
as if in prayer with
the Sadducees and Pharisees.

Now my black cloud witnesses
those last 30 minutes.

Can’t forget, though I forgive
as Christ commanded

I Am your mediator,
your patron saint,
your only way
to forget how you’ve forsaken me

is to become as I am
the shell of a body
no longer occupied.

This spirit, where the only blood
is my stigmata, my passion

a wild free animal
with wings of eagles
cradled in His hands, rising

above the buildings of Kew Gardens
the skyscrapers of Manhattan

beyond the sun where
I no longer cry, but sing
a song of a warrior

and Winston Mosley now crushed,
a serpent at our Mother Mary’s feet.

Our feet,
for we are one body in Christ.

I am the head!


  1. Christal, this is extraordinarily powerful. Both the painting and poem, which is one of the most searing and original I've read, as I've not seen any on this subject--the idea of identifying that minutely with someone who was actually killed, of speaking to the silent masses who were complicit. Very, very strong. Kudos!!

    1. Dear Arya,

      Thanks so much for this comment. Made my day!

      Keep Doing What You Are Doing Which Is AMAZING!


  2. Chris, this is beautiful!!! I have a chapbook coming out next month all about Kitty Genovese! I'll send you my collage (it'll be published at the end of the month) I made about her!!! I love this!!! Jenn

    1. Dear Jennifer,

      I will buy your chapbook on Kitty and would ,love to feature you and the chapbook on my blog. What do you think? And I would love to see your collage. I love art - in all forms. Thanks or taking the time to read and to respond.

      Take Care