Poetry by Mike Cook




Hero of the Suburbs



Go drown on me
In a mineral pool of white tulip petals
Formed in the canal of your sternum
Raise me in a whiskey-stained revival tent
A barrel of black pepper—the pulpit
Walk me down the pews filled with ghosts
Teach me how to drown out sirens
Seduce the green wasps from my skin

And lose
No fire

Make dove with me
Skate with me on plaid and plywood
Remember me before the wood, before
Nocturnal raptors flew to my bed
Stole my wings and pecked my fontanel
Leaving only a seed of flight
Now, a lonesome silver maple
Ceded to a prison of soil

Faded maroon
Petrified leaves

Pinned to a floor of fingertips

Have steps with me
Take my ocelot follicles
Weave a lion’s mane
Use a pen to check my square
Let me know I’m there
Work in a garden of feet
Buy yourself glass toenails

You first
Told me

There’s no crystal stair

Mike Cook, 2012





Little is known about Mike Cook, except that he is here. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and from time to time, shows up to read at the Vanuatu Kava Bar Open Mic and other poetry readings. His poems often are filled with dark humor, sex, skateboarding, suburban drug dealers wearing fitted hats, and plungers—yet there is a tenderness in Cook’s words and a perception of the proximity of death and other-worldliness that permeates his work.

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