The Cortland Review

Dorianne Laux
"Dog Poets" by Dorianne Laux.

Dorianne Laux
Five poems by Dorianne Laux.

This marks an author's first online publication Carl Adamshick
This marks an author's first online publication William Archila
Wes Benson
Roy Bentley
Michelle Bitting
Kim Bridgford
Stacey Lynn Brown
Grant Clauser
Michael Dickman
This marks an author's first online publication Matthew Dickman
This marks an author's first online publication Geri Digiorno
Cheryl Dumesnil
Molly Fisk
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Kate Lynn Hibbard
Major Jackson
Greg Kosmicki
Keetje Kuipers
Michael McGriff
This marks an author's first online publication Philip Memmer
This marks an author's first online publication Jude Nutter
John Repp
R. T. Smith
This marks an author's first online publication Brian Turner
Book Review
"Sister" by Nickole Brown—Book Review, by John Hoppenthaler.

Book Review
"Superman: The Chapbook" by Dorianne Laux—Book Review, by David Rigsbee.

Greg Kosmicki

Greg Kosmicki is the founder and publisher of The Backwaters Press. He is the author of three books of poems and 6 chapbooks of poems. He has been awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship twice by the Nebraska Arts Council. Garrison Keillor has read his poems on Writers' Almanac.

She Knows    

A storm is coming, I can hear the thunder in the distance. It is
It is impossible to know what is inside another person
but when she tells you she feels like she is living alone
and later that she feels like a single parent
you can get a clue. That's what my wife told me tonight.
Now I'm supposed to sit here and write a poem about it.
That's the assignment if you're a poet.
Let your life get bad enough that you have something to write
Then write about it. You could also try
letting your life get good enough, and then write about that.
Either one, the trick is in the writing. My wife
went to bed about 10:30, just like usual
and I stayed up until about 2:30 wasting my time
like I have a lot to waste, watching TV, basically
channel surfing. Life pretty much sucks if you watch TV
and think that it has anything to do with your life.
Either your life is terribly banal (too true) or their version
of reality is totally screwed up. Let me see—rappers
flinging gang signs and posturing in all their poses,
young black women dancing in the aisles
of  convenience stores, telephone sex lines,
Spanish-speaking thugs killing each other
race car drivers, crashes, cop chases, buildings collapsing,
women shaking their booties in your face.
Weird, I never see any of that out there in my real life.
Just leave evening church and have your wife
crying in the car that she feels like she lives alone.
Trying to figure out exactly how to make that better.
You know it's your fault, everything always is.
Somebody out there reading this, someone,
tell me what I gotta do. She won't exactly tell me
until later we're able to talk a bit about it.
I promised to be better. Can you imagine
Eliot writing about his problems with his wife?
Or even being up at 3 a.m. typing on a computer?
Probably can imagine him working late on a poem
while his wife's in bed sleeping
or in the next room ranting. Mine's sleeping,
a storm is here, the rain is coming down, I'm
working on this. This is a poem.



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