Fall 2005

Jim Coppoc


Jim Coppoc Jim Coppoc is an award-winning poet and teacher, a Lecturer at Iowa State University, and the Special Projects Coordinator for Iowa State's Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities. Coppoc's first full-length book of poetry, Blood, Sex & Prayer (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), was published in August.
The Value Of Contemplation    Click to hear in real audio

often I wonder
how death will take me
if it will begin below me
and roll over me
crushing me
each part in turn
until it swallows
my eyes
in milky blackness,
or if it will enter
my body at its heart
and spread warm
through my veins
until I tingle with it
at every extremity

will I smile
and go gently
or rage instead
(being a poet I
know the terms)

will I be ended
or simply recycled
into a new
day's wreckage

I know my legacy lies
safe in human memory
(things never being
what they seem)

as for my body
I am glad to be
rid of it

but still the paralyzing
uncertainty of how
exactly the mortal
coil be shuffled
is always just
to keep me
if not actually
living at least
not dying



Jim Coppoc: Poetry
Copyright © 2005 The Cortland Review Issue 30The Cortland Review