Saturday, March 2, 2013

Metaphysical Questions Are Sometimes Answered By Writing Poetry - Guest Post from Cooper Sy


Metaphysical Questions Are Sometimes Answered By Writing Poetry
Cooper Sy

The poem, “Coyote” began as a description of a dream and explanation of a
drawing sent via email to a friend.

               "The coyote passed through a doorway
in last night’s dream.  Tail and teeth
sharp with ragged edges. I knew by
comparison my skin was too soft,
legs too short, heart too weak
to fight the beast.”

“Strong,” my friend replied, “finish it.”
Encouraged, I worked about a month before deciding I had a satisfactory draft. A day or two later the completed version and all previous incarnations of the poem were lost in a bizarre and costly accident.
I packed my computer inside a briefcase strapping it with a bungee cord, as always, around the rear rack of my bike. Riding at a steady clip in early morning city traffic the bungee snapped and the briefcase slid almost silently to the ground. I jumped off the bike, stood in the middle of traffic and waved my arms like a mad woman trying to stop the inevitable.  The front, middle and back magnum wheels of a Los Angeles bus rolled over the briefcase crushing the computer’s metal casing and turning the chips of a motherboard and hard drive into particles of sand.
The only use for my three months old 13” MacBook Pro, may be as a curio for the technology archivists at the Smithsonian, or an Apple ad agency encouraging the world to save the contents of their hard drives to ‘Cloud' religiously.
The drawing of the coyote without the words of the poem, ironically, was saved on a flash drive and uploaded to the desk top of my new computer. No, I’m not rich. In order to get replacement funds from my renter’s insurance I tried reading and re-reading my policy as if I was the company’s claim’s adjuster. Passing the credibility check of this individual gave me two choices: to say the device was stolen, or to have my doctor write a letter stating that the accident caused a post traumatic stress reaction and any further interrogation beyond the original statement and physical evidence would seriously compromise my mental health. I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to determine if I used any of these strategies to actually collect the funds needed to purchase a new 13” MacBook Pro.
I placed the drawing of the coyote into a separate folder, nevertheless the image triggered an onslaught of metaphysical questions placing in sharp relief what survived the accident and what was lost. I realized writing a new draft was the continuation of a battle still raging between the beast and myself.
The last two paragraphs of “Coyote” seem more personal and visceral; perhaps the result of having the time to recognize what was there for me in a dream.
Coyote
The coyote passed through a doorway in last night’s dream
tail and teeth razor sharp with ragged edges.  My skin too
soft, legs too short, heart too weak to fight the beast.
I woke up panting, joints aching, frantically looking for
an escape.
There’s no mercy in the eye of a hungry beast.
No gratitude for not pulling the trigger, no
second chance for letting a threat to life
and limb find a way into the dream of
its next victim.
From what world does stalking seek its prey?
Disguised with long claws burrowing into
sleep, while I am forced awake by cold,
shrill hawking penetrating private
spaces like an unsolicited, unsettling
embrace.

Current Projects and Publications

My current projects¾ completing a novel, “San Pedro Stories: the Novel” a documentary film, combining poetry and interviews, “Privileged Chicks,” now in post-production. A few clips from the film have recently been published.

I have also joined the Los Angeles based writer’s workshop, “Writers at Work” headed by poet and novelist, Terry Wolverton.

In August of 2012 I completed a screenplay I was hired to write, “Heaven and Back.”

Poetry and short stories have recently been accepted or recently published in: “Ray’s Railroad Review, “ Fall 2012, “Petrichor Review,“‪ Winter, 2012, “Steel Toe Review,” “Wilderness House Review,” and “Montreal Review,” Fall 2012, “Love Notes” (Anthology) February, 2012.

Websites and Blog