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Jul 22nd
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The Poems of Nicole Cooley

ae_nicole_cooleyEditor’s note: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Nicole Cooley, who grew up in New Orleans. “Milk Dress,” published by Alice James Books (alicejamesbooks.org), which these poems were selected from, is her fourth book of poems. Cooley directs the MFA program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College—City University Of New York. She lives outside New York City with her husband and two young daughters.

Green Sandbox, Winter Sky
In the middle of the yard, my daughter fills her dress
with sand as if she can ground herself in the earth
I watch her from the cracked back step while the baby
waits in me undone   unfinished   unready
I want to believe in language fastening each moment to
the present
ae_nicole_cooley_milkdressHer turtle sandbox I anchored with stones
her gingham dress
She sifts dead grass through her fingers under the sky
white as paper where nothing is written
The driveway’s black macadam   lawn filmed with milk
Here is a scene in which I can’t plot myself
as the heroine
while the iris bulbs I planted for her knit and twist
under the dirt
The one unborn and the one who already belongs
to the world    not to me


Firstborn
Who makes two into three. Who the dark unfastened
and let go. Who joins me again to my own mother. In
her glass bassinet, the baby is an exhibit of one, the baby
is lit from within, the baby has no language, so I lift
her up. I give her to my mother. Who am I speaking
to? You, dragged from me into life. You, whose body
opened to release mine. Who taught me the lesson: a
woman becomes her mother. Who taught me how each
body can reveal another. In the stories you read me, a
daughter stays a daughter. Lost in a forest, floor of dirt
dark velvet, inside a tower, encircled by rock walls. A
daughter is forever an empty corridor. Who taught the
magic: center stage, while the magician waits, the woman
flattens her body on a white bed. Trick accomplished.
The surgeon cuts the body in two, and a girl steps
out, curtsies to the crowd. The secret is the moment
when the daughter holds her own daughter, when the
mother stands beside the bed. The secret of this trick is
mirrors: mother reflecting daughter reflecting daughter
reflecting –

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A Year of Creative Self-Expression

Wednesday, after a year in Cancer’s nourishing waters, Jupiter enters fiery Leo. Next Tuesday, the sun joins Jupiter in Leo. Leo is the sign of the three fires of life, of seeking our individuality, our gifts and talents. Life for the next year will be quite dramatic, expressive, creative and generous. Jupiter, the heart of Aquarius, is the planet of expansion and truth, distributing Ray 2 of Love and Wisdom.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 18

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Art Files: Opposites Attract

Using found objects, Victoria May seeks beauty in dichotomy and tension, the creepy and absurd
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The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

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