The atmosphere is not a perfume it is odorless (Paperback)

The atmosphere is not a perfume it is odorless By Matthew Cooperman Cover Image

The atmosphere is not a perfume it is odorless (Paperback)


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Bloodied, but still singing, the atmosphere is not a perfume it is odorless addresses America. In one take, a chromapoetics that examines the "red, white and blue's" dubious semiotics, in another, an extended ode project that conjures our emblems of Empire, the poems in atmosphere--in their configurations of apostrophe, atomization, song, dialectic, eucharism, etc.--attempt to neutralize the personal, cultural and environmental dis-ease of 21st century America.

What People Are Saying

"Our job is to be both epic and tiny," Matthew Cooperman writes in this powerful book-length poem full of turns and twists on the American long poem road. Cooperman meditates on and tracks our imperiled American democracy, and the precarious future it forecasts as he twines the political world with the challenges and beauty of family life. In the face of crises, he affirms the meanings of love and the ways in which the language of poetry can bring us truths that are shattering and brilliant. -Peter Balakian, author of Ozone Journal, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Matthew Cooperman's the atmosphere is not a perfume it is odorless is a song to America, the America of "Trumplandia," "hot with all its angers," the America that's just "a dollar with a gun in its mouth." It's also a song to the America of roadside flowers, of poets tossing lines back and forth, of "sunshine and perplexity." In this song full of tenderness and pain, this bouquet of blossoms and of weeds, we find the perpetual American desire for freedom-"O build me / a son toward openness"- but a freedom that takes as its first condition, the freedom of the other. This is a profound book of love and empathy deep in the American grain. -Julie Carr, author of Mud, Blood & Ghosts: Populism, Eugenics and Spiritualism in the American West

Epic in its wide-angled survey of "American cultural weirdness" and tiny in its fine-tuned attention to detail and exacting humility, Matthew Cooperman's the atmosphere is not a perfume it is odorless counters an "ambition to individuate" with the cold comfort that "in the unhappy goulash of all of the above we are unhappy together." But rather than circling the drain in "a country . . . now fit / for an ailing king," Cooperman wrestles free of inertia with poems that skitter, plunge, and shine, embodying hope and affirmation in their movement. While remaining "sad in the / abstract and angry in the real," these timely poems push through our cluttered "days of affliction" toward a clear-sighted revaluation of what it means to be alive now.-Timothy Donnelly, author of Chariot

About the Author

Poet, critic, editor, educator and collaborator, Matthew Cooperman's work plies the interdisciplinary boundaries of poetry, ecopoetics, ethnography and visual arts. He is the author of, most recently, Wonder About The, winner of the Halcyon Prize (Middle Creek Publishing, 2023), as well as NOS (disorder, not otherwise specified), with Aby Kaupang, (Futurepoem, 2018), Spool, winner of the New Measure Prize (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press, 2016), the text + image collaboration Imago for the Fallen World, with Marius Lehene (Jaded Ibis Press, 2013), Still: of the Earth as the Ark which Does Not Move (Counterpath Press, 2011) and other books. Recent poems and criticism have appeared in such places as Prelude, Lana Turner, Heavy Feather Review, and The Laurel Review. A Professor of English at Colorado State University, he is also co-poetry editor for Colorado Review. He lives in Fort Collins with his wife, the poet Aby Kaupang, and their two children. http: //

Product Details ISBN: 9781643174600
ISBN-10: 1643174606
Publisher: Parlor Press
Publication Date: May 14th, 2024
Pages: 100
Language: English