LUIGI COPPOLA


Luigi Coppola teaches and writes in London, England. Shortlisted for the Bridport
Prize twice, he appeared in the Worple Press anthology The Tree Line and
publications include Acumen, The Frogmore Papers, The High Window, Ink, Sweat
and Tears
, Iota, Magma, Orbis, Neon, The Rialto, THE SHOp, and Snakeskin.






Slapsies

She sees through peek-a-boo,
moved on from aeroplaned food
and raspberries on twitching tummies.

She loves: Red Tomato, Red Hands,
Hot Hands, Slap Jack, Slapsies
the slaps of the hand-slap game.

She clams one hand over mine;
spring loaded beats, breathless to beat down.

She stares through squinted eyes
while neck hairs heighten, tighten
and corners of mouths curl.

She giggles for the slap-sonic
that comes from reactions,
twitched and delayed actions, the interplay
of the stinging pain, the waiting game
that scores smiles.

She laughs at the shock of love
as I shake her hand
that's half the size of mine.






The First Snowing on Howard and Anne

How can a note, written with a stuttering
blue pen that's been chewed like tobacco,
leave a surprise to not only the recipient

(hidden under the desk in the back of the office
like a bicycle failing to outrace the tree
that has grown through it) and the sender?

He leaned towards the paper's flight
of scribbled words with misshaped lettering
of anxiousness. Blood vessel twinge.

And within a wind of friction, made of the interplay of:
air conditioner vibrations; water cooler
ramblings; scratches from sharp door

handles; the microwave stains as fingerprints of home/
office/home confusion; the whiff of expensive wine
(the leftovers from bosses' liquid meeting)

how can the idiot not act? On it idiot. On it!
There's no fan, the air con has failed,
the shirt collar constricts like a boa

tied too tightly around a madam's neck.
But as the snow lands and melts on the windowsill
and his eyes, she turns, finds, opens the note.






Jump into the inches and forget how to swim
after Not Waving But Drowning by Stevie Smith

Not washing, but washed; flesh rubbed bubble-red,
soap clung to the inside of the pores of her skin
scraped clean with half-bitten nails as she thought
jump into the inches and forget how to swim.

Her tiny head pulleyed back, chin scrubbed to a cleft,
her hair shampooed, rinsed, conditioned, rinsed,
rinsed and combed to extract each last drop
with eyes stung-sterile as she winced.

The water, hot then cold then hot again
stared her down, specks left by days, while toes dug in
to the edge of the bath. 'Jump...' the ripples repeated:
'...jump into my inches and forget how to swim.'






When I Have Time

I will go to the park
and feed the pigeons and ducks and geese
and watch the world go by

I will go to the train station
and greet strangers with a smile and a wave
and watch the world come in

I will go to the beach
and buy people ice cream and sunscreen
and watch the world go out

I will go to funerals
and pay my respects to those I didn't know
and watch the world end

And I will definitely, certainly, without a doubt
go to the pub for a pint, pork scratchings
and to put the world to rights.



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