KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 7: Spring 2017
Lineated Poem: 205 words [R]

No Room to Rage

by Jack Cooper
Well, if Armageddon is on, I suppose one should be there.*

—Rupert Brooke

The year 2011 was born not a naked child
but a fully armored reptile wiggly alert
forced to face the specter of 2012
with its predicted pandemonium
arriving ahead of schedule

The world was already overcrowded and underfed
animals with no room to rage
trees moving northward seas shoreward
peace in short supply
greed in abundance

Too little had been done about Haiti Sudan Detroit
the swirling island of debris in the Pacific
the rise of narcissism
the squandering of solar power
Hope was in foreclosure

And then a man in New York
torn by eviction in a cold spell
jumped from his ninth floor apartment
landing on piles of trash in the street
saved by the city’s frozen promises

Circus bears on a broken train in Siberia
fell into hibernation
their trainers waking them
with black tea and chocolate
but they were too sleepy to perform

When the cold rains come to the Valley
the heart you give will keep me warm all day
If this is the end
I want you next to me
I will fall no further than to you


—Previously appeared in Colere (Coe College, Iowa, 2012 edition); republished here by author’s permission


* Publisher’s Note: In August 1914, English poet Rupert Brooke made this famous remark to a friend after hearing that war had been declared. Details in “Rupert Brooke’s Life” at


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