Clark Coolidge


Globule seizes, crybaby cares, Granny’s acres,
the Ablution module, arsenic and garnishes, cold
lube in sanity nightmare, the obligated mock dead?
       must’ve been something like . . .

Hockey socket come loose, rubber whale under table,
gummy bears a set-up, golden old volcanic rudders,
Stuyvesant inroads, chemistry blues and clues thereof,
the threaded vitamins, the oblong savage’s mouth?
       I’ve had nights of

A treated guest, mouse nest, buckle of coals,
marginal field goal, the truck right outside,
the night of the slide, the first time anyone saw
anyone in bed, onyx slab on which shoes
gleam, the tunnel to a double team?
      will have to be correct eventually

Fast Eddie Felton, Lamar MacGillicuddy, Rafael
Armbruster, the Duke of Fold, the Arch of Tupac,
Diamond Jim Brady, the Tar Baby, David Brazil,
Sarah Twotrees, those down on their payments,
Grand Budger of Attainment?
      we’ll have to see

Rebecca Pigeon, Renée Fleming, Yehudi Menuhin,
frantic glances into a toaster, bunkum booster,
Archibald MacLeish, where Robert hid his stash,
the bubble trail of Submariner, Kevin Costner,
Mathew Ridgeway, steps in front of a tank,
the former Grand Banks, give you my thanks,
author of Dune, Old Bull Balloon, Freddy
Fender, Garver, a random traffic stop,
glass of merlot, window washer’s layout,
card that comes in cereal boxes, robber of houses?
      I think maybe only one is true

License on Earth, a sandstone girth,
monkey parts, scattered eggs, Mothman, oil pan,
one one Ocean Strand, the Capulets at home,
the Army of Carsons, Catapult Acres, jejune orisons,
all of what I mostly forgot, tin snips,
assorted garbages, the meat plow, the gas hill,
the only one who ever could’ve answered this?
      the ones I was not prepared for

Catalog of storage barns, Toodles the Clown,
original rack of Holyoke, Jesus on a weekend,
Clyfford Still on shredded wheat, a tented seat,
animals in clothes, the father’s Blue Coal,
Ten Pound Reef, globes in a jar, halvah,
digital polecat, where beards are illegal,
an almond story, Amityville Horror, Kathy Goodnight,
My Word Is My Bond, a tango for two for free,
Chopmist Summit, glad of goo, immersement chambers?
      maybe there were never any answers?

House on Sepulveda, fast and fabulous, shaken
loose, the chapters in English, seventh-inning stretch,
sawn of marble, Robert Frost did the asking,
a Novel of Do Me No Favors, a flavor of frogs,
maps to the college, landed the star on a hill,
when you’ll be through, an ambulance for a cow,
Milburn Stone on a call, electrical hermitage,
a joke that was designed to kill?
      was I ever even close?

A coat of arms for anybody, tomb of the Apples,
Father Divisive, the Admiral on Tour, Lower
Slobovia, the least associated series, greenies,
movies that show nothing, cattle call to nowhere,
Barnacle Bill the Sailor, the answer, the anchor,
veal for lunch, elephant with the silver trunk,
an enabling trick, all set to be okay, On the
Road to Mandalay, hey hey hey!, a substitute
      never did know for sure

Blasters, a dim switch, nightcap, Rolly the Playmate,
raw encouragement, Dread Snake Podiac on TV,
the lives of these hands, Nebuchadnezzar, Fool Moon,
Laocoon, a step away from school, wizard’s stool,
math requirement, matchstick monument, scars,
tumulus bars, a head rest or rack, Plutarch’s break,
Popeye’s favorite tack, the runt who drove for Philco,
the Barber of Seville, a score of retroactive marks,
the hole at the end of the world?
      put that one down

The author of the circus, trombone of Dick Marcus,
nothing to be rabid about, a relative’s clout,
the moon they moved, the record that skipped,
the Marshal of Gas Flat, the tipoff that never sat
well, credentials for tomfoolery, carpet thievery,
afraid to open her birthday, two in one year,
the one of the Buddha Bear, marked cards,
mineral roots, electrical leads, a pop in the night,
where the stupid ones came in hailed from, set out for,
the bisons on the wall, strategy delicate, angle of
the predicate, a season of barely lifting at all?
      why would you have me stall?

The one on your face, trouble with the human race,
stickball a case, bike in the boat house, hose,
trope, propeller twilight, mystic mosquito fight,
the one ledge you could see from, patter of little,
the skinny on much, prayed through tiny tubes,
it’s in Lisbon, it’s a scallion, a duck under the desk,
a fraud, a pimple, the metal cripple, the Wood Fop,
Hallicrafter’s set, Annals of the Plantagenets,
fallen roofs, salted bluffs, pancake saddlewear?
      seems like I never quite knew where

A federal statute to hold on tight, things that
go dim in the night, baby plot, glade of the glasses,
matched set of pumps, things that were told you,
gutter pampers, mass washers and still,
nothing we thought we knew, the River Crew,
a toddling ape, a cave that you tape,
just as well, the fakebook of Don Prell,
amygdular decider, the peter collider,
washed-in filter, one would be fitter,
the small, the not so big at all?
      I didn’t hear the call

Where you never hear at all, the Carbon Arches,
the inextricable starches right along the wall,
the Night of the Candle Fall, the Story of Mummy,
the puddle at the O.K. Corral, the basin, the tussle,
the eggs of the turtle, water sorter, spine,
spawn of David Thewlis, story of the upper story,
the Novel of What Did It Mean?, the flower stall?
      I can’t believe you’re asking at all

The bargain, William Gargen, the hung face,
the lingering father, unborn fatality, snarl,
Oblates of the Deepsix Five, the flames that buckled,
the dauphin, the dolphin, the Mentor of Hobbs End,
the meter of your friend, the dreaded void sucker,
flack for a navy band, the flute tribe, the End,
the one that did get out alive, Lynn Stallmaster,
Johnny Fuckerfaster trying as hard as he can,
another mile of wheat and holiday tassles,
massive dogs that clutch, beware of so much,
a roller pen, to do it all over again?
      I never knew a Kate when

The Bridge to Mathematics, the one so incorrigible,
the sculpture automotive, the door that creaked
like a dog’s low growling, a lot of extra toweling,
aren’t you sure Mister Wide?, goodbye all,
when we were just small, paler masturbators,
a so-so-igator, master of the budding pall,
the bearers of it all, supposing the snail?
      I couldn’t keep it all in

The father had a sandwich, the Witch of Eldritch,
the Tiverton fly-over, poem with a pause,
till the poem exists no more, remember?
the flags raised during a jump-out, cement cutout,
embalming prism so tough so slow, work to do,
smiles to fix, the autobiographies of the rich,
grounds of a child, powers of a holdup,
powders I can exchange, born with a makeover, a bookmark,
bastard with no hair, agronomist, sharpie,
doctor lacking speech, sex pool draining, the anti-
aviator, the churl, having to go home?
      Hope I got at least a few


Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, Clark Coolidge now lives in Petaluma, California. He is the author of more than fifty books of poetry, including Space, Solution Passage, The Crystal Text, At Egypt, Now It’s Jazz: Writings on Kerouac & The Sounds, The Act of Providence, 88 Sonnets, A Book Beginning What And Ending Away, Selected Poems, 1962-1985, Life Forms Here, and Poet. In 2011 he edited a collection of Philip Guston’s writings and talks for U Cal Press. Initially a drummer, he was a member of David Meltzer’s Serpent Power in 1967 and Mix group in 1993-1994. More recently, Coolidge performed duos with Thurston Moore (Among the Poetry Stricken on Fast Speaking Music) and free improv with Ouroboros. His newest publications include The Land Of All Time and To The Cold Heart.

Back to issue no. seven poetry table of contents

Founded in 2020, Three Fold is an independent quarterly based in Detroit that presents exploratory points of view on arts, culture, and society in addition to original works in various media, including visual art, literature, film and the performing arts. We solicit and commission contributions from artists, writers, and activists around the world. Three Fold is a publication of Trinosophes Projects, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the historic Eastern Market neighborhood in downtown Detroit. Click here to check out Three Fold’s events page and view a schedule of the publication’s on-site activities.

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