“The Driftwood of Our Lives Washed Up on Some Foreign Shore” is Cooper Dozier’s first published ebook, the 2nd edition coming out October 15th 2015. It is a chapbook length collection that touches on a range of topics although sometimes obliquely. From the more direct approaches to politics to the indirectness of alluding to the disaappearance of children, from activism to mental health, it is a selective tour of the psychological landscape of modern America with some windows into the author’s life, although there may be glare or drawn blinds on some of those windows… Many of the short poems are untitled (although numbered) and the book contains a couple of multi-page poems (“People of the Moon, and, particularly, “Menagerie”). Some brushes with anarchist leanings will be noticed, some brushes only with activism, as the line blurs between them. Drugs are a topic that comes up also. People get lost in the world and their minds in this text, but they are also found, or find themselves, as in the postscript or “The Energy Pours Through Your Spine,” or in “Victory (Non-Linear Poem).” Two Non-Linear Poems are included, where the lines were written all out of order on the page, then some light editing was done and some lines removed, but very few if any moved around on the pages. It is a method I have had some delightful results with, although certainly its share of failures too, but even then it is a useful exercise to get the juices flowing, and there’s always something delightful and useful to be gleaned from it even when the poem as a whole fails. The book is ambivalent about, or even in places hostile to the idea that life and the universe are friendly, but it also contains its share of successes and loves… War is touched on at least once (“Untitled 5”) as are the refugees in and near and from Syria (“Curfew,” although that could also be interpreted to refer to other things). As “Untitled 14” says, “It Rankles Suburbia to Know These Things,” particularly parents trying to mold their childrens’ minds into their own dictated shapes, I imagine. This could apply to much of the book depending on the family. The author recommends the second edition and recommends against the first, but you can still find it if you look.
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Cooper Dozier was born near Los Angeles in 1984, but grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. He became very educated about psychotropics in high school and did well in high school. He was voted most likely to become a political prisoner by his high school class (and also elected SGA vice president). After a brief sojourn in Massachusetts in 2003-2004 (Hampshire College) in which he had a mystical and transpersonal experience, he returned to Huntsville, made some new friends and in January of 2005 started college at UAH. His life centered around a coffeehouse that functioned as a computer and a bar and arts center that worked similarly. After becoming depressed, he moved to Nashville and worked in IT for a couple years, but never put down roots. He took a poetry workshop there in 2009. Moving to Louisville near his parents, he pursued art for a year before returning to the job market, and began school at Bellarmine University in August 2011 for Design, Arts and Technology but withdrew in October 2013. He began writing a lot of poetry in late 2012 and writing intensively in December 2014. He is now engaged in a project to send 1000 postcards for climate change and poetry among other things, such as generalized activism, and has returned to Bellarmine for one final semester to complete a degree in Liberal Studies. He has finally begun to put down roots in Louisville. He has a cat called Crowley and lives alone. His favorite book is “The Schroedingers Cat Trilogy.”