Monday, September 21, 2015

Robert Cooperman


You're rich enough to pay
to blast a lion, rhino, or elephant?
Great, but let’s make it
a fair fight, true sport.

You're hunting a lion?
You get claws and prosthetic fangs,
then have at the beast:
best man, or animal, wins.

You want to bag a rhino—
who cares if there's maybe
a couple hundred left;
God gave rich Americans
dominion over the earth,
look it up in the Bible—
so you bulk up on 'roids,
your body's plated with leather,
your forehead’s adorned
with a horn big as your adversary's.
Then charge, my man, charge.

Trickier if you lust for
an elephant's head and tusks
on the wall of your billiards room,
but we can work it so the odds
are more or less even, not
a megalomaniac with a gun
that could take out
the German defenses
at Omaha Beach.

So this time, maybe
it'll be a hunter's head
nailed to a thorn-tree.

Gerald So reads "Trophy Hunting":

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Cooperman confesses: "This poem grew out of the slaughter of Cecil the Lion by an American dentist. Even as a kid I knew trophy hunting, Ernest Hemingway included, was a sin against nature and life. And to call it sport is an abomination of logic: where's the sport in stalking an animal that has no idea it's about to be a high-powered rifle-shot mounted head on some scum-sucking pig's wall?"

ROBERT COOPERMAN's latest collection is Just Drive (Brick Road Poetry Press). In The Colorado Gold Fever Mountains (Western Reflections Books) won the Colorado Book Award for Poetry.

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