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About Deviant Artist Paul28/Male/United Kingdom Recent Activity
Deviant for 9 Years
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The Green Zone at Midnight
Like human teeth, the boots crunch –
the throat-clear truck revving
to ship the soldiers completely elsewhere;
beyond the stucco sheet concrete
of the barricade, the dead heft
of ordnance – underwater sound
scattering stars like dark shoals.
Searchlights detonate in the hot gloom.
They spill through the cobwebs of wires
and lie white on the sand, in pieces.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 1 9
Mature content
Khales Static :iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 2 2
Dead Note
I slipped and wrote a poem
soft as old playing cards –
the plastic snapped from the keyboard,
my finger pocking rubber like
a dead piano note; dust-breath.
Missing key, lone and ridiculous
as a Scrabble tile.
I slipped and wrote a poem
blunt as a hollowpoint.
The soft silt of flour on the keys,
globes of oil left jointed sinews –
spelling sharp advice from the sweating
chocolate block, the slim kitkat
of the spacebar.
I slipped and wrote a poem
dead as stardust.
The thrum of typing through the letter mist,
insect clouds of occasional undressed
punctuation, crowded like yet-to-be-formed
letters failing to imagine the quiet indignity
of their shapes.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 5 6
The Comet
We stood shivering, my Dad and I, shrunk
under enormous arctic air, watching
the source of all tears spin silk into the stars.
Homeward bound, this mote-borne traveller;
pilgrim after warmth and light, a shattered vase
with nothing to end its fall, spilling glass dust
into a darkness larger than the fever-dreams of God.
Four thousand years ago, it lit the night
and saw the Akkadians scattered like dolls,
a forest of flags tattered in the chalk of moonlight;
urus turning the pages of the ocean;
the hundred-year pharaoh narrowing
rheumatic eyes at the first clear gleam of bronze.
Separate ways.
You fall back into those millennia of night;
our planet turns, tilts us into darkness and dust.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 4 9
Soweto Strings
Tremolo dusk. Sunlight rills cast
nets along the tigerstripe waist
dusted by ringlets of rosin smoke.
Protea's loose purple shade
sediments the honeyed brazilwood,
the heartache of acacia down in Soweto;
liquid boléro of heat. Zephyrs trill the aloe's
luthier curves, the purfling of matchbox houses.
Strings tuned to four crystal fifths, glazed
by the vibrato breeze.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 1 3
This sluice of swamp,
weed-throttled and starred
by lilies – mossed benches
lit by lichen like a night of fireworks
and the dregs of forgotten picnics
lost to sleep crumbs.
The gunfire of a diesel ticking over,
heaping sods of dry earth – teeth
polished to a gleam of blue steel
by sparked stones.
Engines row against the earth,
snarling it with mesh and acetate,
pestling stone to powder under tangerine totems
riddled like the sides of bullet-flecked tanks  
straining at their hydraulic sinew.
In the ruins where we
cricked our necks,
lost in the tent of shadows
where we strung candles and
the brambles still search
over sheaves of broken bricks.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 1 0
But it won't Come Off
He is trying to wipe a stain from his spectacles.
His doe eyes are shallow pools black with bloom,
nodding from the glasses in his hand to the
bench's arpeggio score of faces.
The courtroom light cuts gems from the lenses –
they squeal at the silk; he blinks deep as a frog,
huffing beads of breath on the cold glass.
A mote of dust caught from the cracked earth,
baked dry by how many summers – cemented
by hot spit whipped in the oven air.
There is a cough, and he fumbles like a man
catching his dreams; his glasses lurch
like splinted birds and he clips them with a breath.
He is trying to wipe a stain from his spectacles.
They flash for an instant like rain-glazed windows:
a school filled with skulls, lined up like a jury,
teeth falling into their mouths like nuts.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 2 0
Chronic Use
We traced the dark mass of the hills,
star filaments of crushed glass
sharper than the rain flecks on the window
that you thought were paint.
Your voice doesn't wear pain well,
but I love the way codeine makes you blush –
gives you eyes like lacquered salad bowls
in the monitor's tribute to moonlight.
           Drunk with half-sleep, I heard a train's
           sigh shift up through minor notes
           and teach you to speak.
You asked why I soothed
the hollow in your chest, the pool of
skin vacuum-packed over your bones –
but you hate cliché more than you hate
train journeys or signs of weakness,
so I traced white smiles into your ribs;
there were raindrops on your cheeks
that looked like tears -
abacus beads collecting on my finger.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 6 12
It Won't Happen Again
Sometimes in the evening when I'm running
feet are making patterns on the pavement
shoes are worn and clapping on the concrete,
I lose the thread of thirsty wires
and it's dark in my head and I wake up
not remembering where I've been
strung up, ivy puppet but
if I'm lucky I'll be fully-clothed
and nowhere near the motorway,
snug under wet cardboard
stomach heavy with dreams:
mangroves of light sprouting
under powerlines epileptic
like sped up film and
when I come home my wife tells me to
wipe the age off my face.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 1 2
Fat Ojibwe
Bathers' feet print the stone,
the smoke of shrimp frying in oil
making sweet meat of the air.
Fat Ojibwe sucks the grease glazing his fingers,
peels the crustaceans from their ghost skins,
twists off sheaves of their toothpick legs.
The carapaces ooze when pressed:
Black pearl eyes, wet pebbles –
juices welling between the soft armour plates.
He reaches for a bottle with an oil-dark label,
lugs legs of slow sunshine into the pan
embossed with pepper slices.
Starfish of sliced chilli skim the surface.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 0 2
Mature content
I Knead You :iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 5 0
Mature content
Childhood :iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 9 12
I have seen two blossomings of the Kurinci flower and twenty-four black monsoons since Kalinga Magha first landed on the shore of our island Kingdom. He arrived as the rainy season ended – greenery erupting from every hollow, pepper vines snaking up every tree. Cranes and peacocks drank from the bowls of mangrove roots, elephants rolled and snorted in watering holes, and the mists were slinking back to stalk the lush valleys of the Hill Country.
The thousands of soldiers Magha brought with him trudged for days through our country's red mud, sinking in potholes and cursing their gods in all the languages of the mainland. Farmers knee-deep in sprouting paddy fields looked up as they passed in a mile-long column, and muttered to each other that war had come again to Lanka. The months of rain had swollen the rivers, and it took Magha longer than he expected to reach Polonnaruwa through the flooded river crossings.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 106 63
I trace our children's smiles white into your ribs;
You have raindrops on your cheeks
that look like tears,
and I collect them on my abacus finger –
Counting the years.
You ask – 'Am I broken?'
and I have only mumbles for answers.
I have no heart but an onion,
a cricket ball in a paper bag,
and when I kiss the hollow in your chest
gulping, I am trying to say
'You are broken but you are beautiful,
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 13 28
Stirring my Whisky with a Nail
'Doctor, lawyer, juror - beggarman, punk' -
that's what I scratched in the wall of the county jail.
'There ain't no devil – it's just God coming home drunk',
but man, that ain't no comfort when your ship's a-gone and sunk --
I don't want no priests or pensioners watching when I fail.
Doctor, cowboy, thief, beggarman, punk;
hell man, I sure ain't no Buddhist fucking monk,
but I got lots of time for thinking when I'm riding on the rail
cos there ain't no devil – it's just God when he's drunk,
and here I'm gonna tell you all those things what I thunk.
See I been up and down, seen this country top to tail.
Hey, mister! shirker, shiner – poor man, punk --
I learnt one man's treasure is another man's junk
but there ain't no place for me if the meek are gon' prevail,
cos there ain't no devil – it's just God blind drunk
and one man's perfume is another man's skunk
and now I'm stirring dirty whisky with a nail,
boys: 'Doctor, lawyer, beggarman, punk'
don't you know there ain
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 9 11
Osmosis: water
Passing through a membrane.
Life is beautiful.
:iconpaul-cooper:Paul-Cooper 8 18


I'm writing a blog over at
I'll be posting about music and arts as I come back from Sri Lanka, and posting creative writing tips that have helped me develop. I'll be posting throughout my course at UEA next year, so stay tuned and get the latest. Follow and I will of course follow in return. ^^


United Kingdom
Current Residence: University of Warwick, United Kingdom


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fighterxaos Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2016  Professional Writer
Happy birthday!
Neji-roo42 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:party:Haappy b-day to you--~~~!!!:iconwoohooplz::
orphicfiddler Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
Happy birthday! :)
Neji-roo42 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:party:HapPy HapPy BIrThDaYYY:iconpineappletardplz::cake::la::dummy:
Luminous85 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday!!
Paul-Cooper Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010
Thanks. :hug:
Luminous85 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
You're so welcome! :hug:
Just-kinda-sittin Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010  Student General Artist
Happy birthday! Enjoy it all the way through! :)
Paul-Cooper Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010
Thank you. =)
poisonliz Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010
HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a great day
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