Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart


How the Angst Unfolds

Cathryn Cofell

I want to say it's a banana or a potato
being peeled, the slow curl and reveal,
but such a bland yellow thing.

I want to say it's a shirt from a drawer,
a billow of purple and Bounce,
but it's sweat and crumple in a pile.

I want to say it's a virgin's fantasy first, 
soft hall light and Harlequin,
tender and gasp as they keen and grasp.

I say tender but mean tinder:
a birch tree stripped of its bark,
doused with Match Light, flame exposed.

I say exposed but mean explode:
a shrapnel of four martinis,
a face reflected as pale and abhor.

When I say abhor I mean whore,
for FICA and retirement,
food and rent.

When I say rent I mean rend.
When I say rend I mean rend.

 – Previously published at Steam Ticket (2016) and Watermelon Isotope (2017) 

Cathryn Cofell is a UWEC grad who now resides in Appleton. Her latest collection, Stick Figure with Skirt, in which this poem appeared, was awarded the 2019 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and released in November 2019.  Reprinted with permission of the author’ More about Cathryn: https://www.cathryncofell.com/


Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.