Colette Jonopulos

Photo courtesy of Mike Jonopulos

Colette Jonopulos lives, writes, and edits in Eugene, Oregon. Her chapbook, The Burden of Wings, was published by Rattlesnake Press in 2004. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Clackamas Literary Review, HeartLodge, cho, PDQ, In the Arms of Words: Poems for Disaster Relief and Under Our Skin: North American Poetic Responses to Fernando Pessoa. She currently co-edits and publishes Tiger’s Eye: A Journal of Poetry.

Tiger's Eye web site:
Tiger blog: 

She can be reached at:, or

Her now-defunct blog can still be found at:


Colette is also the author of littlesnake broadside #3. If you’d like a free copy, send an SASE to Rattlesnake Press.


Colette Jonopulos Poems

(or what is was all about . . . )

it wasn’t the music
never was the music
only background noise
for the drive down I-5
Oregon to California
and back, curved
road above Lake
Shasta, familiar like the
lines of your back

it wasn’t the drive
never the drive
but the rhythm felt
through the wheel
One For Daddy-O’s
riff played over and
over and over until

I swear the arrow on
the CD player’s back
button wore down
on the drive
that wasn’t about
mileage or
road conditions
or the music

but about the
rhythm of your
back muscles,
deceptive curve
of road above
Lake Shasta

Barber Conjures Coltrane
—in the wake of a dream

shine the light on blackbird as he flees his
wooden house—magnificent winged bird
larger than a man—wingspan a sheet of black
oilcloth and me beneath a tent of birdsong

Coltrane knew the sorrow given at birth
wound his notes into midnight mourning

blackbird            bye-bye

Barber gives birth to sorrow’s mother
swaddles every hurt in blues—sugar’s sweet and so is
she—voice throaty with

            late late               nights

her wingspan covers the
worn black and whites

piano and sax improvise on Morpheus’ stage
her fine-boned fingers riding the keys

his sax ascending                  ascending

both musicians awake and dreaming blackbirds










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