Nine Ways of Rising

by Cathryn Cofell

– Success is falling nine times and getting up ten.  Jon Bon Jovi

Another poet would conjure angels or zombies. 


424 astronomers demoted Pluto. Alan Stern, leader of NASA’s New Horizon’s mission (to Pluto) calls this a farce, vows that Pluto will rise again.

I took one of those online personality quizzes, discovered I will spend eternity in Dante’s eighth circle of hell, for Frauds. I don’t believe in hell. I have retaken the test three times and have worked my way up to Wrath. 

My husband’s voice climbs when he talks politics or stocks. I find it hard to sit and listen. 

I like it down here, flat on my back on the cool tiles, black ant tickling my ear, fingers splayed 
over my eyes to block the light. 

Don’t make me come up there. 

The hotel maid found him in the tub, five pints down, looking like Picasso’s The Weeping Woman. I don’t know where she works now. We keep his urn on a top shelf. 

The Supreme Court, innings, tic tac toe, holes of golf, the Fellowship of the Rings. This has nothing to do with rising. 

The average worker will hold 10 different jobs in his or her lifetime. I am above average. 

Cathryn Cofell is a poet with one full-length collection called Sister Satellite, six chapbooks, numerous awards and a music/poetry CD called Lip. She is a passionate advocate for the arts, helping to launch the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and its endowment fund, the literary journal Verse Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poetry Chapbook Prize and the Poetry Unlocked reading series.