The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words



From “Stadium”

….I am not diminished

but rearranging how I see.

In my head, I’m humming Foo Fighters’ “For All the Cows.” Both the song, and Lizzie Lee Lenson’s Theatre of the Cow are reminders that until we do something to stand out from the crowd, we are stolid, we are cows, we are just “getting along.” But, we don’t have to stay that way.

That said, there is honesty in simply being a cow:

 From “Cow’s What Cow Is”

Cow’s what cow is. Cow thinks velvet

and reposes. In March cow kicks

at the scentless earth, the authenticity

of it is astounding.

It might not be beautiful, but there’s a lot to be said for being authentically whatever you are. And I think that’s what stands out with this little chapbook from Factory Hollow Press: it’s simple, but authentic.

Lenson writes:

The cows want a radio,

But not because of milk

They want a radio because they enjoy it

Or they think they would

And they want to know for sure.

It’s the “grass is always greener” syndrome, and it’s understandable that we, as a herd of cows, always want to at least ponder that which might make us happier – even if what we have is already beyond our expectations. I mean, who wouldn’t want to enjoy that metaphoric radio.

I like Theatre of the Cow, but it took me a few reads to truly appreciate the theme. It might just be that I was digging for more, and not just taking the pieces at face value – which really, once you grab the metaphor, there’s not a ton hidden within the poems. It’s a good read, and a good look at how we are all just trying to “locate a certain flavor;” that it’s okay – as long as we are happy – to just be a part of the herd.


“The Eye of the Cow”

The cow understands the value

of getting along. The cow is a big thing

getting along. The eye of the cow

is the cow’s whole body.


Grab your copy of Theatre of the Cows at Factory Hollow Press.  

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

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