Tag Archives: Fredric Koeppel

Poetry

Fredric Koeppel ~ Three Poems

The Vanity of Self-LoathingFrederic-Koeppel

Exhausted by a discontent disguised as modesty,
I dream that I am Achilles, hero who thinks too much.
Confined to our anchorage of dust, we fix small pinions
to large claims and call innocence what we have lost.

Then the dream of a woman sitting in a restaurant,
naked, save for the cobwebs wreathing her shoulders
and face; appetite and terminus, she comes to tell me
that we don’t want to know the names the dead give us.

Dusk again, and night’s blank facets breeding pangs.
I dismiss the full moon’s pious obligations and offer
myself to sleep as one might be set down at a station
in a wilderness, trembling with grief like a just-flung knife.

Midnight Hour

If I could scrape the crusted salt
from the face of Lot’s wife and free
from the corner of her blue eye
the single tear that would redeem
the cities of shame, then perhaps
I could make you believe what seems
impossible to explain. Dear sleep,
spare me last night’s dream of grieving

Mary’s walking in a furnace, treading
flames. A shout from the street below
rips wattage from our hearts, and the dog
slumped at my feet lifts his hot black face
and barks three times, as if the world’s errors
required his reproof. When the crooked
have been made straight, Lord, let my anger
inherit the earth.

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