Patric Pepper



Men are lobsters.

                       Women are lobsters, too.

They both crawl over their seabeds being cruel

only to their breakfast, lunch and dinner.

They grow gargantuan in their girth, not thinner,

for their girth is fondness, never tomfool-


ery. They be quick. They be winners. They

be in every way entirely new, and

simply everything, except for sinners.

                               Men are lobsters.

                               Women are lobsters, too.


When they approach each other with their blue-

green lusts in endless ocean night, renewal

is never thought of.

                           It is as if they splinter

their shells as they explode through the hinter-


   I think of you in liquid silence. I scuttle to you,             

     O my lovely, O my lobster, for

                                       women are lobsters, too.

Elegy for Nan Fry


You were the pear in your poem, and the pear tree, too.

You bent down your branch to “the handless maiden,”

and “in moonlight,” fed her. And you were the maiden,

hungry, always hungry and lost in her clothes. You

were the root, trunk, branch, and fruit. And the old man


“Deep in the woods . . . beside a stream,” doing his yoga,

becoming Tree, Fish, Swan, Bridge, where the “wide-eyed”

deer browsed at his feet, your feet—and you were the deer.

                                                                         You were


the “Riddle” in a too-big sweater, roaming the towpath

in every season, the “animal cries becoming human,”

the “five daughters of your mother tongue,” and

your mother tongue was poetry. You were the poetry,

the answer to all riddles. And so, you are. And yet,

                                                             you were.

Patric Pepper has published a chapbook, Zoned Industrial, and a full-length collection, Temporary Apprehensions, which won the 2004 Washington Writers’ Publishing House Poetry Prize (WWPH). From 2008 through 2013, Pepper was President of WWPH, and he continues to serve WWPH as Production Manager. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Broadkill Review, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Confrontations, District Lines, Fugue, Gargoyle, and Innisfree Poetry Journal.



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