Richard Epstein

RHE reading in Ross-on-WyeBIO

If Epstein told you how long he has been writing poems, you wouldn’t believe him, but they have appeared in a vast, though motley, array of academic quarterlies, little magazines, e-zines, and the like. If the poems here pique your interest, you can find many more at – ., or you can drop by his house in Denver, Colorado.



The Likely Lads

Elegant we, the eidolon of eyes,
Superior to the threads we bear, the hope
Of parents or custodial trustees.
We are the ones on whom the trees shed leaves
And amber bugs; we are the likely lads
Who hear the bushes when they conversate.
For us the swans make hearts, the dogs and cats
Balance their cans of beef heart on their noses.
Nobody knows us, records our pithy mots,
Or sees that we are flexing in our skins.
Never you mind. The day advents when trolls
Will serve us lemonade in stainless steel
And maidens wish they weren’t. The days will come.


Walking Home in the Dark

Some nights I can’t get home before the dark.
I can’t quite make it. Some nights I brave the streets,
And I’m afraid. Who isn’t? There are ex-
Acquaintances, role models, and the police
In every hole, the shadows of themselves
Awaiting the day when hair loss is reversed.
Arise, I tell them, and I say, Not now,
But after I’ve passed and left you where you were.
I hear them rustle in their deep down beds,
Less than they were, more than they ever will be,
Until the day when fallen arches rise,
And all of their triumphs, mute so many years,
Still in the gladstone bags they kept close by,
Rise to the surface, fried by the noonday sun.