C. Luke Soucy


Because I…

… hate to socialize,
never have eyes on the prize,
spend a scandalous percent
of my take-home pay on rent,
put my eggs all in one bastard
who is only pleasant plastered,
ride no bike and drive no car
unless it’s heading to a bar,
let my coffee creamer curdle,
don’t lose weight, but lose at Wordle,
and won’t leave my cozy nest
except to flee a weekend guest,

my friends incessantly insist
that I should see their therapist,
read some book on being human,
mix my yogurt with curcumin,
give more thought to my career,
watch a film by Lars von Trier,
be their fourth for bridge or tennis,
go on just one date with Denis,
change my diet, clothing, hair,
or any thing, one, place, or where
(if not Denis, maybe Lois?)—
what they really want to know is

will I just give up the fight, or
go on trying to be a writer?


Your lower leg’s so toned and tanned
it calls me like a promised land,
for, like the Hebrews’ lesser half,
I love myself some golden calf.

All of My Beeswax

Just let me say this much for living while single:
there’s no one to care if your lunch is a Pringle,
to shower for hours while you wait for the toilet,
or see what you’re reading and hurry to spoil it—
and if your whole outfit is plain underwear,
nobody will stop you, for nobody’s there.

But what can be pleasant in many respects is
less so when a bee the proportions of Texas
bursts into your flat, where you’re flustered to find
there’s nobody else you can cower behind!—
it’s fun to fly solo in untrousered ease,
but not when it comes to the birds and the bees.

At age fourteen, C. Luke Soucy wrote two hundred acrostic sonnets for the boy he liked, who remained unmoved. While he has since made a career as a translator and low-ranking university bureaucrat, the force of that early embarrassment kept him away from formalist poetry until well into adulthood, when the combined tedium and delirium of COVID isolation drove him back into the arms of rhyme. With his verse translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses due out from the University of California Press in November, Soucy is currently at work on a long, serious adaptation of a French play and a long, silly doggerel on the Leviathan.