John Koethe

John Koethe’s The Swimmer, has just been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His previous books include North Point North: New and Selected (2002), Ninety-Fifth Street (2009), which received the Lenore Marshall Award, and ROTC Kills (2012).

Mar/Apr 2018

Walking Backwards

By John Koethe

You notice them on campuses in early April, the maître d's Of the future showing customers to their tables. It looks so hopeful: Come join me, realize your dreams here […]

Mar/Apr 2018

Thinking about Death

By John Koethe

I am not thinking of Death, but Death is thinking of me.   — Mark Strand         In memoriam Lucretius has an unconvincing argument For why death doesn't matter, since I won't […]

Jan/Feb 2015

La Durée

By John Koethe

Proust read Bergson, then he wrote his poem. I thought if I read Bergson too I’d figure out a way To say what I’ve been gesturing at all my life […]

Spring 2012

Watchful Waiting

By John Koethe

                Let's see what happens. I'm waiting at the bar at Gene's, a place On West Eleventh Street, just down the street From the Larchmont Hotel, where I usually stay When […]

Summer 2009

These Magic Moments

By John Koethe

We were sitting on the terrace of a small hotel On a side street in a town we’d never visited before. I wrote this down: They drive around the square […]

Fall 2008

The Distinguished Thing

By John Koethe

Here it is at last, the distinguished thing.             — Henry James It needn't start with reading —Though it does—but with an opening So sweet and self-sustaining that it lasts forever, […]

Winter 2006

The Unlasting

By John Koethe

          I Like a vain man practicing a vain artBorn out of failure—not the grand failureOf the Will or the Imagination,   But on a more human scale: what happened?What happened […]

Fall 2004

Sally’s Hair

By John Koethe

It's like living in a light bulb, with the leaves Like filaments and the sky a shell of thin, transparent glass Enclosing the late heaven of a summer day, a […]

Fall 2004

This Morning

By John Koethe

To see things as they are is hard, But leaving them alone is harder; Snow in patches in the yard, The vacuum in the sky, and in the soul The […]

Winter 2001

Dellius’s Boat

By John Koethe

In that dark boat, that bears us all away From here to where no one comes back from ever. —Horace So the journey resumes as it began, With the raw […]

Winter 2001

Aus Einem April

By John Koethe

  Spring arrived again, with puzzles in the air,   And mysteries being debated by the breeze.   I felt the season fold around me like a glove,   As line by line the […]