When I Direct Oedipus Rex by Frederick Lord

It’s about jewelry and a woman’s breasts,
but what isn’t?

Not long after her entrance,
Jocasta will adjust the two gold brooches
holding up her sheer white gown,
dark areoles staring through,

so we’ll notice those long, sharp pins.

When the truth is finally lying there,
a smelly mackerel no one can ignore,
we’ll be the only ones who see her
slip inside that palace dark as the Id.

Later, he’ll go in.

We’ll hear him scream once,
then twice,
then see him stagger out,
weeping copious blood,
in each hand an open brooch
glittering through his gore,

so we’ll know what he used
to silence his eyes
and what he must first
have had to look at and touch
one last time
to get them.



Frederick (known as both Fred and Rick) Lord is an Associate Professor of English on the Manchester, NH, campus of Southern New Hampshire University. His poetry has appeared in dozens of venues online and in print, as well as in an earlier collection, What I Made Instead of a Life. He lives in Bow, New Hampshire with his wife, the painter Heather Lord, and Katie, his step-cat.