Monday, November 10, 2014

Robert Cooperman


Adultery isn't a felony, unless, of course,
you want to end your marriage and avoid
paying your wronged wife any alimony:
what the brother of a college friend had
in his twisted mind, when he fell for
a beautiful woman young enough
to be the daughter who refuses to talk to him.

Frank's idea: pay someone to, as he called it,
"Take care of Louise," otherwise known as murder.
He met the killer under the 42nd Street Library
stone lions, and brought a briefcase stuffed with cash.
The assassin? An FBI agent wired to catch
everything Frank said, then cuff him quicker
than Houdini escaping a filled water tank.

He spent the next ten years in prison,
his brother Lloyd lamenting, "No one died!"
which showed loyalty, even if for a scumbag;
Frank's lover sang her ignorance at the trial.

Me? I'd have sent him away for life,
having met Frank's wife, a kind, generous soul,
who happened not to be beautiful or bad.

Steve Peacock reads "Felony Adultery":

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Cooperman confesses: "I changed the names of the characters in 'Felony Adultery', to protect the guilty and the innocent, but this actually happened. After many years, I recently saw this friend again, and we talked about the incident, both of us shaking our heads over, aside from the horror of trying to contract a murder, how abysmally stupid his brother was.

ROBERT COOPERMAN's latest collection is Just Drive (Brick Road Poetry Press). He won the Colorado Book Award for In the Colorado Gold Fever Mountains, a trilogy of tales about the gold boom towns of the 1860s and '70s.

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