Sex & Love &

by Bob Hicok


"The most potent ingredient in virtually every one of Bob Hicok's compact, well-turned poems is a laughter as old as humanity itself."The New York Times Book Review

"Hicok's poems are like boomerangs; they jut out in wild, associative directions, yet find their way back to the root of the matter, often in sincere and heartbreaking ways."Publishers Weekly

In Sex & Love &, Bob Hicok attempts the impossible task of confronting love and its consequences, in which "everything is allowed, minus forever." Switching gracefully between witty confessions and blunt confrontations, Hicok muses on age, distance, secret messages, and, of course, sex. Throughout, poetry is discovered to be among our most effective tools to examine the delirium of making contact.


The sexiest thing a woman has ever done
to or with or for mewhile wearing the loose breeze
of a dress or standing inside its red zero on the floor
while bending over and pulling her shorts down
on a racquetball court or to reach the water
shutoff valve behind the fridgeas Satie
whispers against our thighs or humming
her brain's native tune as we touch
the smudged glass protecting extinct beetles
in a museumwith her lips swaddling my tongue
or finger up my assis tell the truth
which makes my wife the hottest woman
I've ever knownher mouth erotic every time
she speaksshe is an animal when it comes to sex
and lovecomes to usin that she doesn't primp
in front of the mirror of what she thinks I want
her to say or bethe only real fleshonly naked
that mattershow she looks at me

Bob Hicok's poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, and the American Poetry Review. His books have been awarded the Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress and named a "Notable Book of the Year" by Booklist. Hicok has worked as an automotive die designer and a computer system administrator. He is currently teaching at Purdue University.

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