Offcourse Literary Journal
ISSN 1556-4975 

Three Poems, by Chris Crittenden.



granular mixture,
once root, bud and agave teat,

now synthesized, brainwashed
and hoodwinked

into a clean cousin
of LSD, capsule
that settles the suicidal,

alka seltzer for the head,

bathing neurons in fizz
till they're too numb to think.

such white pure beach sand,
dissolving in the boudoirs
of the intimate mind-

like Jamaica ingested,
complete with Mai Thai,

and a hammock so limp
and spineless you hardly know

the fabric is you.



this drug
of dried-up kings,
ulcer in a galleon's gut,

it still hopes
to be vicious,
to launch battles like Helen,
obliterate the fallow.

what am i, it says,
if not the scurf of ghosts,
bane of flesh,
curing the butchered,
tormenting cuts?

what am i
but shattered glitz
that swords once sought
beefy and red?

i who bites tongues,
jailer of wrinkles,
embalmer of wars—

i who hoards
in parched tents,
near merchants
thirsty from greed,

like snow white leeches.




these black-clad clones
are sexton beetles, my eyes
their mouse and they see
in the apertures

want to bury my sight
inside itself, inter
my mind, their
sexton beetle eggs
in my vision,

eating it, rebirthing it
to swarm across
what i denied;
and now i

see the merit
of insect skin, numb
and gleaming little

their swords tongues
red with infidels, their
scuttles noble as they
seek more mice,

burying them
like slain plums, implanting
their spermy gluttony,
fruitful as their jesus


Chris Crittenden worked on a suicide hotline for thirteen years, then earned a Ph.D. in philosophy (in the lucrative specialty of applied ethics), and finally turned to poetry. He has about 400 poems published. Some recent acceptances are from Drunken Boat, Barnwood Magazine, Merge Poetry, Poems Niederngasse, Thick With Conviction and "Walt's Corner," a literary column in The Long Island Newspaper.

His work appeared in Offcourse Issue #29, Three Poems and in Issue #31, Poems.

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