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 http://offcourse.org
 ISSN 1556-4975

   

Since 1998, a journal for poetry, criticism, reviews, stories and essays edited by Ricardo Nirenberg.


Three Poems by Chris Crittenden.


Housing Bubble

with the aplomb of an amoeba,
a house goes up.  roads cut into
tar-salted wounds.

the Mesozoic, the Paleo-
lithic, and the
Ordovician

have nothing
on this. 

egos move quicker
and bigger than all other
epochs in a conga line.

we breed like fission, usurp
the nucleus, perfect the terror
of war.

we ant-gobble and vulture-chug,
money-addicted
and Pfizer-strung,

as we jerk
toward the next crisis,
haughty as marionettes.

 



 

Pinecones

a midden of fainéants,
progeny of giants
angling for soily wombs.

more skull than virile imp.
smirking little slits
that dream of susurral green
vocal chords.

but most won’t trade
their skullness for genesis;
won’t sink to succeed
with the grace of fetal tombs.

they’re too selfish,
freed from umbilicals,
happy-go-lucky
on a pine needle bed.

fraternal dukes
whose heritage will never be,
sneering over their ruffles,
proud not to strive.

 



 

Only Sunlight

his eyes stung
from an anthill of tomorrows,
from the cash burn of the harnessed must.
he would always suffer
the was that devoured his shoulder-length if
the yellow-red-blue-black
of harlequin traffic signs,
their prude candy of dry needles.

the sharp blue breast of topless rage
leered unsucked above herded cages
of bridled cars.

only sunlight could run so fast
it didn’t have to see.
all else was worried strawmen,
corpse-marching in a cortege of wind.
no one could deny
money’s clear-cut nudity,
the de rigeur jerk of the smile,
its sexless sex. 

people lived to lie upward downtown bound,
to wallow in the slither of silk and slick. 
but the sun cut like a buzz saw.
knots in accused cheeks were no different
than scars on unearthed stones,
or the gambits of dogs chewing rotten prawns
in alley heat.


Chris Crittenden lives fifty miles from the nearest traffic light and writes from a spruce forest.  He fears owls more than thugs.  Over six hundred of his poems have been published, and he blogs as Owl Who Laughs. Crittenden's work last appeared in Offcourse #40, Two Poems.



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