Offcourse Literary Journal
ISSN 1556-4975 

Four Poems, by Chris Crittenden.


Fashion Secretaries.

stilt walkers
frittering their swish,

mirrors gird their flirt,
reflect cuteness—
smiles that tilt like teapots
steeping words in fluff,
red and apple-sexed,

limber when pursed.

hips waddle
slightly to allure,
thighs on a tightrope gait—
delicate like a finch,
harmless visual honey—

without chalk-white cheeks
yet gliding polished,
smooth as pawns,
to teak squares.



Empty Shot Glass

vitreous egg,
halved and stripped
of yolk and rum,
no fertility of gin,


in an aftermath
of butts and doilies,
unplumbed by lush lips

so attentive
a minute ago—
only a halo of smoke
to commemorate
the thrill

of her satisfaction,
a faint moan
that steamed your edge,
leaving a crescent

of cinnabar.



Sentencing of the Trees

because they boast
like vainglorious eels or priapic dragons;
and after eons of striving
should have ascended by now;
and yet they grope like germs in petri acres,
interlacing into vegetal seas,
underworlds where owls are sharks
and minnows squirrels—

because they had their millions of years;
and if the planet looks cubic
from too much progress, so be it.
foliage isn't a panacea.
too many steeples means god
doesn't bless any one.

because they mock christ,
and never were, or will or could be
a crucifix. and though they lack virtue
they judge the marketplace,
gesturing crudely with bent thumbs.

because of this and therefore

we prostrate them,
for they cannot find their own knees.
and if they smirk in the stealth of a knothole,
we will saw it down. and if they rebel
there is always the judgement
that heeled them long ago—
that license divine and preemptive—
a rod of fire.


On A Sketch Of The Poet
(by Geer Morton)


and jaw hung low
like a chuckling

scribbles frantic
in the hollows,
and the slit of the chin.

askew eyes
mocking order,
a pose hunched
yet strong—
part ogre, part pensive

like Rodin.

lips racked
in a rude smirk-smear,
hands like fumes
of neck-biting

like a saint
who waded too many
garbage dumps,

too many sins,
legions of the crumpled
and begrimed.



Chris Crittenden has had many publications in journals spanning a gamut from topnotch to mediocre, with a pronounced lean toward the latter he counts Offcourse among the good ones... wheew! Recently two journals accepted his work for anthologies (Arsenic Lobster and WHLreview). The Rose & Thorn nominated him for the Best of the Net. Some recent acceptances are from: Ward 6 Review, Poesia, Epicenter and Istanbul Literary Review.

His work appeared in Offcourse Issue #29, Three Poems

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