Offcourse Literary Journal
ISSN 1556-4975 

Poems, by Maya Diablo Mason and Thomas Fink.


Thomas Fink’s fifth book of poetry, Clarity and Other Poems, was published by Marsh Hawk Press in Spring, 2008. A Different Sense of Power (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2001) is his most recent book of criticism, and in 2007, he and Joseph Lease co-edited “Burning Interiors”: David Shapiro’s Poetry and Poetics. Heather McHugh and David Lehman selected his poem, “Yinglish Strophes IX,” for The Best American Poetry 2007 (Scribner’s). His paintings hang in various collections.

Maya Diablo Mason (formerly Maya Fink) was published in The First Hay(na)ku Anthology (Meritage, 2006) and her collaborative work has appeared in Otoliths and is forthcoming
in 21 Stars Review, BlazeVox, and Marsh Hawk Review. A high school student in Long Island, New York, she plans to pursue a career in drama, visual art, or writing.






the phone,
someone’s speaking. To
me. You
(in this room)
speak, too. Do you

hold that your
sentences are most crucial
for all  parties (or ones
who “matter most”), so
I (and perhaps the someone)

will hear you (only) and will       
heed your prescriptions? Bakhtin fields
the tripling appreciatively. Though he catches
only bits of rhetorical architecture, he’s unperturbed.



NONCE TERZA RIMA 2 by Thomas Fink.


                                                       Recall the ban during
                                   the reign of one, abstemious with words, who
                        shuttered élan. Thankfully, when his cane desiccated and
            cracked in two, he became insupportable. Every ungainly time wedge
       can be vaulted.  Your brain, for instance, has been expanding since the
last administration’s sticky creative writing signed off. I’m tracking down
    a pill that could maim small- mindedness before it grows. Yes,
          thinner than a dime. Despite every flame that relaxes into
              foam without audible aim and an inability to comb  
                   through a spam ocean for an ounce of ethos,

                        one can be home for the delivery
                           of unprecedented equipment.
                                Not  what  advertisers
                                    would have you
                                        cram  into
                                      every wall-
                               for  an
                                jam in an






NOT WORKING, by Thomas Fink and Maya Diablo Mason.


They were eyeing you before:
Man of business.
All it could supply.
All he could lose.
Romantic red necklace.

Did he notice my fresh white—
This leaf of lettuce.
Not eating yet.
When numbers run that high, how big is the difference?
He’s lost someone.

How many times must she reach over and stroke that beard?
Maybe he appreciates that smile, takes it in stride.
Separate wheels home?
Why do they call it a “shit-eating grin”?
People, I suspect, are more than their names.

A mirror may nag forever.




“INTERESTING”, by Thomas Fink and Maya Diablo Mason.


“Interesting” people bore.
And bore some more.
Are umbrellas possible in
Santa Monica?
I’ll bottle a sunny void.
A rainbow in mud puddles.
She just hit my head   
with a magazine that  
she found in the garbage.
Law provides no restrictions  
regarding envy.
Sisterhood is contaminated  
by news  

of finite portions.
Soap bubbles argue.
You ate my reason for
Little bit of sky.
Hats like wooden salad bowls.
Take that, happiness!



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