Offcourse Literary Journal
ISSN 1556-4975 

Three Prose Poems, by Joseph R. Trombatore.

Wet Pillows


I run mine thru the dryer every week, 30 minutes. Gets rid of dust mites, cat claws, snap of sea turtle; bad dreams. When windows are opened, court jesters climb down ivy banisters, looking for costumes; the golden hair of fair maidens to braid; inhaling the heavy fragrance of an approaching storm. Carnival acrobats use pillows for practice; old movies picture these as make-shift silencers, a quicker way to quiet the scream. The classic film noir scene: shears floating windowsill, a midnight breeze; dark intruder approaching the bed, just before false eyelashes flutter; the unplugged phone that begins to ring. You can feel the popcorn fall down your lap; past seat cushions, gathering at your ankles. The cool wire around your neck; when you forget to check out the back seat, before the long drive home.




Carving the Turkey


Some years it was cornbread, others, oyster dressing. Duck or turkey, Italian sweetmeats, the table was always extravagant. Pies, cakes; so many vegetables. Dad's garden had come inside to stay. That-early-morning-aroma of sauteing finely chopped celery & green onions in butter; the subtle hint of bird beginning to tickle the stove. Reminds me of Dad's trick at the restaurant; place would be packed with coffee sippers & conversationalists; pre Starbucks Syndrome. In the kitchen he'd go, throw some chopped onions on the grill, & wait. Soon the orders would fly; dishes playing Frisbee; jukebox spinning Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra. The flash of blade into thigh, white or dark meat; the pulling of the wishbone.
We'd always pray, thankful for another year of blessings; the brownish red, closest to the bone.






The Louisiana Swamp Nightcrawler; best fishing bait you can have. Like the red light district during Mardi Gras — they get the most action. Plump & juicy, prized tenant in any soil; they tend to lay low, opting for a behind-the-scene existence. No lights, no cameras, no PBS Special. Armadillos will destroy your yard for just a taste. Plants thrive having them underfoot; tooling around roots, ever expanding drip line. They belch neon, excrete gold. By them, bud & bloom vocabulary flourish. Great in cookies, cake decorations for the neighbor's kids. Easily packaged for those on the go; just keep cool, or in the shade. They are the perfect snack for any HR Department employee — a supplement, for when terminations are at an all time low.



Joseph R. Trombatore, from Spring, Texas, is the Editor/Publisher of Radiant Turnstile.

 His early works appeared in Sunsprout, & Travois (An Anthology of Texas Poetry) 1976. 2 chapbooks: Ixion’s Wheel 1977 & The Sargent Papers (Sargent, Texas) 1979. After 25 years, resumed writing poetry in 2004; since Aug 2005, works have appeared in Curbside Review, Spiky Palm, Lily Literary Review, Ithuriel’s Spear, Prose Toad, FRiGG, Right Hand Pointing, Gin Bender, Watch The Eye, Foliate Oak, Underground Window, Pyramid Arts & Poetry Journal, The Panhandler, Lunarosity, Word Riot, & Mobius.

Winner of the 2007 Joanie Whitebird Chapbook Poetry Contest: “Screaming at Adam”. An avid gardener & collector of many things…


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