ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

A journal for poetry, criticism, reviews, stories and essays published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Four Poems by Joseph Farley.


Error Leads To Discovery

Typos are good for the soul
reminding you despite
pretensions of immortality
how fallible you are,

all too human.

Pick up a broom
and sweep the floor.
Bits of paper, crumbs, cobwebs
merge into a pile
at your feet.

From this mess
shall rise another Icarus
to sail beyond the bricabrac
and out into the beyond.

Who can say
what is made of trash,
what mistake
can take shape
and grow
into a wonder
all its own.




The debased currency
of the collapsing empire
of your heart
can no longer purchase
forgiveness or sympathy.

You once proudly marched
in your self proclaimed
victory parade,
now, in default,
you must walk alone,
without fanfare
or admirers.

It was destined to occur,
spending more than you had,
taking more than you gave.
We the simple
grew tired
of your refinements.
Time did the rest.



Along the Pennypack

seated on the bank,
bare feet in the creek,

toes in the water attract fish
that nibble more than they should.

soon I will need to rise
and start again,
pushing the boulder that goes nowhere,

a chip off the block, a piece of the rock,
cousin to the mountain

to be eroded with a glance                                           
or passed by undisturbed.



On The Multiplicity of Beliefs

choose your delusion
and follow it well,
go where it leads you,
to heaven or hell.

Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory from 1986 to 2010. His books and chapbooks include Suckers, For the Birds, Longing for the Mother Tongue, Waltz of the Meatballs and Her Eyes. You may reach him at

This is his first appearance if Offcourse.


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