ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


New Poems and Pictures from "TimeWave Zero," by Rebecca Lu Kiernan


Spells of the Chameleon


Nymph of Hemlock and Cherry, acrylic by R.L.Kiernan

"Nymph of Hemlock and Cherry," acrylic
by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

One hand to save your place in Pushkin,
(Limited edition antiquarian leather)
One hand brushing my hair behind my ear
(Pear-hyacinth scent rising from my neck)
Leaves you no appendage for self-defense
Against the whips and chains
Of my advances,
Leads me to believe
You have no survival skills,
Puts your virtue at my mercurial mercy.
The security tapes have caught you seven months
Plundering through my house
While I was on Mars,
Fumbling through my cherry wood drawers of lingerie,
Crimson leathers, black laces,
Amish pink, cotton florals.
What a chameleon a woman must be
To convince a man
By happenstance, he has stumbled
Into his fantasy.
Thank you for folding things
So obsessively.
Do you ever wonder why that window is unlocked?
I could take you as my mistress,
Set you up in a cottage by the sea
Decorated in shipwreck-theme.
What fresh hell you would find that to be.
Your book is on the floor.
My hair likes to fall in my face.
How long can this sham of civility stand?
Ah, you have already lost your place.
Find the line where you left off,
Read softly to me
How women are at the mercy of men.



Sleepwalk with Me


Sleepwalk with me, Acrylic by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

"Sleepwalk with me," acrylic
by Rebecca Lu Kiernan


Here ripples cherry on violet sky
Fluid as the soup of space and time.
Observer trying not to choose sides
Between clinging sun, invading moon.

Heliotrope will replace lilies
By this house new owners paint chartreuse.
The bent cobalt willow will be struck
By lightening, moan all its crippled life.

All of these windows will be stained glass.
Stone lions to guard the lancet door,
Chess figurines, ivory and jade,
A claw-footed couch in black eel-skin.

Darling, it's too much to understand
How this world fractures, what I will be.
Let's call what falls between us a dream.
Bring your old plaid robe, sleepwalk with me.



The One-Way Trip


The Arrows of Time, acrylic by R.L.Kiernan

"The Arrows of Time," acrylic
by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

He avoids my poems like the plague,
Does not wish to spy himself through me.
He refused to come to launch simulations,
He says I am in denial, in need of counsel.
They are giving us time off now.
Our training is complete.
Countdown clocks glow on billboards, on T.V.

I rouse him to check out a noise in my head.
He stalks the labyrinth of our house with a gun.
He shoots between my memories of platonica
And blood-lust,
Is disarmed by the cradle
Of my trembling legs.

We wake. I don't even need a suitcase.
He is hypnotized by tamarisk tea.
Perfunctory kiss at the cherry door.
He knows I know he knows.
Polite nod from my military escort.
He sees I see he sees.


Canada's YGDRASIL literary magazine —perhaps the oldest web-based literary journal, started 1993 is dedicating the entire June issue to the second half of Kiernan's series, "Timewave Zero" and her accompanying art.
See more of Rebecca Lu Kiernan's work in Offcourse.

Return to Offcourse Index.