ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

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


Poems by Mark Young

geographies: Neuchatel

                                         Shinshiro means new castle, is
                       painted a metal color &
                                              has a garden at the rear. 
                                 Has a zoo & a circus museum
                                      anchored to the bottom of the
                             lake through a mastery of spatial,
                 temporal, & logico-mathematical
                                               operations. The roofing system
                          generally costs only slightly
                                        more & can be laid on most
                             types of rigid sub-structure. Has
                                     cheap rates. Has twenty-six
                                   traveller reviews & eight photos.



I wish I could swim like dolphins

There is a song Freddie Mercury sang that I don't remember. It started "I want to break free" but those two bars are all I recall. The next two bars were a repeat of the first. What came after that was the phrase repeated but extended. I cannot remember how it went. 

I am in a cycle of mental paralysis. Not a mindset but a mind rut. I cannot remember how the song went though I'm singing it now. I am not replying to emails though they continue to arrive. I cannot remember how to turn on the pc though that is where I am writing this. I want to break free. My life is two bars, repeated. I cycle between them. One serves lethe, the other leaves me be. I do not recall what I am doing here or where here is since I thought I was there already. I am missing out letters as I type. That Freddie Mercury song has nothing to do with this. 

I come home from work. I do not remember who I am. Somebody winds me up & I write mechanical poems. "It will keep your hand in" a voice says somewhere. I write home & come & wonder why they don't sound the same. People send me emails but I don't reply. I don't recognise the name. They cannot be for me for I do not remember who I am. There is a song Freddy somebody sang. 

There is another song by a group called Queen. I don't recall who the lead singer was, do not remember if I ever heard them. I don't recall the lines that went "If I'm not back again this time tomorrow / carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters."

I cannot remember who I am. I cannot remember how to write. I write to nobody any more so does it really matter if I write or not. For myself, to myself. To anybody, to nobody. Nobody writes to me & when they do I do not answer. Wind me up / I right mechanical poems. Prick me, do I not bleed? I cannot remember.



À propos of the wet snow

"There are States where the family 
hardly exists," he said to her after a light-
hearted romp through the clichés of

contemporary performance. "You are
an awfully good sort. Read Notes from the 
 or Treatise on Cubic Form." 

Mr. Richard Mutt sent in a fountain—
now I can grow this thing that I 
have always thought was an artichoke.



the all-in-one printer machine

Ohio's hometown news-
paper & Central Ohio's 
source for breaking news
occasionally worked retail 

as an electronics expert. A 
second man wearing 
camouflage trousers was 
seen being handcuffed after

claiming pairing a white 
shirt with black pants or skirt
is forbidden in the Bible.
The cat sniffed the bread.



A line from Elias Canetti

The minutes from the Fed's
last meeting show how policy-
makers decided to keep the
stimulus going. Everyone

heard the shot. Was the rifle
recovered really a Mauser?
Alternate between "the stone,
the rifle, & free speech," says

a Fatah official. I say "We
Need More Guns!" I put snow
in my mouth. The new stuff
is sounding like parkway

drive with insane vocals! If
a shim is needed it should be
made of hard wood. The style
of the handle is up to you.


Mark Young's most recent books are the e-book Asemic Colon from The Red Ceilings Press, & The Codicils, a 600-page selection of poems written in the past four years, out from Otoliths.
His poems "The Journey from Omsk" and "Para trope" appeared in Offcourse #54.

Return to Offcourse Index.