ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

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


Three New Poems by Oliver Rice.



Elizabeth, taking her daily walk,
says good morning to the edger in the park,
Peruvian, Columbian, immigrant, citizen,
seemingly wary, perhaps humbled, overridden,
who shuts off his machine as she passes,
smiling and seeking his eyes,
says good morning, meaning look,
look, I am not the one you may expect me to be,
meaning, inanely, she knows, if spoken,
the birds sing to us exactly alike,
we love our children exactly alike,
meaning, ruefully, I am in no way your antagonist,

resolving, nonetheless, to persist,
tomorrow and tomorrow, in her graces.



An Etude


By persons, the astronaut, in his retirement,
says, by events, recalling his reflections
in his module, by places, environs of Earth,
by things, animal, vegetable, mineral,
in events induced by times.
— — —   nota bene:
He and his father   person
made holes with a hoe   event, place, thing
in the tilled soil,   event, place
into which they buried seeds,   place, person, event, thing
the products of which   thing
they would consume   person, event
through late summer and winter.   time
— — —    
Once, a cadet in the air corps   time, person,event
with only a few solo hours in his log,   time, event, thing
he was practicing basic maneuvers   person, event
at about three thousand feet   place
when the engine failed.   time, thing, event
He was now flying a glider.   person, time, event, thing
Exhilarated, cool as an ace   event, person
he nosed down, searching below   person, event, place
for the safest landing site,   event, place
chose a fallow corn field,   event, place
circled, lined up with the furrows,   event, place
and neatly set her down.   event, thing
Walking to a farm house   event, place
phoned the base for rescue,   event, place
and meantime, affably at ease,   time, event
enjoyed the wife's apple pie.   even, person, thing



Here comes a questionaire on the good life.
How, it asks.
who —

Who is to answer?
The id,
the superego,
the ego —
or one of the alteregos?

Oliver Rice’s poems appear widely in journals and anthologies in the United States and abroad. Creekwalker released an interview with him in January, 2010. His book of poems, On Consenting to Be a Man, is published by Cyberwit and is available on Amazon. His online chapbook, Afterthoughts, Siestas, and his recording of his Institute for Higher Study appeared in Mudlark in December, 2010.
His work has appeared frequently in Offcourse, most recently in Issue #55.

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