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 John P. Kristofco



we stand with all the others
on line for tiny tables floating
on a powdered sugar sea,
there because it’s what we do,
“you went to get beignets, of course,”
like we go to work, to church,
to war, to Disney since they built it;
baptized to the one of everyone,
we get powder on our hands, our clothes,
and take it with us everywhere,
spread it like a gospel, virus,
until we are all Café  Du Monde,
the every in the everyone,
and know, at last,
exactly why it is we come




waiting for the world…

…to come to you, your window
where you’ve sat since you were told
that it would surely come
to sweep you in its arms,
wrap you in its need, its hunger
for the sunlight in your hair,
the one-and-only emerald in your eyes;
S.A.T.’s and letters on the desk,
the miracle inside the looking glass,
salvation package patient for its ride,
brilliance but for shadows on the floor
that find, when you turn your face away,
the gray and wrinkles in the mirror
looking out to twilight,
waiting for what’s left of you to leave




Hummingbird Feeder

we place it by the window facing south
filled with thick red syrup,
summer ruby jewel flashing in the light,
hypnotizing me, not them,
they who never come,
not like ordinary birds that flap their brown and gray
at simple seeds snapped like seconds
sending sun to shadow;
the wizards never come
though the nectar’s gone,
evaporates, perhaps,
just like days set out in waiting
for our evanescent moment in the sun


John P. Kristofco, from Highland Heights, Ohio, is professor of English and the former dean of Wayne College in Orrville. His poetry, short stories, and essays have appeared in over a hundred different publications, including: Folio, Rattle, The Bryant Literary Review, The Cimarron Review, Poem, Grasslimb, Iodine, Small Pond, The Aurorean,  Ibbetson Street, Blue Unicorn, Blueline, and Sheepshead Review. He has published three collections of poetry,  A Box of Stones, Apparitions, and The Fire in Our Eyes.  He  has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times. His stories have appeared frequently in Offcourse.

Return to Offcourse Index.