ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Two Poems by Richard Fein


My dad's blue easy chair was mine at Howdy Doody time,
except when Rosemarie and her mom came over for coffee,
then Rosemarie would always get my chair.
Mom whispered to me that Rosemarie had a bad kid three, or kid thee.
I didn't understand what she meant.
But the chair was supposedly mine until dad came home,
especially when the marionette Howdy
danced and sang on the black-and-white TV screen.
Whenever Rosemarie  watched they'd move the chair so close
that she seemed nose to nose with Howdy.
I'd throw spitballs at her from behind.
She'd have to pick them out of her hair.
I thought she was stupid for a seven-year old
and I was only six,
Later mom told me that she could hardly see.
I thought it funny that Rosemarie rhymed with hardly see.
All this was before dialysis was perfected.
The chair was mine after my mom told me that Rosemarie went to heaven.
So much has changed since black and white TV,
for it's in color now and on a flat screen with a remote.
I recall her very pale but smiling face
when we both sang along with Howdy while she sat on our blue easy chair.




I'm watching a 1950's musical on TV.
That chorus girl moving center stage and I
are dancing across the years,
my clumsy old out-of-step feet
stumble across my living room floor,
but she, ageless pixie of pixels,
kicks up her luscious legs on the TV screen.
If I stepped through that screen into her time,
I'd be a young gawker by the stage door
watching her pass me by.
But here in my living room
I've just asked her to dance,
and she's now step-by-step in time with me
as the music mellows to slow waltz.


Author Richard Fein was a finalist in The 2004 New York Center for Book Arts Chapbook Competition. A chapbook of his poems was published by Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
He has been published in many web and print journals such as Cordite, Cortland Review, OffCourse, Reed, Southern Review, Roanoke Review, Green Silk Journal,Birmingham Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, Paris/atlantic, Canadian Dimension, Black Swan Review, Exquisite Corpse, Foliate Oak, Morpo Review, Ken*Again Oregon East, Southern Humanities Review, Morpo, Skyline, Touchstone, Windsor Review, Maverick, Parnassus Literary Review, Small Pond, Kansas Quarterly, Blue Unicorn, Exquisite Corpse, Terrain Aroostook Review, Compass Rose, Whiskey Island Review, Oregon East, Bad Penny Review, Constellations, The Kentucky Review, Muddy River , and many others.

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