ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by John Marvin

give me a bobwhite hidden in bushes rather than a terrorist perched in a tree any old time

you might think it was funny but I didn't when there was a bobwhite hidden in bushes near the 11th tee and he said "boo–pwhee" which some people say sounds like "bobwhite" but I would have to disagree because clearly people obscure the fundamental nature of a reality that exists independent of our projections and imaginings when they superimpose the pathetic fallacy out out far out into cold volumes of empty space consuming time as though it is going out of style much like petro-clothing glistening and tear drops listing toward demolition derbies or little brown derbies veiled behind the sheerest fabric of at least one possible Everett continuum I said Everett continuum you know Hugh Everett who juggled some wave functions eigen vectors and decoherence and came up smelling like a rose because even though he's dead here he's still alive somewhere drinking too much scotch smoking three packs a day eating too many salami sandwiches and reading science fiction which by the way may have been the source of his many worlds interpretation but it did resolve all of the paradoxes so the cat's out of the bag or box in this case and Hugh is sitting on his ass like Jesus riding into Jerusalem complaining that no one really gives him the hosannas and palm leaves he deserves but who wants to go near a palm tree when there might be a mad bomber hiding up there just waiting to blow us all to a hell in which no one believes anymore and we're just going to show up in another universe where the middle of our backswing will be interrupted by the call of some damned bobwhite



The Night was Slithering
and I was Dithering

“Beggar feed your fleas!”
he emphasized in red.
“Fuck you you fuck you!”
he replayed with affection.
It was the sign of depth
on a hissing night
when stars wilted
and August heat
pressed drops of steam
into each poor fool
longing to breathe free.
Fishing or sin—it's all accentual
so how would a fellow know
in the sweet sun in the yellow sun
in the smoked glass view during the eclipse
of Asia when everyone laughed
but it was a nervous laughter.
Seize with orange desperation
le sein martyrisé d’une antique catin
and savor your ill fortune
so much better than no fortune
an empty shell crumbled
beside the festering plate.
When it's over
when the sun sets on the off-spring
of the first rising sun
the crescent the eastern shores
of the sea in the middle
the self destructive siblings
of western peninsulas
the manifest who inherited
that for which the others
shed their blood
who will be last
to suck
the dried up pulp?


Since his last appearance in Offcourse in Issue # 61, June 2015, John Marvin has been busy doing readings in the Western New York area, teaching bridge at his club, and walking Hugo, his 120 lb. pit bull who thinks he is a lap dog.

Return to Offcourse Index.