ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Louis Phillips



Winter with its harshness.
Arrives on time.
Why can’t it be indifferent,
Allowing us to cool our heels

With waiting. Months later
Spring bleats harmonies
Of Death & Resurrection,
Then with apologies

A handful of flowers
Turns up two weeks late.
Then Summer, that slut,
Big-bellied & in disarray,

Enters from stage right,
With slovenly stockings
& her green buttons undone.
Embraces hot, then gone.

Slapdash Autumn, all too soon,
Abandons so much splendor.
The return of Winter? Well,
We’ll take that on faith.




The dances that I did
I did in my heart
Where Desire called
Many of the tunes.
Dance, you bastard, dance,

Before the violinists
Put down their instruments,
Fold their music,
& pack up Midnight
With its rich allegros

To carry it away.




  Some touches are deeper than others.
  A hard touch might bruise,
  Soft touches might heal. Another
  Says: stand back. Back off. You

 May also observe touch beyond flesh:
 Words, deeds, a side-long glance
 Of desire, saying many things at once.
This morning I am trying to refresh

The memories of my holding
My 5 yr-old sons’ hands as we cross
A busy street, my heart beating
With love against my chest.  Loss

Too has a touch. Both soft, hard, &
Bruising, a touch we might say
That has nothing to do with hands
& never goes away.


Louis Phillips website is His off-beat book on Shakespeare —THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY -- will be  published this July by World Audience Publishers.  On June 27th, a reading of his full-length play — ARBUCKLE'S RAPE— will be given in Chicago.

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