ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Louis Phillips


Who can live above grief?
Where is that attic
With its rocking chair
Covered by dust,
Spiders scurrying to & fro

Over faded love letters
Tied by ribbons
& stored in shoe boxes.
Who can live above grief?
& why do the floor boards creak?

After the long climb up stairs,
All one can say
Is that one grows old,
Or as a character in Shanghai Story says:
"It is a long journey and a lonely one."

Wrap up the souls
& rearrange the cushions.




The woman in her tight red dress
Told us, "Give it up"
For some unknown comic
So I politely applauded as

If I were giving something up
What cd not be replaced.
When the 30 yr old comedian
Sang into the mike, alley oop

Alley oop, I started to free
Associate about my late son
Who gave it up much too soon.
There never wd be, cd be

Laughter like his, echoing
Inside me, pulsing
With the furies
On the way to tragedy. Heading

Back to the stage, Red Dress calls
Give it up,
But I cannot do that,
Not now, not ever. Not for all

The laughter in the world.




Weather always does
What it has to do,
But is not always convenient.
Let's say you are on the path
To the heart of God;
It has been raining for centuries,
Sleet, then thick snow,
That sort of thing,

A blizzard on the horizon,
Wind whipping up
To hurricane proportions.
You think: "I'll turn back."
But then it occurs to you:
There is nowhere else to go.





     Camouflage. This may appear to be
     An ordinary
     Take-It-Or-Leave-It poem. C -

     On the hip grading curve
     Endorsed by
     Leading critics, readers, & nerv-

     Ous editors, but if you underline
     The eighth word
     With either pen or ink or fine

     Brushstroke,  (CAUTION! )
                  You will at once,
     With mind-bending swiftness, set
     Into motion the most elaborate
     Data recovery system in existence.




Archimedes declared
If he had a long enough lever
He cd move the world.
Memory is such a lever.


Louis Phillips' most recent books are THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY: OFF-BEAT SHAKESPEARE and a collection of humorous essays about bringing up children — HOW TO RAISE CHILDREN IN YOUR OWN HOME FOR FUN AND PROFIT. Both are published by WORLD  AUDIENCE and are available from Amazon.

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