ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Louis Phillips



That "chaotic pile of rubbish"
Heraclitus calls History.
Why shd we care
About lives of men long dead?
"Most day cleer but cold."
What more dare anyone
Expect from a day
That light fall upon us
Several centuries down the road.
"Sometimes windy from the South"
I think: I have wasted my life.
But what else
Was there to do with it?
Put it in a museum case
Where immodest scholars
Cd annotate,
"Avoiding all kinds
of rhetorical flourishes,"
My lengthy bibliography
Of wounds? (op. cit.)
What will speak to us
In the middle of the night,
But casual memoranda
Left behind,
Affections scuttled,
Domestic dramas abandoned?
"I told Cox
How to make reflex glasses"
First we note
How we survive the day.
Like everybody else,
We seek views of ourselves,
How we wish to be seen
When the keen eyes
Of love
Turn toward us
& tell us in what kingdom
Young men & women dance.




I had 12 and one half minutes
To make a fool of myself,
But I was able to better my old time
& managed to achieve that feat
In one minute & 29 seconds,
Beating the old record
By 3 minutes and 4 seconds.
I am now eligible
For the Olympic trials.




"…one cannot lose the letter W on the American literary air these days,
without provoking a backtracking."  James Dickey

No backtracking here,
Simone Weil suggests:
"It is better to say
"I'm suffering,' than to say,
"This landscape is ugly," &
No, she does not jest.
But I say, Time to let the letter W
Go its imponderable way.
Where?  Here.  W is set free,
Leaping over the all,
Scrubbing the intestines
Of another language
How the heel of fortune spins,
Shhh!  Don't tell anyone.
Soon all the other letters
Shall petition to be set free.
I tell you:
Soon nothing shall be left
But an alphabet of disasters.
I'm suffering.




 "A private meaning can never be put to the test."
                   Alfred Adler

Perhaps it is a mistake for me
To open my heart to you,
Or to speak my mind –
That market of curiosities
Where 2 or 3 thoughts lunge
& lounge among chameleons,
Crocodile tears & Surinamese Toads,
"With heigh ho, the wind and the rain."

Not one of those thoughts explain
To myself who I am.


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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