poems by Miriam Kotzin Offcourse #73 June 2018 poems by Miriam Kotzin

 ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Three Poems by Miriam Kotzin


Negative Capability in Glenwood Springs


The latitude says they
can't be orange trees.
Still, they're improbable.

Who would expect
apricots to grow wild
near these river banks?

Immodest fruit
puts itself forward,
bright against dark

static green leaves—
the Unicorn Tapestry
reimagined in Colorado.



The sun strikes the flint
surface of  Roaring Fork
with blinding certainty.

Water rushes over rocks
(rote admonitions and
insensible warnings).

What is the smell of
a mountain river troubled
by distant rains? Perhaps

the remembered taste
of  your own blood, sucked
from a fresh-cut finger.



Maybe because it was
something to do or so
I could say that I'd gone,

I walked up the hill like
the other tourists,
a sweet hour on the lam.

Doc Holliday's somewhere
in Linwood—maybe.
I arrived empty-handed.

I found flowers, smokes,
whiskey, cards, cash—what's left
when the party's raided.




From the sun-bearing sea,
restless, issues its complaint.

Nothing specific, you understand,
but a general kvetch about

this and that: the burden of sun,
moon, all those boats, and,

of course, the fish, intrusive,
making themselves quite at home.

Ridiculous, you say, with a flourish
of your hand.  Well then, no wonder

I smile and say, "Fine, fine. Never
better," when you ask how I'm doing.

I dare say nothing that matters: all
night the windows like tambourines,

the long white envelope I will not open,
the willow branches dripping with rain.




We are always

and never above

it may be.

weather alone, but

(when you keep

under your hat),

you, for example,

me under your

but now I

finally so over


Miriam N. Kotzin teaches creative writing and literature at Drexel University.  Her collection of short fiction, Country Music (Spuyten Duyvil Press 2017), joins a novel, The Real Deal (Brick House Press 2012), and a collection of flash fiction, Just Desserts (Star Cloud Press 2010). She is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently, Debris Field (David Robert Books 2017). Her fiction and poetry have been published Shenandoah, Boulevard, Smoke Long Quarterly, Eclectica, Offcourse, Mezzo Cammin, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, among others. She is a contributing editor of Boulevard.

Return to Offcourse Index.