ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Steven Klepetar



Snow again, and trees
stand passive, naked
in the April chill.
Robins, thick in the yard
just yesterday, are nowhere
in sight. Where do they go? 
Turkey vultures
circle below the clouds.

At dusk, a pair of deer
glimpsed through pines,
just behind the pond. 
Here in the little mail room,
an alarm bell
has been ringing all night,
not loud but persistent
as crickets on a night in June.




What a bird shrieks here
springs there like a gasp of warning
from a soothsayer's hard mouth


Hard mouth and eyes ablaze.
Another waking nightmare as leaves rustle in the wind.
Who has seen his eyes hollowed out by flame?
Who has touched his hand or called him by tender names?
In the great hall, among mirrors and buckets of nails,
they don't recall his face.
They have forgotten his scars, how his fingers play
along the bodies of snakes.
Do they surmise what he sees in sparrow flight,
what he senses in the harsh song of crows?  
What have they learned of fire and wind and rising seas?
He won't speak until someone calls him by name,
then only in the language of heat and rain.
He holds patience like a blade gouging phantoms in empty air.

Steve Klepetar lives in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. His work has appeared worldwide in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Chiron, Deep Water, Expound, Muddy River Poetry, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others.  Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including four in 2016). New collections include A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), Family Reunion (Big Table Publishing), and "How Fascism Comes to America" (Locofo Chaps).

His work also appears in Offcourse #72: Klepetar poems

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