ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Mark Young

Core deal

Ideally, he said, though
there was no ideal, not even
a set of drawings, perhaps
some sketchily outlined ideas
on a piece of paper. Ide 
ally, he said, though he was 

not a friend & it was still early 
in the month, about two days 
before the nones. I deal,
he said, though nothing
had yet been committed to
& the only time they'd sat 

down at a table was that hand 
of cards they played two
nights ago. I'd, he said, &
paused, as if he was unwilling
to commit himself. I, he said,
& was cut off at the ankles. 

A line from Doris Day

The sea level rose in the
10-cent store one day. My
baby was just starting to
walk. Those first shoes

have since been bronzed
in a manner described by
critics as the last great
art movement of the 20th

century. Elsewhere a free a
cappella music concert met
many of the expectations of
its sophisticated European

audience. Adults & children
spend too much time looking
at vegetal prototypes. The
oral tradition is in full flower.

grand baroque

Millennials are obsessed. The
manufacturer of your grandpa's
fishing hat has been inundated
with requests to act as part-time
agents for them. In these days
when workers bounce from one
job to another, it seems like every-
one is looking for a side hustle

with a bonus 1GB thrown in. I
have another type of gig to get to,
making wristbands, differentiated
by being translated into Sanskrit,
that get you into any party focused
on the isolation of the elderly.

&, following on,

As the sun sets / the
credits start to roll.
This day was brought
to you by the seven ayem
garbage collectors; by a poem
that glistened just beyond
the edges of the trawling
net; by Sketches of Spain with

Miles Davis & Gil Evans; by four
coldcall intrusions, all declined;
by The Last Samurai on cable;
by washing off the line. No
special effects were provided
by Industrial Light & Magic.


Mark Young's most recent books are les échiquiers effrontés, a collection of surrealist visual poems laid out on chessboard grids, published by Luna Bisonte Prods, & The Word Factory: a miscellany, from gradient books of Finland. Due for publication are Residual sonnets from Ma Books, The Perfume of The Abyss from Moria Books, & an e-book, A Vicarious Life — the backing tracks, from otata.

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