ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Diane Vreuls

On the Origin of Games

When one was lost in the poppy patch,
ninepins was invented.

Hopscotch began on a cruiser
docked in Aberdeen.

Jumprope was a schoolyard whipping
for girls who answered back.

Dominos? Blame Caesar and Alexander,
Hannibal, Genghis Khan.

Golf was a very wide fence to catch camels.
No one knows how the game got this name.

The start of it all?
A child made a ball.


How it All Came Out

We don't know.
We fell asleep before the last reel.
We had to cut out early with our ride.
Our subscription expired.
The speaker mumbled.
The battery died.
We forgot to ask.
We didn't know where to ask.
We flunked the language.
The page was torn.
The address was smeared.
The informant lisped,
refused an appointment.
The seer lied,
charged too much,
thought we were someone else,
lost her license.
We lost the picture.
You get the picture?


Diane Vreuls has published a  novel,  a short story collection, a children’s book, and two books of poetry.  Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, and Best American Short Stories, as well as Commonweal, the Paris Review, and other journals.  She lives in Oberlin, Ohio.


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