ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Thomas Fink and Maya Mason

By Thomas Fink:



Spurious chestnuts. Chuck ‘em! Rich   

condolence rides on detail. I will not fish    
for the immediate      

or long-range cause. The Net yaps not of either.
No privilege to  
hover, crassly 

over the bereaved (noble germaphobe), as I       
know barely a scrap about her late
brother. Long ingrained  

friends, she and I convene to   
cover bond trends and a
few homeroom and club recollections, far
removed from his evolutions, which surely      
deserved. . . . This street is    

do none of those teen hedonists  
mask? No   
here to

snare a justification, nor to 
sneer, “Look before      
you leak, before  
you lack.”
Why shave much?
I may  
mask publicly evermore .



Saint Anybody

phumfers to bless a
corner of the cosmos. Gets slugged.

slather Prozac on preteens at earliest signs of
fluster. To

defer reckoning?
“All I wanted to do
while growing
up was to grow

up.” To each his onus.
Count on chronic
cheerleaders to
tend to the
sunken mirth. Adulthood’s
stiff mantle 

descends upon grad drones set up to
drum up profound clickbait. (The
professors seem
even more civilized.) Many thousands

later, one needed
answer springs, as
from a billboard’s furry lips:

“If a lack doesn’t
pester you, ads can’t make you lust to

fill it.”


By Thomas Fink and Maya D. Mason:



Thanks to the ongoing
investigation, all
funeral attendees
will be detained for

questioning; our buddy
would not want us to mourn,
as he despised gun control.
This knife of mine will never
be especially lethal

without you to sharpen it.
The village executioner
was a privilege, so
let’s confect an exuberant

sendoff. Imagine the
beautiful dictatorship
we can build together!
Our slumlord was not a
light source in this vicinity,

so please don’t prepare
any kind words to share.


When you tripped me, I knew. 
It was only matter. And
time. How will we get by—
without our adorably

illiterate librarian?
I have hexed your other
suitors, so chug my cool-
aid. We rue the hour when
a puddle snuffed out our

eminent township
moron. How can I
trick you into wedlock?


Thomas Fink has published 11 books of poetry-- most recently A Pageant for Every Addiction (Marsh Hawk P, 2020), written collaboratively with Maya D. Mason, Hedge Fund Certainty (Meritage P and i.e. P, 2019) and Selected Poems & Poetic Series (Marsh Hawk P, 2016)—as well as two books of criticism, and three edited anthologies.  His work appeared in Best American Poetry 2007. His paintings hang in various collections. Fink is Professor of English at CUNY-LaGuardia.

Maya D. Mason, co-author with Thomas Fink of Autopsy Turvy (Meritage Press, 2010) and A Pageant for Every Addiction (Marsh Hawk P, 2020) has published in OtolithsBlazeVox, ditch, EOAGH, Helios Mss, Marsh Hawk Review, Offcourse, and Set.  She teaches fine art at various institutions, and her artwork is featured in various collections in New York and Europe.


Return to Offcourse Index.