ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998

Poems by JR Solonche


He was the talk of the town.
He was the town talker.
He talked to himself.
He talked a blue streak.
He talked a mean streak.
He talked in his sleep.
To him talk was cheap.
In the bar, he talked it up.
In the flea market, he talked it down.
He talked circles around the words.
He talked the words into it.



So let the psychologists point fingers.
So let the folklorists remark.
I had a childhood.
It was no worse than any.
I had a mother.
She was no worse than any.
I had a father.
He was no worse than any.
I was an only child.
So were thousands and thousands.
She thought she could cheat me because I am ugly.
The pretty do not know what love is.
The beautiful do not know what suffering is.
I know a man, a poet. 
He is a good friend of mine. 
We are blood brothers.
He’s as “handsome as hell.”
That’s a direct quote.
A lady said that.
It means nothing to him.
“Vanitas vanitatum,” he says.
His suffering is greater than mine.
The tale is my tale.
My name is on it.


Nominated for the National Book Award and twice-nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, J.R. Solonche is the author of 28 books of poetry and coauthor of another. He lives in the Hudson Valley.

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