ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Bill Rector



Lizards are my latest loss,
old news more than new,
permanent yet evanescent,
like the dashes in Dickinson.

I like similes. The little clink
made when like or as link
the unlike makes me want
to smile. The chain of being

grows. Metaphors are stronger.
Word-cells in mid-mitosis.
Green comets. A leash of lithe
neurons in the corpus callosum.

Enough about me. Lizards
love my large screened porch.
The sun-warmed deck of pine.
A view that’s wide and narrow.


The Bluebird Box

This morning, I emptied the bluebird box.
I’d been meaning to for a month.
Nest upon abandoned nest
had filled it to the top.
When you watch
the sun come up, and
hear the trees begin to sing,
your head fills with thoughts.
I didn’t empty the bluebird box, but
I thought about it. Not far from the house,
doves wondered in their hollow way.
Crows cawed and wheeled about,
like a trail of crumbs
taking wing.


The Big If

If I am granted reincarnation,
I hope my uncalloused soles
will slip easily into that pair
of Nike Air sneakers suspended

by tied laces from the power
line above the elementary
school I attended with Homer
three thousand years ago.

Rain or shine, I will keep
all twelve eyes trained
on the children racing wildly
about the playground,

until the last thread of the great
story breaks, and I reenter
the cycle of unbecoming
and becoming again.

If the wheel lifts the sodden
fabric of my being from the gutter,
I want to hop into a Google
Street View Car that swerves to

a stop beside my barefoot shade,
splashing it with darkness.
Hey, Buddy. Need a Lift?
Rebirth will follow in the Cloud.

If the gurus in throat mikes
and black t-shirts say
that feature’s not available,
wait for version 20.23,

return me, unknown power,
to the hero who shared
my soul when I was a boy,
who could spin the lariat

of the world’s latitudes
with ease, scale peaks
that made the Matterhorn
look like a dry hangnail,

and race faster than a speeding
locomotive to save Helen,
bound to the railroad tracks,
before he even tied his sneakers.



Author Bill Rector is a retired physician who lives in South Carolina. He has published several chapbooks and one full-length collection of poetry.

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