ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


"Infrathin Hall of Mirrors Effect (or, Calling Out the Joneses)" by Stephen Bett

For what it’s worth      ’cause
something is happening here
& you don’t know what it is
do you, Mister Jones?

  …  Man with a gun over there
telling me I gots to beware

Wait …     it’s Mr Jones his Self! 
that there “Me and Mrs Jones”
We got a THING going on
know it wrong   /   much too strong
let it go now (go now
go now, ooh …

(Feels so suicidal, jes’ like
Bobbie Zee’s clone cojones)

Tarnation …     schlepping wit’ them
damn Joneses       coupla dude-
bro infra-thin’ers
nuttin in ’em       the space
between front & back
sheet a’ paper

What I’m writing is an infra-novel
  … connects the dots   (sailor Jones)

Everybody look what’s goin down
whole lotta shakin      rimes they
are a’changED   /   more’n enough
ordnance for y’all

Children, what’s that sound?
Workin on the chain     ya-hay-hain
or lolling themselves
to death (LOL)


Buffalo Springfield; Bob Dylan (x2); Billy Paul; Moody Blues; John Lennon; Jerry Lee Lewis; Sam Cooke; Calvin Tomkins, Duchamp: A Biography (p. 346), quoting Duchamp’s front & back sides of a single sheet of paper as another example of “infrathin”; Laurent Binet’s very fine novel HHhH (p. 241), a postmodern historical metafiction as an “infranovel” of infinitesimally fine distinctions over a singular historical event (the assassination of Heydrich, architect of the Final Solution & “Butcher of Prague”)

Stephen Bett is a widely and internationally published Canadian poet with 24 books in print. His personal papers are archived in the “Contemporary Literature Collection” at Simon Fraser University. His website is

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