ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Mark Young

from 100 Titles From Tom Beckett

#7: Omniscient Narrators get it on in the Bois

The dog & I have matching hoodies. Ex-
cept there is no I. It's a slip of the tongue.

What we have, instead, is a cast of — no,
not thousands — lets say six, & the I is

the one who's telling others about what's
going on with them but never anything

about themself. Until another I comes
along & starts to spill the beans. We fight.


#17: The Persistence of Uncertainty

Constantly sought after after
Salvador Dali made them an
household name for their ab-
ility to melt on cue, this group
of watches had sold out shows
every time they'd toured the
world. Now, though, rumor per-
sists that they're winding down,

but not in the usual rest & relax-
ation way. Seems like they're
getting a reputation for turning up
late, or not turning up at all. Pro-
moters are now reluctant to hire
them, uncertain that they'll show.


#58: Two False Cognates Walk into a Bar

She held the door open for me. "Mucho gracias" I said. "Much ado about nothing" she replied.

Once inside she asked what I wanted to drink. I mulled over what I felt like having. "Mulled wine" I said. She decided not to join me, instead settled for a glass of lemonade.

She looked around. "Not exactly like heaven" she said. "But a safe haven" I answered.

I noted later in my diary that neither of us knew what day it was.


#61: Teasing Boundaries

You may have to establish bound-
aries to reduce the teasing you
experience. This is known as the
metaverse &, hype notwithstanding,

it does not exist today. When I was
seven, I nearly drowned. Now I'm
an amateur autodidact psychologist
who can recognize social cues &

identify CSS styles that are valid
but have no visible effect. Other
investigators have written at length
about a type of social interaction

that lies exactly on the boundary
between aggression & play.  They
claim it's a form of teasing. To me,
it sounds perilously close to sex.


The prompt for these poems is a list poem by Tom Beckett, “One Hundred Titles,” which appeared in Otoliths in February, 2022.

Mark Young was born in Aotearoa / New Zealand but now lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia. His most recent books are a downloadable pdf, XXXX CENTONES, based on the Cantos of Ezra Pound, available from sandy press — — & with the slow-paced turtle replaced by a fast fish, also from sandy press & available through Amazon.


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