Offcourse Literary Journal
ISSN 1556-4975 

Five Poems, by Linda King.


Linda King is a Vancouver poet-workshop facilitator whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals. Her full-length poetry manuscript, "The Sweater for Loretta Lynn", is currently being shopped for a publisher. Linda lives in Vancouver, BC., near the beach, with her husband and two cats. She can be contacted at


the idea of home


this is not a myth
your long occupied house tells what it tells
inner rooms hold all the secrets

this is what everyone knows
truth is a kind of temporary assurance
it will turn-coat and run    leave you begging 

this loss registers
in the fireplace ashes     in the closets full of safety
in the intricate shelter of flower arrangements

in the glow that no one can stare directly into

this is some sort of happiness
some forgotten thing    and it takes
unbridled delight
in its own absence



the loose change of grief

imbued with childhood’s crimes   
stillborn mercy

listen    a particular sorrow

recognize it    name it
these are melancholy’s field notes
the sheer relief of punishment

its undertow
transmits forgiveness
its swollen hothouse scent    ripens

this darkness gathers a strength
that only ash and rain water
can lighten



what resists naming


childhood’s tangled roots
our days spent in that darkened sun
small fists pounding at nothing
legs and arms and muscles pump
bicycle wheel spokes cardboard motor
double dutch recess
full tilt toboggan down Daniel’s Hill
the need to move      dodge and weave
hard rain tumbles down

what passed for affection will not be named
requires some ancient alphabet
stumbled free of
we have healed ourselves with  books
letters after our names    
opera tickets

and still everything is losable
we want what we cannot give each other
what we cannot find anywhere else



measure for measure


spare me the details of the past
my verbs are all in present tense
a black clot on the page
don’t be alarmed by the confusion
no one understands Isabella  
the rules of tragedy are constantly sorry
each word unfortunate

the nouns get wet in the rain
enter into evidence the maximum illusion of reality
my little-girl hand reaches past its place of origin
to the storehouse of official aid

what matters here is to be reconciled
to uncertain places   to this loss of breathing
to this broken house
near my pillow



still life


let me become an ordinary afternoon
coax the magic from reason's predicament
it's a question of folding and unfolding
that slippery Heideggerian argument
a distantiation of distance
simulacrum is my grateful landscape
all the edges gone fluid
here   let me settle
stay a while
sleep the sleep of the cat
curled around my hair


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