OffCourse Literary Journal

Two Poems, by Thomas Fink.


You Enter The Parthenogenesis

carnival as guest
of a canceled voice.

Can't believe the elevator. Dybbuk bursar
calisthenics: to conjugate
every speck

of gust that may speak
all but conjugal
exchange. If that
bespectacled ghost is holding out for

the infallible, s/he can join
an alchemical
potluck in a far corner. Speculators
waging a gold
god campaign

go spectral while trading
charms, skulls, goose down, spikes
with speed-gabbing
spooks. Can you conjure a jury with phantasma-
goric skills to stem
insider swapping?

I would prowl a specular curve
in the spectator
chasm's bias
or hypothesis. In
the crystal bed of
shadow bodies.



Deconstricted Sestina II

Is this a lust-
controlled apartment? Stabilized cave.
Your brand of echo
distributes self inefficiently, but
you seem happy sighting
openings to repeat a prior
wound's announcement. What
repeat performance
brings one to imper-

vious — where lust can
divorce rage? Would a
stab at happy mean
eviction from cave whispering "unique,"
"self"? Can't patent an echo, as no echo we
try to stage will merely repeat crafted
bullet of self, but will include vinegar,
stench, acid lust with boomerang goad. And

must I cave into implications that
I should be proprietor of another's happy
hour? They are, nonetheless, damn happy when
a precious echo returns with interest. As
you visit the unconditional cave, Grandmomma says,
"Try not to repeat my successes at
separating love and the lust for self-

amazement. Gamble on
of self — without credence."
Has she given up de-
fining "happy" for her
patients? Lust for echo

(confirmation) soon deafens
advice-seekers, but repeat
the dosage until you can sit
alone in the cave without
fear. Two cave dwellers, sickening

of self enclosure, repeat a
formula for contact, happy
to echo and be
echoed. That they lust

is creditable. Lust on.
But if a wedding
occurs in a cave,

stumbling will be im-
mediate. Echo divides

self. Happy? Repeat it.


Thomas Fink is a Professor of English at the City University of New York-LaGuardia, and the author of Gossip: A Book of Poems (March Hawk Press, 2001) and Surprise Visit (poems, Domestic Press, 1993) as well as scholarly publications in his field. His work has appeared in Talisman, Verse, Jacket, American Letters & Commentary, Confrontation, Lit (forthcoming), Sidereality, La Petite Zine, Skanky Possum, Milk, Barrow Street, Phoebe, X-Stream, Aught, Contemporary Literature, American Poetry Review, American Book Review, Boston Review, Shampoo, Moria, Poethia, Minnesota Review, Rain Taxi, Poetry New York, Drunken Boat, and numerous other journals.

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