Offcourse Literary Journal

Nottiteln Poems, by R.L.Swihart.


Nottiteln #52


Stirred by footsteps
from its niche on the stoop
the mouse scurries along the wall
the caprice of its body
being plucked by

The mouse is running
before Pound's Tenzone
through the moribund

Whether invisibly nested in stone
or Michelangelo's sleeping genius
the mouse still gnaws


Rolling to forescripted sides
with attendant apologies
(he to her she to him)
they yield to sleep



Nottiteln #53

He has read the apostle
on chastity

An ideal is only

The window
she opens willingly

On the horizon is
the recurrent image

Behind his desk
is the heirloom sofa

Frustrated by words
he will succumb

Like the vision
the lapse is momentary

A friend to forbearance
she will conceive
their 13th child




Nottiteln #55

Contending mythologies
are a thin whisper

A threading plume of smoke
limps from hiber-crater
to sky

A piebald mare
glares earthward with
an argent eye

With cat-gotten-tongue
the augur wags
his head

To the end
even our quotidian dreams
have an eternal glaze



Nottiteln #56

She lapses into babybabble
a few months before
her 5th birthday

Her word for him
is Da-dat


She is trying
to sort out
& personification

Her assigned word
is Sunshine


Before bed
she is wedded
to the fate of The Ring
while he sequesters Goethe's
Margarete in the garden


O Waterwheel
O Monotonous Mouth
Duplicitous Pleasure
is always itself
yet a relentless



Nottiteln #60

The line is there
Free will isn't


Once you're in
her petty fiefdom

the trapdoor

the floor
is quicksand

you're gasping
for breath


The only rope
is words


This is the closest
we've come


R.L.Swihart's poems have appeared in Offcourse #13, Spring 2002. He currently resides in Long Beach, California with his lopsidedly feminine family: his wife Ania, and his two girls Katia (8) and Nadja (5). He teaches high school math to pay the mortgage; writes poetry just because; travels whenever he can. A few of his recent poetry credits include: Stirring, Poet's Canvas, Snow Monkey, Three Candles, and Niederngasse.


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