Out of Touch Screen

Noah Eli Gordon

Sometimes starting with a title
Infuses the work
With an insurmountable dread
How is one to fulfill such a promise
To make good on the pact
That art in the end allows
For a kind of connectivity
Life otherwise lacks
Or lacks in those more
Contemplative ways
Since mixing the ingredients
To say a batch of cookies
Is in its own right a sort
Of connectivity if done together
If my hand touching flour touches
Your hand touching the same flour

More by Noah Eli Gordon

Jaywalking the Is: "First Dream" [excerpt]

To say sleep works by accumulation is to disregard the
weather in my head.

It makes a genius of the pillow, an apt anthropomorphic
redundancy.

When the story stumbles into its fearless costume &
everyone at the edge of the woods is worried their waiting-
room bravado won't open to anything but the same door on
the same house that seemed a little off in the morning,
every anecdote has an empty object.

When your own name's written on the gate, negation is just
something we do.

What's redundant about the human personal? The urge to cull
an animal pronoun from a procession of wedding guests?

At least reductive absolutes rivet you somewhere closer to
the actual rainfall, adjudicating ultimatums or handling
the ounce of mulch it takes to cover any experience worth
calling tactile.

There's nothing sharp about a knife in a movie.

& doesn't it make you fearless & brave to say so.

An exact comprehension of the composer's intent

Cloudless sky, a tendril root, a chord begun
     as unfolding duration & one’s lost words,
a red lexicon, an empty definition

gathering its discourse—the flow from content
     to perception: language is a translation of grace.
Say the body, say the heart, a composition in blue,

the passing energy, cell, motion, inevitability;
     an impact until meaning wears through
the mind’s opulence, its spindle—a white thread.

Tethered to conviction, one says moon, one, emotion
     —the recurrence of night: a door will open,
shifting from anonymity to intellection—a translation

of sight with speech, awoken not by voice
     but what precedes it: the worldliness, wordless;
a measure of sound or movement to song.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.

I'd give you another day dizzy 
in its bracket for the reluctant circumference 
of a sad sad satellite's antiquated orbital stoppage.
You can't jump with a lead foot, can't 
anthropomorphize insect anticipation, can't 
pixelate postcard nostalgia, can't 
trace a boy's tiny hand and call him
king of anything that crosses your path, your past,
your iconographic reluctance to let go the toehold
of ordinary New York lasting so long at night, so
lusty in traffic & another orphan absently
kicking the underside of an orange plastic chair.
Poems shouldn't make you wait for them to finish.
Like love, they should finish making you wait.

Related Poems

The Big Book of Therapy

If you think of humans as rare
as snowflakes, your world
is constantly melting.

If you think of humans as essential
to keeping dogs happy,
someone will always want
to buy you a beer.