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.

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.

Summer in Winter in Summer

The bottom teeth of summer

in winter, braided into

whomever stood on the green green bridge watching her shadow lengthen.

Sun-pocket. Sunflower. Seedling, you

brittle blossoming something the room clears of dailyness.

Daily, the bottom teeth of summer

in winter, chewing through

ropes, raree show rapunzeled, which is realism

like this that there can be. These are really happened

tell me again stories I will. I will again against it.

Diving bell in a glass of water. Cacti atmosphere.

A perfect piece of pink cake

complicating perfection’s tendency to falter.

Who left it on the counter? Who walked through the room

as though through a composition? The speaker enters quietly,

closes a window, clearing dust from the chair

to sit in the center of the poem, invigorated

with inky awkward blankness.

The bottom teeth of summer

in winter chattering: here’s the moon. Here’s the moon

splashed over two dozen calendars. Here, the kids are grown.

The day is long. The bed, wide as a battleship, waits

in its buoyancy. Imagine a life and live in it. Imagine dead as ever

walking a cut lily back to water. Crazy epic crazier still trying

to put down roots. Summer in winter like a speaker

in water. The loudest electric sound is nothing compared

to the soundest perforation. My paper life. My paper doll.

Your paper boy. Sun sun sunflower seed summer you

can say you love in a poem’s inky blank awkwardness

your paper boy. Sun sun sunflower seed summer you

to the soundest perforation. My paper life. My paper doll

in water. The loudest electric sound is nothing compared

to put-down roots. Summer in winter like a speaker

walking a cut lily back to water. Crazy epic crazier still trying

in its buoyancy. Imagine a life and live in it. Imagine dead as ever

the day is long. The bed, wide as a battleship, waits,

splashed over two dozen calendars. Here, the kids are grown

in winter chattering: here’s the moon. Here’s the moon.

The bottom teeth of summer

with inky awkward blankness

to sit in the center of the poem, invigorated,

closes a window, clearing dust from the chair.

As though through a composition, the speaker enters. Quietly,

who left it on the counter? Who walked through the room

complicating perfection’s tendency to falter.

A perfect piece of pink cake.

Diving bell in a glass of water. Cacti atmosphere,

tell me again stories I will I will. Again, against it

like this that there can be. These are really happened

ropes, raree show rapunzeled. Which is realism

in winter: Chewing through

daily the bottom teeth of summer?

Brittle blossoming something the room clears of dailyness?

Sun-pocket. Sunflower. Seedling, you

whomever stood on the green green bridge watching her shadow lengthen

in winter, braided into

the bottom teeth of summer.

Related Poems

Mean Free Path [excerpt]

For the distances collapsed. 
            For the figure
failed to humanize 
the scale. For the work,
the work did nothing but invite us
to relate it to
            the wall. 
For I was a shopper in a dark
            aisle. 

For the mode of address 
            equal to the war 
was silence, but we went on 
celebrating doubleness. 
For the city was polluted 
with light, and the world, 
            warming.
For I was a fraud 
in a field of poppies.

For the rain made little 
            affective adjustments
to the architecture.
For the architecture was a long
lecture lost on me, negative 
mnemonics reflecting 
            weather
and reflecting 
            reflecting.

     ...

I finished the reading and looked up
Changed in the familiar ways. Now for a quiet place
To begin the forgetting. The little delays
Between sensations, the audible absence of rain
Take the place of objects. I have some questions
But they can wait. Waiting is the answer
I was looking for. Any subject will do
So long as it recedes. Hearing the echo
Of your own blood in the shell but picturing
The ocean is what I meant by

*

You startled me. I thought you were sleeping
In the traditional sense. I like looking
At anything under glass, especially
Glass. You called me. Like overheard
Dreams. I'm writing this one as a woman
Comfortable with failure. I promise I will never
But the predicate withered. If you are
Uncomfortable seeing this as portraiture
Close your eyes. No, you startled

     ...

Unhinged in a manner of speaking 
Crossed with stars, a rain that can be paused 
So we know we're dreaming on our feet 
Like horses in the city. How sad. Maybe
No maybes. Take a position. Don't call it
Night-vision green. Think of the children
Running with scissors through the long
Where were we? If seeing this as portraiture 
Makes you uncomfortable, wake up

*

Wake up, it's time to begin 
The forgetting. Direct modal statements 
Wither under glass. A little book for Ari
Built to sway. I admire the use of felt
Theory, like swimming in a storm, but object
To anti-representational bias in an era of
You're not listening. I'm sorry. I was thinking 
How the beauty of your singing reinscribes 
The hope whose death it announces. Wave 

     ...

Numbness, felt silence, a sudden
Inability to swallow, the dream in which 
The face is Velcro, describing the film
In the language of disaster, the disaster in 
Not finishing sentences, removing the suicide
From the speed dial, failing to recognize 
Yourself in the photo, coming home to find
A circle of concerned family and friends 
It's more of an artists' colony than a hospital 

*

It's more of a vitamin than an anti-psychotic 
Collective despair expressed in I-statements 
The dream in which the skin is stonewashed 
Denim, running your hand through the hair 
Of an imaginary friend, rising from bed
Dressing, returning calls, all without 
Waking, the sudden suspicion the teeth
In your mouth are not your own, let
Alone the words