Yar’s Revenge

Noah Eli Gordon

for Graham Foust

What is technology if not

a kind of built-in nostalgia

for the frantic past’s long slide

into a slower present

Put another way: a decade

bends 8-bit bells & whistles

into an oxymoron it nearly

hurts remembering

tight lump on your thigh

of quarters in those short

short shorts. It was amazing

when we could bring it home

Now, it’s amazing when we can’t
 

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.