Yar’s Revenge

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


Copyright © 2015 by Noah Eli Gordon. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“Yar’s Revenge is a video game, one of the first designed for play on a home console rather than those that were normally just adapted versions of the same games one would find in pizza parlors and arcades nationwide in the early 1980s. As a kid, I remember my pocket weighed down with quarters, which we’d feed one after the other into videogame machines. As an adult, my smartphone takes up just about the same amount of space. I think this poem knows that you can’t always get what you want, until you can, and then don’t want it anymore.”
Noah Eli Gordon