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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

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.

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

Noah Eli Gordon

Noah Eli Gordon

Noah Eli Gordon is the author of Is That the Sound of a Piano Coming from Several Houses Down (Solid Objects, 2018).

by this poet

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

It makes a genius of the pillow, an apt anthropomorphic

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
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
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,