The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2017

All Issues
MAY 2017 Issue



It’s All You

All the geraniums 
All the paintings of geraniums 
All the photographs of geraniums 
The word geranium
In all the languages
That have a word for geraniums 
Lucky you & your constant removal
My daughter who doesn't know
Why she’s crying tells me
I feel like there are 
Tornadoes in my head
She’s four and her drawings
Of flowers look like the sun










Imagined Community 

Her parachute is cumbersome 
And difficult to return to its pack
She points from her yard
And you follow her finger 
Clouds hang like deflated ghosts 
Daily you both consume protocol
The steps so familiar 
The grass grows remote
The sky doesn’t matter
My daughter says
A ghost is just a lump
And some lines 
All this talk of airplanes 
All this fear of heights 










A poem written on the back of a tiny portrait of Fidel Castro

There is in heaven
An equal number
Of seatbelts
And podiums 











The day’s begun to resemble
An undeniably average day
And in order to harness the luxury 
Required to make such a report
I’ve dropped off at daycare my daughter
Who perhaps even now
Is making some cognitive association 
That without my help will alight 
Anew a question darting 
In the half-formed darkness
Of her brain like a few drunken bats 
Moving with alien deliberateness 
If you could figure out the pattern
You’d be able to pluck them
Easily from the air 
But human intelligence 
Resists successfully such a 
Conundrum and so we go on
If we’re lucky enough
With our awe at the world around us
It’s necessary work 
Sometimes a morning’s worth 
Sometimes a week
Picasso said it took him a lifetime 
To learn how to draw with the eye
Of a child
I’ve got an hour before
I have to pick mine up










I Like the Quotable Parts

Forget exposition
Forget description  

Who cares who the you is

I like the quotable parts

They’re like seeds that live forever

You don’t even need 
To put them in the dirt










Gordian Knot 

I want you
     To go away 
So I have time
     To write 
     Telling you
Not to










Online Education

There’s no one
There’s no one in
There’s no one in the dark
There’s no one
In the darkened
Frozen food aisle
Whose lights come on
Only when you’re close enough
To actually touch
What you might buy for dessert










Noah Eli Gordon

Noah Eli Gordon lives in Denver, CO and teaches in the MFA program for Creative Writing at CU Boulder, where he currently directs Subito Press. His most recent book is The Word Kingdom in the Word Kingdom (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2015).


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2017

All Issues