Jed on Whidbey_edited.jpg

Jed Myers lives in Seattle. He is author of Watching the Perseids (Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award), The Marriage of Space and Time (MoonPath Press, forthcoming), and three chapbooks, including Dark’s Channels (Iron Horse Literary Review Chapbook Award). Recent recognitions include the Prime Number Magazine Award for Poetry, The Southeast Review’s Gearhart Poetry Prize, and The Tishman Review’s Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry Prize. Recent poems can be found in Rattle, Poetry Northwest, The American Journal of Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, Terrain.org, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Solstice, and elsewhere. He is Poetry Editor for the journal Bracken.

Analog Elegy

Jed Myers

                                             

In Technicolor-rich sunset tones of sapphire heavens and gold horizon

glow, on the set lot’s Coppertone sands, on the eve of the binary code’s

sweep of the genes, Analog Man privately swoons to a love song

 

spiraled onto a spinning black vinyl moon. I see him now, that final

solution of ethanol tumbler’d in ice lifted again to his lips to smooth

his wince, while the digital wind picks up and electro-lyses him down

 

another layer of skin, the scene’s colonnades already stripped of acrylic

looking more authentic and ancient unpainted. I see him smile a bit,

he’s gotten the joke Narcissus never woke to laugh at, and he lights up

 

his last smoke, his Synchromesh vision getting the picture, the future

he isn’t in, letting his face take the peel, letting his race be hurricaned

to a kneel, losing his animal magnetism, kissing the icebergs

 

farewell in his glass, the roots of his hair uprooted. I hear him croon

his harmony with the shadow of Elvis, how only fools rush in. I see him

steal off into the night’s soft lightning of monitor flashes. End of reel.

With the Gambler in Little Forever

Jed Myers     

 

The gambler arranges his nobles and numbers, his red and black suits.

No one can see through the cards but we all try. Our eyes bathe his hands

in soft lightning, the ice-and-glass tinkling of tumblers of rum and the boiling

rain on the tiles above us the drumroll while nothing takes its long while.

 

The ebony table’s awash in the hot spray of a bare hanging bulb, and another,

a prehistoric gleam off the fern and palm fronds, floods in from just past

the garden of lava stones. For now we’ve forgotten we’ve each flown in

from some other home. Here a warm wind sweeps through where windowpanes

 

might’ve been, and strokes our necks, so we’re soothed in our suspense

while the gambler, our man in the game, that quiet electrical hurricane

whirring about his hands, ponders the chances, advances more chips,

and whispers his pitch. The smoke of our various calmatives continues to drift

 

like a cloud of resurrected dead hopes, the ghosts of our damnedest wishes,

to the chug and purr of another pontoon plane ushering still more souls

in on the harbor. This is our little forever, before the cards are turned over

and all of us lose again, this the thump-and-twitch instant we win.

Nachträglichkeit (Afterwardsness)

Jed Myers

                                             

After the fact, all the light went steely with a cold actuality.

We learned, with no thought about it, to steady the diaphragm, to prevent

our sobs, to shadow the faces of our supposed loves, to remain

safely lonely, attentive to clouds or the twitches sparrows cause in the shrubs.

 

After the fact, we had a mind, a set of strategies for extracting

comfort without the contamination dangers of eye contact, and the current

running under us was the after-quake of the fact, call it dream

or memory folded into its Mandelbrot kaleidoscopic origami of what

 

the fact will ever after be. We were touched, it was only by several

fingers of one quite familiar hand, and was the shock that divided

all time’s land. After the fact is a country, where the fact hides

behind every tree. A stroke of tactile sensation, transduced to an animal

 

striped with a white intensity that will constrict our pupils and leave them that way,

leave every other visiting angel dimmed in a narrow aperture like Leonard’s

woman…in her darkened door, dimmed by the permanent lightning, fact

after which all touch is aftershock, all cracks in the sidewalk bottomless.

 
 

© 2015 Cogswell College •  191 Baypointe Parkway, San Jose, CA 95134 800.264.7955 • www.cogswell.edu