Three Poems by Noel Black

By  | March 16, 2014 | 1 Comment | Filed under: Poetry


Three Poems by Noel Black



“And I’ll see you on the lightrail to Tuckwilla”
you’ll sing to your friends Aaron and Corie
in a phony twang
like Bob Dylan circa Slow Train Coming
on the lightrail
as you pass through Tuckwilla, Washington
on your way to SEA-TAC airport.

It’s the kind of song you don’t hear these days—
real folksy tunes about lightrails, or YouTube,
LOLcatz, or animated .gifs,
which are actually pronounced “.jifs”
it turns out. Who’d have ever believed
such things would exist?

Who’d have ever believed there could be a non-profit
devoted to the contemporaneity of lyrics
in traditional folk music forms
called The Society for the Contemporaneity of Lyrics
in Traditional Folk Music Forms, or

There’s a black hole at the center of the galaxy
into which all the bad ideas that don’t, and won’t
ever exist create the gravity for all those that do,
and will. It’s like a cosmic toilet
for the other stupid things we laugh about
and then forget
as we get off the lightrail,
get denuded by the backscatter
X-ray technology of the Rapiscan 1000,
get onto our airplanes,
fly home,
go to bed,
and dream of the gelatinous planet
that will crash into, and subsume the earth
so that the augur alien may explain:

Time is just an accordion
playing a prosthetic polka.
When I snap my fingers,
you’ll all wake up
and do the A.I. two-step
to the future that we live in now.



YA Poetry

Who was it that first said:
“Who cares?”?
I have a job, a nice house, wonderful wife,
good kids, life, a book of poems, friends,
some little bit of self-respect
and almost enough money,
none of which will ever be enough
and all of which will be gone soon enough
and all of which was/will be paid for
with many difficult, sometimes terrible decisions
and a litany of horrifying encounters with/realizations about
all manner of things human,
all of which I’m sure you can imagine.
All of this played an invisible, if irrelevant hand
in my unrealized personal fantasy about success
and resulted in this awareness, now,
that the only freedom I’ve ever won
in this time of our greatest freedom
is to say whatever the fuck I want
however I want
to an imaginary audience of deaf mutes
in a civilization that values nothing
unless someone will pay for it.

This is a real freedom, I decide.

Therefore, I say this is a poem
about meaninglessness
and the failure of intention
told in refrigerator magnet words
arranged by an empty refrigerator
upon itself—
a self no longer filled with the fantasy
of being a fridge full of food.

You read the poem,
then open it up.
It’s empty and smells weird.
This isn’t what you were hoping for,
whoever you are,
whatever it is you want—
the words,
the poem,
the refrigerator?

You close it
and rearrange the words
into something
even more meaningless
and immature.


(from La Goon)



Inside Inside

There’s a plum tree growing inside a lilac bush
across the street
from where I see it
inside my house
where, inside my body,
my mind appreciates the flamey purple of the plum tree
inside the cool purple of the lilacs,
which I can also smell without smelling
inside my nose
and also tastes like
those weird French pastilles
that came in an oval tin
like little perfumey eggs
that I didn’t really like
but ate anyway
inside my memory.

There are so many things
inside other things
nested like physical and metaphysical
and pataphysical matryoshka dolls.

Take the mountain beyond the plum tree/lilac bush,
for example:
Inside that mountain is a military base
and inside that military base are people
who eat candy bars at their desks
and think about the movie War Games,
starring Matthew Broderick
which was filmed partly inside that base
where they sit now
bored out of their skulls
waiting for World War III.

All of this is inside your mind now.

Do with it what you will.


(from La Goon)



Noel Black lives in Manitou Springs with his wife, artist Marina Eckler, and their sons Ursen and Jasper. Co-founder with Ed Berrigan of LOG Magazine and publisher of Angry Dog Midget Editions in the late 1990s, he has since worked as a writer and producer for a wide variety of media outlets including The Stranger and WNYC. He currently works as a producer for KRCC public radio. He is the author of the full-lenth Uselysses from Ugly Ducking Presse, 2011, and the forthcoming La Goon from Poor Claudia. He’s also published half-a-dozen chapbooks including Hulktrans (Owl Press) and In The City of Word People (Blue Press, 2008).




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