National Poetry Month: Day 8. Three Poems by Elisa Gabbert


We Have Lost Our Systems of Meaning

If it’s cool to be a geek, we have lost our systems of meaning. This was always the goal. We seek methods of being terrified. We want it to be art, so we redefine art. Not every culture has kings, but the geek is universal.

The Technology Will Be Destroyed

Whether humans or dolphins are more intelligent is academic. The common gray squirrel and zebra mussels are winning. Technology has advanced to the point that our generation will probably live indefinitely. This too is academic—asteroids, the switching of the poles, zebra mussels in the pipes. The technology will be destroyed.

There’s No Respect Without Fear

There’s no respect without fear, but there is fear without respect. This is another way of saying that fear is everywhere, which is why it’s so scary. We were wrong about the infinite possibilities. You have to choose between the pure idea and the blaze orange tree.

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert is the poetry editor of Absent and the author of Thanks for Sending the Engine (Kitchen Press) and The French Exit (Birds LLC). Recent poems can be found in The Laurel Review, Puerto del Sol, and Salt Hill.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →