West of Silicon Valley

By T. Zachary Cotler b. 1981
A field of thistles, díscharging
                  concentric waves of negative
                                       theology, on a mountainside,
                  2010, May 23rd (is Whitsuntide),
would certainly
suffice as a source of the ever-obtainable not
enough sought
state of subtle shock
if he’d close
this computer
                  and walk up the summit road
                  until the sea’s in view. And maybe in
                  the southeast wind,
                  in broadcast waveform data therein,
                  microsystems stocks he has been
checking, clicking all day like an addict gambler, will
                                                                                      float up until
red numbers cross the black horizon
into green—two redtail hawks                                float up
                                                                                      on a thermal—
maybe even make some money while you’re up here—
ask why is each second so
                             charged with a feeling of living in freak
Götterdämmerung days
of live free radical notion or die into negative white on white sun pride
burning away, but equally
                             charged with utopian headlong longevity crowing—
why can’t I be steady?
Why is my only
balance built
of collisions and
cancelings-out of such sharp spike-of-chaos moods?

Field of thistles,
red and green.

Fields of dollars, thistles,
solidi and yen
and rand and rupees blowing off the curve of land.

Source: Poetry (November 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2011
 T. Zachary Cotler


Theodore Zachary Cotler was born in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1981 and raised in Marin County, California. Cotler earned a BA in English from Cornell University in 2003 and an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2008.

Cotler is the author of a novel, Ghost at the Loom (2014), a critical monograph, Elegies for Humanism (2014), and two books of poetry, Sonnets to the Humans (2013) and House with a Dark Sky Roof (2011). . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Social Commentaries, Money & Economics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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