By Kevin Heffernan
“On this day in history, the moon died of natural causes, though we still dreamed it was full.”
When you’re trying to change the way you see the world around you, sometimes it’s about changing habits, slowing down, changing media sources. But there’s something about poetry that alters you in all the best ways. Its words trigger memories thought lost, bring to the forefront everyday occurrences no longer noticed, and applies them to new actions, new thoughts, new stories. The latest published work from Noah Falck, Buffalo poet and educator, EXCLUSIONS, is a visual journey.
Outside the sky grows up. And a
single cloud moves over the backyard
and rain comes down like jeweled
knives in a folk song.
Falck takes you out dancing, assigning human tasks to inanimate objects. His metaphors conjure pictures that twist your brain in new directions, away from the repetitiveness of your days, especially these days. While you’re drawing pictures in your head brought forth by Falck’s prose, you’re escaping your social media feed, CNN, the empty streets surrounding your home, your bank account, your bills. By turning every page, you escape into a new conflict, a new warm place, an old memory. It draws upon the reader’s own past, and that which we’ve created for all of us through a combined catalogue of pop culture as humans and Americans.
And the perfect mother feeding her
children at a small kitchen table.
And a father grimacing out the window
with a mustache so long it scares small
animals back into the forest.
Just as you latch on to one line of thought, Falck shifts your perspective again, continuously pushing imagery and feelings into your head, while critiquing society all the while. We need positive escapes right now. And we need thought-provoking content always. Consume random entries from EXCLUSIONS one at a time, or all at once. Put them in your pocket and use them as a lens for your day.
We watch it move. We grow
headaches throbbing with the spirit
of bad weather, with the Americanism
of extra innings. Spring is a parking
lot filled with dogs in backseats
breathing clouds into the sky.
Noah Falck is a poet and educator. He was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, and attended the University of Dayton. He is the author of the poetry collections Exclusions (Tupelo Press, 2020) and Snowmen Losing Weight as well as several chapbooks including You Are In Nearly Every Future and Celebrity Dream Poems. He co-edited the anthology My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry, and has received fellowships from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, The Ohio State University, and Antioch Writers’ Workshop. His poetry has appeared in Boston Review, Conduit, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Poets.org, and has been anthologized in Poem-A-Day 365 Poems for Every Occasion (Abrams Books, 2015). For ten years, he taught elementary school, and currently spends his summers mentoring young writers as a faculty member in the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. Now living in Buffalo, New York, he works as Education Director at Just Buffalo Literary Center and curates the Silo City Reading Series, a multimedia poetry series inside a 130-foot abandoned grain elevator.