A. Van Jordan

A. Van Jordan Poems

When I'm running across the city
on the crowded streets
to home, when, in a blur,
the grass turns brown

INSERT SHOT: Einstein's notebook 1905—DAY 1: a theory that is based on two postulates (a) that the speed of light in all inertial frames is constant, independent of the source or observer.

Because a razor cuts across a frame of film,
I wince, squinting my eye,
and because my day needs assembly
to make sense of the scenes anyway,

In my car, driving through Black Mountain,
North Carolina, I listen to what
sounds like Doris Day shooting
heroin inside Sly Stone's throat.

If one rainy night you find yourself
leaving a phone booth, and you meet a man
with a lavender umbrella, resist
your desire to follow him, to seek

I would like to swim in the Atlantic,
to swim with someone who understood
why my fear of drowning plays less dire

A. Van Jordan Biography

A. Van Jordan (born March 5, 1965 Akron, Ohio) is an American poet. He graduated from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, 1987, with a BA. He graduated from Howard University, 1990, with an MA. He graduated from Warren Wilson College, 1998, with an MFA. He lived in Washington, D.C. He taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the University of Texas at Austin, and Warren Wilson College. He teaches at the University of Michigan. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, and Callaloo amongst other publications.)

The Best Poem Of A. Van Jordan

The Flash Reverses Time

When I'm running across the city
on the crowded streets
to home, when, in a blur,
the grass turns brown
beneath my feet, the asphalt
steams under every step
and the maple leaves sway
on the branches in my wake,
and the people look,
look in that bewildered way,
in my direction, I imagine
walking slowly into my past
among them at a pace
at which we can look one another in the eye
and begin to make changes in the future
from our memories of the past—
the bottom of a bottomless well,
you may think, but why not dream a little:
our past doesn't contradict our future;
they're swatches of the same fabric
stretching across our minds,
one image sewn into another,
like the relationship between a foot and a boot,
covariant in space and time—
one moves along with the other,
like an actor in a shadow play—
like a streak of scarlet light
across the skyline of your city
sweeping the debris, which is simply confetti,
candy wrappers, a can of soda,
all the experience of a day discarded
and now picked up
even down to the youthful screams of play
that put smiles on the faces of the adults
who hear remnants of their own voices
through a doorway leading back
to a sunrise they faintly remember.

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