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POETRY ON THE BOOKSHELF

Baffle Gate

Matthew Tierney

Pay no mind to the postdoc salting celery
or that row of Bunsen burners, beakers
          flanking the karaoke bar.

Looks like your basic turnstile, up on blocks.
It’s not, in the way a contour line is not
          Napoleon on the march.

At six o’clock: chevrons in reflective tape.
The minimax for our subject’s giddy-up
          into bird’s nest soup.

I said flywheel. You vector from trouble here,
exit through inclement weather. Set theory
          codifies free will.

We’ve placed betas in metros, in libraries,
in wonderlands and misty monasteries
          purpled under guy-wires.

You have choices to make. So make them.
After each one—the thunk of a dynamo
          with arms of chrome.



Matthew Tierney is the author most recently of the poetry collection The Hayflick Limit (Coach House Books, 2009). He has been published in journals and magazines across Canada. This poem is from his forthcoming collection, Probably Inevitable, which considers the science and philosophy of time. He lives in Toronto.



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