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Excerpt from “Prerecorded Weather” by Noah Falck & Matt McBride

we are looking for a language
that does not remember
how to compare the song
to the heart sewn closed
with want

how to compare
something to its absence

clipped shadows
floating over us
like maps of gasoline
in puddles

let’s paint the inside
of every car window

let’s cover the city in bubble wrap
until hope becomes voodoo


the problem is
no moment is now

and the ugliness
we sing in favor of

walks through someone
else’s memory

“polyester pants”
is how we say

we want to be forgotten


all our flags fray
from August light
in the home away

from home away
from the end
arriving in voices

arriving as a kind of
prerecorded weather


we Scotch-taped
pigeons together
into sooty pillows

fielded the hills
with abandoned shoes
as a sort of celebration

the streetlights stuttering
something profoundly democratic


the more we stay the same
the more sleep names

silent nuns
walk through our houses
and replace everything

these are words
we’ve saved for a blizzard
words congregating
in vocal air

About the Poets

Noah Falck

Noah Falck is the author of “Exclusions” (Tupelo Press, 2020) finalist for The Believer Book Award for poetry and the recent chapbook “normal normal” (Foundlings Press, 2022). His work has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, Poetry Daily, Poets.org, and has been anthologized in “Poem-A-Day 365 Poems for Every Occasion.” He works at Just Buffalo Literary Center. In 2013, he founded the Silo City Reading Series, a multimedia poetry event series inside a 120-foot-high, 100-year-old abandoned grain elevator. Learn more at noahfalck.org.

Matt McBride
Matt McBride is the recipient of a Divine Poetry Fellowship and a George Elliston Poetry Fellowship as well as an Ohio Arts Council Grant. His work has previously appeared in FENCE, Guernica, Mississippi Review, Ninth Letter, and Zone 3 among others. His first book, “City of Incandescent Light”, was published by Black Lawrence Press. His most recent chapbook, “The Mourners Forget Which Funeral They Are At” was published by Greying Ghost. Currently, his is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Practice at Wilson College.

Related Events

  • From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, Falck and McBride will join Tyrone Williams, the David Gray Chair of Poetry & Letters at the University at Buffalo, in a book launch reading and celebration at Fitz Books and Waffles, 433 Ellicott St. in Buffalo.

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About “Poem of the Week”

The “Poem of the Week” feature is curated by literary legacy awardee R.D. Pohl.

R.D. (Bob) Pohl is a poet, writer, editor, and literary and cultural critic based in his hometown of Buffalo, NY. He attended the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1973 to 1981, where he studied language philosophy and philosophy of science with Newton Garver, Charles Lambros, and Peter Hare as an undergraduate, before shifting his attentions to poetry and literature, studying with Lionel Abel, Diane Christian, Robert Creeley, Carl Dennis, Raymond Federman, Leslie Fiedler, and John Logan of the now legendary UB English Department of the late 1970’s as a graduate student.