Old Tyme with a Y

by Derek Mong

When the last phone cord unslithers
from a sleeping teen’s fingers,

and all the TV knobs have spun
off into orbits unknown;

when the word tablet can glisten
without beeswax or mason,

and I listen nightly to the mailboxes’
blue feet unbolting as they walk

empty-bellied out of town—I’ll believe
then in this screen like a sleeve

my I slips inside to swim through an era’s
rivering surge. Let its ephemera

be both my barnacles and bilge.
I can revisit my old selves at Goodwill.

And if, pausing one day in a field
of tall grass and boulders, an hour yields

its motion as if sealed under glass, I’ll know
that only memory makes me whole.


Derek Mong is the author of two poetry collections from Saturnalia Books, Other Romes (2011) and The Identity Thief (forthcoming, 2018), and a forthcoming chapbook of Latin adaptions, In the Shadow of the Scrivener’s Quill (Two Sylvias Press, 2017). The Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of English at Wabash College, he recently completed a Ph.D. in American Literature at Stanford University. A former Axton Fellow at the University of Louisville and Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, he blogs at Kenyon Review Online and reviews new poetry for the Gettysburg Review. His poetry, criticism and translations have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Missouri Review, Two Lines, Pleiades, Crazyhorse, Poetry International, The Southern Review, and many other publications. www.derekmong.com


Filed under Poetry

2 responses to “Old Tyme with a Y

  1. K.Murray

    If I didn’t know better I’d think these were the musings of a man twice your age reflecting with a hint of nostalgia.

  2. .,”I’ll know that only memory makes me whole.” Very, very truth. Great poem.

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