Two Poems from The Self Unstable by Elisa Gabbert

Poetry fails as art in that it is not a Veblen good. The more you
charge for it, the more worthless it seems. Information wants to
be free, but what about beauty? The sublime? Is art about anything?
Whatever it is, it’s not meaning.



In air hockey, accidentally scoring on yourself is the alt win condition.
As we age it becomes more difficult to experience triumph without
drinking or conquering nations. Stress ages us quickly, as does
eating–really, a supreme irony. If we want to be happy, why are we
so fond of sad endings?




Elisa Gabbert is the author of The Self Unstable (forthcoming from Black Ocean in 2013) and The French Exit (Birds LLC, 2010). Her poems, prose, and collaborations have recently appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, The Collagist, Court Green, Lemon Hound, Sentence, and other journals. She lives in Denver and blogs at


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