The boy I like told me that everything in the universe is made of stars. He described them eating themselves, the iron corrupting the heart, the spat out destitution of a would-be sun;
I could relate.
I went home and wrote ‘You are the ephemeral glitter in the eye of a manic universe – and I am the debris clogging the arteries of stars as they die’.
That’s the difference between us. In the world of evenings as poetry – he is the star studded sky. His heart is the rocking moon that generously shares its sun with us. He is the moment when you realise that you live in the space between brilliance and beauty, and you still matter.
As for me, in that same evening, I am a lake. I reflect a reflection. I refract a resurrection of a sun gone down. I can only see the sun through smoke and mirrors, and my heart is so drowned in anxiety that no warmth will ever go right through me.
So I look at the boy through my bloodshot I’s, E’s, O’s, you – you don’t even flinch.
You look right back and I don’t even see revulsion in your thoughts because your mind is a network of constellations spelling out philosophy against the backdrop of darkness.
Your mind is so busy creating wonder that some of it projects onto me and for a blinding moment the lake alights with the face of the moon.
But moments pass. Our moments past and no amount of starlight can penetrate the fog that lies heavy on my shoulders, so I stew in it. The fog presses down on me and the repressed air that I have to breathe tastes like nostalgia and necromancy and the desperation to revive the dead, to reawaken those dead stars and their occupants, to relive old evenings, to live –
If I hold my breath you can’t take it from me, I tell myself. I ground myself and grip the shores until the banks burst,
I sink my teeth into sand and try to stay down – and he whispers that he hates how he looks and I break, over and over. From the pit in my belly I sob freshwater into fields, because I can see what he can’t.
I can see sincerity, passion, intelligence, wit, I can see depth of feeling that only a lake could have. I can see hope -
but he pulls away. He tugs tidal and the moon is victorious once more, while I can’t rest, can’t resist, I reflect a refraction of the beauty of his perseverance through a hundred winter storms and I pray to the sun that he never realises that the only beauty I have to offer him is what he lends me,
and that when evening passes to night and the moon chases after the sun, I am still stuck here.
I am still stuck here, still cold, still tidal, still still.
The boy I like told me that everything in the universe is made of stars –
and I almost believe in the metaphor of it all. In the bohemian love of literature and cold November air and waiting long enough for unrequited love to resolve itself. I almost believe.
If a lake could burn as a star, if a lake could shine like the sun, if a lake could spread out its feelings across the sky and be open and vulnerable and tempestuous – if. If, if, if.
It can’t. I can’t.
I am only lowly lakewater and the sun does not belong to me.
But when you cry, my evening sky, when you weep, and the stars can’t be seen for the misery in your heart – When the whole world fears your thunderous agony being reigned down upon them
I will catch the pieces of you that fall For I have seen the darkest parts of the evening and love it still with a torrential love that is made of a stars dreams dying into the dwarfed hopes of a would-be sun.
So I submitted this as part of my final submission (which was three parts). This submission, in the end, got my lowest grade. But I still think its my best work of the year so I'm happy to share it with you all. Enjoy <3
This is another of those awkward poems for my friend that he forgives me for. haha
This is a lovely piece - and I think it depicts quite well how a love one can be adored in the secret of an unhappy individual - as though they place all their soul and heart into someone else's hands because they can't handle being disappointed with themselves, their past, their present, their life as they picture it in the future.
It reminds me of a well known text from Victor Hugo,
"Madame, sous vos pieds dans l'ombre, un homme est là Qui vous aime, perdu dans la nuit qui le voile, Qui souffre, ver de terre amoureux d'une étoile." (Victor Hugo, Ruy Blas)
[My Lady, here under your feet, in the shadows, lays a man Who loves you, lost in the night that shades him Who is hurting, a worm fallen in love with a star] (Amateur translation here)
I don't know if you've read it before, but it does play on the same theme as your poem. And both, I think, have their way of getting straight to the readers heart.
As for technique, I understand it was meant to be listened to rather than read - hence I'm pretty sure it'll be better when performed, but meanwhile, I'd only have one little complaint: transition to the center part - to the fifth paragraph, then from the fifth to the sixth and finally, from the sixth back to the main part - is a little hard to follow. I suppose it could be read as a fast mood swing, hopeless fit, but I feel you could have made a smoother work of it.
On the plus side, the little variation on the first paragraph, in the ninth one, is a nice reminder of the context and, if not particularly original, very useful in the spoken word context. The little play on words in the opening sentence of the fourth paragraph is a good idea - again, particularly suited for the spoken word, along with the repetition of words - a nice touch to reinforce the lake (an the echos / reflections) and waves metaphors.
The metaphor in itself is the best part of this piece, and very acurate way to describe the relationship you seem to be describing here. And, but this is my very personal taste, a very calming and feutrée'd atmosphere - would go very well with the adagio from the moonlight sonata (Beethoven)
Ahhhhh, the cryptisism! Debris clogging and not adding to a star? " Drowned in anxiety..."
Though, a star only shines with blinding pain and energy because it was born to. Just like it was born to create lake-water and lake-water was born to sustain the life of fishes. "I support that, these support me." You could go on and on about how every part of the universe is all dependent upon every little aspect of the rest of the universe. Yet, I do not believe I fate.
Hmm, about 4 hours but not all of that was writing. I wrote for about twenty minutes. Then left it alone overnight and thought of it every so often or re-read it, and then the next morning worked on it for another 15 minutes and posted it.
::takes your face in my hands:: You're not just lowly lake-water, my Dearest One; nor are you the stuff that clogs the arteries of dying stars. From here I can see the glitter of the Universe's Birth in your eyes, see the trail of star-stuff glimmer on you as you walk and just that small bit of a rainbow tucked up in a dimple when you smile.
At the end of our Street there is a Lake. Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin and I go to the end of the cul-du-sac where the lake water laps against my feet; where the tadpoles live and die, where ducklings peep and the mighty Sturgeon splash. I still put both feet in and walk up to my hips and I'm 50. I was raised with water, stars and the spine of the Milky Way arching it's way over my head but just not here in Oshkosh. I was raised somewhere else that doesn't exist but it exists in my heart.
Take from my heart to yours a double-handful of star-dust. I have plenty. You'll know what to do with it.
Darling One, for years I would lie on the hill on the back of my parent's farmhouse and look up at the sky. I could see the stars, I could hear the frogs and crickets and I could always smell cows. In fact one of the greatest smells for me (outside of kitchen smells) is a farmer pulling a manure spredder behind him in the Spring. It always meant that green things were coming and that I wasn't going to get my butt wet laying on the ground looking at stars.
We've moved, my Dearest and I from the Farm to the City and I can't see any stars except those few which are very bright and which make it past the light-pollution. It doesn't mean I don't remember Them. I miss most having country blocks between neighbors instead of 18 feet, but as my roses re-bloom and my great grand-mother's red peonies grow again season after season, and before everything else, the yard is packed with tiny little wood violets!
I remembered now that "Cosmos" is to come back again, the thought I had when Carl Sagan first told me "We are all star stuff". It was a revelation to a 9 year old! I'm made of Star Stuff! I'm all this sparkly glitter I see in the sky and it makes up *me*! I've kept that Wonder in my heart and give it away when it's needed. Some People need it more than Others but some People are IN Need of it more. I can see the double handfuls I've given to you: a billion (or more) bubbles of tiny tiny lights that become *you*. When you're full you can give out more or you can give even when you're still filling yourself.
Just remember that YOU are Important, are Beautiful, are all muddy feet and laughing cheeks. You are Star Stuff too and we blaze across the night skies where people may not even see us but where we ARE. ::kisses your face:: We Are. I see you there in that smile-line.
I'll just stick to the word "beautiful" on this one - Its something which mixes parts of you that speak out, parts of you which feel apprehensive in being known, and all in all, you're willing to invest in your friends, because they're worth it
It is a wonderful gift (and one that not everyone possesses) to be able to reflect someone else's beauty back at them, especially if they can't see that beauty on their own. Maybe someone can do the same for you and help you to see aspects of yourself that are currently hidden from you. <3
I loved every word of this. Every since learning about astronomy, I've always loved the fact that, in essence, we are all made of stardust. You captured this beautifully and transformed it into an idea that was both literal and metaphorical.