Friday, May 05, 2006
Dead Stars Have No Graves: A Poem. Joseph Kerschbaum. (http://www.pathwisepress.com/) $6.
“Dead Stars Have No Graves… ” is a long-poem that dives deep in the black hole of a dying or dead relationship. There is a touching mix of fragile, dashed hope and resignation, to this work. Here is a heated riff that explores the road from infatuation to the morning-after reality in a long relationship with the perquisite could-of, would-of, speculation:
“She could have been
anything. She could have been
a philanthropist who works with disabled children.
The way she talked, her slow drawl, sharp wit, could have
sustained conversations for hours. I could have
talked with her for days in those months when I was talking
with no one. Her smile could have been
the most alluring I’ve ever seen. Her walk could have
led me to cliffs ready to leap from upon command. Her perfume
could have fogged my mind till her eyes became color-less.
She could have been all this. Her mouth dispelled
all the myths I constructed.
I woke to find her smile simply composed
of teeth, not diamonds. Roses were not planted
in her mattress, just sweat.”
Kerschbaum, an award-winning poet from Bloomington, Indiana, rages against the dying of the light in a relationship, and does it with style and deeply layered use of language.
Doug Holder/ Ibbetson Update