On a Star(man)


The infinite velvet of the universe
Pinpricked with distant rays
In an instant, grows heavier
And sags with remorse
For on the pebble caught in the weave
The one we call rarely
A candle has gone out
Whose light stretched beyond the beyond
Whose absence has left deranged
Those who have felt his warmth and shade

Stricken thought the velvet
A million apocalypses rain
Obliterating pebble, rock, and stone
Born of longing and of anguish
The emotions that follow the dead
And he is gone
His grave a crack in the past
Little wonder no longer

After the apocalypses ran their courses
While the peoploids dwell in abject woe
A starchild wills itself to be
Gender-faded, to Mother Nature’s chagrin
The overwhelming gloom snatches its attention
And it tries to wipe off the viscous misery
But misery doesn’t let go, does it?
“What… this?”
Sadness, ‘Child
“What… that?”
The worst feeling that can ensnare
The unified field that connects all
“I… feel?”
Yes, ‘Child, even you
“I… sad.”
No, not quite
“I am Sad.”
The Starchild carries out its first folly
By letting others define it
But the definition comes from a cosmos in mourning
Thus the title becomes fate
The tackiness of misery is too much for Sad
And decides to give the slime a home
Its nails scrape the velvet
Until a spark flits away
Sad cups the tiny spark in its stellar hands
Fills the spark with its namesake still wet with paint
And releases it into the velvet
As the spark soars, it grows
In mass and despondency
Until it becomes what it was meant to be
A beacon star for tragedy
Twinkle, twinkle, Uncle Floyd
Its rays are a lighthouse for gloom
And gloom it finds
And gloom is drawn
Like a ship of suicides sailing across the morass
But sadness is indifferent to its surroundings
Thus the pulsar also drains
Apathetic Uncle Floyd

Sad realizes
Too soon or too late
The terror of Uncle Floyd
And collapses the beacon star
Pregnant with things that should and should not be
The bouillabaisse of emotions explodes
Staining the infinite velvet in remarkable ways
Sad shapes the cornucopia of colors
And surrounds them with dispassionate sparks
Until a constellation-like countenance stares at Sad
With a jagged nebula from brow to cheek
Sad smiles its first smile
And dubs its art…
“Loving the alien.”


By David Mack


3 Responses to “On a Star(man)”

  1. This is so tragically beautiful, unbelievably painful, and impossible not to imagine.

    • Thanks. It was hard to write, apart from the obvious reason. It was originally about a Starmum talking to her Starchild. It didn’t feel right because the poem was turning into a critique of Bowie’s discography instead of a dirge of sorts. So I put it away for a while (I started writing it two or three weeks ago). I liked the idea of a mother consoling her kid about death and describing what it is, so I might do something with it later… but it wasn’t this poem. A few days ago, I decided to make it just about the Starchild and everything clicked.

      One of the things I’m proudest of is how I was able to weave in bits of Bowie’s songs without them being distracting, and not going for the obvious songs. I love “Ziggy Stardust,” but he made over 200 others songs. I didn’t wanna pick songs for obscurity’s sake, either. I thought about songs I could think of from the top of my head and let pieces of some of them find their way into the poem.

      • I’m glad you went the direction you did. It’s because you let it flow that it made such an impact. And I think that if Bowie were around, he would be honored by your eulogy (of sorts).

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