22 April 2016

Star Struck






When they die—that’s when we get star crazy.
Take Prince.  We overdose on his genius
when he collapses at fifty-seven 
years of age and leaves us dazed  We gaze
into black holes of elevators, pause
and bow our heads before stepping aboard
and hope the gentle music there will change
to doves a-weeping purple rain, each lift
his ceremony as star struck we crowd
to dance his tunes as if we did it each
day of our lives.  He raised the stakes that high.

Recall: my artist friend Richard Swallow
committed suicide to pay his debts
when art and hope failed him—and we did, too,
commemorating his output after
it mattered, when attention could not save
his life.  Star struck, we touched his casket as
if he were there, as if his spirit drank
and ate, as if we could resurrect him.
We hung his art, then, art we had hidden
in closets and drawers while framing more
popular pieces, oh, prince of my nights.

When they die—that’s when we get stir crazy.
This earth, its animals, its plants and ice
will die and our sun’s heart will break in half
remembering to pay attention now
that it’s too late, as if time was ever
enough to hold in love and wonder all
amazement light and star dust allow us.
The moon last night was so brilliant we called
each other saying Look outside, quick, soon
or you’ll miss it.  Did you smell lilacs while
they bloomed today?  Did you pay the piper? 



Induced by Prince's death yesterday and posted for Robert Brewer's 2016  April PAD Day 22 Challenge  to title a poem "star something."


*Note:  All April poem-a-day poems are rough drafts awaiting revision.


Copyright © 2016 Susan L. Chast


3 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Susan. One of your very best, full of heart and grief, and mortality and gratitude for the moon and the lilacs that are here, right now. This resonates in so many ways. I mourned a friend who committed suicide too, felt I had failed him, did fail him, when he needed me most. The earth dying and the sun's heart breaking in half is fantastic. A most beautiful poem. Why are so many bright lights flickering out? There seem none as bright to take their place - I think that era was especially golden and we were so lucky to have grown our souls as we traveled through it.

Mary said...

You are right, Susan. Before Prince's death, where was he in everyone's consciousness? Now that he has passed Prince is everywhere, and yes people are stir crazy. I think your poem's lesson is...appreciate while someone is alive. After they're dead it really doesn't matter....

vhosking said...

Reminds me of the meme not to spend money to fly to my funeral or send flowers. Do those things while I'm still alive and we can enjoy each other's company.