I ask only that you read the poem once through, the pipelinks correspond to explanations of the lines at the bottom, like a built in author criticism.
I ride to the edge of the last ocean,
but it does not satisfy me. The wind
nudges me backward, into the darkness
of Halley Cove where my Huffy lies
beside my skyward stare. I quickly
succumb to the weathering of reality,
and rise through the gravity of dreams,
with watery eyes. I breathe easily
in the thin air. I reach my destination
and knock on a black door of space,
and ask the gods to grab their bikes.
Instead I enter, it is too late for them
to come outside. While in the foyer
of the firmaments they crowd around me.
The architecture of their bodies
is like dust, illuminated by the sunlight
through the slats in the window blinds.
I connect the dots to the kitchen.
The buffet before me shifts, like clouds.
The table of star stuff holds a dinner
of entropy, but the gods demand
wine. I hold a corkscrew, writhing
to open a fine merlot. I spill it
and red life runs across whitenoise
tablecloths, staining the stars. I watch
the faded magenta spiral into the arm
of a young son. His hands become
a crater, that slowly fills. I spin
in a coriolis chair, as my legs hang
derelict above the Earth. Under me
a dove dies, it’s feathers drift down,
and a great bird of fire rises. Its wings
spread, the fire consumes me, and
my vision goes black. When I awaken
I am standing under the hot pellets
of my shower.
Outside the window, the flakes appear.
The world is quiet when snow falls,
and the brown earth trembles,
like winter children, waiting
for the weather forecast.
1. The last ocean represents space, in no small part due to the face that the phrase, the final frontier has already been taken. It does not satisfy me because there is still far too much we don’t know about it. This begins the obsession with the character with space, and gods and stars.
2. Halley is where I elude that the previous line deals with space and not something terrestrial. Halley’s Comet is one of the most famous bodies in space. It is also the title of an excellent Phish track.
3. The poem goes through a series of images dealing directly with Meterological phenomenons, and extra planetary bodies. There are two types of weathering, Chemical Weathering such as that caused by Acid Rain and Physical Weathering caused as much by rainfall, as wind and erosion. Weathering is a process the causes something to fade from its previous form into something lesser, in this case I’m using the term to describe the slow erosion of reality into dream.
4. I liked the phrase gravity of dreams, because I feel that more often in dreams the tendency is toward floating up, rather than being pulled down, so in effect the gravity of dreams is flight.
5. The premise of the poem revolves around the justification of how children could understand the world of weather through the interactions of the ancient gods represented by the Greek named constellations. So the lines referring to bikes, lend themselves to childlike innocence, the watery eyes is meant to convey that like riding a bike downhill, floating through the dream brings water to the eyes, but there is no mention of tears or crying. They are tears of exhilaration.
6. Firmament is not just there to sound “poety” and esoteric, it’s an indicator word. I’m using a romantic era word for the stars to show that we are talking about the constellations, complete with their old superstitions and gods.
7. I may have failed to capture this image completely, but at the very least it sounds pretty. I’m trying to describe here what walking constellations would look like. Which is why connect-the-dots is used in the next stanza. I imagine points of light around the edges, but what’s in the middle. The swirls of space dust, which are only apparent due to the light sources nearby, like the dust in the air is only visible when a thin ray of sunlight enters a room. Similar to how we can’t actually perceive a black hole, but only the effect it has on the space around it at the event horizon. Granted, that’s still theoretical…but this is a poem, so we’ll move on.
8. Ok, now connect the dots should be a little more obvious by now, but I could be wrong, as I’m the one over analyzing it. The table shifts like clouds, this is another allusion, obvious as it may be, to terrestrial weather. However the mention of entropy and star stuff together have a greater significance. The dream sequence is starting to break apart, as no dreams last forever. The stars are governed by a lifespan, they grow, they grow more, and then one of two things happen. Check Supernova and Black Dwarf. Though the latter may not lead you to scientific analysis.
9. In the house of the gods, Bachus is always the guest of honor.
10. You see what I did here…spiral arm and son. Oh, come on you dorks I thought that was pretty clever. The image is of wine spiraling down a table leg, onto the arm of an occupant of the house. We are a part of a spiral galaxy called the Milky Way which has many arms. I know, it’s dense, that’s why I’m trying to explain.
11. Crater is the name of the constellation that means chalice of the gods, where one would assume they would pour wine.
12. Alright you budding Meteorologists can totally call me on this one. The coriolis force is a result of the Earth’s rotation. It’s what makes the water go down the drain counter-clockwise in Australia. So technically our hero can’t feel this force in space, what I’m trying to say is the chair is spinning, with another weather reference. It is also another indication that the dream is breaking up, he’s no longer floating freely, his dream environment is too much for him, and will soon end.
13. Alright there’s a whole lot going on here. Derelict is often a word science fiction writers used to describe a dead spacecraft, a derelict space craft. Our character has lost all control of his dream. Columba the dove, and Phoenix are both constellation names. The dove dying and shedding it’s wings is, you guessed it, snow, not terrifically unique as a metaphor, but I think I’ve put a cool spin on the context. Falling through the flames of the phoenix, is supposed to represent a meteor shower which leads our train of thought to the shower, where our hero was having this daydream.
14. I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but that’s a nice line. Here we have the summation, the childhood wonder, the weather, the force of the gods, in the simple act of children praying for a snow day.
Sources: more for the explanations than the poem, but some of these sites were helpful in pulling this boondoggle together.
The Constellations: http://dibonsmith.com/constel.htm
The Life of a Star: http://www.astro.keele.ac.uk/workx/starlife/StarpageS_26M.html
How many Spiral Arms does the Milky Way have? : http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q2233.html
Coriolis Force: An Artifact of the Earth’s Rotation – http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/fw/crls.rxml
Holy shit another line, what the hell’s under this one?
Calm down, you can leave now. I thought it would be interesting to post the original poem under this version. So when somebody decides to soft link your stream of consciousness poem makes me want to kill myself I can demonstrate how much effort and change goes into a rewrite of a 30 line poem.
I rode to the end of the last ocean
it does not satisfy me.
The wind nudges me backward
to the top of Cherry Hill
Where my Huffy with a broken kickstand
lays beside my skyward stare
Two hundred feet above Oak Street
hunger rises in the dark
I reach my destination and knock
on a black door of space
and ask the stars to grab their bikes
Instead I enter, it is too
late for them to come outside
I am a corkscrew at dinner, writhing
to open a fine merlot
I spill it
Red life runs across whitenoise tablecloths
staining the chaos
I sit in a coriolis chair
legs hang derelict above the floor
My expanding iris inhales
the faded magenta that still spirals
through gouges in the balsa wood
dripping off leaves, added
to the table, when guests join the feast
in that dysfunctional house
Filled with dusty probability
from which the comets yield calculations
and the brown earth trembles
like winter children
before the weather forecast
If you made it this far, you might as well check the other link experiments: in order, Burdens, Anvils, and Translating Silence