Three Star Poems

I.

Something sideways draws over,
Insomniacal, fontanelic brush
From top of head to balls of feet.

The stars are playing on me,
Dragging awake this trundle of molted skins
With all the reticence of a poem.

What gives?
This chariot has no reins!
Wearily I drive; The course, a playing on a comb.

Take it all!
Break it all down.
I can live on a song in Vietnam.

It was always there,
In the cut grass, with friends.

Read great minds, consult the seers—
I will look to the stars
Who made me by this suicide:

The children go to the pool when it is hot,
Bedbugs follow your hearts beating,
Stars and heavenly gasses play over us.

The stars know there is no time.
They wait for all, until they're called,
And even after, for a while.

II.

I am dead inside
and full of stars,
an hourglass of stars.

To understand
you’d have to give up
everything you know about stars.

Go out into the field,
Gather aluminum and copper,
Garner praise for little things.
Every next thing is in the sigh of the last.

Monsters rush in, points on you,
electric-tender lightings-up.
Do not repel these exchanges.

They are your constellation.

III.

There are angel stars up there
who bid us assume these surly masks and serve.

I thought angels were beatific things,
willing in their appointments.
Now I see why they are always So.Pissed.Off.

They’re just doing the business
of some further star’s dusty husk:
They go where they’re told and bear it.

The angels we are becoming
will be no less ornery than we are now.
Having suffered The Four Seasons of Hell,
they will understand and suck it up gladly.

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About the Author

Darren teaches English at New Design High, a public school in his Lower East Side neighborhood. An accomplished opera singer, he has released several recordings of classical art songs, winning The American Prize for his album, The Young Debussy. He is the author of Singing from the Inside, a manual of vocal technique and Mindfulness for Teens, a course in meditation and mindfulness for high school students. His translation of Wilhelm Müller’s Die Winterreise is used for English-language performances of Schubert’s song cycle all over the world. He studies writing with Bruce Benderson.

Darren Chase
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