After dark, stars glisten like ice, and the distance they span Hides something elemental. Not God, exactly. More like Some thin-hipped glittering Bowie-being—a Starman Or cosmic ace hovering, swaying, aching to make us see. And what would we do, you and I, if we could know for sure That someone was there squinting through the dust, Saying nothing is lost, that everything lives on waiting only To be wanted back badly enough? Would you go then, Even for a few nights, into that other life where you And that first she loved, blind to the future once, and happy? Would I put on my coat and return to the kitchen where my Mother and father sit waiting, dinner keeping warm on the stove? Bowie will never die. Nothing will come for him in his sleep Or charging through his veins. And he'll never grow old, Just like the woman you lost, who will always be dark-haired And flush-faced, running toward an electronic screen That clocks the minutes, the miles left to go. Just like the life In which I'm forever a child looking out my window at the night sky Thinking one day I'll touch the world with bare hands Even if it burns. 

from “Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes?” by Tracy K. Smith (born 16 April 1972)

Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes?

         1.
After dark, stars glisten like ice, and the distance they span Hides something elemental. Not God, exactly. More like Some thin-hipped glittering Bowie-being—a Starman Or cosmic ace hovering, swaying, aching to make us see. And what would we do, you and I, if we could know for sure
That someone was there squinting through the dust, Saying nothing is lost, that everything lives on waiting only To be wanted back badly enough? Would you go then, Even for a few nights, into that other life where you And that first she loved, blind to the future once, and happy?
Would I put on my coat and return to the kitchen where my Mother and father sit waiting, dinner keeping warm on the stove? Bowie will never die. Nothing will come for him in his sleep Or charging through his veins. And he’ll never grow old, Just like the woman you lost, who will always be dark-haired
And flush-faced, running toward an electronic screen That clocks the minutes, the miles left to go. Just like the life In which I’m forever a child looking out my window at the night sky Thinking one day I’ll touch the world with bare hands Even if it burns.
         2.
He leaves no tracks. Slips past, quick as a cat. That’s Bowie For you: the Pope of Pop, coy as Christ. Like a play Within a play, he’s trademarked twice. The hours
Plink past like water from a window A/C. We sweat it out, Teach ourselves to wait. Silently, lazily, collapse happens. But not for Bowie. He cocks his head, grins that wicked grin.
Time never stops, but does it end? And how many lives Before take-off, before we find ourselves Beyond ourselves, all glam-glow, all twinkle and gold?
The future isn’t what it used to be. Even Bowie thirsts For something good and cold. Jets blink across the sky Like migratory souls.
         3.
Bowie is among us. Right here In New York City. In a baseball cap And expensive jeans. Ducking into A deli. Flashing all those teeth At the doorman on his way back up. Or he’s hailing a taxi on Lafayette As the sky clouds over at dusk. He’s in no rush. Doesn’t feel The way you’d think he feels. Doesn’t strut or gloat. Tells jokes.
I’ve lived here all these years And never seen him. Like not knowing A comet from a shooting star. But I’ll bet he burns bright, Dragging a tail of white-hot matter The way some of us track tissue Back from the toilet stall. He’s got The whole world under his foot, And we are small alongside, Though there are occasions
When a man his size can meet Your eyes for just a blip of time And send a thought like SHINE SHINE SHINE SHINE SHINE Straight to your mind. Bowie, I want to believe you. Want to feel Your will like the wind before rain. The kind everything simply obeys, Swept up in that hypnotic dance As if something with the power to do so Had looked its way and said:                                                     Go ahead.

Tracy K. Smith 2011

THE GOOD LIFE

When some people talk about money They speak as if it were a mysterious lover Who went out to buy milk and never Came back, and it makes me nostalgic For the years I lived on coffee and bread, Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday Like a woman journeying for water From a village without a well, then living One or two nights like everyone else On roast chicken and red wine.

TRACY K. SMITH

Anonymous asked:

Do you have any favourite poems/poets?

i’m a big fan of shakespeare, but i also really love the lush visual imagery of lm montgomery and john keats, and the more contemporary, introspective pacing of tracy k smith

i think my favourite poem is “ode to a nightingale”, followed by “i cry you mercy – pity – love! – ay love!”, “the sea spirit”, “autumn eve”, “as is the sea marvelous”, “les sirenes”, “soneto de la noche”, “lord of my love, to whom in vassalage (sonnet xxvi)”, and “don’t you wonder sometimes”.

in terms of poetry styles i’m a fan of sonnets, blank verse, and bredlik 😂 when i write poems i don’t really think too hard about meter and rhythm, i just go for what sounds good. unless i’m setting out to write something like the stammi vicino sonnet (which technically isn’t a perfect sonnet because it doesn’t follow the rhyme scheme, but viktor isn’t someone who cares about that so whatever) in which case i do pay a little more attention to the meter lol

i’m currently studying waka poems with @history-rover for RH sequel! so that’ll be fun to play with. we’re trying to make stammi vicino a waka poem too 😂😂

anyway that’s more information than what you may require lol

I am operating on the notion that poetry can save me from disappearing into the narrow version of myself I may be tempted to resort to when I feel lazy or defeated.

Tracy K Smith, from “Staying Human: Poetry in the Age of Technology,” a lecture delivered at the Library of Congress, April 2018

the life,

In which I’m forever a child looking out my window at the night sky.

Thinking one day I’ll touch the world with bare hands,

Even if it burns.

Don't you wonder sometimes.?, LIFE ON MARS// Tracy K. Smith
Strange house we must keep and fill. House that eats and pleads and kills. House on legs. House on fire. House infested With desire. Haunted house. Lonely house. House of trick and suck and shrug. Give-it-to-me house. I-need-you-baby house. House whose rooms are pooled with blood. House with hands. House of guilt. House That other houses built. House of lies And pride and bone. House afraid to be alone. House like an engine that churns and stalls. House with skin and hair for walls. House the seasons singe and douse. House that believes it is not a house.

Tracy K Smith