[We read a poem by Tracy K. Smith, this year’s Pulitzer prize winner, called "My God, It’s Full of Stars." A gorgeous poem, an elegy to her father, and a grappling with the very biggest questions while referencing popular culture and including humor and dialogue. The writing in the workshop felt elevated by the intelligence of Smith’s poem. So much great work today. Photo: Stephen Warrington]
— by Philip
My, I saw a cosmic mother
through a spray of stars
A bright light haloed by stars
Profound, in meaning, seductive, knowing, arch,
Inwardly saying we inwardly cohere
with all that’s built around us.
O How can we say what is simple or complex
The mother and the stars the maternal and the stellar
Cosmic dust is raised to personhood which then
seeks out the edges of that cosmic dust.
Like a great chaos of being inward and returned and upward
Our stars made ours by a cosmic
mother I fathom how far we’ve come!
The stars were (where once was) once Botticelli’s
Spring’s hair’s and like hair will be
domesticated and conditioned and shampooed
Well, I thank my stars!
My God it’s Full of Stars, or Yeah, Well You’re not from Ypsi
— by Matt
We are not alone.
You may think we are, but we’re not.
In a universe, which may be one of many universes, it’s impossible to think we’re alone with millions of stars.
Being alone is the greatest sin you can commit.
In a universe of Fellowship. all I can think of is my next interaction with others.
Why we fight, and bicker for scraps is beyond me.
Why the poor starve, and the rich get famous is simply beyond me.
The worst form of torture is isolation, and I can think of no greater imperative thank to take care of each other.
Why, as mortals, don’t we realize that the most important thing is how we relate to others.
Get the Fuck off me with your nuclear weapon.
Get a job, or at least a hobby, or vocation, and the world’s problem with solve themselves.
Who is the next President to be elected.
I may stand alone, but I stand firmly in the resolve that it doesn’t matter.
The pendulum swings, left to right, and all we are left with is dealing with ourselves.
My greatest contribution, if you will, is the contribution you make to society.
Live greedy, and die apart from God himself.
If money is the answer, why has it caused so many problems for ourselves.
I believe the answers lie in the form of a toothpick, simple and small.
Light up, Frances.
Eat a carrot, and a stalk of celery, and the world will come to you.
Abuse others and the rest of those who inhabit the universe will come looking for you.
I wonder what Frank and Ernest are doing today?
After a Fight
— by Courtney
At night we walk out to the center of the field
and watch the pink of one town and the gray-pink of the other,
the stars at the center.
Not knowing a single constellation
and so language is nothing.
We only open our mouths to breathe.
Jet streams arc overhead, flight paths of DTW
to anywhere west of here,
our center. Airplanes blink back.
Black trees silhouette in a circle, fencing us here.
Stars pretending to be airplanes slide up the sky.
Sleep is where I go because I don’t know what else to do.
Henry says at some hour, I can see the twinkling stars,
too early to be kind I shush him
then kiss his temple: I had silenced him before
I knew what he was going to say.
The planets are multiplying, still
birthing fire balls quietly while others sleep.
The sun ball has not risen,
but it will, even though I am not happy.
— by Robyn
At night when I leave the gym the sky
is dark. There are no stars.
This is how I want it. Something
is broken. This is why I run
on the treadmill for an hour, then
an hour, then an hour. It’s not enough.
I like running, I tell people, because
I like to think, but this is a lie. I run
so that my head can empty. So I can
think only of time and miles and
the way my knee twinges and how
hard it is to have open eyes and
my heart. It runs alongside me,
pulsing in my wrists. Outside
it is starless and inside light
is everywhere: my sneakers,
the two hours I’ve run, the miles,
everything absolutely clear.
It’s not enough. I need farther.
Until every streetlight and porchlight
blinks out, until each star burns,
until I can walk to my car
surrounded only by the soft and unthinking night.