by Richard Paez


Still drunk remembering
how strong you love, Star
and how much
I drink warm gasoline,
play at lighting matches--
try to recall, shed
light of my own, on
my own resurrect
you:     Blaze

bring back but one of heaven's embers--
     hot sighs from your just-parted
     lips, heavy with the scent of feathers
     and clouds too close to earth--
     tears upward-falling luminescent
     caught in the August-static current
     of the world reflected
     in the pearl-globe of your eye
     dreaming heat and I
     recast a summer-child diving
     into the river-smoldering-wet
     on the brim of your lashes flooding

--intoxicating, mesmerizing,
and in the end,
beautiful (beautifully bright
and painful)--
visible for miles
and miles on this charged, clarion night
where even the clouds pull
back from your voice remembered.

I am as alien here
as lightning playing
across cloudless sky white
transient scars, cataracts
in my upward-falling view--

I will burn again, Star
as you burned
love as you loved--
earthbound, celestial
ignited by the friction
between smoke and shadows
eddied behind your voice echoed.

Fire spreads like water--
the liquid breath
of the god you swallowed,
the gasoline in our bellies
escaping our pores--
the electric breath
of angels pinned
by single threads of static
growing sharper in the wind--

I burn, liquid
immolate echoes,
cry smoke:
invoking you is flowing:
        Your absence reeks of feathers.


Author's Note: kaniastar

With all due admiration, gratitude, and respect, smolder*star was written after reading Kaitlyn Pietras' slow/gr@ffi+i~. Thank you Kait. I have been needing to write this for a long time, your word-forms called it out of me, gave me the inertia I needed to remember past the memories.

Posted on 05/26/2005
Copyright © 2020 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 05/26/05 at 08:11 PM

i have no decent words at this moment (and when i say "at this moment" think jane's addiction, song "three days"), to quantify this piece... suffice it to say, of all days for you to post this and for me to read this (it is my wedding anniversary), i am overwhelmed with emotion... this is pure and smoldering and gorgeous... this is poetry, richard... god, this is poetry... blessings... (now i shall go and fully digest this intensely passionate work)

Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 05/26/05 at 09:19 PM

digesting and ate of again... pure, raw emotion, within internal realm... from whence we came, we shall go back again... brilliant... blessings...

Posted by Traci Mabats on 05/27/05 at 01:23 AM

Oh...my...lord...Richard, this is too beautiful.

Posted by Max Bouillet on 05/30/05 at 10:14 PM

You breathe poetry, warm and wet. The ashes fall from your passion and smudge words on the page as you offer the light of inspiration to those poets that read you... quick let me take a drag. Great read, Richard.

Posted by Leslie Ann Eisenberg on 05/30/05 at 10:28 PM

i've been too stunned to comment, so i read your poem many times now in the last few days, hoping for actual words. first, let me say that only you can make drinking warm gasoline sound sweet, appetizing even! truly, i was drawn in by the image of being drunk on the memory of a star. and the description of the star -- hot sighs from your just-parted lips....pearl-globe of your eye....the middle stanza is a great transition -- the feeling of being an alien on your own planet, aching, alone and without is so effectively brought out by the vision of lightning without rain. and then, unexpectedly it turns from yearning to hope -- love again, burn again. and then, the most brilliant part -- your version of the invention of a star -- Fire spreads like water-- the liquid breath of the god you swallowed, the gasoline in our bellies...and in the end, smoke signals from your new fire -- your rebirth inviting her return.

Posted by Michelle Floyd on 07/10/05 at 05:19 PM

"burn as you burned" is, by far, my favorite bit in this, though I have a special affinity for all of it, raging astronomy strumpet that I am. Miss you, dear. Long time no type.

Posted by Sarah Graves on 08/04/05 at 01:59 AM

This is amazing Richard. You relate the cosmos to a human level of awareness, of pure emotion. I really like how you bring the characteristics of a burning star to a deteriorating spirit. I felt this more than I have felt something I've read in a long time. What a beautiful, layered connection you make with the soul.

Posted by Bertram Sparagmos on 10/09/12 at 03:44 PM

We endeavor to reach to the cosmos within and without, and are sometimes rewarded. Occasionally with a poem like this. A new favorite of mine.

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