“Supernova Sunday” by Ralph Monday


How strange to think
that the death of a star
exploding as a silent
ghost in an abandoned
house gave rise some
unfathomable time later
to these Sunday musings.

I am a space orphan
not knowing
what gas-composed
mother or father grunted
me out like a fat movie
in an extinct drive-in.
Images and scenes from
that rolling reel composing,
in a final outward burst
towards infinity’s finger—
coalescence of dust, gas,
attracted like a pickup at
a bar by gravity’s fingers
—formed the light, warmth
that heated the soupy sea
where lone cells
began their song like
the first hit single.

In that cosmic death,
how eccentric that gas,
like vapors in a gasoline
can, would give rise
to existence as diverse
as Michael Jackson
or Mother Theresa,
Carl Sagan
or Charles Manson,
or Gandhi,
or cubism,
the Treaty of Versailles
or the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Atoms begetting apples
and autumn
in the oldest waltz
of all.


Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN, where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses. In fall 2013 he had poems published in The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review, and was represented as the featured poet with 12 poems in the December issue of Poetry Repairs. In winter 2014 he has poems upcoming in Dead Snakes. In summer 2014 he had a poem in Contemporary Poetry: An Anthology of Best Present Day Poems. His work has appeared in publications such as The Phoenix, Bitter Creek Review, Full of Crow, Impressions, Kookamonga Square, Deep Waters, Jacket Magazine, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, cc&d, Crack the Spine, The Camel Saloon, Dead Snakes, Jellyfish Whispers, Pyrokinection, Red River Review, and Burningword . He was a Featured Poet of the week for May 2014 at Poetry Super Highway. Forthcoming: Poems in Blood Moon Rising. Crack the Spine’s “best of” anthology and Down in the Dirt Magazine. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Houghton Mifflin’s “Best of” Anthologies, as well as other awards. A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014. A book, Empty Houses and American Renditions will be published by Hen House Press in the fall of 2014.

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