Starfish (Poetry, Used)

Starfish (Poetry, Used)

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by Sara Goodman

Starfish is a long poem reflecting on lost and present loves, the relationship to the self and city, and the dreamscapes that inhabit our minds. Written mostly over three days during one of Chicago's worst winter storms, the poem wanders through snow and lingers in bookstores and thinks about climate change and epic poetry and queer identity. It contains the comfort of a cat and worlds that tilt toward the fantastical. Confessional in the vein of the New York School poets, Sara writes with piercing honesty and humor as she sifts through memories and finds healing in the sifting.

"Starfish marks a language of experience, how the way we use words breaks along the lines of time, spaces itself out and waves in and out of larger and smaller letters around its corners. These corners are in Chicago and also on the page, where does sleep take you, that’s the question, it’s the same place as poetry. 'I gotta say / the shape of the day / is interesting…' like a starfish that’s been made to reach out and keep going."

– Laura Goldstein, author of safe wars / poet in hell

"Hello friends past, present, future. We’re 'building something, moving things around, sometimes / that’s all you can / do.' My recommendation: read Starfish to the rhythm of Lake Michigan’s perpetual seasons and the dissonance of the L train. This is the poetry of our conversations and memories and lovers and dreams. 'It is dreams after all, / that shift the cosmos.'  Now more than ever, let us practice."

– Jennifer Karmin, author of Aaaaaaaaaaalice