Messages in a Bottle
by Amanda Stovicek D’Alessandro
by Paula Blackman
Night takes you like an infection. The sky with her small virions, the as above so below of everyday philosophy–even the iris has mountains from a different angle. Hold this lens carefully to your eye. What you see becomes a shadow, the aurora twisting like DNA, the great body of the sky sweeping her hand on your cheek. Live in the fever of it. If you take one swinging planet, imagine the sound of the wind, predict the shallow space between its breaths, are you infinite?
You’re a wreck on this beach, counting sand like stars in a constellation. Your mast lies cracked against a palm tree, sails striped with algae and ribboned into tails. All your crew has gone to find shelter and you’re left alone with the sand and the dark. The engine of your body thumps dull. A flock of seabirds murmurs at a distance. They wait. You wait. The sky pulls out the moon, a bauble–she shelters you.
The sky is reckless. She brushes stars from her hair.
You are trying to live on this planet, but every experiment you foster crosses the sky with black smoke. The shore curves away from you like a hammer. The ocean threads the air with a revolution of sound and far away the mountains loom like museum fossils. The decorative chemistry of this planet eludes you–the stroke of the palms in wind, the absence of footprints behind you, the silver throats of seabirds perched on the wreckage. All you observe through the lens, the entirety of night. Your body is heavy. The sky in her knowing way winks with comets.
Paula Blackman, Artist: Centering clay and throwing on a potter’s wheel may be equated to planetary rotation, spinning, turning; inertia. Planets continue to spin and since no external forces have been applied to stop them, the planets in our solar system keep their momentum. Centering clay and throwing on a potter’s wheel may be likened to the rotation of the planets.
The centrifugal force, or the tendency for an object to fly outwards on a circular path is caused by the wheel’s center seeking force; sometimes flying to destruction or into pieces, dividing the strength of the object. I think of the physics of throwing as the pot is spinning and allow the outward force to behave naturally revealing the fragility of the form and the image of Saturn’s bands while at the same time controlling the clay as the pot is formed.
The colors and the title of Indigo Beach suggest the planet Earth with two of its four elements; earth and water. The four elements; earth, air, water, fire, are present all around us and are essential to all life. The bands on Indigo Beach bring to mind the image of Saturn and may evoke thoughts of how we and our Earth fit into the galaxy.
I reflect on the 1950’s being dubbed the start of the Space Age, a time for the beginning of space exploration, the space race to the moon and the decade when NASA was created. The buzzword was space travel. Posters, logos and icons of rocket ships and planets, especially Saturn became symbols of futurism – a bright shiny limitless future.
Amanda Stovicek D’Alessandro, Poet: Amanda Stovicek D’Alessandro is a poet from Northeast Ohio made of star stuff. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Gordon Square Review, sidereal magazine, BARNHOUSE, Nice Cage, and others. Her debut micro-chapbook, SPACE SPECTACULAR, was published by Ghost City Press in the 2018 Summer Series. You can find her at https://amstovicek.com/.
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