In boyhood’s galactic epoch, outer space
began at my feet, and singularities
were a frequent phenomenon. They freckled
the TV screen as pixels, gobbling attention
most when they clustered to form personalities
like Pinky Lee, Lucy, and Buffalo Bob,
leaving as residue on the event horizon
our couch-bound bodies. Also, the speckled blue
linoleum on my bedroom floor, a flattened
infinity, was riddled with many micro-
black holes that swallowed up hosts of plastic soldiers
as my bare knees rested atop a billion stars.
But the optimum region for the generation
of collapsed supergravitational matter
was mom and dad’s closet, where singularities
like moths were fashioning gaps in dresses and suits.
From the absence of bodies and the array of personae
dangling from hangers, I detected a cosmic
crime scene, confirmed by the serried ranks of empty
shoes whispering, conspiring to step out
on their own in the universe. Black holes were pul-
lulating throughout my life and one even crushed
my formidable grandpa gripped by its minute
supermassive deformed region of spacetime.
Philip Fried has published eight books of poetry, including Squaring the Circle (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2017), Interrogating Water (Salmon, 2014), and the forthcoming Among the Gliesians (Salmon, 2020). Carol Rumens recently selected his poem “Yoga for Leaders and Others” for her anthology Smart Devices: 52 poems from The Guardian ‘Poem of the Week’, due out from Carcanet in November.