Beckian Fritz Goldberg

Unified Theory
January 15, 2012 Goldberg Beckian Fritz

Unified Theory


The night is blue and staggered with stars.

Like you, I’ve tried to connect that one to

that one to that one to see the shapes that men

mapped ages ago, the Swan, the Archer pointing

his bow, but all I see are wayward rhomboids,

a leaning top hat, a celestial three-legged

insect the size of a country.  Clouds

are easier, a lion, a bearded man, a lamb

bleeding into mist.  We just want to recognize

where we are.  Today was a good day or

a bad day.  There are bills and laundry and

the thing your lover said and what you wanted.

If you stare a while the stars bounce in place,

nervous, and suddenly you wonder what

happened to all the ghosts in your second grade

class picture, wonder why you wonder…But what’s

more important than the constellations?  War?

Your broken dreams?  The sink that swallowed

an earring?  Tonight look up the light that left

Monoceros so many years ago.  You get dizzy.

Is there life out there.  Are there beings

like us.  You too have scanned the tabloids

in the racks by the register, the blurry photos

of aliens with narrow heads, with no mouths,

with long arms and dangerous instruments

or telepathic powers, with pale skin, with scaly skin,

translucent skin or no skin at all, who’ve landed

always in remote woods, who’ve left carvings

on cave walls in Mongolia.  But not one

says it.  Not one headline proclaims we are


THE UNIVERSE AND IN ALL TIME.  And tonight what if,

what if we are?  If we are a mere cosmic fluke. Or worse,

if we are so singly precious.  I know you’re just trying

to get by.  Have stepped outside a second into your blue

body, to breathe, to trace the Little Dog constellation,

to watch the blinking halo of your TV from the wrong

side of your own window, and behold

the living absence your shape alone will fill.

Beckian Fritz Goldberg received her M.F.A. in 1985 from Vermont College and is the author of seven volumes of poetry, Body Betrayer (Cleveland State University Press, l99l,) In the Badlands of  Desire (Cleveland State University, l993,) Never Be the Horse, winner of the University of Akron Poetry Prize (University of Akron Press, l999), Twentieth Century Children, a limited edition chapbook, winner of the Indiana Review chapbook prize (Graphic Design Press, Indiana University, l999), Lie Awake Lake, winner of the 2004 Field Poetry Prize (Oberlin College Press, 2005, ) The Book of Accident (University of Akron Press, 2006,)  Reliquary Fever: New and Selected Poems (New Issues Press, 2010) and Egypt From Space (Oberlin, 2013.)  Goldberg has been awarded the Theodore Roethke Poetry Prize from Poetry Northwest, The Gettysburg Review Annual Poetry Prize, two Arizona Commission on the Arts Poetry Fellowships (1993, 2001) and two Pushcart Prizes.  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies such as New American Poets of the 90’s, Best American Poetry 1995, American Alphabets:25 Contemporary Poets, Best American Poetry 2011,Best American Poetry 2013 and in journals, including The American Poetry Review, Field, The Gettysburg Review, Harper’s, The Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast, and many others.  She currently lives in California.