Space and her Family of Stars

Brandon McConnel, a Californian artist with a yearning for the stars, uses the medium of spray paint to create otherworldly paintings.


This video features the entire process McConnel uses to create his pieces.  His paintings transform before your eyes in a matter of minutes to something strange and celestial.

Paired with McConnel’s art is Walter Bargen’s poem “Family of Stars,” as first published in LitCouture.

Family of Stars” by Walter Bargen

When the sky is

no longer just sky, the buffeted debris of wind and light,

sucking black holes

and colliding galaxies, and we are ready to improvise ragged visions

on the bottomless up

we stare into, the endless tales tongued by clouds,

half seen, hardly seen,

much less heard, quickly scudding toward a weathered dissolution,

hail and pounding deluge,

a preparation for yet another resurrection beyond stone worship

and memory.

No book-thumbed page of the fossil record, no number one

on the phylum charts,

no top forty crustacean to spin over growing static and worse reception

as devolving distance swells,

and no lance for the red-shift boil. No audience for the do-whop of humming planets,

the celestial music

truly celestial and unbearable, where a tree falls silently in the forest

rearranging the decomposition.

There’s no doubt, I remember you, your father laid out

in a Cincinnati hospital bed,

dentures spilling half out of his mouth like a deck of cards, the ace hidden

up someone else’s sleeve,

and your mother unable to remember anyone except perhaps this pocket of earth

that’s always difficult

to find: the row, the plot, a whole city of grass avenues to stroll

and any stone

might do, but I keep searching as your sister’s eyes bulged,

frog-like above

the pond of sheets from the pressure of tumors, a permanent

hysterical stare

as the sky crashed silently through the room.  No, not permanent.

I remember you

in the backyard, snapping me into your baseball dream, throw fast,

throw straight,

throw at the mitt. We were each other’s eternities. I remember

as I remember

my own dark, until there is no remembering and the clouds blow

over into a wider quiet.

Walter Bargen has published thirteen books of poetry of poetry. His last two book are: Theban Traffic (2008) and Days Like This Are Necessary: New & Selected Poems (2009). He is the winner of the Chester H. Jones Foundation prize in 1997, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1991, and the William Rockhill Nelson Award. He was appointed to be the first poet laureate of Missouri (2008-2009).

This post was written by Katelyn Rogers.


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