I remember the Hale-Bopp comet. I don’t really know why. I wasn’t even three yet in Spring of ‘97. But I remember Mom picking me up and pointing it out through the bathroom window facing west. It was surreal, even to my very young mind—like a shooting star that had been stopped.
We haven’t had a comet like Hale-Bopp since. I’ve spent most of my life anticipating the next “Great Comet.” We’re overdue for one. So, in 201X, I was paying close attention when I found out a massive comet called Ison was passing the orbit of Jupiter, inbound.
Ison was predicted to be “the Comet of the Century.” But there was a certain degree of uncertainty. It didn’t take too long for scientists to recognize Ison as both a highly unstable body and what they call a sundiver—perhaps a self-explanatory term.
You may or may not remember how the story ended, but I think it was on Thanksgiving night Earth got word that Ison was a goner. I saw the time-lapse on TV. It swung around the far-side of Sol and a brilliant spray of vaporized material spewed out the other side. The nucleus was gone.
But that was after I wrote the poem “I Dreamed of Ison.” I mixed the metaphors of the grandiose promises of comet Ison with the quiet childhood story of a stray cat, “Comet” who eventually disappeared again. It’s kind of odd reading it in retrospect knowing the details of Ison’s star-crossed meeting with the sun.
“I Dreamed of Ison” is one of the 31 poems included in my long-in-coming poetry book Songs from the Small Hours. The illustrated chapbook is finally available to the public via Amazon. (And via me, personally, shortly. I just ordered a box of 50 of those things to hand-sell.)
One thing though. I haven’t released it as an ebook. I just thought I should say that before you asked. I might or might not later, but I personally think it lends itself to paperback quite a bit more, and you would be cheating yourself buying it in electronic format—I might change my mind later. Depends on how many people yell at me that they would get it if it were an ebook, but have no interest in paperback, and throw smoke-bombs through my windows.
Honestly, I don’t know how many people actually read poetry—I mean once they get out of school. But if you’re one of those rare people, or would like to be, you can read my book. Here’s the link for it. You might enjoy it. There are poems about insomnia and butterflies and graffiti and windchimes and things like that.