Posted by: David Weimer | January 12, 2010

Strawman, starman

Strawman, starman resulted from having to write poetry for a graduate poetry class in Memphis, TN in 1999.  I lived in an apartment with my two longtime companions, Grizelda and Emerald, cats left over from my first marriage.  I had a green broom in the closet and I imagined doing just what I wrote.  I was sitting in my chair at my computer corner in the bare living room of my apartment, looking out the front window.  I opened the door to let the cats check out the second floor concrete walkway.  I imagined the broom hitting the dirt road I used to live on–Jewell Road, in Howell, Michigan, in 1977.  The thing about going perpendicular to the level of the solar system and galaxy, etc., was my notion that there’s got to be another way, a better way.  Some simpler way to get at the first cause, the source, directly.  Some other way.

Strawman, starman

Earlier today, I took the broom out of my closet,

found a rising thermal over the university

and climbed in spirals like a hawk

on a broom disguised as a person.

When I got so high I had to stop, I let go,

and dove faster and faster.

And just before I hit the top of a parking garage,

I pulled up so hard that contrails curled back

from my ears

and the broom made a mighty roar.

But now,

in the stratosphere,

the ground doesn’t pull so hard.

I’ve been watching jets’ lights below in the dark.

Somewhere down there my cats are crouched by the door

letting the bugs in.  I just know it.

So I work carefully to the front of this god damn-good broom,

stand on its green painted tip and kick straight up.

The broom falls back, slow,

points down,

picks up speed,

breaks the sound barrier,

dives into the surface of a country road,

explodes in fire and straw.

At dawn, they will find a broom tree, there, blocking tractors.

As for me,

I point my toes

until I feel the moon’s gentle tug.

I adjust my altitude, and carefully shim

under the giant China moon,

curving and arching with its roundness,

gaining speed,

until, on the far side,

I rise perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic,

and I stretch my arms wide, soaring—

and feel the fade of the sun’s warmth.

In five minutes, I look below my feet

and see Sol has taken its place in the outer band of the Milky Way.

The stars down there notice me looking.

“You’re off the edge, young man!”

I wave my wings and say, “That’s my plan!”

And leave them spinning.

When I blink again,

the galaxy drops into a point

among a myriad of others

swimming around a center

getting smaller by the second.

And then I notice you.

Maybe you’re not going up,’ you say,

contradicting the obvious.

“Who are you?” I ask, finally,

reeling from the very idea.

You never answer.

© 2007  David W. Weimer



  1. Great story David…I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing.

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