Sunday, April 7, 2013

When You Wish Upon The Stars

When You Wish Upon The Stars (Revised)
A brown dwarf in the Orion Nebula
(NaPoWriMo, Day 7)

She is as a brown dwarf star.
She is too small to be a star, but formed as stars are.
Stars are formed by collapsing clouds of gas and dust.
From that collapse, a star is formed.
It is an object that shines its own light.
It is a force around which mere mortal planets revolve.
Brown dwarfs emit their brightest faint light when they first  form.

They are very dim and cool compared to real stars.
Only gas and dust revolve around a brown dwarf.
They cannot be seen with naked eyes.

You must seek them out in the midst of nebulae.
You find them through infrared scopes and camera lenses.
The brown dwarf fascinates star-gazers as dark matter.
Dark matter is all the unknown, unfound forces in all the spaces between the stars.
The motion of all our galaxies may hinge upon these forces.
If we can understand the brown dwarf’s mystery, they say, we may understand the universe.
Is this why we cast our wishes upon the stars?

(c) Julie Bartha-Vasquez, 2013

Kim Kardashian
has beautiful brown eyes...
and was the original inspiration
for the poem.
Notes on the Poem:
  • I cover fashion news for one of my writing jobs (something I should be doing right now, so I'll try to make this quick). As a result, I have pondered the mystery of the world's fascination with Kim Kardashian more than I would have otherwise.
  • I've been playing around with the idea for this poem for the last couple days with no luck -- it actually has its roots in a joke I posted on my Facebook page last year. The big breakthrough came in the form, which was  today's writing prompt offered on the home page of NaPoWriMo. Their challenge today was

"... write a poem in which each line except the last takes the form of a single, declarative sentence. Then, the final line should take the form of a question. With any luck, this will result in poems that have a sort of driving, reportorial tone, but with a powerful rhetorical finish."
I don't know if the  poem as that effect, but it gave me what I needed to say what I wanted to say.

And, if you're interested, I got most of my facts about brown dwarfs from  Cool Cosmos. Check it out.

Gotta go work. Oh, yeah... and then there's kids. They might want, you know, food sometime tonight. Happy writing. - WNG 


So I'm standing here cooking dinner and writing up my work when I start thinking. Which always leads to trouble. Because now I'm cooking and trying to work, but I keep coming back to this:

I didn't need to mention Kim Kardashian in the poem

It weakens the poem. If I had just opened with a nameless "She," it immediately becomes, I think, much stronger. It's about any celebrity, any person with whom people have a fixation. It becomes, for lack of a better term, larger in the universal sense.

And I simply cannot let go of this. So, while the whole spirit of NaPoWriMo is supposed to be write it up and get it out there, I thought a)- it was one word change that made all the difference and 2)- if I explained my thought process, and acknowledged the change, it becomes instructive for everyone. And I'm curious if anyone agrees with me, that the change is good.

And it doesn't change the fact that -- for whatever reason -- now the woman is inspiring friggin' poems to be written about her. -- WNG.


  1. Nice response to the prompt.Love the brown dwarf comparison. The poem picks up speed as it goes along. Does the first line have an extra word?

  2. Why thank you. I purposely left left the "as" in there, both for the rhythm of the line, and because I wanted the simile, not the metaphor.