Emily McAvan

IS THERE LIFE ON MARS?

 

It’s a stabbing joyful cry,
sixty two rich men
and the Humpty Dumpty bride.

The Communist revolutionary dream,
a curious sobbing sea
to the nuclear Cheshire Cat.

A honey spectral dance
for the golden lover imagining
the rear-view mirror sun,

while the Weimar regime splendor
overwhelms squabbling teachers
and their sullen sleepy confessions.

Soldiers cutting up the border
drawing the salt of the kiss
Oh man,
look at that permanent bliss

Take a look at the
sober mother poison rattle
Batman’s gone missing again
It’s just a life of sin

Is there life on Mars?
Is there life on Mars?

Sources and Method: This poem was inspired by David Bowie’s “Life on Mars,” drawing on its rhythms for the song’s cadence. Lines from the poem were cut up from newspapers including Haaretz and the Guardian and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

Emily McAvan is a Jewish Australian poet whose work sits at the intersection between sacred and profane.