Poem for the Day: October 19th, 2021

Pluto Shits on the Universe by Fatimah Asghar

On February 7, 1979, Pluto crossed over Neptune’s orbit and became the eighth planet from the sun for twenty years. A study in 1988 determined that Pluto’s path of orbit could never be accurately predicted. Labeled as “chaotic,” Pluto was later discredited from planet status in 2006.

Today, I broke your solar system. Oops.
My bad. Your graph said I was supposed
to make a nice little loop around the sun.

Naw.

I chaos like a motherfucker. Ain’t no one can
chart me. All the other planets, they think
I’m annoying. They think I’m an escaped
moon, running free.

Fuck your moon. Fuck your solar system.
Fuck your time. Your year? Your year ain’t
shit but a day to me. I could spend your
whole year turning the winds in my bed. Thinking
about rings and how Jupiter should just pussy
on up and marry me by now. Your day?

That’s an asswipe. A sniffle. Your whole day
is barely the start of my sunset.

My name means hell, bitch. I am hell, bitch. All the cold
you have yet to feel. Chaos like a motherfucker.
And you tried to order me. Called me ninth.
Somewhere in the mess of graphs and math and compass
you tried to make me follow rules. Rules? Fuck your
rules. Neptune, that bitch slow. And I deserve all the sun
I can get, and all the blue-gold sky I want around me.

It is February 7th, 1979 and my skin is more
copper than any sky will ever be. More metal.
Neptune is bitch-sobbing in my rearview,
and I got my running shoes on and all this sky that’s all mine.

Fuck your order. Fuck your time. I realigned the cosmos.
I chaosed all the hell you have yet to feel. Now all your kids
in the classrooms, they confused. All their clocks:
wrong. They don’t even know what the fuck to do.
They gotta memorize new songs and shit. And the other
planets, I fucked their orbits. I shook the sky. Chaos like
a motherfucker.

It is February 7th, 1979. The sky is blue-gold:
the freedom of possibility.

Today, I broke your solar system. Oops. My bad.

© 2015 Fatimah Asghar. “Pluto Shits on the Universe” first appeared in the April 2015 issue of Poetry.

“Pluto Shits on the Universe” is now probably in my top ten favorite poems of all time. I love Asghar’s irreverence here, the way she plays with the multiple meanings of certain words. Consider this part of the poem:

My name means hell, bitch. I am hell, bitch. All the cold
you have yet to feel. Chaos like a motherfucker.
And you tried to order me. Called me ninth.

Order here conveys certain ideas singularly and in conjunction with one another:

Order as “a state in which everything is in its correct or appropriate place”.*

Order as “the arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern, or method”.”

Order as “an authoritative command, direction, or instruction”.*

Order as the opposite of Chaos, in Chaos Theory, which is “an interdisciplinary theory and branch of mathematics focusing on the study of chaos: dynamical systems whose apparently random states of disorder and irregularities are actually governed by underlying patterns and deterministic laws that are highly sensitive to initial conditions”.**

*Definition taken from Oxford Languages

**Definition taken from Wikipedia

There is the forced classification, the imposition of hierarchies, the reification of unnatural (human-made) systems, and the stark dismissal of them all.

Chaos like a motherfucker. / And you tried to order me. Called me ninth. There is an acknowledgment of the would-be controlling outside power and its unequivocal rejection. There is the forced classification, the imposition of hierarchies, the reification of unnatural (human-made) systems, and the stark dismissal of them all.

Today, I broke your solar system. Oops. My bad. Y’all. That slaps.

Fatimah Asghar Recites Her Poem, “Pluto Shits on the Universe”

You can learn more about Fatimah Asghar and her work at her website. Her debut poetry collection, If They Come for Us: Poems, was published by One World in August 2018 and is available to purchase wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

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