Third Star To The Left

For J.M.

You never were a careful shadow. When the sky was a cliche

you’d play chicken on the motorway in front of cars with tinted windows,

steal other peoples’ taxis in the rain. You’d leave lights on and the taps running,


burn the toast, lose cards & keys & wake up on sombody else’s couch

with a jack-hammer headache and no idea what happened,

how the hell you got there or whose t-shirt you were wearing.


After the obligatory fumbled foghorn coffee, slip out

through the back door into early morning, creep back up the stairs

& rub soap into the soles of our shoes, & hope nobody noticed.


Anthony Adler

– it’s a poem by my flat-mate, Anthony, which is sort of about me, which is why it’s up here. What do you think?



Filed under Friendship, Introspection, Relationships

6 responses to “Third Star To The Left

  1. Fiona

    I think he realises he’s good! It also reminds me of something… but I’m not sure what. I don’t know. If I’d just come across it, I’d read some more of the author’s work but I think that’s more that I can’t make my mind up about it: it’s accessible but I’m not sure how much I like it.
    As for how it’s about you… I’ve no idea. Do you think it sounds like you? (Leaving aside for the second the loss of cards and keys :P)

  2. standingonthebrink

    The line ‘you never were a careful shadow’ was something I put up on the fridge in magnets. Well, actually, it was ‘careless’ first, but Anthony (accidentally) changed it when he copied it down.

    I am known in my flat for the excessive consumption of coffee, running in front of cars rather than waiting for the lights to change, ridiculous hangovers, a propensity to wake up still drunk with no real idea where I came from – and I have woken up once in a t-shirt that was Anthony’s because he and K had to put me to bed and couldn’t find my pyjamas. That’s one of the two times I’ve been really drunk whilst here.

    So it is factually accurate. As for whether it’s a good description of me as a broadbrush character… I don’t know. I like the person described in the poem – scatty and unpredictable as arse, but probably great fun – but I don’t know if she is me.

    What do you mean by ‘he realises he’s good’? That’s an interesting thing to say.

    If he lets me, I’ll put some more of his stuff up in future – if it seems relevant, I guess. I keep telling him to get a DA.

  3. Having just burnt my toast…and having my mom yell at me for burning toast at her house yesterday, I certainly liked seeing the toast line in your mate’s poem. I think it’s quite an emotive poem and unsure what the underlyinig sentiment is….but it shows a strong emotion towards you. I enjoyed it.

  4. standingonthebrink

    Thank you 🙂

    I burn everything: toast, apples, even pasta the other day! (whilst trying to boil it, even – not in a bake or something which would be almost acceptable if burnt, but actually in the pan, in water…I forgot about it. For a long time).

    As for Anthony, sometimes it’s like he’s my new mother. He looks out for me and laughs at me, thinks I’m a crazy woman who needs someone to keep her wildness in hand. I don’t; so sometimes he annoys me, but that’s partly the point he’s making. Partly.

  5. Flix

    It reminds me of GCSE English, where we’d analyze poems to the nth degree, finding meaning that was never intended when it was written.

    I like it.

    What’s the soap on shoe soles about?

  6. standingonthebrink

    It’s a reference to Peter Pan – apparently when Wendy meets him, he’s trying to stick his shadow back to his feet with soap, so she takes him home and sews it to him instead – and thus a great partnership was born. I don’t know, something like that, apparently.

    And thank you 🙂 although I guess it’s not really me that should be thanking you…!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s