Thinking About the Next Big Bang…



poems by

Scott Owens

ISBN: 978-1-59948-548-5, 76 pages, cover price: $14

Release date: December, 2015


SOwens_bookstoreOriginally from Greenwood, SC, Scott Owens holds degrees from Ohio University, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro. He currently lives in Hickory, NC, where he teaches at Lenoir Rhyne University, edits Wild Goose Poetry Review, owns and operates Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse and Gallery and coordinates Poetry Hickory. Thinking About the Next Big Bang in the Galaxy at the Edge of Town is his 13th collection of poetry. His work has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Next Generation/Indie Lit Awards, the NC Writers Network, the NC Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of SC. He has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac 4 times, and his articles about poetry have been featured in Poet’s Market twice.

In this new book of poems, Scott Owens revisits many of the themes we have come to expect from him, often in the mode of the confessional, endlessly awakening the reader’s senses with a whole gallery of deep images. However, there is more, for this is the furthest Owens has descended into the well of contemplation, and in doing so, he proves here to be a poet that doesn’t just write to document, but one that must write to be alive. –Tim Peeler, author of Checking Out and Waiting for Charlie Brown


A symphony of musical memory and lyrical philosophies, Thinking About the Next Big Bang in the Galaxy at the Edge of Town triumphs – from “All the Meaningful Noise” to “Persona” and on to “Used,” the last sound-poem. Owens invents possums and God, plus himself at various ages, until the impractical art of love becomes the way to give meaning to the racket of surround, longing “for the kindness we could do for each other.” –Shelby Stephenson, NC Poet Laureate

Thinking about the Next Big Bang in the Galaxy at the Edge of Town

In the Galaxy at the edge of town
there is still plenty of fresh air,
space is abundant, light
is spread evenly everywhere.

Children keep rattling wheels
moving forward, the machinery
of produce continues,
seven languages are spoken.

A homeless man seeks shelter,
jacket pulled tight around him,
orbs of eyes concealed
beneath rings of his hat’s brim.

Stockboys wait for beauty
to descend and need them, they dream
constellations in their hands,
spin cans to face the front.

Potentialities, polarities, cosmic
design are all worked out
in the commerce of heavenly bodies.
Everything moves in perpetual orbit.

A man walking between rows
wonders at the infinity of choice
spread out before him, thinks
one day decisions won’t matter.

At closing time they walk
towards the black hole
of windows, afraid of no
gravity but their own.



Having seen the transformation of one
rundown furniture plant into expensive
restaurant, brewery, boutique shops
for clothes and frozen yogurt, and noticing
the ongoing cleaning out of another,
and knowing it had already happened with my life,
education and divorce and writing
redeeming what had once been worthless,
I couldn’t help but wonder how much
could be achieved with any body
nearly worn out, teeth straightened
with invisalign, eyes fixed by laser,
gut restored with probiotics,
foot pain eliminated by the Strassburg Sock,

but then even after rejuvenation,
even among the young, it’s not always
pretty, not always full of grace,
the crude, oil-stained nuts and bolts
of life, the unphotogenic face,
a bad day that keeps getting worse,
walls that don’t line up, some bricks
uneven, some not quite the right size,
and that’s what the mortar’s for,
the gray areas of tolerance,
forgiveness, understanding,
empathetic appreciation of things
being left imperfect, only as good
as we can stand to make them be.



It’s what I’d be in any
heroic tale, my job
to merely establish context,

pave the way for conflict,
never succeed except
through failure, the unnamed face

in Star Trek, you know the one,
you’ve never seen him before
and yet he seems familiar,

upright, close-shaven, deferential,
compliant, his only lines
Yessir, Right away, Look out!

You know right away
he’ll never make it
out of this episode alive.

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