After several readings of “Lighthead’s Guide to the Galaxy” I have resolved that it is beyond my grasp of understanding. Perhaps it’s not totally out of my grasp; I snatched up bits and pieces.
Here’s what I’ve pieced together:
1. Lighthead has an issue with time; one minute, hour, day, is just the same as the next.
2. Lighthead is speaking to us from some alternative setting (because he’s able to communicate with ghosts). Poets frequently visit this setting, to figuratively drink. This drink helps Lighthead write.
3. A dog lives at the setting who takes issue with the folks that visit.
Now, after the dog enters the picture, Lighthead gives us some opinions about what poetry is to him. On a YouTube video, Hayes said this was Lighthead’s ars poetica.
According to Lighthead, poetry:
- is not what you see, but what you perceive
- is not the noise, but the rhythm
- 's only purpose might be to preserve the Self
My favorite line in this poem is “When I kiss my wife, /sometimes I taste her caution.”
Once Lighthead started talking about imaginary games he likes to play I got lost or checked out, but he does like words like somberness, so that makes Lighthead cool in my book.
If you’ve read this poem, what do you think it means? Do you agree with Lighthead’s view of poetry?