NC Literary Hall of Fame



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

Main Street Rag
$14.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-59948-548-5
December, 2015
Available from the publisher

"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, North Carolina Poet Laureate

"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


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.

Originally from Greenwood, SC, Scott Owens holds degrees from Ohio University, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro. He currently lives in Hickory, 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 thirteenth 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 North Carolina Writers Network, the NC Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of SC. He has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac four times, and his articles about poetry have been featured in Poet’s Market twice.

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