On starmates

Coquette, what’s the difference between having all the atoms in your bodies forged from the exact same star and being soulmates? Love you by the way, and good luck on your journey.


The concept of soulmates is metaphysical poetry that holds biblical mythology sacred. It explores the idea of transcendent love in terms of dualistic religiosity. The idea of a shared soul in two bodies still separates the soul from the body, and it still requires a god concept to create the transcendence.

The concept of starmates is metaphysical poetry that holds the mysteries of the universe sacred. It explores the idea of transcendent love in terms of monistic philosophy. There is no soul. None is needed. We are all the same accidental alignment of stardust, and the only thing required to create transcendence is a more intensified alignment.

Every last poet, every last writer, every last human with the gift of language has tried to find words to express the concept of transcendent love and our painfully innate desire for it. We all come up short, but it was my turn to write about it, and those just happened to be the words I found.

It’s all metaphor, of course. I don’t believe in starmates any more than I believe in soulmates, but the belief system underlying the poetry is what’s important. It reflects what I choose to hold sacred. That’s the difference between the two, and the difference is everything.


67 thoughts on “On starmates

      • Spoon's in the foot powder says:

        No she’s right. This metaphor is based on the big bang nucleosynthesis theory, when in fact, it is just as specious as the idea of a ‘soul mate.’

        And YES, I KNOW, you said that already, but that doesn’t stop it benefiting on some level from the halo effect of one of the most elegant theories to come out of modern physics.

        • The Coquette says:

          I’m going to give you the opportunity to apologize to me for being so condescending.

          Say it with me now: “I’m sorry, Coquette. It was ridiculous of me to assume you didn’t understand the grade-school level astrophysics of your own poetic imagery, especially since it was clear that you were merely expressing a metaphor for transcendent love and not proposing an actual scientific theory. I am a complete jack-ass for trying to lecture you on any subject, be it poetry or physics.”

          • Spoon's in the foot powder says:

            I’m not sorry for sticking up for someone else’s opinion. I am, however, sorry that I wasted so much time on someone who thinks they are an expert on all things, from poetry to physics.

            It’s not condescending to disagree with you, by the way. Condescending would be if I told you to spend more time editing before publishing something so sophmoric and trite.

          • Spoon's in the foot powder says:

            It just goes to show that the people who dole out the harshest advice are usually the most sensitive to criticism.

            Oh, and “grade level astrophysics”? Nice touch.

          • Perspectivator says:

            You aren’t clever in the slightest by trying veil your condescension in denial of condescension. If anything you’ve revealed your fear that you might write something “sophmoric and trite.” Which, strangely enough, isn’t far removed from your failure in reading comprehension. The response you gave was juvenile and unimaginative. Additionally you haven’t proven yourself as an expert in anything. Congratulations on becoming what you hate.

        • The Coquette says:

          Oh, I get it now. You’ve got a thing with Anna, and you were defending her because I called her a twit. I can respect that. I’ll admit that I was the first one to be rude, but before this degrades any further, I’d really like you to meet me halfway. It’s fine if you think my writing is sophomoric and trite. I can handle criticism. What I can’t abide is disrespect, and you’re all up in my kitchen being disrespectful. I understand that it’s a reaction, but I’d appreciate it if you would ratchet back the disrespect. That’s not what I want my comment section to be about. Fair?

          • Spoon's in the foot powder says:

            1) No I don’t have a “thing” for anyone here. I saw you using your online popularity as a platform to shut down what I felt was a valid criticism of your work. I was attempting to respectfully disagree before you started in with the personal attacks. “Star mates” benefits from the halo effect of nucleosynthesis.

            2) I know more than you do about this topic. You’ve posted yourself that your expertise lies in the fields of sociology and psychology. I have a dual major in chemistry and physics, my masters and doctorate is in biochemistry, and for the last five years I’ve participated in scientific outreach because one of my passionate causes is leveling scientific education in the US. The fact that you think you know more than anyone else about BOTH physics and poetry tells me you actually know very little about either.

            3) My initial response was never meant to be condescending. The fact that it was received that way, particularly by someone who makes a name for herself posting snarky advice, was pretty surprising to me last night. You were rude. You reacted to a benign comment rudely. Your defenders are idiots who want heatpats and gold stars. Go give your attention to them. It’s plain to me that you’re the sort of person who can dish it out but not take it.

          • The Coquette says:

            I keep giving you chances to act right, and you keep showing me your ass. (Thanks for the resume, by the way. I’ll keep it on file.)

          • Anna says:

            Thanks for the résumé ? Sorry to get in the middle of this but this just seems to be a tasteless NKVD style threat. Work a couple of weeks in any biophysics lab anywhere in the world and you’ll know half a dozen people who fit that exact description.

          • The Coquette says:

            Jesus Christ, you sure know how to miss a point. It was a reference to the comment, not an actual resume. You think I’d go KGB over something this silly? Please.

          • Anna says:

            I’m sorry if I misinterpreted anything. I honestly feel really tired.
            Edit : Also, NKVD sounds smarter and more authentic than KGB, and you can sometimes even catch people checking Wikipedia on their phones and realizing just how much Hollywood taught them about the USSR.

      • Anna says:

        Oh I love The Twits, still a great read.
        This whole conversation escalated quickly.

        Now I’m all for you expressing your poetic sentiments. But misrepresenting science facts for poetry ticks me off, especially when the reality is way more awesome.

        • The Coquette says:

          Since you’re the one who started this ridiculousness, tell me: in what way did I misrepresent science facts? Be specific.

          • Anna says:

            Oh we can talk about scientific facts (I’ll get back to you in 14 or so hours, I have work in a couple of hours and need to get some sleep).

            But I am in no way responsible for the troll vomit all over your thread. I’m not responsible for the very valid criticism a member of your audience (whom I don’t know by the way, there is no “thing” there) raised. I’m also not responsible for narcissistic idiots picking on each other or ass licking fans rushing to your defense and harassing readers who disagree with you.
            I actually didn’t take part in any of this, apart from the first comment I left. You are the only person responsible for who gets to shit on your lawn, and if I were you I’d be careful because you might end up chasing away from this comment section or even this website anybody who doesn’t blindly agree with you.
            Insulting a reader for criticizing your content and curating a consensual audience are bad moves for reasons I don’t think I have to explain.
            And its really not my place as a mere audience member to comment on all of this but saying that I started this isn’t fair to me or to your own self as an internet writer managing an independent platform.
            Btw, having my awful sense of humour I interpreted “twit” as a sign of affection, and didn’t take any offense. But I still have a huge problem with some of the irritating assholes in your audience who live of your flattery, Coquette.

          • The Coquette says:

            Didn’t mean to make it sound like you were responsible. Can’t wait for your science. (And at this point, twit *is* a sign of affection.)

          • Anna says:

            Sorry for the delay, I wanted to write something that would be really enjoyable to read, but I’ve resolved to doing what I do best, bullet points (actually I could even send you a PDF with extra material if you want).
            – Most of the atoms in your body are hydrogen, they weren’t forged in stars, hydrogen is what forges stars
            – matter goes in and out of your body so quickly, you’re not even a separate thing, rather a ripple in the flux of matter that is the ecosystem, finding your starmate would be as easy as hugging the closest warm blooded animal to you. Maybe even a tree would do the trick
            – which brings us to : good metaphors are good lies, a bit like good special effect, like the old Star Wars movies before George Lucas added CGI (I’m not a Star Wars fan, my most recent ex is though)
            – also science doesn’t even need lies to express wonder. If I understand well that is what you wanted to express, wonder at that feeling that you’ve found home again, you’ve suddenly and by surprise found yourself in a place you don’t know, yet feels like the place you’ve always been looking for; somewhere our existential loneliness is erased if only for a fleeting moment.
            – But science is the product of awe. And I have difficulty expressing how wonderful, and mind-blowing science can be, how the yearning for knowledge is truly the most moving experience one can have when that pursuit knowledge stretches you to the edge of your conscious adult mind.
            All that to say that a metaphor that encapsulates a bunch of amazing scientific notions into such a definitive and misleading statement seems ugly to my eyes.
            PS : now I can go and enjoy all the new advice you’ve posted with a clear conscience.

    • Perspectivator says:

      Seriously; brush up on your reading comprehension. The concepts were never put forth as anything other than definitions and poetry. Apparently your ADD didn’t let you get as far as the last paragraph.

    • WhoAmI says:

      Aye, the damned Romantics are at it again ! They describe nature, yet they make it do the utmost ridiculous things. How can “barred” clouds possibly touch the plains ? They’re a high atmosphere phenomenon ! Such wacky discourse is so typical of those absinthe-drinking, opium-smoking good-for-nothings.

  1. rainbow pony says:

    It has nothing to do with stars or souls, and it’s perfectly ordinary. It happens when you care about someone or something more than you care about yourself (and you maintain a healthy self-respect).

    I understand that what you wrote as poetry, but its so odd that people look out into the universe and think that bright stars and astronomical dark distances can contain the right metaphors for love. Like, it’s pretty and stuff out there, and it seems eternal and all, but space is like a giant cold dustbunny.

  2. Plagarism says:

    Does no one else care that if it’s cold, she must not be in New Orleans or Austin? I say Portland because her new place seems too quaint to be New York. Anyone?

  3. bathtubgin says:

    I LOVE your writing. I’ve been reading your writing since 2009 when I lived in New Orleans. Whoever you are, you’re really a romantic, thoughtful, wonderful person. I know you’ve made mistakes. You’re just a human being. I really appreciate how you approach setbacks or challenges in your life. I think some people feel very unaccomplished and impotent so they pop off in the comment section with petty insults. Never forget there are tons of people who appreciate you! You’ve helped so many of us. I’ve always known deep down that you would find what you’re looking for, in the best possible way. To have this much charisma as an anonymous writer, one can only imagine what a force you are IRL. Never forget we love you! Thanks! XO

  4. Perspectivator says:

    “Lol, if I wanted my cum back I’d wipe it off your chin.”
    Unimaginative. You haven’t contributed an original thought or interesting joke.

    “You’re an impotent cry baby and a narcissist, … like that.”
    Please use supporting evidence in your argument. I don’t see any place that I’ve cried. Additionally, please point to any statements that would make you believe I’m a narcissist.

    “I’m fucking with you because you’re in idiot,”
    No. You’re fucking with me because you think you can. That’s an error on your part because I don’t take anything you say as having significance to myself. It’s all a reflection of you and your fears. Every derogatory word or phrase you use is your concept of an insult. Your world is small if you think calling me an idiot is an insult.

    “Don’t conflate ADD with poor reading comprehension. Don’t use ADD as an insult.”
    I didn’t use it as an insult, that’s a reflection of how fragile your ego is. I used ADD as an analysis of why the reading comprehension was poor. You infer that my use of ADD is an insult when it’s not. If you’d like to correct me, that’s fine, but you’ll have to actually formulate an engaging argument.

    “In fact, don’t ever insult anyone’s intelligence because you don’t have the high ground.”
    Well, if I put any stock in IQ tests I would point out that I passed the preliminary Mensa test but haven’t bothered taking it “for realsies.” The vocabulary portion smacks of old white men smoking pipes.

    “maybe you should focus on making the world a better place”
    I do that on a daily basis and I doubt anyone full of hardened and faceted gemstone bullshit like yours lifts a finger. I gave ten dollars to a woman in a blue coat who was rocking back and forth yesterday. Not long before that I donated another $50 to
    I’m not going to defend myself on that point any further. My efforts are far above average. Maybe you can use this comment section to point out how starting a flame war is an excellent use of time and energy in the pursuit of “making the world a better place.”

    “spending all day indoors on coke talk’s page.”
    I’m not on the page “all day.” I have this thing called a cell phone and when I’m bored I can check in. Additionally, when I’m working at my computer it takes moments to flip past this page among others in my routine. I am a creature of habit.

    So just for the record, “You’re as bad as comebacks as you are at insulting people.”

    • A/c says:

      Yo, I deleted my comment because I lost interest in this conversation. Why are you still writing back to me?

      However, I will say,

      1) You used it as an insult. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. You’re dangerous because you so badly need to believe your own bullshit.

      2) I really deeply enjoyed how you’ve responded to what I wrote by being a total raving lunatic. Mensa? Ten dollars to a lady in a coat? What? Are you joking? And I’m the one with a fragile ego. What the fuck is wrong with you? Edit: Now you’re doing the Internet equivalent of bragging about your girlfriend in Canada.

  5. The Coquette says:

    Let’s everybody chill the fuck out, mkay? I know half of you are snowed in and stir crazy, but this shit’s starting to get weird.

  6. RocketGrunt says:

    If Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” had first been published when the internet existed, it would have had comment sections where people argued about whether or not it’s valid hiking advice.

  7. dime-sized-amount says:

    I can’t believe this fairly innocuous post drew so much ire. “Starmates” is a lovely metaphor. I prefer it to “soulmates.” There are other ways, too, that I express the serendipity of finding one’s self as an integral part of a good match, but I’m too attached to them to post them anonymously on the internet right now.

    What counts as science and what counts as poetry and what counts as philosophy is a matter of where one places the emphasis. The further I’ve come in my degree program, the more I’m inclined to think that the best ideas are the result of the kind of creative thinking that occurs on the ecotone between two or more disciplines. (yep, that was a scientific concept I just used as a metaphor. Shoot me dead.) What matters is what sparks the imagination into developing a useful interpretive approach to the questions that inevitably haunt us, scientific, poetic, or otherwise.

    And you know, if we don’t devolve into childish name calling and dick measuring in the comments, this advice column and its surrounding community will continue being worth the visits.

  8. AlligatorO says:

    I was really entertained by this “name calling” and “dick measuring” thread, especially with Coke giving motherly reminders to play nice.

    • The Coquette says:

      Neil DeGrasse Tyson would have appreciated the poetry. It’s the kind of shit he likes to say before a cut to commercial.

  9. Randy not Randy says:

    Damn. I was just trying to understand “Intensified Alignment” as opposed to (Ordinary?) Alignment so as to momentarily prevent any additional intrusion of a trumpette. That went well.

  10. Barefootsie says:

    The science behind the metaphor is awesome. The metaphor is great. When people espouse their own ideas about finding their perfect complement in another, others tend to take it as an offense, even though it’s just their interpretation of how the light shines off of the one facet of the same diamond we all see.

    I hope everyone is able to get some fresh air tomorrow and come back and see most of us are agreeing on the same basic principle behind the post … even if we don’t jive with the particular interpretation of the great truth Coq was getting at.

    I’m reminded of the Rumi quote (leave room for translation:) ““The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.”

  11. CynicalGrey says:

    I think some people need to watch Spirit Science’s History of the Earth THE REAL ONE~~ before they get all riled up about CT’s metaphor. I dug her use of starmates and not everyone is going to express their view of transcendent love the way I do. There are far funnier things to mock than to chase after a solid metaphor.

  12. zilan says:

    as a first time dweller in your comments section, i’d like to say one thing – it humanizes you. delicately. i can feel your skin here, coquette. you’re beautiful.

  13. Kylie says:

    How’s this for astrophysics and poetry smushed together:

    We all came from the same infinitesimally small point in time and space that was the universe just before the big bang, therefore we should all feel a sense of love and togetherness towards all things – each other, animals, plants, pluto even.

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