Monday, August 16, 2010

84. Fragments before Sleeping

I try to find the sense in the word of it, but it is the word I start with.
So. I had to close eighteen windows just to keep the night out,
and still it streams in like oil. A warm night, but the fan’s too cold.

Articles of impairment constrain me almost as much as my inability
not to not to try not to pun. I would like to sing a song seven inches in length,
but I don’t have the minutes for it. At some point in this night,

sleep takes control of my body yet I still write. You drink an eau de vie
for the scent of it, for the same reason you drink a woman. Both
are the water of life. Can you perceive the effect a word has on a line

of poetry as opposed to a line of prose? What weight is heavier than sleep?
What is not perpetual and permanent is persistent. That is a trait of
everything that doesn’t disappear. The screen throbs with my pulse.

There were stories told, but no-one told them. He was an old man
by that time. To share a moment of expectation instead of revelation.
The barking of dogs over the mewling of cats, and a little rain.

The dream began, at least in the recollection of it, with pterodactyls
that would eat our brains from our skulls unless we protected ourselves,
by holding the tops of our heads against a hard surface: a wall, a headboard.

Like a window framed with a picture frame, I looked out at a world
expecting too much from within me. A handful of moths flutters away.
Residue remains, and there is something you cannot shake.

I considered a protracted vacation from travel, but I cannot stay
in one place. They have bourbon for that. Take the pencil, take the pen,
take the words she left, every one, scattered here and scattered then.

The innumerable divisions of darkness marching down upon us each night.
Clicking through life. From between the bricks in the patio came
the flying ants ready to make new homes on the other side of the yard.

Everything segmented is comprehensible. We cannot hold onto
the whole. Extreme but not the least bit oily, so I lived.
If every heart is secret, then every donut has been revealed.

I am ranging towards sleep, trying to stay awake long enough to write
a letter even if staying awake might keep me from sleeping. Watching
two squirrels chasing each other from tree to tree: The banality of

bravery. I would wipe the counter clean of any come I’d left, even
if I’d left it there on purpose. I am entranced by the sound of radios
turned off and waiting for a signal. A pear is a kind of poem,

one that doesn’t rhyme. The sweetness of it holds the tongue in place.
Later in the dream, we escaped the pterodactyls by cutting about three
quarters of the three-story house away from the rest and piloting

that part of the house to an island the pterodactyls could easily fly to.
The most seductive and provocative of letters is the majuscule Q,
each opens to reveal, lips parting and folding away. What I would dream

if I were in bed dreaming of thinking of sleep, and thinking of dropping
or falling to sleep but never landing. Is there a curfew for dreaming?
The terrible little tendencies of a life left lived. The intimacy of separations,

and how to move within them, might keep us awake past time for sleeping.
The wind is a fan spinning in place. And along this way, we have lost
a few friends, but that is only because we are not old enough to’ve lost them all.

One article of clothing at a time, starting with a. Shedding as a tree,
as a flower, as a brook. You could see it in the distance if you took the time
to look. Everything is not obvious upon first glance, intentionally so.

To what extent could you expect yourself to forget everything you had ever
specifically wanted to remember? Even if you were offered reasons not to?
Bread and butter but not jam. Bread and butter but not jelly donuts.

It is night, by which I mean it is morning, and I should be waking soon.
Sleeping through life is like swimming underwater. Hold your breath,
and you might make it. She will be asleep tonight when I get to bed.

There is something extravagant in wanting never to sleep, never to enjoy
the serenity of release. But I have things to do, and more than miles to go.
I try to find the sense in the world of it, but it is the world I end with.

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