#OctPoWriMo – Day 2 – “It’s Always the Poetry That Keeps Me Up at Night”

insomnia

It’s Always the Poetry that Keeps Me Up at Night // by Jennifer Patino

 

The poem always calls me
when I get comfortable.
The second the body settles,
the moment I think
that I should probably be
sleeping.

Someone told me that the
early morning
was past a proper bedtime.
The poem doesn’t care.
The poem sings louder.

The outside sounds,
the ambient sounds.

(There are playlists of
ambient sounds
to aid insomniacs. The
sounds of their settling
houses soothe them.
These are people who don’t
live with ghosts but find
the idea to be comforting.)

The poem makes the rustling
of the sheets against
my ear seem annoying.
The birds are doing their
lovely dawn song and dance
and the poem turns
them into memories,
maybe sweet serenades,
maybe tragedies,
maybe the first one
I can remember.
Even in dreams, I remember,
but I always forget the
poems I write in my
sleep.

The poem knows this
and I should be thankful,
so thankful, for the itch.
The poem is a tick,
an ant pile in Florida.

(No one told me they attacked.)

The poem itches–

“I just get that writing itch…”

–I am no longer comfortable
The sheets are rusty
and coarse,
of course.
I can dream I hold the pen,
and fill the paper.
I can see the words but
I can’t read them.
I can hear the pressing pages
but I can’t feel them.
The poem is relentless.
I am powerless.
I am tired
of putting it all off until
tomorrow.

(There are playlists for those
dying of eternal sorrow. Don’t
expect all of the songs to be
sad.)

Of flipping over
and back.

The poem is the deep pain
in my back.
I raise my ink-stained head,
squint at the clock,
so obtrusive and red.
I blink at the poem,
two or three times, slowly,
to be sure.
An hour later, I sleepwalk
back to bed.

The poem has dozed off
on me mid-metaphor.
The pen feels jipped.
The sheets are gardenia
petals again, freshly clipped.
I slip, I slip.

Ambient eyelids.
If it’s quiet enough you can
hear them sweeping
all the memories,
all the muse meant,
away.

The poem shows up in my
dream. I edit it with
an astral projection. When
I wake up I am surprised
that I “actually wrote
this”. I’m wowed.

It is a good thing,
and worth the loss
of shut-eye,
if this sort of thing
happens every time.

 

 

9 thoughts on “#OctPoWriMo – Day 2 – “It’s Always the Poetry That Keeps Me Up at Night”

  1. I relate to this as I imagine all writers do. Vital imagery. My favorite part – Ambient eyelids.
    If it’s quiet enough you can
    hear them sweeping
    all the memories,
    all the muse meant,
    away
    This poem is one you could easily harvest other poems from.

    Liked by 1 person

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