Friday, June 02, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is “SLEEP”

I have the incomparable Butch Stroll to thank for this week’s word…SLEEP…a superlative word, a fetching word, an absolutely perfect word. As I drone on and on about in this blog, I have problems sleeping. Insomnia, either self-induced or brain-activated, is my bosom buddy. My Poetry Friday contributions include losing sleep for sex, losing sleep because of horrific-ness, and sleeping deliciously, accompanied by a dark fuzzy photo of me in bed, and yes, you're not meant to see me in all of my nekkedness...not yet.

Feel free to use the word “Sleep” in your blog post today, in whatever gyration of creativity you choose…poem, photo of you in your pjs, recipe for hot toddy, what you do in bed when you’re not sleeping…you get the picture.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

They Mean Sex

“Will you sleep with me?”
you said
that first time
and we climbed in bed
curled spooned like chips stacked in a can
would you make a move?
would I?

“Will you sleep with me?”
you said
that second time
and we climbed in bed
satin sheets sticking to sweaty skin
did he enjoy it?
did I?

“Will you sleep with me?”
you said
that third time
and we climbed in bed
familiar arms thrown over familiar bellies
how lucky did I get?
how very lucky?


They never leave me alone.

No matter how much I drink, no matter how early I go to bed, no matter how many earplugs I shove way too deep.

They’re always there.

The voices.

The teachers, with surprise tests.
The lovers, heavy with seduction.
The friends, betraying and leaving me naked in a baseball stadium.
The park rangers, telling me it’s safe and then it’s not safe and I tumble over the cliff face.

My life was pretty normal until the accident. My boyfriend and I were planning the inevitable wedding, the corner office had my nameplate on the door, I lost that stubborn five pounds. Whatever we thought The American Dream was lay like apples in the fruit bowl.

It wasn’t my fault. The accident, I mean. Broadsided by some soccer mom with a secret drinking problem. My coma scared the Jesus back into my parents, and the piss out of my boyfriend. After that two days of mist and dark and vague awareness, I couldn’t sleep. Not for more than fifteen minutes at a time. My doctor said something in my brain had been tripped, like pulling out a speaker cord, and my brain now didn’t feel the need to shut down, to regenerate itself, with a nice bout of sleep. Catnaps was all I could expect.

As a result, I no longer experience REM sleep. Well, not when I’m in bed, anyway. I dread the daylight hours. I dread the clouds that form inside my head and bring with them all the fears and accomplishments and anxiety and lust that I should be able to process and wake up from. I never wake up from them.

I never wake up.

I wave at imaginary bats, and kiss lips not there. I reach inside my underwear for coins dropped by the pirate, and come up empty and shameful. The last stubborn five pounds turned into fifty pounds I can’t stop losing. I’ve sold the pretty white dress and moved to a one-bedroom closer to the mental health hospital. You know…just in case.

It took me two full days to write this, because I kept on typing gibberish, something about a race track and a camel, during Mardi Gras.

Maybe the next prescription will be different.
Maybe I’ll get hit by a drunken soccer mom again and shake the cord back in.

I’ll never sleep again.

“Cakewalk Into Town”, by Taj Mahal

I had the blues, so bad one time it put my face in a permanent frown
You know I'm feeling so much better, I could cakewalk into town

Honey, I woke up this mornin' feelin' so good, you know I laid back down again
Throw your big leg over me mama, I might not feel this good again

My baby, my baby, I love the way she walks
When that girl gets sleepy, I love the way she baby-talks

My work is getting scarce, oh honey, my work it done got hard,
I spend my whole day stealin' chickens mama from the rich folks yard

I want to go on a picnic in the country mama, ah, and stay all day
I don’t care ‘bout don’t doin’ nothing just while my time away

I had the blues so bad one time it put my face in a permanent frown
You know I'm feelin' so much better I could cakewalk into town


At 7:35 PM, Blogger Orange said...

Mona, I love your poem and your short story!

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Cynical Girl said...

I wish I had nice knees.


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