3:20

things are different,
in the dark. in the middle
of the night when I’m
the only one awake – even
the cats are sleeping, and
the birds not even dreaming
of their stupid little chirps
for hours yet – my mind
starts to play tricks
on itself. thoroughly unfun
little games like “let’s remember
twelve times I was
hideously embarrassed”
one hopscotching to another
reaching back as far
as I can remember;
or “how many moral failings
can I count in the next
hour”; or “let’s analyze
every interaction
I had this week to see
who hates me and what
I’ve done to deserve it”
and nothing stops it because
there’s nothing else
to do.

that’s when
I get up and smoke
yet another cigarette, shivering
in the cold air from the
open doorway, feeling
it’s my just punishment
for still being awake –
if I had gone to sleep
two hours ago
like I was going to, when
I actually felt sleepy,
I wouldn’t feel the need to do this
to myself right now – but
helpless
in the face of the relentless
assault of a mind
brewing up horrors –
like when you go too long
without eating and your stomach
starts digesting itself – I
desperately take the stopgap,
in the hopes that this distraction
will give me a break.

that’s why sometimes
I wait until dawn
to sleep, when at least life
is happening.

because
the darkness breathes
at me. things that are not real
seem dreadfully, hugely
powerful, and only daybreak
robs them of their strength.
I suffer for that choice too
but sometimes
it feels necessary.

I’m sorry. I fear
you daywalkers
will never really
understand.

at night

my demons walk
over my body. purring
monsters press themselves
against my sides. my legs ache
from running away
from my problems. I want
to eat everything
in the house, write
a hundred poems and smoke
fifty-nine cigarettes: damn
the consequences, curse
the day, I’ll sink deeper
into my dreaming life.

behind my closed
eyelids, a black triangle sweeps
in a circular path
like a doppler radar
display. it’s showing me
how far I am
from sleep. is there nothing
that can reconcile me
to living like
a normal human?

behind the curtain

can’t you ever just
for once fucking
come out and say
what you mean and
mean what you say?

do you even have a heart
under all those cries
of wolf, wolf, looking
for your Little Red
Riding Hood? or does a
clockwork ticker beat
itself to death inside
your Tik-Tok chest?
fee, fie, foe, fun. I
smell the blood
of a charlatan.

Continue reading behind the curtain