Tagged: the Sleeping


woke up drenched again, not
dreams, not raining
who knows

there’s a resiny
imprint of me
on my mattress, myself laid
down over countless
others, like days

I go through what I ate, when
the withdrawal symptoms of
things like caffeine
pot, what I’m wearing
sleep positions, if
I should have showered

maybe my mattress is a valley
my blankets roads
I overheat, sweat
become cold, pull them up

to wake unsure
where the water came from
if it’s water at all, or
just salt

if while sleeping, I’ve
been swimming, and
barely made it back


the trees, their leaves dipped like eggs
into cups of dye, the one flaming oak
on Flaming Oak Cove that has not changed
noticeably, but tonight appears more
red than yellow, an act of collective
memory I contain only part of. I contain only
part of what it takes. I take things out of
the forest and lay them flat onto paper, like
these trees, too much on purpose. I
build my web between birds and train
them to fly in unison above tall grasses,
ponds, collecting bugs. but only in poems
only on weak bones perched in your mind
someone saves me each morning. is that you?
or do I save myself? have I somehow timed
the jump back on correctly, all these times
how have I not stayed too long? this
is where I have been for most of my life


the eldest pursues an ice cream truck
on his bicycle. he goes much farther
than he is supposed to. when he gets
back he has to funnel the ice cream
into cups. they drink it like water. the
eldest drinks real water, such is the length
of the neighborhood, the surrounding town
at night the eldest is last to sleep. there
is something about being the last awake that
appeals to him, like being alive is a trick
that’s easier to do when people aren’t looking
look at the surrounding town, the approximate
length of the known world. a dog barks
through it. it responds to its own sound. the
eldest dreams of being understood, or swiftly
diagnosed, but there’s no one awake who
can do that now. there’s no point worrying
it’s like that everywhere he could go

Creation Story

I used to dream of an invention
that would let me sleep deeply
but consciously, so that time
would pass less quickly

It would let me dream of anything
but I’d still dream of nothing, just
so I could lay there in it. I have
always had a strong affinity for nothing

Out of nothing anything can happen
Something usually leads to something
There is always the gray color
of what we know, we think, the gray

color of night and day exchanging
prominence. Black and white cue cards
heavily rotated, each with the next thought’s
location, the next fertile coordinate

each like asking for more love. In the garden
there is a man, a different looking man, a
tree. I say don’t touch that stuff yet!
I’m not sure what it’s all for

Sinbad on Astral Projection

You say you’d like to stop at the Industrial Market
on the way back from Houston

You’ve passed it so many times. You’ve become
like a metronome, I think you say

I am very much inside the car. Sinbad is on the
radio talking about the dozen or so times

he has left his body using astral projection
Something jumped on his back in

another plane, so he decided to stop. He did go
to Michigan. And thought he had

super powers for a bit. I speed
around a few cars. I do that little look to see

who’s driving in them. I notice – maybe
for the first time – how similar this look

is to the one I use almost always. It is non-
committal. Shark-cagey. Like

I know there is a cord that will pull me out
We pass what looks like a bridge store

An old VW sits on top of a short, disconnected
section of scaffolding. I jokingly say

we should stop on the way back, but
you don’t hear me. I watch you think of

vehicles which will take you to your thoughts
which are far away. Is Sinbad there?

He said he quit because he thought
he might bring something back

Ferris Wheel Spotted from a Crow’s Nest

Only dream
on the last night
in each bed, a dream
of shipping crates,
lifted and sat down by
the hand of a crane
I feel the difference
between winning and
not winning
a prize for you
in these moments
when life is contained
There’s a fair
you wanted
to go to. To be fair
I always assumed
we would go
It magically appeared
on the side
of I-35, opening
like a way home
once it is remembered
There are lights
when some people
can’t see lights
Lights in the carnival
Lights in the compromise
I always thought
it was light
that let you lie to our
guests about
the door I broke
The type of light
that spins, stopping
at the top, then
tipping over

90% of the Forest Will Go

I slept the whole night
on a lighter and two bottlecaps. I didn’t notice
until almost work when I undid my sight for the mirror, saw
their indentions leaving more than the usual amount
of slots on me

for unnecessary attachments. My eyes go here
I say, my lids peel off
like sheets
pulled abruptly from the bed
of an old couple, who hurt to see each another
then into the world, into slightly larger rings

around their comfort. Their life
is so precise, you can count up to its death


There’s a strange mold growing
in the wine we opened

And I keep having this dream
where all I do is turn my car around
in the parking lot of a church

I’m in this little pueblo town
This town along the Hurricane Evac Route

Where people bolt themselves to the ground
like furniture
in the lobby of a blown away motel

Their faces stagger
behind a curtain of hot pavement

And I keep saying to myself
that we’re far enough away
from the ocean’s drain

That the women are planting giant seeds
instead of tiny corpses in the sand