image borrowed from bing.
“Neon shines through smokey eyes tonight. It’s 2 a.m.
and I’m drunk again.” --Dave Matthews.
Five nights in
a row I was awakened
at 2 a.m.
Someone was softly saying my name,
like Sheldon repeatedly pounding on Penny’s door--
a female voice--Glenn, Glenn--Glenn.
I blink away the gauze of sleep,
staring at my electric digital clock, red numbers on a black face,
a tiny white noise gently whirring in the slit of night light;
always 2 a.m., exactly, & there never
is anyone there.
The night is never silent;
I can hear the freezer & refrigerator keeping things cool,
cats scurrying after rats,
train whistles as the freight is hauled through town,
as forty boxcars slap at the iron rails,
the old house creaking as ghosts dance upstairs,
someone walking in heavy boots over the gravel in the alley,
night birds hunting, courting, & serenading,
an electric garage door rolling open, then shut,
a low rider cruising by with windows down & rap music
playing loudly--love my hoes, mowing down pigs, hug my
niggahs, dancing witch-you,
just as some timely post-nasal drip
brings on spasms of dry coughing,
bringing my attention to a full bladder,
prompting me to shuffle through darkness
for a sit-down pee, dozing a little with
my pajamas around my knees,
& back to bed, blankets under my chin.
So why am I still awake?
Is it almost daylight saving time? No.
Am I reacting to the Mexican food I had
for dinner--indigestion, acid reflux? No.
Is there still a tickle in my throat? No.
Did I nap too often yesterday afternoon? No.
Do I need to buy some sleep meds? No.
Should I wear a silk sleep shade? No.
Do I need cognitive behavior therapy? No.
OK, OK, 2 a.m.--what the hell is the significance?
What’s it all about? I do know that it is
a Korean heavy metal band,
a 1993 jazz album by saxophonist Theo Travis,
a 2014 album by Adrian Marcel.
an Iron Maiden song from X-Factor.
a Teddy Pendergrass ballad,
a Barry Manilow tune from Paradise Cafe,
a song from an Anna Nalick album. &
a 2006 Indie movie about five guys closing down
an Irish Pub in Dallas, a video game, & oh yes,
there is something on Yahoo called the
Drunk Shopping Service that allows insomniacs
to buy all kinds of useless shit at 2 a.m.
But hey, now the clock reads 6:30 a.m. & the dream I am exiting was
macabre & disturbing; my wife had stepped into the shower while a pair
of young Mormons in their black suits & skinny black ties stood in the
hallway, both smiling at me while one played an upright honky tonk
piano, some George Gershwin tune, just as our basement began flooding
despite the ungodly howl of our twin sump-pumps. I yelled at my wife, &
she came out to investigate wearing an evening gown covered with golden
sequins as the water disappeared--Go back to bed said she, & I did, only
to be awakened by someone playing a ukulele, to find seven middle-aged
women telling me they loved my open mic spoken word performances at
the BSharp Coffee House as I headed upstairs to find a half dozen County
Jail prisoners cleaning the rugs & furniture, “I got them from a Work Release
Program,” my wife said on her way out the door to work. “Good Bye, I love
you!” I yelled after her; Good Bye I Love You chanted the prisoners, laughing,
telling me I was pussy-whipped. Then I noticed that one of them was a
It’s two a.m. in the
morning, & my mind is just
squirming like a toad.
Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics
would you like to hear me read this poem to you?