The man can’t stay awake. He falls asleep.
It’s noon, it’s afternoon, repeatedly he falls in deep,
Seated at his desk or in an armchair, as if to try to write a poem meant
A flash flood of sleep and drowning on Parnassus in his tent,
Or something else equally not good.
The guy’s completely gone and sawing wood,
Snoring and snorting—until one snort wakes him—
And where is he? he can’t think where he is—which shakes him.
He’s upside down and he can see
The parachute he’s hanging from is tangled high up in a tree.
He passes out again and drools.
This apparently is one of the Muse’s rules.
He hears the pleasant droning of the plane he jumped from flying away,
But he’s in his study and it’s the same day.
He’s in his study now and here’s his long-dead dog.
Jimmy, my sweety boy, my Jimmy, come back to me through the fog.
Musa, mihi causas memora…you know?
You’ve seen a baby lift its foot to suck its toe
And then go back to sleep for several years
And then wake up to find a whole nation in tears…
Multiple assassinations, black and white, white and black,
Chest covered with medals split open by a national heart attack.
Baby has grown up to be an outrage carrying a weapon.
He’s graduated from West Point and found little babies to step on.
Liquid gold streams down the buildings all the way down Broadway
At sunset, after a perfect fall day in May, the sky so blue it made you say
Something had to be God to lead to this
Furious brilliance you wouldn’t want to miss
By being dead, for example, or otherwise asleep.
He saw a man once start to weep
But stop himself in time,
Because crying for a certain sort of man is correctly considered a crime.
Look how the sky is turning beautiful black and blue,
Reminding us how the aftermath of pain can be beautiful and true.
The apartment lights before they go out come on.
Hours later it’s dawn.
Narcolepsy is supposed to be the subject, but it really isn’t the subject, nor
Is the man fleeing from a crime he committed in Ulan Bator.
He didn’t cry in the hotel elevator.
He’s not the Ulan Bator crying elevator satyr.
That didn’t stop the girl with the eating disorder driving the car from crashing.
He comes to after the crash, as usual at his desk, splashing
His face with cold water from the nearby lake,
Though he’s already thinking of the next move to make.
He’ll move to Rio. He’ll move to Napoli. He opens the study door.
He’ll move to the little apartment on the second floor.
Every day alive is dawn.
The lights before they go out go on.