Leonard Cohen supposedly said that “the last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority over the sleeping world.”

I wonder if Cohen was consciously in conversation with Nabokov who wrote that “sleep is the most moronic fraternity in the world, with its heavy dues and crude rituals.”

I’ve indulged in that subtle superiority that taps hollow like the veneer built through talking about how so-very-busy I am.

But mostly insomnia is a broken meditation.

Feeling my pulse through my body, stacatto drums of doubts in my ears.

The moiré behind my eyelids.

The photonic flashes, brain wave and oracle.

Is this a brainstorm?

Am I the tree forked by lightning or the creature squatting beneath it?

I turn, a tumult on the shore of a sunless sea.

I think of Chuang Tse and his and/or butterfly whose wings inspire a tempest in the space between my temples, interrupting the susurrus murmurs of the furtive, plotting priests.

Is it written thou shalt not sleep?

Is every lethean list found and lost at 2am a litany or a looking glass?

Flat on my back, hands folded on my chest, missing only a flower.

Should I die before I sleep, I pray some thing my soul to eat.

What’s so important about me that I can’t be handed over to another world?

The day will be an echo, the night a shadow, of and at the last.

I lean toward the water, breath and mirror.

Breath and mirror


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