Friday, September 18, 2009

Insomnia

by Dana Gioia

Now you hear what the house has to say.
Pipes clanking, water running in the dark,
the mortgaged walls shifting in discomfort,
and voices mounting in an endless drone
of small complaints like the sounds of a family
that year by year you've learned how to ignore.

But now you must listen to the things you own,
all that you've worked for these past years,
the murmur of property, of things in disrepair,
the moving parts about to come undone,
and twisting in the sheets remember all
the faces you could not bring yourself to love.

How many voices have escaped you until now,
the venting furnace, the floorboards underfoot,
the steady accusations of the clock
numbering the minutes no one will mark.
The terrible clarity this moment brings,
the useless insight, the unbroken dark.

please note: photo by Carol Sills

And...Neuro lecture--8 hours--this Monday. Almost finished with working on it. Oh, happy day!

6 comments:

  1. S/he--since Dana could be a wo- or man--pretty much nailed it. I certainly can't argue. May I borrow this one for my continuing effort to illustrate what it means to move from the Land of the Free to the home of the French?

    The second stanza could be the epigraph to the entire venture. However, I will have to take exception to the last two there found there. In my case:

    twisting in the sheets remember all
    the faces you could not bring yourself to love.


    must become:

    ...twisting in the sheets remember all
    the faces that could not bring themselves to love you.

    This one slipped in right on the heels of the last two pallets of nos effets personels which have now docked in Le Havre, the delivery of which will signal the end of the physical transition from the new land to the old. Leaving us with only the spiritual, psychological, emotional, and philosophical voyages to complete. Perhaps there is still time...

    In any event, the present has begun and:

    ...now you must listen to the things you own,
    all that you've worked for these past years,
    the murmur of property, of things in disrepair,
    the moving parts about to come undone..


    Poetic jackpot, I've hit here.

    And bravo on coming to the completion of your lecture. Break a leg! at showtime that is.

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  2. I absolutely adore this poem. It's going in my inspiration notebook, for sure.

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  3. Many nights it seems as if I could hear the winding parts of the rocking chair to ask whether there is someone near, who would care for their twisting and turning, the edge of the carpet demanding its attention as well, making it hard to sleep early.
    Your poetry keeps one awake easily as well.

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  4. Dear Distracted..."the terrible clarity"... reminding us we have so little time for love... what depths of emotion you plumb, yet in an uplifting manner, that keeps this reader coming back.

    I remember first coming to A Tidings when you had just been named a blog of note. I'm wondering months later now what are your impressions of that experience ?

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  5. I hope things go well today...and I am finding that all the women, our age (hate that...sorry)are having trouble sleeping, for me it's hot flashes...(sorry, again!) smiles..

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  6. I like to listen to the sounds of the rest of my family sleeping. Such intimacy, the sound of their breath, their murmurings and sighs, the gift of them to me.

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Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)