A Reluctant Poet Is Also A Pretend Poet

It was a Sunday morning and early; night really, where it is black and most people are in bed and the pets are sleeping, unless they have decided that they need urgently to drink water and their bowl is empty or they are spooked by a noise – the time where you wake up and stub your toe on the way to the toilet, after forgetting where you are momentarily and sensing the room spinning around, and round and around some more; the time for arrival after a big night, with attendant problems in fitting the key into the keyhole and preventing the body’s natural urge to fall over when it tries to wriggle out of jeans, preparatory to getting into bed; the time when users of certain illicit substances realise that the pizza has been cold for hours and there is no other means of fun at their disposal; the time when underworld hits are carried out and mysterious fires start mysteriously in box and greetings card and tyre and pine furniture factories: the witching hour – or, to be more accurate, the hour when the witches have started to gather up their stuff, to saddle up, and to ride their broomsticks up and away, into the last of the night, in haste to beat the dawn, lest they should be exposed as the same women who do advertorials on morning television shows about funeral plans and revolutionary kitchen devices which are so sophisticated that they cannot be purchased in the shops, like ordinary kitchen implements.

Dark. Quiet. Comfortable it was, in a cozy way. Not cozy enough for one individual though, who realised he was not properly sleepy, after he had been preventing himself from proper sleep for ours by turning around some silly word game of a problem in his head, repetitively but not redundantly, so it had the effect of being the opposite of counting sheep. The same idea, same conundrum, appearing, as if new, every few minutes, to be considered. A mental bind is the way your correspondent characterised it later. A circular mental process. And, it need hardly be stated, a silly, completely nonsensical problem to be considered. For sleepy logic governed this pattern, and thus it would be laughable if it could be explained to a lucid, awake person in any detail. Or even in bugger all detail.

I attempted to calm myself and slow my heart rate a bit, hoping that more sleep could be possible. And this fascinating proposition or challenge or whatever it was morphed into fragments, at first, of a poem, and then an entire first stanza, and these pairings of words were repeated and juggled, and rearranged, and repeated again. And I thought: “That’s good. You should write that down. It would be a shame to lose that, it could become something pretty decent, a real poem.”

Eventually I rose, seeking the solace of the porcelain perch, and parts of the now fragmenting fragment were valiantly fighting to keep their heads above water – I didn’t know it at the time but I was becoming awake, and that process tends to obliterate meaningless sleepy crap that goes through the head (well, it does to mine anyway). And I had the presence of mind to grab a marking pen, and in the gloom, write down, in a surprisingly legible hand, these word pairings on a roll of labels Laetitia uses to put on frozen food and jam jars and plant seedlings:


ruthless solace, terminal wit, dead disdain


Not sure where my addled brain thought these pearls would take me. Nowhere, I suspect. The world has not lost by losing my lost fragment.

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

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