This is a poem written as a challenge to write a poem based on one of several “thesis sentences” provided during the Yale Writers Workshop. I chose the sentence, “Nightmares aren’t as bad as insomnia.”
TO DIE TO SLEEP NO MORE
A tropical depression moves in
and falls upon the shore.
No eye can stand still or evade
the demons and succubi that haunt
my nights. A tsunami of blood,
zombies chase me after dark,
Naked I arrive to the Calculus exam,
every time, I have forgotten to study.
Again I fail, my sleep is uneasy;
My car won’t start, I get lost walking home.
The alley is empty and long and ominous,
they follow me again, this time dragons and bears.
Tonight my eyes burn after lights are turned off,
heartbeats thrum in my throat. The moon glares
into my window, the neighbor’s dog is barking again.
I cannot escape the exhaustion of unrequited slumber,
The creeping regret of loss and boredom.
I would dream of nightmares, if only I could sleep.
©2013 KURT BIEHL