This one’s for all the insomniacs

On April 29, 2009 by Eden M. Kennedy

I forgot April was National Poetry Month and now I’m pissed. But I have a poem here somewhere that ties in neatly with something I was talking about with Amanda this weekend.

Namely, what fun it is to become fully wake at 3:30 a.m. for no discernible reason. Or rather, that reason possibly is discernible, by someone with a panoramic X-ray machine and a home phlebotomy kit. That person better have big, pulsing veins in their head, too. And I want to see some sweat.

Amanda and I were at Erin‘s for her “Randy and Erin Managed to Stay Married a Month!” party, and it was marvelous. I met some lovely people, including Melati and her ghost.

I think one cure for insomnia is to stay up five hours past your bedtime. Watch as you collapse into the most comfortable stranger’s bed you’ve ever had the luck to luck into. Like a ton of bricks, you are, and still are, when you wake up after five hours of dreamless sleep and squint into the face a cloudless blue oven. I mean sky. Not wanting to disturb our hostess, Amanda and I Mapquested the nearest Starbucks. And I’d probably still be walking there, in my bathrobe and Birkenstocks like some sort of sad, Jesus-y Cathy-figure if Erin hadn’t ignored our text messages (“Coffee?” “COFFEEEEEEE”) and sorted us out like a pro.

“I have to take another one, your eyes were closed.”
“Yeah, I did that on purpose.”

New sock zombie!! I think there’s a definite resemblance.


Think of a sheep
knitting a sweater;
think of your life
getting better & better.

Think of your cat
asleep in a tree;
think of that spot
where you once skinned your knee.

Think of a bird
which stands in your palm;
try to remember
the 21st Psalm.

Think of a big pink horse
galloping south;
think of a fly, and
close your mouth.

If you feel thirsty, then
drink from your cup.
The birds will keep singing
until they wake up.

Franz Wright



15 Responses to “This one’s for all the insomniacs”

  • What an ADORABLE poem! I am SO printing that out to memorize for when I can’t sleep.

  • JC on a cracker what is with the insomnia? I sit at my computer, or staring out at the sky, for hours. Exhausted. Head and eyelids drooping. But it’s all a ruse, see? Going to bed doesn’t help. Can not fall asleep.

    For f*ck’s sake!

  • That mention of 3:30 a.m. hit home for me – that’s the time I woke up this morning, three hours early. All this, just 30 minutes before all the birds start their morning routine, which *really* makes it impossible to get any shuteye. Makes for a productive workday, too.

  • What IS it with insomnia lately? That’s the real pandemic, paranoia-inducing local news producers!

  • Thanks for the poem.

  • I think i have swine insomnia. I sleep when pigs fly.

  • yes. i wish I could be sympathetic but i have six month old twins and the idea of having FIVE hours to sit up and wait to fall asleep makes my eyes bleed in envy!

    sleep! sleep! sleep! I’m afraid its going to be like 28 years before I get another chance….

    I really like the idea of having a one month wedding anniversary. Like the blurry flashed out photo of the party too, its great

  • I want to hug that poem.
    I counter with The Galaxy Song from The Meaning of Life.

    Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
    And revolving at 900 miles an hour
    That’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned
    A sun that is the source of all our power
    The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
    Are moving at a million miles a day
    In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour
    Of the galaxy we call the ‘Milky Way’

    Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars
    It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side
    It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick
    But out by us, it’s just three thousand light years wide
    We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point
    We go ’round every two hundred million years
    And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
    In this amazing and expanding universe

    The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
    In all of the directions it can whizz
    As fast as it can go – the speed of light, you know
    Twelve million miles a minute, and that’s the fastest speed there is
    So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure
    How amazingly unlikely is your birth…
    And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space,
    ‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth!

    [I've bowdlerized the last line for singing to children: "And we'll keep looking down here on Earth"]

  • Melati’s ghost is very flighty.

  • I love that poem. Why is it that thinking of a skinned knee automatically takes me back to really good times? I wish I was a kid again and that was all I had to worry about. Maybe then I could sleep.

  • It was all that spooning we did. It works every time. ;)

  • My ghost looks as drunk as I do.

  • Mmmm, spooning.

    Melati, is your ghost a happy drunk or an angry drunk?

  • “That’s the real pandemic, paranoia-inducing local news producers!”
    - just added to my list of favourite quotes.

  • New to your blog. I keep coming back to read this poem. I love it.