from Of Flesh Sculptures And Abandoned Love… ‘Insomnia 2’

This is the world at 6 a.m. when I am unasleep.
No one to whom I can speak, I smoke endlessly,
drinking water in peace, not subject to the night creatures.

I pay the freight for memories I can no longer afford, which
have become too expensive to keep. I wage a war against
scientists altering their opinions every generation, and
when the shift changes I am on strike against nothing.

Baffled by the culture of opinion for not noticing
I have been singing them out of the maze they
constantly reconstruct for decades, unsurprised they
would rather judge than love, since that is their place
in this Book Of Grudges they call society now.

I know that if by error they happen to read this poem, they
will be on my side and want to seek out those bastards of whom I speak.
If I could tell them, I might join in that glorious hunt.

I thought once there might have been someone in the
darkness, who was calling my name, eager to be found. Yet
it turns out there are many things in which I am mistaken.

They never said they do not want to harm me, and for that
latent honesty I am mostly grateful. I still do not believe we
have anything mutual to discuss and acknowledge.
At least until the next mistake is engraved, my name featuring prominently.

Where they sleep now is my territory, and I can be counted on
to lead them from their silent fears across the plains of night:
encouraging them to leap, allowing that they ought to dream
of sheep who fly off cliffs without knowing they too will awake.

©Dean Baker


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