He' sure got a lot of gall / to be so useless and all / muttering small talk at the wall . . . [Dylan]
Round about Midnight (A List of Six)
Despite spending big chunks of my day nodding off & fighting the drowsiness caused by pain medication, I always seem to be wide awake at midnight.
I usually have two audiobooks on my iPhone, one fiction, the other non-fiction. Right now, I've got Sean Carroll's The Big Picture & Neal Stephenson's The Confusion (fourth volume of The Baroque Cycle).
Wide awake but too tired to do any coherent writing, I can sometimes revise a poem, or a few lines of a poem & sometimes my mind drifts far enough sideways that something interesting happens in the language.
I have been making a series of drawings done after all the lights are out. I lie on my back with a small sketchpad on my stomach & draw with a black marker. Sometimes I draw a subject, other times just a rhythm or bodily feeling.
Occasionally, Oliver, who likes to sleep down by my feet will inexplicably decide to creep up and nestle between my arm & torso, laying his head on my shoulder. Then we both sigh & after that I almost always fall asleep.
Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.
View all posts by jd