THE GREAT UNREST
by D. A. Powell
When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn. (Job 7:4)
You’d think, bedraggled as I am by the illness of my age,
I’d be able to lounge a little.
That I’d shut out the noise, as others do,
and I would sigh and sleep.
Let me eat Tootsie Pops, I’d think. Let me lay in the moonlight
and grow the opposite of babyfat.
Lie, I mean. Let me lie. I have had to wrestle with grammar
all my life. And what people call ideals.
I used to love ideals, but that wasn’t cool. Plus there was money to be had.
And ass. Scads of ass.
Now I forget. The principal’s your pal and not the principle.
At least I’ve retained that.
Give up your sleepless nights the man on T.V. said. Talking to me.
Like, how did he know?
I could have dozed through half a dozen shows and all the ads.
Even commercial noise
might have eventually been absorbed into my dreams.
It might have become my dreams.
But it’s hard for me to lie still (lay still?) while I am getting fucked.
It’s late and you been at me all night and I hadn’t risen from it.
I was tired.
I’m even more tired.
But now I’m up.
More at Occupy Writers, including Anne Waldman, Francine Prose, and — yes — Lemony Snicket.