poetry in the middle of the night


I woke up in the middle of the night last night with a poem stuck in my head.

It wasn't, as far as I could tell at four am, the world's most brilliant poem, but it was deeply attached to my head and kept going. I could repeat it, over and over again (which I did. It was four in the morning).

So I did what I had to do. I opened up Drive on my Galaxy Player, created a new document and I wrote it down. I had a few auto-correct mishaps with Sywpe and it wouldn't automatically uncapitalize every line, which was vaguely annoying, but I got the whole damn poem down. And then I wasted some time on Facebook/ Instagram until I could go back to sleep. (I'm not quite genius-level at going back to sleep, it takes awhile.)

(One of the most irritating things is when I get a poem running through my head and I am not somewhere with something to write/ the ability to write. Like when I'm driving somewhere and can't stop. Luckily, this does not happen often anymore.)


The poem got written.

Paper and pen are slightly more conducive to going back to sleep after than an electronic device, but I would have needed a light anyway, so I used the device.

It really isn't the greatest poem, seen by the light of day.

Oh, I know what I was going for (humor, an element of surprise, an assertion that there's really nothing we should ever be embarrassed about because it's all been done before, so why embarrassment?). But the ending's still too vague, so I'm going to mess around with that and try to come up with another punchy image.

But I'm glad it came to me. And I'm glad I wrote it down.


That's the gift and that's the practice, in a nutshell. I write poetry, so I get poems going through my head, like gifts. And I write them down not because they're The Greatest Poem in the World (tm) but because I write poetry. Paying attention to all of my poems and writing them down means when a Good Poem (tm) comes through, it has a greater chance of getting written down, of not being ignored. And when I don't have a gift poem running in my head, it means I have a better chance of being to access something poetic because I have been writing the poems that I am given. Win, win.

And so I write. Even when it's inconvenient and I'd rather be sleeping. I just write.

It's what I do.