National Poetry Writing Month 2018, Day 8

Another detour from the prompt given by Napowrimo.net for Day 8. I’m not much interested in ‘mysterious and magical things’ in the traditional sense. However, lately I have been falling asleep to the American Splendor DVD, which has a looping menu featuring Harvey Pekar walking along an R. Crumb-drawn street. It is done really well, so the point where it loops back to the beginning is not obvious unless you’re paying attention. Anyway, this morning, as I woke up here and there to the loop still going, it was as though I were looking to see if something (my dream? uninterrupted sleep? something else?) had landed in just the right spot. I made that feeling the basis of this poem.

Dream loop

The dream is looking for a place
from which it can unfold without impediment or interruption

It must fit perfectly
or the whole enterprise is doomed to fail and must cycle again

I see a figure, walking
along the same street, past the same storefronts, whistling the same tune

This does not summon strange creatures
or cast new spells
or re-arrange the scene

I see the figure, still walking
the loop is not seamless, but is tireless and maintains a sense of humor

Another failed attempt
constitutes not failure, but another chance to observe

(Four-thirty in the morning)
lonely, and perhaps even tired, the figure accepts this as the price

We must clarify our terms
the perfect fit mentioned earlier
has nothing to do with precision

The dream is stymied by the sleeper
who could surrender to the dream but instead keeps it waiting

Remember, it must fit perfectly
or the whole enterprise is doomed to fail and must cycle again

The figure, still walking
is left to continue ambling past the same storefronts, whistling the same tune

(7 April 2018—posted April 8th)

5 thoughts on “National Poetry Writing Month 2018, Day 8

    1. Ever since I figured out the prompts appear just after midnight ET, I look for them right after 9 pm PT, and try to write my poem before going to bed—even though I’m often still awake by the time midnight rolls around here.

      1. Ah, so if I were a morning lark I could crack into them 5am my local time. More likely for me to night owl hoot at them at that time of day.

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