“Insomnia and the Concert of the Night”–a poem

Here is another piece from the college years. This one is a favorite of mine. I published it in my poetry book, pulse, in 2005, and it was probably included in one of the issues of The Kanawha Review I edited as well. I remember the night, that seat, that cigarette as if it was all like three months ago. This one came out pretty much like most of them during that period, one sitting, one take. I hope it fills some space well.


“Insomnia and the Concert of the Night”


Window unit air conditioners

hum over the din of crickets chirping

and water running off the mountain in streams.

Our small town, behind unlocked doors and dark windows,

sleeps, oblivious to the sound.

Streetlights provide the lighting;

one, nearing burnout,

adds a dissonant strobe effect.

A solitary firefly lazily

flicks on and off

like a Bic lighter

in the hand of a drunk

during the performance

of a power ballad.

The water in a

circular above ground pool

rotates with the Earth in

the next yard off the hill.

A darkened beach ball

rides on the motion

maintaining an unbroken path

as if to say,

“There are constants,”

one with God and pi.

In the valley

across the River Gauley

the drone of a coal train

adds baritone to the music

proving that I’m not

the only person left,

that the world is, indeed,

still going on.

I light a smoke and

try to absorb it all.


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