Pauls Toutonghi – Evel Knievel Days

Butte, Montana to Cairo, Egypt — in one great leap.

Insomnia

Well, it’s 1AM — and the events of yesterday and today’s subsequent drive to Missoula have had an effect. I’ve tried lying in bed and reading — but that’s not working. Now: Counting sheep? Counting backwards from a thousand? Reading Wallace Stevens?

This might prove most effective — a tired brain is no match for Wallace Stevens. Or so I thought. And then I stumbled on this poem, written by Stevens, obviously in insomnia. And thinking about it kept me up even longer.

*

The Reader

All night I sat reading a book,
Sat reading as if in a book
Of sombre pages.

It was autumn and falling stars
Covered the shriveled forms
Crouched in the moonlight.

No lamp was burning as I read,
A voice was mumbling, “Everything
Falls back to coldness,

Even the musky muscadines,
The melons, the vermilion pears
Of the leafless garden.”

The sombre pages bore no print
Except the trace of burning stars
In the frosty heaven.

*

A muscadine — I now know — is a grape vine. Which makes sense in the poem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on July 30, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 469 other followers

%d bloggers like this: