Sohbet – insomnia, festering

How many drugs does it take to stop the thinking?
What sedative will still this soul?
The nights are long; the stories in my head are short.
Sadness in loops, feeding back to sadness.
Short circuts, shortcircuting my sleep.

I read a story about a man with a zit.
Asked the doctor: “What do I do?”
“Let it express itself.”
I liked that. Leave the festering be.
Don’t poke and prod to hurry the release.
Let it express itself.
All things come in their own time.
Even the foul eventually works its way loose.

The ball in my chest is tight.
Pain in taunt chords.
I search for the pill that will start their loosening.
A remedy of peace, for my life, in peices.
Does the candle I light with grief
Burn as bright as the one I can’t light for hope?

A book of Rumi.
My late-night soul-lover.
We grapple and tangle naked with God, you and I.
Whenever you hurt, you say Lord God!
The answer lives in that which bends you low and makes you cry out.

There in the flickering dark, my beloved brings the words.
Across the centuries.
The broken down, the faltering.
The answer in the crying out.

I had a dream, tall building collapsing.
Me running up the side.
Dream gravity doesn’t hold.
I run up as tower falls.
Falls to level, pivots on unknown fulcrum.
The falling flips to rising.
The ruins turn on end, stand anew.

I try and remember that dream.
When all collapses around me.
When Wonderland-like, I can’t stop running.
And my late-night soul-lover’s proverb:
Joy lives concealed in grief.

In the festering sadness.
I let it express itself.

7 thoughts on “Sohbet – insomnia, festering

  1. So, it turns out I’m a part of something called the Assholes Literary Collective – a group of writers who get together to critique and assist each other’s writing. As the mother of all assholes, I’ve shown up at many meetings, yet never offered up any work of my own. Which I blame on a rather lengthy creative block and not on complete selfish asshattery.

    Well nothing gets the creative juices flowing like insomnia and angst, so I offer this up as my contribution to the next gathering of the Assholes (and yes, my darlings I can actually print out my own copies to take for once!)

    So you, my happy web-readers, are welcome to add your own critiques, or sohbet it with your own replies (I’m sure there are many an angsty insomniac out there). When I get my edited copy from my fellow Assholes I will post it here, so you all can see the changes and argue if they are improvements. The creative process is a funny and fickle thing, I’m curious to see what collective analysis does to what always seems to me like a private tangle with my muse.


    1. Oh, and you are heartily encouraged to tell me about typos and spelling mistakes, as clearly, from the subject manner, I was a wee-bit gorked as I wrote this.

      And it may be the meds talking, but I do seem to rather take offence to my spell-checker’s disinclination to accept the word asshole. Judge not my vocabulary oh wordpress oracle, I’m pretty sure I’ve spelled the bloody word right!


      1. What a wonderfully rich mine insomnia and angst is for you. So many tortured souls (artists) are the creative energy that fuel our imaginations. I think your poem is so heavy with heart which is like many of Rumi’s work. It uses clear simple language that weaves a tale.

        The only typo I could find was gavity –>gravity. And your spell check may not recognize asshole being one word but as an expletive it rolls off the tongue and gives writing a better rhythm being one word. So sometimes spell check is an asshole invention.

        I hope by expressing this sleep and good dreams come your way soon.


        1. Thanks! Got the typo (and found one more in the clear light of day). I forget sometimes how therapeutic a good soul dump is. Let it express itself indeed!

          And I often rail against the one word versus two thing. I like to bring words together that I think mean something else entirely as a whole.


          Ass hole is a toilet seat; asshole is the person who doesn’t wipe it.


          1. OMG I love your description of how you discriminate ass hole/asshole. Good thing I didn’t just put something in my mouth! ;oD


  2. Now that I have the faculties to transcribe with some accuracy, thought you might enjoy the entirety of that Rumi poem, it’s one of my favourites!

    For safekeeping, gold is hidden in a desolate place, where no one ever goes, not in a familiar easy-to-get-to spot. The proverb goes: Joy lies concealed in grief. The mind puzzles with this, but that strong beast, the soul, a lively animal, will break such a tether.

    Love burns away difficulties, as daylight does night phantoms. Look for the answer inside your question. Cornered in the edgeless region of love, you’ll see the opening that leads neither east nor west nor any direction. You’re a mountain searching for its echo!

    Whenever you hurt you say, Lord God! The answer lives in that which bends you low and makes you cry out. Pain and threat of death, for instance, do this.

    They make you clear. When they’re gone, you lose purpose. You wonder what to do, where to go. This is because you are uneven in your opening: sometimes closed and unreachable, sometimes with your shirt torn in longing.

    Your discursive intellect dominates for a time, then the universal, beyond-time intelligence comes. Sell your questioning talents, my son, buy bewildering surrender.

    Live simply and helpfully in that. Don’t worry about the University of Bukhara with its prestigious curriculum.

    ~from Coleman Barks, The Soul of Rumi


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