Saturday Poem

Dreamless Night

I hear the mapmaker, Sigmund Freud,
calling out to me in his high-pitched voice:

“You have embarked on the wrong road,
That is not the royal route to the
unconscious I described.”

And I, unaccountably,
keep wandering down this foolish
twisting gravel trail until I can no longer
hear his voice, and find myself alone,
high above the old river, quite
near the realm of silence.

From here, I won't observe the fierce
caravan of night:
crossbearers and flagellants,
horsemen continuing their compulsive
hunt. I will miss the moment when
the lightning of God's wrath embeds itself
in an ancient oak, whose roots
absorb the blow like a woman wideopen
in childbirth, her hands gripping
each side of the bed.

Tonight I will know nothing – the inner
world hissing and struggling in the distance
like some huge, hungry torch.

It's too complicated to be a human being.
Everyone knows this somewhere
in their hearts. Taking our last breaths, six
problems will still torment us. Under
the heavy sands of our bodies, there is
a vast lake of thick oil smouldering
helplessly, that nonetheless runs our cells.

So Sigmund, if one night I fail to dream,
if I turn away from the road of self knowledge,
let that stand as an offer of truce, a small
celebration, an acknowledgement
of complexity's limit, as when the traffic
halts, permitting the blind to cross.
.

by Lew Lipsitz
from Seeking the Hook
Signal Books, 1997
.

Like what you're reading? Don't keep it to yourself!
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Reddit
Reddit
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email