“Sleep Half Sleep [Silence] and With Reasons” by Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick


It is not a     kite to fly
or a       white arrow
             pointing him       or her
or us out that is
             then isn’t
             there.                          It is the sleep
                           that hangs over us
                                  a stage curtain weighted
             in its hem with broken
                           bolts and screws.
                                                                    When it falls
                                                                    it falls.
Sleep is not              a kite
                              for flying.
Night                   not shorter
             than a tether         or
taut                   a fingertip        is purple
or          a pair of fingers
                         head still grey.

The air              is closed.
                         My grey head
            trembling          under
            the weight          of its
                         own      inner
                                      weather.                   I worry about

The air              is grey.
            It points her or us     out.
            It is the sleep that is
                   then isn’t there.
                         My head waits
                                tethered to its hem
                   like bolts.
            The night
                   a white arrow
            is not for kiting.

                                                                      When it falls
                                                                      it falls.

from Rattle #36, Winter 2011


Brian Fitzpatrick: “When I was in college, I fell in love with poetry and language upon hearing a poet describe the number seventeen as ‘a prime number, which means you can’t [expletive] with it.’ For me, poetry is the most fun that we can have with words, and they, with each other.” (website)

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