Long Days and Endless Nights

Daylight doesn’t fit me well
I have room enough, walls around me
and, as much comfort zone
as anyone could ask for
as much solitude and time to think
as any writer could wish for
too much time to think
more so than most, it’s a curse.

Distractions are everywhere
routine needs me
the cat needs feeding
medication needs taking
laundry needs washing
dishes need cleaning
the litter tray needs emptying
social media needs checking
music requires my ears
cars speeding down the road need my curse words
people walking past the window peering in
need to find me staring back at them awkwardly
the post needs collecting from the doormat
the junk mail requires filing into the dustbin.

I need a snack, breakfast, lunch and dinner
I need a gin and tonic
I need a beer
I need a cup of coffee or two
I need several mugs of tea
I need a cigarette—but I quit
I need to hang out the washing on the line
I need to empty the dishwasher
load the cupboards up
I must go for a shower, shampoo, condition
shave legs, armpits
brush teeth
I have to moisturise my face
slap on some deodorant
smell attractive with a few squirts of Eau De Parfum
put on my makeup
dry my hair
I must venture out for that haircut
make it to that dental appointment
do the shopping
help an old lady across the street
wait in line for a bus
give up waiting and walk home in the pouring rain
and I must make it through these long days
of endless tasks and chores
and at the end of it look and feel like shit anyway.

At night around here
it’s silent as a tomb.

Then I’m a bat,
fluttering between dim lamplights
among notebooks and keyboards and pens
and bright computer monitors
that’s where I deal with my caseload best of all.

Daytime is where poems wait around
like a bunch of contagious fuckers
in a doctor’s waiting room
gasping for breath and occasionally
they cough up a few words of inspiration
wisdom, knowledge, truth—
but most the time they sit there waiting to die
and they slip into unconsciousness
in plastic arse-numbingly uncomfortable chairs
—precious few of them survive the day.

I try to call the nurse in me into being
to rescue them from their sorry demise
but this nurse only works night shifts
—I cannot tend to the sick if poorly rested myself
but rest never truly comes
to writers
especially not
those who can’t sleep until the words live and breathe
so I listen for the heartbeat of these endless nights
and it is they who’ll tell me
if I’m still living.

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