My mind comes alive
when twilight draws a stealthy
shroud over reason.


By hans van den berg cc via Flickr


My bed, the battlefield


The voice in the sky is silent,
but us old timers smell the scent
of a war a-brewin’.

Them and us don’t see eye to eye,
and they been fixin’ to teach us
a lesson for a while now.

So we’re digging deep under
warm, fuzzy cover, burrowing
beyond reach of the troops

of wakey-wakey, rise and shine,
of chores to do, people to see,
of adulthood – their terms.

By Pedro Simões from Lisboa, Portugal (Creative Commons)



At night,
while you are asleep,
I stalk the rooftops
wearing my true form.

I am a creature of fire and air,
untamed and untameable,
unbound by gravity
and the shackles of worlds.

If in the morning you find me gone
I will have left no footprints,
no singed rooftops
or perturbed isobars.

But if in the morning
you find me still curled about you,
eyes heavy with all they have seen,
pray, let me keep my secrets.


CaBloWriMo: Ritual and routine


He believed in ritual and routine, and I believed in staying in bed until the bars opened, subsisting on whatever delights could be foraged within arm’s reach. And so our days would go: he would sleep little and lightly, resentful of my life signs, stacking each breath and wriggle on top of the grudge Jenga. In return, I would lie in, with a vengeance.

At 5am, he would cease to occupy my space, bursting out of our cocoon to do whatever it was healthy, well-adjusted people liked to do under direct sunlight. When I awoke an unspecified number of hours later, I would wince, stretch my belly out like some kind of ass-backwards feline, then thrust my arms and legs into the corners of the bed, feeling their coolness. Somehow, like this, I got to feel like I was a giant embracing the whole bed. That made me lonely.

When I felt lonely, I didn’t want to get out of bed. So when my phone buzzed, as it always did around this time, I ignored it, to spite him, and because I didn’t feel like being seen being lonely, not by him or by anyone else. He would find me by moonlight, aloft on the loving arms of my oldest friend.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Archive: Sleepless in Thăng Long


The ceiling fan churns heavy air.
I lie awake, on sweat-slicked sheets. 

Insects tangle above my head, 
jostling vampiric mopeds at rush hour,
rebounding single-mindedly off mosquito netting,
seeking shortcuts to my blood.

Legend has it
that three sweet, sweet bites
will restore them to their human form.

But when an enterprising bloodsucker
succeeds in breaching my mosquito defences,
he usually doesn’t stop at three.
There’s good bite in this bottom,
and too few other humans in this bed.
So I tend to doubt this tale.

Tomorrow it is Sunday,
so the man upstairs will be hammering tiles
into his floor, my ceiling.
Renovation, installation or fetish?
He starts with the roosters
and doesn’t stop until I am raggedly awake, 
crowing with weary resentment.

The sky tears
and clatters on tin sheet roofing.
The air cools
and, at last, I sleep, with the city coiled around me.
Somewhere, in my dreams,
I can feel it exhale.

Busy Hanoi Streets

The city that never lets you sleep (By Jrwooley6 – Flickr: The Busy Hanoi Streets)

From here on January 29th 2012.