Slept late again.
I guess they only go to sleep
if they are out in the cold.
Oh, I couldn’t sleep again!
My mind kept racing along
at fever-pitch; she said I didn’t have
the courage of my convictions.
Gisela likes to talk and tell secrets
and give counsels.
Couldn’t sleep—lurid dreams.
Had insomnia again!
Slept a long time.
There was a far-off gleam in her eye;
I could have shot him in the head.
That killed the day for me.
But there were cocktails, of course,
a long, fascinated conversation—
I felt dreamy.
This is a rather dizzying account
of the creation of the universe.
It’s an awfully good story,
and one expects momentarily
to be pelted by raindrops
as big as ripe plums.
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7 thoughts on “Ripe Plums Indeed”
This has a surreal quality to it that I “get” so much. Do you suppose as poets we are all insomniacs?!
Thanks, Victoria! And yes, that might be true. 🙂
I really got stuck on the cocktails.. it reads like a riddle.. like the cause of the insomnia. I read infidelity into your words.. hmm…
“Riddle” is a great word for it! I’ll explain two comments down from here.
It reads like a riddle to me too…but sleep or the lack thereof seems to play a recurring role in this dreamy write.
It is, indeed, a riddle. 🙂 What happened is that my husband found a notebook on a curb near us recently. It was a journal, and I read it the other day and was fascinated. I think it’s from the mid- to late-’40s. The writer is pretty sensible and matter-of-fact, but she’s surrounded by artists and eccentrics. In her close circle is a woman who, it turns out, was a luminary in modern dance. The writer’s mom is an accompanist for modern dancers, and her dad is a struggling painter.
For this poem, I selected phrases verbatim and arranged them differently from how the journal writer did. The cocktails were originally in a very different context — they were enjoyed by some modern dancers who came to visit Mama, and the journal writer kind of raised a bemused eyebrow at both the drinks and the conversation.
The writer does talk a LOT about insomnia and about some good nights of sleep.
She leaves off very abruptly, and I’m left wanting to know more about her. Maybe I’ll ask an older lady across the street if she knows anything that might help solve this riddle. I hope the writer, Mary, went on to have a really nice life — I really enjoyed reading her account of one winter into spring.
Well, isn’t that fascinating! What a find…very intriguing I’m sure. What you did to make the poem is similar to what is called Erasure Poetry. It’s where you take passages from text and create a poem. It was one of our exercises at dVerse Poets. I like what you did here and thank you for filling in the riddle.