Insomnia – By @zoejessicad
By Zoe Jessica Dawson
At half past three this morning as I lay in bed wide awake, SCAB looming, I took out my moleskine to do one of Deanna’s freewriting exercises from a masterclass earlier this term. The idea is just to personify a concept, to make concrete an abstract with some simple prompts like ‘what does their breath smell like,’ and ‘what are their eyes like.’ Then you take what you’ve got and poemify it.
Deanna and her masterclasses have inspired the poet in me to come out of a 5 year hiatus, and it’s probably the most exciting thing that’s happened to me since starting SCA. Unfortunately, the chronic insomnia that I thought I’d fixed has also come out of it’s hiatus, which is probably the worst thing that’s happened to me to since starting SCA.
So, here is the late night result of the collapse of the best & worst. (PS, I don’t like rhymes but thought I’d give it a go).
Insomnia does not have violet half moon bruises under teary eyes
or valleys carved out beneath cheekbone lines
she does not fold up neatly, bones stacking up
or step lightly like a dancer making art
she’s not holding a copy of some philosophy book
doesn’t listen to the kind of music Kurt Cobain would
her voice is not like gravel, rasping and slow
after too many cigarettes out in the cold
her touch isn’t soft and hot on your skin
doesn’t arouse you
her breath isn’t one you want to breathe in.
See, Insomnia cannot be the love of your life
but she’s also not the girl you fucked one time
she clings. Like the ex that wouldn’t let go
guilty, like saying yes when you should have said no
her breath is stale, teeth unbrushed for a week
her touch is clammy, and digs in far too deep
voice shrill like the screeching of a dying bird
she makes your balls shrink with every damned word
in her hands is a notebook, completely blank
‘cause she’s not thoughtful or creative, it’s all an act
she probably listens to BBC radio 4
because what no one tells you about insomnia is she’s fucking bored
her movements are heavy, she drags her feet
her stomach rolls up, not ribs stacked all neat
you look at her face and find it’s puffed up like rice
she stares back at you, nothing in her eyes.
I’m a writer, romanticising is in my blood
but there’s nothing romantic about not sleeping for a month.
So fuck personifying something sick like it’s someone you know
Let me introduce you to Insomnia: just hours awake and alone.