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Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


Tuesday, 3:46 AM

here we are awake
together in
companionable desperation
no stars to guide our navigation
back to sleep

should we talk?
it would break the mood
the mold
the code of silent attempts
to reach across the widening divide
of tangled pillows and
lumpy sheets
the wild ride of wavering thoughts

we stay here at the river’s edge
our raft the bed
moored to silence

to speak?
to hold each other dripping wet
to ride the cresting waves

perchance to dream?

to sleep, O Lethe
O Morpheus

O Insomnia, Muse of the
Toss and Turn
point out the pole star
give us the way back
to sleep


on the eaves, icicles cannot decide
whether to stay
or go

relentlessly they drip
a heartbeat
too fast to be a ticking clock
too slow to dance
too unsteady to be
an accountant

at first it was
soldiers marching
proud white gloves gripping
bayoneted rifles

then a roofer
desperately slamming a last nail in place
to keep the winter from rushing in

and last a writer at her keyboard
hammering out the final chapter
of her life’s story
before the blood runs out

(or is it god’s impatient fingers
thrumming a melody on the windowpane
willing me to wake up?)

but no
it is simply
speaking through icicles

trying to decide whether to stay
or go


the peachpit sits
on the window sill
waiting for godnoswut:

tendrils to etch
maddening arabesques
on the window pane?

roots to tunnel furiously
between the cracks
in the sill?

wings arching dramatically skyward
that cannot fly?

“such is the story of my life”
(it says)

so it sits where I left it
on the window sill

waiting for

Copyright 2009, James K. Zimmerman. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Currently a clinical psychologist in private practice, James K. Zimmerman was a songwriter and performer in a previous life. He is the author of numerous articles, papers, and songs, and author and editor of a volume on adolescent suicide. He is the winner of the 2009 Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest and the 2009 Daniel Varoujan Award. His work appears in SLAB, Penumbra, Off Channel, Winning Writers, ICON, and the Poetry Annual from Wild Leaf Press.