New poem – how to be conscious

Life powers consciousness and unmakes it.

Here I am, sleeping again, but I don’t know that. An entire world crawls into my skull and spectates, and somehow that world is me. Unconscious for whatever registers dreams, I sleep with a heaviness that obliterates care and hangs a sheet over an ugly view. The drowned city dreamscapes of my childhood have given way to a glacial blue crevasse into which I fall each night; Del Toro and such? – these terrors cannot find me.

My griefs and wounds depart. I waken in a world where my eyes are so dry I’m momentarily disoriented, then I enact Warren Zevon’s plan and start to cry. My griefs and wounds settle back in my flesh. Break time is over.

How does it happen? To travel galaxies in flight and perspective, and never move; to be snoring for most of it.

The cat is sleeping on the couch. Ears flick, paws twitch. Someone’s in there, dreaming.

Here I am, on the phone with my mother. She is sad with the normal sets of woes plus the indignity of current ‘lurgy. My job is to cheer her up without making her laugh. She’s coughing as a new career. Laughter turns into a long stretch of wheezing irritated pain and a claim that this has gone on for too long. To maintain this conversation I am picturing my mother in her den, surrounded by books and papers; I am leaning my mind against hers through our voices. I was a dream she once had. She built a programmatic nest for me, with twigs from Pa, and now I am talking to the woman who taught me how to be conscious.

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Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

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