Sunday, September 12

Graphite drool

Dream shavings
I read myself to sleep
in the hope of dreaming
myself to life.

I lay in bed with the nightly tome
perched on my chest,
pencil clenched in my teeth,
or clasped between murmuring lips,
always at the ready
to scribble my life’s story
in the margins.

Last night, while I was somewhere
on the swaying gangplank
between nod and slumber,
the tombstone toppled over
onto my brow and startled me
awake and back to life,
the round pencil point
jabbing to within a mere thin lash
of my unbelieving eye.

Thank the gods,
for the dullness of pencils!
For overpopulated margins
of graphite drool!
For the blunt forgiveness of sleep …

This morning, I stand
face to face with the mirror,
hold the razor blade
to my throat
and celebrate
with a smile.

Life is such a close shave.
     © Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow


  1. Lorenzo--how wonderful! made me smile..c

  2. Delightful Lorenzo! Not the close shave, but your recounting of it. I especially enjoyed the use of the words tome and tombstone!

    (I think you may just have come up with a new method for the 'right to die' movement. Just sharpen the pencil and make it long enough to to go past the eye into the brain. I'll keep this in mind in case the carbon monoxide doesn't work! ;-)

  3. whew. blistering write lorenzo...yike pencil to the eye...what a way to go..if it keep that razor on the surface...smiles.

  4. brilliant lorenzo - i have been trying to learn to write in books. for some reason i have never been able to bring myself to do it. similarly, i shave with an electric razor. hmmmm. perhaps you get the point here!!! steven

  5. Love this! It also reminded me why I started with paperbacks in bed, as I found they hurt a tad less when they hit my face at that moment of sleep...starting the whole damn process all over!

  6. Yes, thank goodness for the blunt (ha ha) forgiveness of sleep...I smile, but like Brian hope that you have checked that razor!
    Life is indeed a close shave... ;)

  7. You grabbed me with that first stanza.

    Wonderful, enjoyable, clever poetry. And simplistic.

    Love it.

  8. Loved the poem, Lorenzo, especially the first line about "dreaming myself to life." A close shave, indeed. You must be more careful for you have much work to do for your readers. As Frost suggested, there are miles to go before you sleep.

  9. This line caught me the most:
    "For the blunt forgiveness of sleep …"

    Ah, yes, one which I am grateful for nightly. :)

  10. This reminds me of the time I woke up to a kitten swatting at my eye while in REM sleep... replete with claws out.

    Rather horrifying, that was.

    Not that has anything to do with anything...

  11. Brilliant! Pity the heaviest books are always the most sleep inducing/ best for bed reading. It's just dangerous!

  12. Great imagery, Lorenzo! I love the "swaying gangplank between nod and slumber" and the "unbelieving eye".

    Both those images remind me of a time during my freshman year in college when I was awakened in middle of the night by a foreign object landing on my face. I tried to swat it away, but it was far bigger and colder than an insect, and it made a terrible noise. Finally, when I came to my senses, I realized that the flimsy Scotch tape that was supposed to anchor a poster above my bed had failed.

  13. What is it that's so magical about that spot between nod and slumber? I often get my best inspirations from that lucid space. Gotta watch those pencils, though!

  14. the first stanza immediately drew me in and the rest of your poem was just exquisite

  15. I always have to come back for a reread .
    Your writing is brilliant and strong.

  16. Love the first stanza of this. I have done that.

  17. Excellent!! Lorenzo, you snagged me with the first three lines. “In the hope of dreaming/myself to life” is fantastic (and so true).

    That swaying gangplank is a perfect metaphor, as is the close shave of life. Sometimes when I think about how fragile and dangerous life really is, it feels like a razor at the throat. I also love that the narrator is scribbling a life story in the margins, and the margins become overpopulated. Yes, many thanks for dull pencils!

    I love the voice, the flow, and…egad…now I realize I’m saying what I always say about your poems. Wonderful work:)

  18. I came back to say something I should have when you posted this poem, that the opening three lines knocked me out. Then, when I read the rest of this near-maiming, I lost them in memory. Reading again today, in the middle of the night (yep, one of my two-hour awakenings), I want to sort of live in those three lines. They belong wonderfully here, but I also wish for another poem that travels in a different direction, one into the hope of dreaming / myself to life. It's such a beautifully evocative image.

    Now I'll see if I can go back to sleep without reading . . .

  19. wow what a brilliant poem I especially love the last line "life is such a close shave"

  20. Lorenzo, my first stop here, via Willow Manor. I really like this poem...and you are so right about the stark reality of each day we live "life is such a close shave"...and that is why the Willow Manor Ball is so appealing...for a just a little while we can forget all the close calls!
    Hope to see you at the ball...please sign my dance card. You know Coop is rather the lady's man...he is likely to disappear into the arms of so many other beautiful women!

  21. Wow! I love the first bit,

    I read myself to sleep
    in the hope of dreaming
    myself to life.

    I keep coming back to that. It kind of stands alone. That's all I need.


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