Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I have a friend who, when we were in college, would read my poems and help me rewrite them. Not that I had to keep his edits, it was just something to do. Of course, when someone else rewrites your work, it sort of becomes their work. Their phrasing can change the poem to the point that it becomes a whole new poem, loosely based on your ideas. It's still a fun exercise. And I still like to go back and read my old poems and rewrite them. Sometimes I end up discarding all but one or two lines. Sometimes I just keep going back to the original. Here is one I wrote a LONG time ago.... my freshman year of college.


I dread the pain that's coming
when this numbness fades away.
I hate to face reality
when dark becomes the day.
Thoughts come to me in fragments.
Like china --
unmindful --
Emotion grips me
by the throat.
Tears --
my pillow --
Each rhythmic explosion
of my heart
moves time on without me.
Insanity is dancing near
and my heart
won't let me sleep.

It's really rhyming, which I usually dislike, but I think it kind of fits the manic/crazy feel of the poem. Almost as though it started out unintentional and then became necessary for the rhyming to continue in order to finish expressing the thoughts.

But here is a newer, non-rhyming rewrite:


Clinging to the numbness
in attempt to prevent pain from seeping in.
Dreading daybreak.
Looking for solace in the darkness of sleep.
Thoughts fragmented like
jagged edges of broken china.
Tear-soaked pillows
and constricted throat.
My heart
but time moves independent of
my existence.
Insanity --
dancing near.
My heart
keeps me awake.

I'm not sure if I like how the rewrite changes it, but I do think I like it without rhymes.

(And I'm tired now and would like to take a nap.)


  1. I really liked your poem. Especially the rewrite. The "pound, pound, pounding" was well done with the line breaks. Also, the imagery of the broken china was very effective. -Ann

  2. I have respect for anyone who posts a poem (or two) about insomnia at 6am.

    Joking aside, I think I prefer the rhyming version better - probably because of the jittery/manic nature of the verse. That said, I also think the second version is more mature and cohesive in its imagery. I think this is possible when not operating within the rhyming scheme of the first poem...

    Keep up the great work! - TJS