After a few delays and setbacks, Sleepmaps is scheduled for release tomorrow in a limited run of 100 print copies.
To get the fires going, I thought I’d post two of my personal favorites here as a preview. Please, let’s help spread the word and see how fast we can make these 100 copies disappear.
To learn more about the book, check out Needfire Poetry’s Sleepmaps page.
You tried explaining to your ghost
that it had come too soon, as evidenced
by the breaths you used to speak to it.
Even when you showed it how you
could press your hand into it and have it
pass right through, it did not believe.
Even after you took it to work and
stripped it of its ethereal frame to show
that it was nothing, it remained intact.
You explained to it how you sometimes forgot
to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom or
kiss your wife goodbye in the morning
or to wash the knives after splitting apples
or to linger and stare at the window whenever
déjà vu etched its way across your being.
In turn it told you that after your life,
there is a large field where the sun forever rises
and the word “once” is carried in echoes forever.
You took your ghost home and folded it like clothes,
broke it down, organized it into boxes and bins,
knowing that one day, it would replace you.
(originally published in Duotrope)
I am not strapped to the bed.
This is only sleep paralysis and there is no ogre on my chest,
no spaceship hovering above my house
or shadowmen languishing by the foot of my bed,
but on the nights when I wake from the dream
where I am standing in a meadow as wide as all oceans ever dreamed
and begin coughing
and keep coughing until coins spill from my mouth;
I can only listen to them jingle as they hit the ground
and notice that they are not adorned with presidential heads
but with expressionless sleepy ghosts of myself
and when I see that the only thing that remains constant is
In God We Trust, I wake up screaming
and there is a weight like thunderclouds in my stomach
and when it begins to rain in the 3 a.m. void,
I feel that I am connected to everything
and I never want to wake.