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“Insomnia & So On” and “Against the Glass”

Malachi Black
Malachi Black

Insomnia & So On

  • Fat bed, lick the black cat in my mouth
  • each morning. Unfasten all the bones
  • that make a head, and let me rest: unknown
  • among the oboe-throated geese gone south
  • to drop their down and sleep beside the outbound
  • tides. Now there’s no nighttime I can own
  • that isn’t anxious as a phone
  • about to ring. Give me some doubt
  • on loan; give me a way to get away
  • from what I know. I pace until the sun
  • is in my window. I lie down. I’m a coal:
  • I smolder to a bloodshot glow. Each day
  • I die down in my bed of snow, undone
  • by my red mind and what it woke.

Against the Glass

  • Rocking in my midnight robe, I am
  • alive and in an eye again beside
  • my kind insomniac, my phantom
  • glass, companion and my only bride:
  • this little window giving little shine
  • to something. What I see I keep
  • alive. I name the species, I define
  • the lurch and glimmer, sweep and pry
  • of eyes against the faint-reflecting glass
  • by what they can and what I can’t
  • quite grasp: I see a hand, still mine, outstretched
  • in an attempt to catch the stars that drop
  • as hailstones in the grass. I see them pass;
  • these sleepless fingers slip from solid into gas.

Malachi Black is the author of the poetry collection Storm Toward Morning (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), a Lannan Literary Selection and a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. Black is assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of San Diego. 

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Malachi Black
Malachi Black

Insomnia & So On

  • Fat bed, lick the black cat in my mouth
  • each morning. Unfasten all the bones
  • that make a head, and let me rest: unknown
  • among the oboe-throated geese gone south
  • to drop their down and sleep beside the outbound
  • tides. Now there’s no nighttime I can own
  • that isn’t anxious as a phone
  • about to ring. Give me some doubt
  • on loan; give me a way to get away
  • from what I know. I pace until the sun
  • is in my window. I lie down. I’m a coal:
  • I smolder to a bloodshot glow. Each day
  • I die down in my bed of snow, undone
  • by my red mind and what it woke.

Against the Glass

  • Rocking in my midnight robe, I am
  • alive and in an eye again beside
  • my kind insomniac, my phantom
  • glass, companion and my only bride:
  • this little window giving little shine
  • to something. What I see I keep
  • alive. I name the species, I define
  • the lurch and glimmer, sweep and pry
  • of eyes against the faint-reflecting glass
  • by what they can and what I can’t
  • quite grasp: I see a hand, still mine, outstretched
  • in an attempt to catch the stars that drop
  • as hailstones in the grass. I see them pass;
  • these sleepless fingers slip from solid into gas.

Malachi Black is the author of the poetry collection Storm Toward Morning (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), a Lannan Literary Selection and a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. Black is assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of San Diego. 

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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