2 a.m.  Time to try the right side.
The bed creaks.  My wife stirs.
Maybe I'm better off on
my left side.  Maybe I'm better off
dead.  The refrigerator makes a new cube.
Life goes on.  Back to the right side.
Clunk.  Another ice cube.
Left side.  What did I just take?
An Advil or an Aleve?  Why do we need
so many ice cubes?  Anyway, it's good
to have company.  What a friend we have
in freezers.  Clunk.  Clunk.  Two cubes?
I'm being mocked by my appliances.
You have anything to say, Mr. Coffee?
You talking to me?  Right side.
I wonder who else is lying sleepless
tonight.  No I don't.  I don't care.
Left side. No, no good.  Right side.
Advil or Aleve?  Pepsi or Coke?
One clunk or two?  Time to count
to a thousand.  Again.  A thousand
sheep.  A thousand cubes.  A
thousand clowns. A thousand
points of light. Can it be dawn?
I sneak a look at the alarm clock.

Edmund Conti has had over 200 bios published but hasn't figured out he should make a boilerplate and use that rather 
than making up new stuff each time.  OK, he's not making it up.  He really does have a book out called Quiblets.  He
really did win the Willard R. Espy Foundation prize for light verse early in this millennium.  And he really (really!)
read before an audience of over 50 for poetrySpark in downtown Raleigh.

At one point, I did have an idea what the title meant, but time passes. Except when you are lying awake at night trying to get to sleep.  This poem came to me during several weeks of daily radiation for prostate cancer.  The radiation itself went smoothly.  The hospital was nearby.  And this being North Carolina everyone was warm and friendly. But there is no poetry in warmth and friendliness.  At least not in any of my poems.  I had just arrived here from New Jersey (yes, that New Jersey) when I was told I had a high PSA that needed to be attended to.  Anyway the sleepless nights while they lasted were a nightmare and I tried to capture that.  They didn't last that long, but its good to keep that memory alive.  Or is it?



Copyright 2009