24 September 2012

Sleepless Saloon

I’m a saloon door on
my bed swinging from side
to side but no one is
coming in going out

no gunmen with grudges
no barmaids with whiskey
no sheriffs with bullet-
-scarred stars and no boys with

any down burning barn
breathless news running in
just dreamless tossing and
turning and nodding off

and startling on again


  1. What a metaphor for tossing and turning! I'm a saloon door! The second stanza, the list stanza - love it. Great line break with bullet-/-scarred.

    1. Hey Amber,
      Thanks for continuing to tune in! This was also an interesting construction challenge, technically. The precise balance of 1- and 2-syllable words in each line: either 1 1 2 1 1, 2 1 2 1, 1 2 1 2, or 1 2 2 1 (along with the two lines that are all monosyllables) suggests the incessant symmetry of the sleepless turning from side to side - while the overall syntax (at times) rolls and roils across the lines. Here, the strict structure of the 6-syllable lines helps carry the sense of the poem (I think!)