The Insomniac

Today I challenge you to write a tanka. This, like the “American” cinquain, is a poem based on syllables, with the pattern being 5-7-5-7-7. They work best when those final two 7-syllable lines contain a sort of turn or surprise that the first three lines might not wholly anticipate.

My head is a swirl
All the drinks went to my brain
The road’s a blurry whirl
Maybe I’m not s’posed to drive
When street lights are like bee hives.

Burning intensely,
My retinas are in flames,
And yearn for Sleep’s magic,
I wonder if my friends can
See the smoke from my pupils.

Sleep, that fickle being,
Has abandoned my tired soul
I search the darkness
She cheats on me with everyone
Except me, I lust for her.

My insomnia
Cripples me entirely
I live a half life
Was that a dog I just ran
Over, or was it a man?

The world is stranger,
Everything drips with sweat
People speak foreign tongues,
Tongues like the dead man
Severed and flapping about.

Time is variable
Now, I can either move in
Slow mo or Fast flow,
The tongue moves in both speeds and
Latches on to some girl’s face.

Rushing to her help,
I wrestle with pink muscle
I lose control and
The tongue meets my own and sucks
The insomnia away.

Attribute: “INSOMNIA” mixed media by Spanish painter Joseba Eskubi 2012 by Joseba Spanish Painter, CC-BY-SA-3.0

(NaPoWriMo 2013 #13)



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