“Twilight Sleep”


This awakening

is the second bounce of a

dead cat.


Slick prick, chthonic

poke to put you asleep again.


Tugging to the sheets, a

pulley, trusting you won’t tumble

out of sight as


the softness slides up

your legs, your fingertips –

a dullard Socrates


waiting for the soft stroke

to reach the brain.



“Twilight sleep” is a peculiar effect of certain sedatives, resulting in insensibility to pain without any loss of consciousness. I initially wrote this as the final poem in an anthology called “The Party”, whereby the various guests’ adventures result in a series of climaxes and tragedies. This is the unsettling final poem for one of the more unfortunate characters who, after falling in with entirely the wrong crowd, makes the most foolish and final mistake of his life.

Inspired, thematically and otherwise, by Sylvia Plath, Sean O’Brien, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and many more besides.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s