Poem: Melancholy Sleeping


Sometimes Melancholy sleeps;

Sometimes that lead-hearted beast

Betakes himself to his torporous chambers

To sleep his misery away – but

The Melancholy is not to be slept

Off – only revised, replenished, and re-chastened,

To hasten upon our world again –

This is the world of Hyperion,

Where the venomous solarity of the sun

Keeps us jocund, waxing and waning

Along with the shallow and profound,

As the beast lumbers in the realms of

Sleep, occasionally uprising, snoring, starting,

Convulsing, and despising, all the greenery

Of the curses consciousness can give

Intermittently, we find ourselves

Startled, and disturbed, by his sweet

Disabling stertor –

But, the party goes on,

And we cheer, and cry, and dance,

And die, until the beast reprises

His unhappiness again –

Now that this Beast is risen,

And happiness is dethroned – killed? –

Not yet – only postponed,

I go to Abergavenny Castle, to

Weep on those walls, my walls,

Those stones, my stones; that are

The crystalline bones of Satan’s merry-making,

With heart-quaking, I think back to

The Christmas Day Massacre, when the

Illusion of Friendship, disguised a treachery,

Too painful to be retold

So, sometimes Melancholy sleeps –

But He sleeps not now

I take my boat out on dark waters deep

And lash myself to that awful prow

Oh, Yeshe Tsogyal – so alike me in name!

Take me from this inconsequential train, and

Explain to me why the one that I love;

That perfect one, always wounding me with

That stately lack of artifice that is her perfection –

How can she appear to me in dreams,

And taunt me flagrantly so?

We were lying on the bathroom floor –

With my head on her stomach,

And her lowered gaze, alighted on me,

She made her love known for me

And I returned – Two “I

Love you”s exchanged with casual

Sincerity in the darksome treacle of

A dream, that only troubles me

When I awake –

For dreams are polyglots: they

Speak in many languages – often at

Once – speaking in symbols, fanciful

Portraits of the future, with an

Occasional trace of fear, or wish-fulfilment

Thrown in – let it not be

The latter – but a prophesy be!

An augury of a nebulous heart

Finally requited.

So, yes, sometimes Melancholy sleeps, also

Awaking to plot and thieve –

But Love is an Insomniac –

She doesn’t know the meaning of sleep

I think of fantasies – I think of dreams –

And my unhugged flesh starts to creep;

And my unloved flesh starts to weep

Against these walls, my walls; on these stones,

My stones; upon these bones, my bones, on

This love – our love?

On this love






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