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On a Poet’s Lips I Sleep[1]

Banish the Drames from me Eyelids[2]

Who can Live for Long in a Euphoric Dream?[3]

You will still be here Tomorrow – but your Dreams may Not[4]

His Dreams, like Waves of the deep Sea far from any Shore, Come and Go,

Rise and Fall, Profound and Harmless – breaking Nowhere, changing Nothing[5]

The Carcasses of your Young Dumb Dreams strewn all over the Slithering hills[6]

Dreams are naught but Flow’rs of Air – why Work so hard at Grasping them?[7]

Vertical Cliff Dream – Vertical Dream Elementally Gone[8]

That many Dreams within Dreams – is Unstable[9]

Treasure the Experience – Dreams Fade[10]


To Implore your Light he Sings: Awake! Awake![11]

When all the Birds have Matins said and Sung their

Thankful Hymns, ‘tis Sin, nay, Profanation, to keep in[12]

Awake! Close not your Eyes! The Day her Light Discloses[13]

Quick! – Quick! – Put me to Sleep – or, Quick! – Waken me! – Quick![14]

The Man who has Slept too Well, and then Awakens – will not Fall Asleep Again[15]

Pluck the Wings from Painted Butterflies to Fan the Moonbeams from his Sleeping Eyes[16]

I have Never yet met a Man who is quite Awake – how could I Look him in the Eye[17]

My Brain Tricks me into Sleeping – my Body Tricks me into Waking Up[18]

The Impact must have Woke me for Hyper-Sleep[19]

All things that Slept are now Awake[20]


Nihtes when I Wende and Wake[21]

Sleeping in you is one who will Destroy much Sleep[22]

Nothing takes place in the Bed but Sleep – or No Sleep[23]

This Room is Full of One Fly & an Alarm Clock – it is Uninhabitable[24]

Nights pass Upright and Swaying as if to lull themselves Away from sleep rather than Toward it[25]

I didn’t Sleep last Night – as if the Night were Hiding in the Morning Coffee[26]

Risen from her Bed in more need of Repose than when she Lay Down in it[27]

For the Long Nights you Lay Awake and watch for my Unworthy Sake[28]

Who should be Sleeping – but’s a-Writing this Song?[29]

Oh Sleepless Heart – and Sombre Soul Unsleeping[30]


Such Sleeps as may Beguile the Night[31]

Mixing up – a Knotty Plexicated Dream[32]

Vexed to Nightmare by a Rocking Cradle[33]

I toss Half-Sick between Grotesque Reality – and Savage, Frightening Dreams[34]

When you get some Repose in the form of a Doze, with Hot Eye-Balls and Head ever Aching,

But your Slumbering Teems with such Horrible Dreams that you’d very much Better be Waking[35]

It is the World that Suffers a Nervous Breakdown – I am just having Fun in a Nightmare[36]

For Entertainment there’s the Interior Television of Old Nightmares[37]

Ah, Black Dream – may you soon Engulf and Dissolve me[38]

Angels must Wonder at these Beings who fall so Reg-

Ularly out of Awareness into a Fantasm-infected Dark[39]

Multi-Dimensional CyberNightmare[40]


The Waking have one Common World but the

Sleeping turn aside each into a World of its Own[41]

Sleep comes and Hurls him down a Dark Interior Slope[42]

When I’m Sleeping – I don’t Believe in Time as we Own it[43]

Doze Witless into the scape of Night – Empty of Detail and Excuse[44]

Before you are Emptied for Sleep, What are you? And when you are Emptied

For Sleep, you are Not – and when you are Filled with Sleep, you Never Were[45]

Down, Down he sinks into the Plumes and Feathers of Sleep – Sinks, and is Muffled over[46]

When a Man Sleeps, he becomes United with the True – he is Gone to his Own Self[47]

Sleep, the All-Involving, cannot confine her Spectres within the Dim

Region of her Sway – but Suffers them to Break Forth – Affrighting

This actual life with Secrets that perchance belong to a Deeper one[48]

How Deep beyond all Dreams Sinks Downward that Sleep[49]

Z’s Buzz from their Mouths like Flies[50]


Sleep is the Cousin of Death[51]

She meets Sleep – own Brother to Death[52]

Sleep is no longer a Healing Bath – a Recuperation of Vital

Forces – but an Oblivion, a Nightly brush with Annihilation[53]

The Fear of something After Death Murders the Innocent Sleep[54]

We, returning from the Vaulted Domes of our Colossal Sleep, come home to

Find a tall Metropolis of Catacombs erected down the Gangways of our Mind[55]

Sleep Forsakes – and gives me o’er to Death’s Benumbing Opium as my only Cure[56]

The Sleeping and the Dead – how Alike they are: they are like a Painted Death[57]

The Living Sleep for their time – the Dead Sleep for their Time[58]

I turn the Light on for the Dead to see what Sleep is[59]

Renouncing the Corpse-like Insensitive Sleep[60]


I Sleep the Clock Round[61]

Weeks I can’t Sleep – Years I can’t Waken[62]

I’ve been Asleep a long Time – maybe Forever[63]

I’m Afraid of Sleeping All my Life and then Dying[64]

There are those who can’t Sleep – and those who Never Awaken[65]

He Yawns for Two Years – his Sleep lasts Entire Centuries – each of his Dreams a Generation[66]

Sleep the Sleep that knows not Breaking, Morn of Toil, nor Night of Waking … think

Not of the Rising Sun, for at Dawning to Assail ye – here no Bugles sound Reveille[67]

If I go to Bed Earlier every night and Slept Later every morning Even-

Tually I’ll be Gone altogether: I’ll go to Sleep and Never Wake up[68]

Tired Children Placid Sleep – thro’ Centuries of Noon[69]

O Infinite our Siestas![70]


All ye want is tae be Beddit under the Duvet[71]

A Dream does Weave a Shade o’er my Angel-Guarded Bed[72]

I Prophesy an age for Laziness and Sleep, and Dreams – and utter Peace[73]

Let stil Silence trew Night-Watches keepe, that Sacred Peace may in assurance Rayne, and

Tymely Sleep, when it is tyme to Sleepe, may poure his limbs forth on your Pleasant Playne[74]

Charm me Asleep, and Melt me so, that, being Ravish’d hence I go – away in easy Slumbers[75]

Let Placid Slumbers soothe each Weary Mind, at morn to Wake more Heav’nly, more Refin’d …

Night’s Leaden Sceptre seals my Drowsy eyes, then Cease, my song – til fair Aurora Rise[76]

He Dreams who Shapes the Suns and Pillars the Blue Firmament with Light[77]

Golden Slumbers Kiss your Eyes – Smiles await you when you Rise![78]

Sleep Secretes the Contour – Dream Fiber Strengthens it[79]

Dreams not Wishes ­– but Poems[80]


If you’re Happy in a Dream – does that Count?[81]

I Complete an Unfinished Dream and don’t Know in the

Morning which part I Dreamt and which part Pieced Out[82]

The Rift between Dreams and Reality causes no Harm if

Only the person Dreaming Believes seriously in his Dream[83]

Dreams are the Displaced Expressions of this world within a World of their Own[84]

Who Dreaming Wishes it may be a Dream – so that he Craves what Is, as if it were Not[85]

The Dream Grail Found as if in Dreams is not as it had been Dreamed when Found[86]

You are Reality – Returned to Dream – and Fallen Back into the Well[87]

The Times make Requirements that we Dream Real Dreams[88]

The Dream merely Ends ­– by this we know it is the Real[89]

The Dream gives Merit to a state of Being, rather than

The Ordering of Time – the Dream, Correcting Time[90]


My Dreams are all a Waking[91]

With Unclosed Lids – already have I Dreamt[92]

I Chase the Dream but when I Wake – the Spell Endures[93]

This is the Waking Landscape – Dream after Dream after

Dream Walking away through it – Invisible Invisible Invisible[94]

“It seems like a Dream that has Slowly Faded” – “To me it Feels more like Falling Asleep Again”[95]

Thou Waked’st me Wisely – yet my Dream thou Brok’st not, but Continued’st it[96]

Dream Dreams, then Write them, aye – but Live them First[97]

I have Dreams which remain Deeply Etched on my Day[98]

Unconsummated Daydreams Call my Name[99]

Dream of Utter Aliveness[100]

[1] Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Poet’s Dream

[2] Gerald Brennan, The Mornin’s Mornin’

[3] W.H. Auden, September 1, 1939

[4] Cat Stevens, Father and Son

[5] Chuang Tse: XXIII Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

[6] C.D. Wright, Why Does it Take so Goddamn Long

[7] Seng Tsan, Affirming Faith in Mind

[8] Tamura Ryuichi tr. Christopher Drake, Spiral Cliff

[9] Christopher Nolan, Inception

[10] Makoto Shinkai tr. Clark Cheng, Your Name

[11] Sir William Davenant, Aubade

[12] Robert Herrick, Corinna’s Going a-Maying

[13] Anonymous, Sister, Awake! in Thomas Bateson’s First Set of English Madrigals

[14] Edgar Allan Poe, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

[15] Lamine Senghor,The Negro’s Fight for Freedom

[16] William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

[17] Henry David Thoreau, Walden

[18] Rae Armantrout, The Trick

[19] Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, & Alec Sokolow, Toy Story

[20] Countee Cullen, To John Keats, Poet, at Springtime

[21] Anonymous c.14th, Alison

[22] Primo Levi tr. Ruth Feldman, Annunciation

[23] Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

[24] Philip Whalen, Complaint: to the Muse

[25] Shara Lessley, The Monarch

[26] Dunya Mikhail, Tablets IV

[27] Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

[28] Robert Louis Stevenson, To Alison Cunningham

[29] Buffalo Springfield, Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing

[30] Algernon Charles Swinburne, Ave Atque Vale

[31] Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, The Means to Attain a Happy Life

[32] Roald Dahl, The BFG

[33] William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

[34] F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

[35] Ogden Nash, Nightmare

[36] Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

[37] Alan Dugan, On Hibernation in the Country

[38] Jidi Majia tr. Denis Mair, Rhapsody in Black

[39] Iris Murdoch, The Black Prince

[40] Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

[41] Heraclitus, quoted by Philip Whalen in Sourdough Mountain Lookout

[42] William Golding, Lord of the Flies

[43] Fanny Howe, Veteran

[44] Harry Matthews, quoted by Peter Gizzi in Ode: Salute to the New York School

[45] William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

[46] Virginia Woolf,Mrs. Dalloway

[47] Chandogya-Upanishad 6.8.1

[48] Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Birthmark

[49] Henry Alford, You and I

[50] Anne Sexton,Hansel and Gretel

[51] Congo proverb

[52] Homer tr. Samuel Butler, The Iliad

[53] J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

[54] Mark Twain

[55] Sylvia Plath, Dooms of Exile

[56] John Milton, Samson Agonistes

[57] The Epic of Gilgamesh tr. N.K. Sandars

[58] Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

[59] Ghassan Zaqtan tr. Fady Joudah, The Sleeper’s Hymn

[60] Padmasambhava tr. Gyurme Dorje, The Tibetan Book of the Dead

[61] C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

[62] David Baker, Whale Fall

[63] Joseph Fasano, Joe Arridy

[64] Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

[65] Joy Harjo, Insomnia and the Seven Steps to Grace

[66] C.P. Cavafy tr. Rae Dalven, Pelasgian Image

[67] Sir Walter Scott, Soldier, Rest!

[68] Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

[69] Emily Dickinson, Where Bells No More Affright the Morn

[70] Frank O’Hara, Ann Arbor Variations

[71] Jackie Kay, A Day Like Today

[72] William Blake, A Dream

[73] Kenneth Fearing, End of the Seers’ Convention

[74] Edmund Spenser, Epithalamion

[75] Robert Herrick, To Music, to Becalm His Fever

[76] Phillis Wheatley, An Hymn to the Evening

[77] Edwin Markham, The Man with the Hoe

[78] John Bunyan, The Shepherd Boy’s Song

[79] Paul Celan tr. Nikolai Popov & Heather McHugh, In the most remote of

[80] Laura Hershey, Dream of a Different Woman

[81] Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

[82] Peter Taylor, A Spinsters Tale

[83] Dmitry Pisarev, Blunders of Immature Thought

[84] Sam Dolbear, Esther Leslie, & Sebastian Truskolaski, Walter Benjamin and the Magnetic Play of Words

[85] Dante Alighieri tr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Inferno

[86] Alan Dugan, On Finding the Meaning of “Radiance”

[87] Miklós Radnóti tr. Emery George, Letter to My Wife

[88] Nikki Giovanni, The Wonder Woman

[89] George Oppen, Route

[90] David Ryan, Reliquary

[91] Muriel Rukeyser, Breaking Open

[92] Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

[93] Terrance Hayes, Twenty Measures of Chitchat

[94] W.S. Merwin, The Widow

[95] J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

[96] John Donne, The Dream

[97] Samuel Eliot Morison, on a monument on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

[98] Walter Benjamin tr. Sam Dolbear & Esther Leslie, Diary Notes

[99] Jacqueline Osherow, My Lookalike at the Krishna Temple

[100] Langston Hughes, Demand

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