In her own words...

"Insomnia, my cousin"


you ride the night machine
witlessly in bedlam,
breathing on my screen,
my panting outdoor movie,
its paid admission being
my square root,
my flashbulb
socket-pinned and joyless.

Insomnia, my cousin,
you have sired nightly
indecent vertigo.
I lie haggard as you drag
your insane engine past
across the floor,
slamming doors
on all my four dimensions,

leaving me high day
to shred the clotted dream.
Cousin, I repeatedly
betray you with its debris.


About this work

“Insomnia, my cousin” was first published in The Paris Review, No. 151 (Summer 1999), pp. 252-253. It is also included in Dorothea Tanning's book, A Table of Content: Poems, New York: Graywolf Press, 2004, p. 27, and may not be reprinted without the publisher's permission.