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sleep is a novel (1 Viewer)


WF Veterans
The bed I remember was small,
small as I was my feet stuck out
in winter unless I slept curled,
an s to harbor warmth and blanket.

Sleep – a challenge; must occur
before the brother’s snore
chased sleep away – I wish I could have met
the moment when the mind met sleep,
that is when empty pages
began to fill; the dream I mostly recall
involved a crocodile that waddled
up the driveway…no matter how we tried
to board the house, found entry, gave chase.

Room after room
a house expanding until the final room rush,
my grandfather last, lost the race
the crocodile’s jaws slammed shut.

The dream, ends
with the severing of his left leg…
years later my grandfather’s left leg
amputated after a stroke – guilt cannot be
reconciled, it must be endured; the heart
curling into an s
to harbor warmth and blanket.


Senior Member

I found this to be a challenging read, I really like the way you are using sleep and the world of dream as a mechanism to acknowledge the speaker’s guilt, there is a sense of reconciliation and closure from the author being able to acknowledge the concept of guilt. There is a surreal feeling to the piece given that for me idea of a crocodile just waddling up the drive isn’t something I’d see in my everyday life and the expansion of the house really knuckles done on this for me.

What I find challenging, is that I despite everything feel that the concept of guilt and the reasoning behind it perhaps need to be elaborated upon somewhat, I feel that by expanding this idea you could give the reader a stronger emotional payoff. Does that make sense?

Also I find the repetition of small in S1 to be jarring.

Hope this helps somewhat,




WF Veterans
I love this . Truly. The idea that you could even have dreamed such a thing, was like conjuring up grandfathers fate. I can see how guilt could endure over this. I really like the last line.


WF Veterans
Hi Syd, the use of small is deliberately meant to jar, I hope in the jar the reader returns to the line and the image works its way in. May not work but its fun to try. As to elaboration, I think that's true, not sure yet whether this poem will be elaborated or there will be a sleep is a novel (2).

thank you apple, the last line's recurrence was one of those "of course" moments that happens occasionally when writing.