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3:15 Experiment & Night Terrors plus 2 poems for the Poetry Train

March 3, 2008

When Danika Dinsmore first invited me to do the 3:15 Experiment in 2001, I was curious, excited and afraid. My night terrors, I had discovered, typically occurred about 60-120 minutes after I went to sleep. In fact, one of my tricks in assessing whether something is a night terror or not is to check the time: if whatever is there is there when I’ve been sleeping for about an hour or more, it is most likely a night terror and not some scary visitation or burglar or murderer or whatever my mind had conjured up.

But still, I was afraid–what if after getting up at 315 and writing I went back to sleep and an hour or so later had a(nother) night terror? was it worth it? I decided to go for it anyway, and this week’s Poetry Train submission is from my second night of the experiment in 2001:

August 2, 2001 315am

no night terrors this night
yet

i lie in wait

is it better to toss and turn
restless

or to sink into sleep
only

to experience extreme
fear

which lurks
the night
just before
dreams

————————

8/2 too

the alarm sings
the little dog is excited
he’s just gotten to sleep
i know cuz he kept me awake
he likes to sleep right next
to my belly

whether it’s hot or cold
he circles himself there
when it gets light
birdlike
he gets restless
active

see I am trying out a
brightly lit blue phone
to find easy in the dark
it has already been moved
under the bed
still it glows

so he’s a busy dog
looks for fleas mostly
it’s an exciting chase
he yawns and licks my nose
he knows my name
for him I am special

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