Sleeping in My Own Arms


‘The entire United States Pharmacopœia
has no cure for an ache such as yours,’ I was told.
The best medicine in the world, I would learn, was
sleeping in my own arms. Morpheus, god of dreams,
gave his name, at Lord Byron’s insistence, to that
narcotic concoction unadulterated
opium swims in as if on something other
than its own vacation, Lady Morphine painting


blue the skin of those through the veins of whom she moves,
chatelaine of the operating room, doyenne
of the salon whose authors she ætherizes without so much
as having to shed her smile whenever her touch
helps nod us off. Nevertheless, this digression
is not sin intended to be entered into
record as any sort of confession for your
lawmen to tender as evidence, no, what I


meant is that solitude begets in an artist
what he seeks always to subdue, demons he keeps at
bay, wrestling with them within until what he needs to
say necessitates their waking from time to time.
This exorcism, as with the slaying of any
dragons, brings about the catharsis of release
by taking something from one. Creation is
destruction displacing chaos by putting in-


to the world what was not there before, replacing
with the sweating tears of love’s innovation what
evil wants to silence. Yet only artists and
mothers can do this, everyone else consumes
what beauty they produce, reducing what magic
manifests to ashes from which new work rises.
The cost of surviving is to always be tired.
The trick is to rest with your third rye left opened.