The Nightmare of Nothing

The fright is real, playing with my heartbeat,
pounding as it keeps me awake every night,
fearful of the blank darkness of the hood
it places over me, of its smothering dark hand.
Always, the monster steals my night
robbing me of sense and senses sending
me to stagger through another day
hating the Sun for dropping from its apogee,
a golden chanticleer crowing
the dawn of another dread sundown.
My every-night nightmare is
a killer of men, of knowledge,
of thought. It hides in the darkness
of my slumber, the destroyer of light, color, joy.
This nightmare goes by No Nightmare,
a dreamless night that tears
at the dreams of my day.
I stare into the darkness, wondering why
I even bother to close my reddened eyes.
Blink once and night becomes day.
Weak flesh craves its raveled sleeve mended,
even knowing the monster rips away
the threads, stealing all hope of healing.
Last night I decided to kill it off
by killing off the poet. No great loss.
What good is a poet who cannot dream?
It would be my ultimate creation.
An anti-creation.
My first and final dream, a lyrical piece
of sweet release.

Posted in response to dVerse Poets Poetics prompt for a nightmare poem. Since I barely ever dream (a long story not worth the zeroes and ones) I wrote of it as my nightmare. It’s a horrible thing to be afraid to sleep because you’re afraid of “nothing.”

© 2012 Joseph Hesch

7 thoughts on “The Nightmare of Nothing

  1. Joe- this was great. A really interesting perspective on the prompt. Love how you drag this nightmare into the daytime – because the fear of sleep is so overpowering. I felt the palpitations at the beginning, the frustration in the middle, and the questions at the end- what is the looking of being a poet if you can’t dream- this was a challenging thought- but I think the fact that you penned and shared this shows that there is MUCH point to you being a poet! A fine fine write.

  2. “Last night I decided to kill it off
    by killing off the poet. No great loss.
    What good is a poet who cannot dream?”

    This really caught me. What good are any of us without our hopes and dreams, our ambitions and desires? I wonder if hope is part of what defines the human condition. To sleep, but not to dream – i rarely remember my dreams either, although I could easily have odne without the one I used in my response to this prompt.

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