Skip to main content

The House of Sleep

ISSUE:  Summer 1977

It is a house with many doors,
no two alike.

I am at home in all its rooms
of time and place.

My changing person, gender, speech
hold no surprise.

I know who I am in my sleep,
behind my face.

If you ask which of them is false
and which is true

Enter the house with me and call,
I’ll answer you,

Here inside the darkness
the eye of light opens

As mind travels inward
to a fourth dimension.

There is no perspective
of other or outside.

Both obverse and reverse
are simultaneous

While past and present form
a folding wave that flows

Now backward, then forward
in one eternal dream.

I found it as a child,
a house that was all mine

Where I could think and be
whatever I believed.

Half of me stayed outside
on guard, aware of spies

The inner self went free
to wonder as it pleased.

Leaving the day behind,
I came upon the night

And there I dreamed of things
past all imagining.

Memory is no stranger
in the house of sleep.

It comes as a visitor
for a reunion.

If a private occasion,
with the family

Or else with those forgotten
who have long been gone.

The waiting house is ready
for us to gather.

Together or separately,
our memories meet.

Waking in the night,
I have wondered where I am

Knowing I have been away
and not yet returned.

I lie still and wait
between absence and presence

Conscious of being witness
to my sleep and wake.

Here’s body, inert,
prepared to revert to clay.

O wanderer with my lamp,
how dim grows the light.

Here I need no clock
to tell me what time it is.

The day, season, year
conform to no calendar.

No compass or map
points my route or direction.

Sensation is all,
the shape and sound of feeling.

I learn what I think
by choice of symbols, meanings.

I invent my world
as much as it invents me.


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Recommended Reading