is an apostate mathematician currently living in Olympia, Washington, who spends nearly all of his time breathing as if his life depended on it.
Sharing the same birthday as Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, and HCE from Finnegans Wake
, he ought to have been a great literary Irishman. Alas, he was born in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Two nights ago, the whoreson foal
Of nightmare, charley horse, stole
Into my barn and seized a calf,
Yet still he shrills his neighing laugh.
He marks my vigil, grins unvexed,
And hopes to have my hamstrings next.
But he’ll not plunder me tonight,
For I shall stay awake despite
This voice that begs me to relax:
This coward’s voice, this maniac’s.
I will not sleep! For sleep allows
The charley horse to raid the cows,
And having once endured such pain,
I’ll not endure it once again.
I will not bear such agony.
Be damned the voice that pleads with me
To just forget, to yield to sleep’s
Seductive song, to trust the heaps
Of blankets and narcotic dreams.
Let it vent hysteric screams;
I can take it. Anything
But charley horse’s ravening.
His spasms break the mind in two.
So as I break strange bread with you,
Insomnia, protect me from
The coming pandemonium.