Insomnia by Peter Taylor

The brain’s a room where ideas
file languid and recover until fear,
the white flame, creates burnt space.

The past is cinders, thought ashes.
Their dull roaring keeps me awake
beneath the skull’s electric crematorium.

I imagine whole decades burning
in a pure conflagration.

Abrupt as tinder, the mind ignites
its combustible tissues: neurons
melt into synapse, ions incinerate,

until the poem, hard as ceramic,
casts incandescent and cools
slowly in the ordinary cell.


Copyright © Peter Taylor. Originally published on the Petrichor Review (2011).


Peter Taylor has published Trainer, The Masons, and Aphorisms. His poems have appeared internationally in journals and anthologies, and his experimental verse play, Antietam, won honourable mention in Winning Writer’s War Poetry Contest in Northampton, Massachusetts. Find Peter on Twitter @PeterTaylorWord.

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