From the Notebook:

Something I started, but haven’t been able to finish:

America reclines in the shadows
Stoking coals to keep off oncoming night
Oh, but a few more hours til my eyelids burn;
Til they droop from the dry
And I must finally admit sleep
Submit to sleep
After dozing in my chair
After waking with a broken posture
And a gap in my memory.

Tonight is the longest night of the year;
The round belly of the earth
Leans back the furthest
And groans the heartiest laugh
On this night.
America reclines in shadows
Gazing at the coals.

The too green log whistles in the heat
While I crumple newspapers to fuel
The flames that refuse to take.
Facts and facts and facts and facts
Gathered in a grey-matter basket of butter fats,
Nerves, and lightning, and smoke smelling fingers
And front-loaded statements declaring
What is imperative,
Interrogating what is declared.

I’m trying to make sense
As the words speak into smoke
And ha-choo up the flue
rising as incense to the shadows
On this night. 

– 21 December 2009