Insomnia Poetry

Daydreaming by the Window at Dusk by Dawn Watts

The better part of the day spent
feeling the weight of an unknown
gloom & doom shadow looming
Around my sleepless body.

It is an illusion, at best;
at worst, just another taste
of the abyss I sink into,
from time to time, just for

the rush of indifference.
There are better ways
to watch the sun chase
the moon across the sky;

however, I have not the inclination
nor the drive to spread the path
with my footsteps mislaid
on a chaotic destination.

My memory is lapsing.
This is not for the hunger
of a new dawn to come
beckoning my undoing.

Dawn Watts is a former barista from Chester Pa. She writes poetry which will be in several online publications.

Insomnia Poetry

night reading mode by Cynthia Arrieu-King

she gestures toward a pink cloud inside digital forest wallpaper and says:

this is my cloud. it contains all my data


uncle moon sees the white screen in my glasses

and he kicks on night reading mode–


everything white turns black, saves energy, and the print turns white.

small van icon moving alongside the round white switch


happening inside the diaphanous

the radical / frieze of clouds


a conscience / collective unconscious / collective

it stirs smaller, repeats its circuit ceaselessly

disconnects from variation

disconnects from vary

A polar bear walking backwards through a door repeatedly


gets rid of “I” and moves branches

sighs along the crunch

the ball dropped to the street doesn’t bounce

a dead path, footsteps stopped mid-stairs, an immovable string on a guitar

Cynthia Arrieu-King teaches creative writing, literature, and general studies. Her poetry books include People are Tiny in Paintings of China, Manifest, and Futureless Languages. Her poetry book Continuity is forthcoming from Octopus Books and her book of experimental memoir The Betweens is forthcoming from Noemi in 2021. 

Insomnia Prose

insomniac paints a self-portrait in the dark by Leela Raj-Sankar

you know that feeling when you’ve been awake for too long (maybe two days, maybe two hours, maybe you can’t remember) and your limbs are so heavy and the world is pink-tinged at the edges and spinning so fast that the noise in your head recedes for a few seconds/minutes/months (the clock on the wall isn’t working anymore, forgive me) but you still can’t sleep? sure. i think that’s the worst cliche i’ve ever heard–shouldn’t i be able to do this without falling apart? what’s “this?” sleep. eat. concentrate. what you’re feeling is reasonable. it’s hard for everyone. okay. makes sense. i’m young. you are. but say i can’t start this story the rising star and come back a full-grown sun, what do i do with that? that’s what therapy is for. (and drugs.) that too. is the hand tremor normal, then? i think so. side effects can be awful sometimes. yeah. yeah. and if the grades slip? that’s fine. you sure? i couldn’t finish the essay test on time the other day. my mind wouldn’t sit still long enough to read the questions. you really want another diagnosis? yes. no. maybe. what’s that even supposed to mean? medicine won’t solve everything, you know. you should try transcendental meditation. i don’t know what that is. look it up when you get home, okay? no, that’s not what i’m saying. i mean, i don’t know what this is. who i am, if i exist in the first place. you know who you are. not without all this, i don’t. technically i’m ten pounds lighter, did you know that? mom says the meds make me put on weight. don’t worry about it. we’ll switch them. didn’t you just say that wouldn’t solve anything? no. still. you’re shaking. yeah. change the subject, then. how was your day? good, actually. huh. afraid it wouldn’t last, but okay. proof you can function without painkillers. who said anything about painkillers? [a beat.] i don’t know what you’re trying to tell me. neither do i. you’re alright, then? is that a real question? not really. but i want you to love this, someday. this being life? this being me? they’re the same thing. does it matter? it should. do me a favor, would you? go home. get some sleep. is that even possible? sure it is. plant a garden. stop playing dead. i don’t know if i can. maybe you can’t. maybe it wouldn’t make a difference. that doesn’t make sense. that’s the beauty of the thing. it’s ridiculous. absolutely. and if all the noise in my head won’t go away? you don’t need to fight it. (fighting’s all i know how to do.) 

you don’t know this. 

you don’t know any of this, but i dreamt of you last night, on the bridge. (you kept me from jumping.) but that wasn’t the moral of the story, i think. then what was it? 

i don’t want a deathbed scene, not anymore. 

not anymore.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Leela Raj-Sankar is a teenage poet from Phoenix, AZ. In addition to writing, she loves iced coffee, painting, and singing, in no particular order. You can find more of her on her blog at