May 2004 / Volume Five / Issue Two
Steve Brightman
Maybe it was Johnny Carson

I think it was Buddha,
or maybe it was Johnny Carson,
who said
that you can never
step in the same morning twice.
All things considered,
I like to think of myself as exhibit A.

Iíve always been a light sleeper and, even better,
a light sleeper who falls asleep quickly;
but as contradictory as I know this sounds,
I canít sleep without noise in the background.
The television, the radioĖ somethingĖ  has to be on.
If itís quiet, I wonít be getting any sleep.
Itís almost like ďthe bigger the distraction,
the faster Iíll fall asleepĒ.
I fell asleep once waiting
on line for a roller coaster at Six Flags.
Granted, television is not
the Corkscrew, but Iím a flexible man.
Court TV works just as well.
When Court TV is reruns,
I flip it to the
this pill is not for the casual dieter Ė
the dieter just trying to lose
that three or four vanity pounds.
Thatís why this pill costs $150 a bottleĒ


Luckily, my dog doesnít seem to mind.

Neither does my gal.

Hell, they havenít even noticed that the last
nine days in a row
Iíve beaten the alarm clock to the punch.
I donít bother to set my delinquent timekeeper
to buzz or chirp or ring
because those noises
meld into dream.
I have to set the alarm
to a radio station that doesnít exist
so that it comes across
as a granulated buzz.

As far as the dog is concerned,
I canít wake up early enough.
She can sleep all day.
I can not.
But I take her for her walk anyway.
Iím awake and about to step in it.
Morning, that is.

I put on her choke collar,
grab the flashlight,
her poop bag and the leash
and we are off to the end
of the driveway.
At that point,
the rest of the walk
is up to her.
We can turn left and head across
the railroad tracks and
walk the edge of the soccer field
with the perfectly
unobstructed view of  Mars
hanging there,
heavy with laughter Ė
while Orion lounges
across the treetops complicitly;
or we can head rightĖ
toward the Church
with the marquee out front
that reads
Revenge is like
swallowing poison and hoping
the other person dies.