Green Hills Literary Lantern




A Night Outside My Head



like a dog left outside with the door shut in its face

I get locked out of my head on sleepless nights

put out into the dark that cannot settle down

cannot congeal into nothingness

but keeps churning with silent forceless winds

among  walking bushes

and vicious hounds trapped by their legs

but ready to trap the sleepless in their jaws


the night outside my skull is sculpted by jaws

teeth that keep me out there in the sleepless night

I keep banging on my head

my forehead

my ears and temples

with my rusty but sharp arthritic fists

demanding to be let in

and allowed back in bed

covered by a multicolored dream sheet


but it's no use

perhaps there's no one inside my head

except emptiness from wall to wall

packed so tight that there's no room for me

not until it dries up like a receding flood

by the morning

when I am able to open the door and get back in


but by then the place looks different

the scene of an all night party with sticky

pizza boxes and beer cans on the floor

with unmated shoes and dirty underwear mixed in

my head doesn't feel like home

after outside in a sleepless night

but I have nowhere else to go

so I might as well try and clean up the place







Paul Sohar is a prior contributor to The Green Hills Literary Lantern and over 25O other publications such as Agni, Chelsea, Kenyon Review, Rattle, and Rhino. In addition to eight volumes of translations, he now has a book of his own poems, ˝Homing Poems˝, published by Iniquity Press (2OO5)