Louise Bourgeois Draws Insomnia in Red Ink, by Susan J. Erickson

My skyscrapers slouch against the sky, out-of-plumb from midnight until five a.m. Red swarms of mosquitos. On the radio Buddy Holly sings “Have you ever been lonely?” I draw a maze of circles, racetracks for my obsessions. Again tonight, I chase a familiar rat, my father and his mistress, who dared build a nest in our family home. If I could murder time, would it be by drowning or guillotine? I sketch clocks whose hands drag time’s scarred body, whose gears grind like garbage trucks on the streets of New York at dawn. I count the slow drip of seconds on the forehead of night.

Note:  Louise Bourgeois made a series of some 200 drawings during a severe bout of insomnia from November 1994 to June 1995



Susan J. Erickson’s first full-length collection of poems, Lauren Bacall Shares a Limousine, won the Brick Road Poetry Prize.  Susan lives in Bellingham, Washington, where she helped establish the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk and Contest.  Her poems appear in Crab Creek Review, The James Franco Review, The Fourth River and The Tishman Review.

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