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A few years ago, I noticed that almost every night, I find the most random strings of words running through my head just as I fall asleep. Sometimes they're completely disassociated, or form sentences that make no sense, like "broccoli and goldfish sailing through the sky..." But other times, I quickly wake myself up, and write them down before going back to sleep, and I find that the words are actually pretty cool. This isn't very common, but it has happened more than once.

The most remarkable instance of this happened one night when I was taking a nap, in a rather uncomfortable chair, in a rather noisy building. I couldn't move beyond that drowsy stage of pre-sleep, so words kept running through my head for about half an hour. With some surprise, I discovered that I was involuntarily forming rhymed poetry. I wrote it down on a napkin.


Here, incandescent blue light;

but there, high green deer.

They turned, amazed, to Anna’s portrait,

which, helter-skelter, ran freer.

Expect the recent bride to come

if her cardigans are grey.

The ocean seeks to win one man

on the barrel-tossers’ quay.


It was such an unusual experience, to write poetry without meaning to. I felt very lucky to have been able to wake myself up enough to write it down. I even like its randomness. I'm hoping this happens again sometime.

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