Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sleepless in The Abyss

I couldn’t get to sleep a few nights ago.  My thoughts wandered hither and yon like balls in a pinball game.  (Remember pinball machines? Yeah, you’re old, too!)  St. Jude was the first nebulous thought.  Not the hospital, the actual saint.  He’s the patron saint of lost causes which was what I was thinking about the elusive sleep I was looking for.  From there it was thoughts about the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees.  He’s a cutie and I hope he doesn’t end up a man-whore like Brett Favre. Brett Farve brought to mind the Nickelback song, “Figured You Out” (I like your pants around your feet …) which led to memories of a road trip to see Nickelback in New Orleans. I really like New Orleans. From there I thought about being in the Superdome a year after Katrina and the tour of the Ninth Ward and all the destruction that was still evident. Thoughts of destruction brought to mind the hotel room I shared with three other women on a later trip to The Big Easy for Slumber Parties. From there, with visions of vibrators, a very overweight bed-mate, the loss of the rest of my 6-pack of Blackened Voodoo Ale and being locked out of the bathroom while a roommate had sex (I shoulda been having sex!), danced in my head while I remembered a poem one of my college professors given as a dramatic reading to the class.  I'm now going to share it with you ~

The Lady's Dressing Room 

Jonathan Swift

1732

Five Hours, (and who can do it less in?)
By haughty Celia spent in Dressing;
The Goddess from her Chamber issues,
Array'd in Lace, Brocades and Tissues.
   Strephon, who found the Room was void,
And Betty otherwise employ'd;
Stole in, and took a strict Survey,
Of all the Litter as it lay;
Whereof, to make the Matter clear,
An Inventory follows here.
   And first a dirty Smock appear'd,
Beneath the Arm-pits well besmear'd.
Strephon, the Rogue, display'd it wide,
And turn'd it round on every Side.
On such a Point few Words are best,
And Strephon bids us guess the rest;
But swears how damnably the Men lie,
In calling Celia sweet and cleanly.
Now listen while he next produces,
The various Combs for various Uses,
Fill'd up with Dirt so closely fixt,
No Brush could force a way betwixt.
A Paste of Composition rare,
Sweat, Dandriff, Powder, Lead and Hair;
A Forehead Cloth with Oyl upon't
To smooth the Wrinkles on her Front;
Here Allum Flower to stop the Steams,
Exhal'd from sour unsavoury Streams,
There Night-gloves made of Tripsy's Hide,
Bequeath'd by Tripsy when she dy'd,
With Puppy Water, Beauty's Help
Distill'd from Tripsy's darling Whelp;
Here Gallypots and Vials plac'd,
Some fill'd with washes, some with Paste,
Some with Pomatum, Paints and Slops,
And Ointments good for scabby Chops.
Hard by a filthy Bason stands,
Fowl'd with the Scouring of her Hands;
The Bason takes whatever comes
The Scrapings of her Teeth and Gums,
A nasty Compound of all Hues,
For here she spits, and here she spues.
But oh! it turn'd poor Strephon's Bowels,
When he beheld and smelt the Towels,
Begumm'd, bematter'd, and beslim'd
With Dirt, and Sweat, and Ear-Wax grim'd.
No Object Strephon's Eye escapes,
Here Pettycoats in frowzy Heaps;
Nor be the Handkerchiefs forgot
All varnish'd o'er with Snuff and Snot.
The Stockings, why shou'd I expose,
Stain'd with the Marks of stinking Toes;
Or greasy Coifs and Pinners reeking,
Which Celia slept at least a Week in?
A Pair of Tweezers next he found
To pluck her Brows in Arches round,
Or Hairs that sink the Forehead low,
Or on her Chin like Bristles grow.

  The Virtues we must not let pass,
Of Celia's magnifying Glass.
When frighted Strephon cast his Eye on't
It shew'd the Visage of a Gyant.
A Glass that can to Sight disclose,
The smallest Worm in Celia's Nose,
And faithfully direct her Nail
To squeeze it out from Head to Tail;
For catch it nicely by the Head,
It must come out alive or dead.
   Why Strephon will you tell the rest?
And must you needs describe the Chest?
That careless Wench! no Creature warn her
To move it out from yonder Corner;
But leave it standing full in Sight
For you to exercise your Spight.
In vain, the Workman shew'd his Wit
With Rings and Hinges counterfeit
To make it seem in this Disguise,
A Cabinet to vulgar Eyes;
For Strephon ventur'd to look in,
Resolv'd to go thro' thick and thin;
He lifts the Lid, there needs no more,
He smelt it all the Time before.
As from within Pandora's Box,
When Epimetheus op'd the Locks,
A sudden universal Crew
Of humane Evils upwards flew;
He still was comforted to find
That Hope at last remain'd behind;
So Strephon lifting up the Lid,
To view what in the Chest was hid.
The Vapours flew from out the Vent,
But Strephon cautious never meant
The Bottom of the Pan to grope,
And fowl his Hands in Search of Hope.
O never may such vile Machine
Be once in Celia's Chamber seen!
O may she better learn to keep
"Those Secrets of the hoary deep!"
   As Mutton Cutlets, Prime of Meat,
Which tho' with Art you salt and beat,
As Laws of Cookery require,
And toast them at the clearest Fire;
If from adown the hopful Chops
The Fat upon a Cinder drops,
To stinking Smoak it turns the Flame
Pois'ning the Flesh from whence it came;
And up exhales a greasy Stench,
For which you curse the careless Wench;
So Things, which must not be exprest,
When plumpt into the reeking Chest;
Send up an excremental Smell
To taint the Parts from whence they fell.
The Pettycoats and Gown perfume,
Which waft a Stink round every Room.
   Thus finishing his grand Survey,
Disgusted Strephon stole away
Repeating in his amorous Fits,
Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits!
   But Vengeance, Goddess never sleeping
Soon punish'd Strephon for his Peeping;
His foul Imagination links
Each Dame he sees with all her Stinks:
And, if unsav'ry Odours fly,
Conceives a Lady standing by:
All Women his Description fits,
And both Idea's jump like Wits:
By vicious Fancy coupled fast,
And still appearing in Contrast.
I pity wretched Strephon blind
To all the Charms of Female Kind;
Should I the Queen of Love refuse,
Because she rose from stinking Ooze?
To him that looks behind the Scene,

Satira's but some pocky Quean.
When Celia in her Glory shows,
If Strephon would but stop his Nose;
(Who now so impiously blasphemes
Her Ointments, Daubs, and Paints and Creams,
Her Washes, Slops, and every Clout,
With which he makes so foul a Rout;)
He soon would learn to think like me,
And bless his ravisht Sight to see
Such Order from Confusion sprung,
Such gaudy Tulips rais'd from Dung.
I  probably should have taken a sleeping pill.                                 

17 blew out from under the bed:

Danielle said...

LOL, It sounds like what I think about every night at about oh, 1 am. Every night lately. Damn brain needs to shut down every once in a while!

nitebyrd said...

Danielle ~ Sometimes I build an imaginary cabin in the woods to calm the crazy brain syndrome, that night my mind just wasn't having anything to do with construction!

Akelamalu said...

I seem to be having too many nights like that lately :(

Fat Controller said...

I haven't seen too many posts that can combine Nickelback, hotel sex and Jonathan Swift :-)

Ron said...

Awesome poem, Nitebyrd!

Love the post title.

And I really like the photos you used between the stances!

I went through a period (back when I lived in Florida) of MANY sleepless nights. I would get to sleep okay, but would wake up every single morning at about 4:30 a.m. and could NOT get back to sleep.

Isn't it something how things (memories and images) will go through your mind when you can sleep? Things we haven't thought of in years.

Hope you're sleeping okay now, Sis!

Happy Monday to you!

X ya!

Indi said...

nitebyrd ~ what exactly do you eat or drink last thing at night to think of all those weird n wonderful things? If I drink cider or red wine before I go to bed I have frickin nightmares... but never poetry.. all but this one. Ready?

Roses are red
violets are blue
I didn't see
this one coming
did you ? Lol

Indi

xxx

flying solo said...

I love how one thing led to another thing.. and they really made sense...
It's amazing what the mind comes up with... esp when it is in need of rest.

I keep my Tylenol pm right on the nightstand... for nights just like that!

~Jen

Sorrow said...

oh but if you had! look what I would have missed!
~laughing~

UBERMOUTH said...

OMG @ the poem.

LOL@ you should have taken a sleeping pill.

tattytiara said...

Brains are so boring during the day.

Anonymous said...

Do you people have a facebook fan page? I looked for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to become a fan!

Vixen said...

Ugh...I have those same nights. Where I just wish my brain would shut off!

I usually have some brilliant hair brained ideas during those nights though! ;)

xo

the eternal list said...

insomnia and the one and only Pinball Wizard, yep, that's a typical night terror for me...

ZomBee said...

All that while trying to sleep? Ye gawds woman no wonder. Your mind was too busy. Especially when you have to go into the back cabinets and start pulling out poems from Swift.
The mind needs easy tasks that you would give to a 4yr old or the simple boy down the street whose nose is always running and always points and loudly exclaims "BIRDY".
You gotta dummy it down for the sleep to creep in. Let the higher functions get ignored so they can start their shutdowns and let the lowly fog of base needs creep in like a low fog.
Stay away from plans, money,job and shoulda-woulda-couldas. Play fantasy games in your head. You in the movie of your choice. King of the world or sex magnet. same ones over and over and over each night.
This will train your mind into automatically start shutting down when the images start.
I used to read in bed before going to sleep but then after years of doing so I found that as soon as I cracked a book I started shutting down.
stupid brain.

ZomBee said...

forgot to mention... soak feet in as hot of water as you can stand till they are red. Then go to bed. This pulls the blood away from the brain and helps give you a boost into dreamland.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

i totally loved it. I think it's your best.

it is awesome.

more sleepless nights...please. hehehe. and get to writing. : )

later sweetie.

nitebyrd said...

Akelamalu ~ I don't get them too often but when I do, they just drive me nuts! I hope yours will become few and far between very soon.

Fat Controller ~ My body might not be a wonderland but my mind sure is! LOL It's like going down the rabbit hole frequently!

Ron ~ Isn't that poem just fantastic? The professor was a real trip. And who new Johnathan Swift was so nasty? LOL I now have the mother of all colds. I had no idea that one head could hold so much snot! I've been taking Nyquil - lots of sleep with very weird dreams. Glad you're able to get to Nod and stay there up north, Bro!

Indi ~ You are a poet in league with Mr. Swift! ;) I have no idea what I ate or drank! Shit, I can't remember what I ate this morning!

Jen ~ I do love Tylenol PM but don't take it often as I can't wake up for work. If I know I'm going to have trouble, I'll take one and it does the trick. The mind does make some fantastic journeys when it's allowed to wander freely.

Sorrow ~ It's SO wonderful to see you again. I've missed you, beautiful lady! (((hugs)))

UBERMOUTH ~ Yeah, isn't that poem something else? LOL Thanks for stopping by, hun!

Tattytiara ~ Yes, they are. Thinking all that logical stuff. Pffff ... what a waste!

Anon ~ Why are you people always so damn stupid? Why did you look for Facebook on Twitter? My FB info is right on my sidebar.

Vixen ~ The brain weirdness must be linked to the dark. It just makes sense. Well, it does to me! Hopefully, you don't have many sleepless nights 'cause they do suck!

THE ~ I still think "Tommy" is a work of art. Genius. Sheer genius. But better the Pinball Wizard than Uncle Ernie. ;)

ZomBee ~ I'll try that foot soak thing next time I have one of those nights. I read every night before I go to sleep. Right now I'm reading about the Templar Knights - so far, so good with zoning out as soon as I close my eyes. Thanks for the tip!

Spiky ~ Well, I can't take credit for the writing, only the remembering then copying and pasting but I'm glad you liked it. I'll have to write about a couple of my more memorable dreams! Thanks, beautiful!