Migraines and nightmares
White feather floating in air
Screams echoing into darkness
It is only a dream
But what does it mean
Bad brain activity through chemistry?
Or more importantly
In my family, at least
Interpretation is everything
My mind reassures
But the image endures
As the morning progresses
Circannual rhythm begs for
As Romani ancestors’ blood
Burns from the Florida heat
Searing my already aching head
I want to leave
Circadium rhythm
Scrambles my internal clock
Producing a lifetime of insomnia
Is this another problem
Autistically to blame?
To sleep, perchance to nightmare
But I’m more like Hamlet than Ophelia
Because the dread of something after death
Makes me bear those ills
I will survive the heat
I will survive the lack of sleep
I will…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Backyard Nightlight


I hear stray thoughts
Invisible air waves
Shred discordant music
Striking me like steel confetti
A thrumming threatens engulfment
While hypnagogic images
Rapidly animated, changing
Invade my bed of spikes
I feel cruel hands
Encircling my skull
Bone on bone
Spitefully violating
My heavy-lidded eyes
While nausea speaks to me
How I crave darkness and quiet
Instead, there is
Another migraine…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: swamp rope

WHEN WE MET TODAY (A hypnagogic image)


We were lions together

Once standing erect

Dredlockian manes of singed gold

Mingled in the sooty sunlight

Front paws entwined

Walking upright as one

Never to be separated

Until the unavoidable end

Vowing one following the other

To the mysterious portal

But separated

We lost our way

And until today

I did not know…


© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: Lions, Chauvet Cave painting, France


Lying in bed

Holding a notebook and pen

On my breasts

Darkness so restful

Almost asleep

Glanced down, seeing myself

Might be a corpse

In a box

Bible between waxen hands

Maybe for my cremation

I should mention in my will

Please place a blank notebook

And a BIC CL I CK fine point pen

(Or wait, maybe a black gel rollerball)

In my still fingers

In case I arise

And need to write a poem

About the end …

Or beginning?

(C) 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)



Dark room, bed of nails

Whispering, “No sleep for you”

Suddenly saw the truth

Superimposed on this world

Rusty red

Old blood red

Spider web

Hollywood size

With matching web-weaver

Also tainted red

Her legs stretching forever

Into the hostile aethers

Saw you and I

Knocking around the nexus

Tangled in the warp and weft

Of a bored tale-teller

Soon to tire and tip

Her latest universe

Clean her house

Sweep away superfluous lattices

Then pitilessly begin another day

Oh, thought I

I understand now

The secret of life

I’m drug-free so

Can’t blame revelation on that mess

Hypnagogic images leave me clueless

One wonders if the Collective Unconscious

Focusing on similar cosmogonies

Has more veracity than suspected

Because this time I know

The Spiderwoman of folklore

Is best left unseen…


© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: freepik.com



Sharing three in the morning

With you, but

Don’t know what zone

You’re in, or where

Wandering through the hall

Whales on the kitchen floor

Myopic stream of consciousness


They are merely shadows

The detritus of sleeping disorders

Window A/C shakes sweating walls

Noise covering the thump of my

Crying-out-to-you pulse

Silently slowing

In its vacuum…


© Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)