Overdoing It

Translated by Christian Hawkey and the poet

All night the cicadas measured time
and yet I couldn't make it to sleep.
I was late by three hours,
then by four, then five.
I was hoping time would turn itself off,
allow me to somehow reach the finish line.
And yet even through the wind I heard
how mercilessly it thumped and banged
or actually: ticked on, lovelessly.
And without sleeping at all I dreamed
I was in a hurry, though I should know
a hurry is no use. No use, no use,
I was calling out the refrain, as if playing staccato
or with my own leg plucking the string, the wing.
Then I discovered I was the one keeping time,
rubbing against space, ticking from the inside,
and would sleep for good if I stopped.

To read Jeffrey Lependorf's score for this poem, please click here to purchase JUBILAT 17