Monday, April 3, 2017

National Poetry Month: Barbara Moraff

"Going to Sleep"
(Barbara Moraff)

He doesn't want
to go to bed
he's ten years old
his friend doesn't go
to sleep this early he's not tired he's
wideawake yawning only for more oxygen which
has nothing to do with being tired or needing
he says more than 7 hours of sleep no matter how
old you are which is not really the point he says
face so determined
I cld whop his kisser/don't/do tell him he has to
start getting ready for bed now  it always takes him
a half hour or more when temperamental like you he says?
ok now and not three minutes from now I say now
I haven't finished my math homework he says too bad I say you
have been watching the tube glued like a gluon what's a gluon
he says tomorrow I say I'll tell you all I know about it now
you're getting ready for bed and that's that & don't 
forget to wash behind your ears really I mean it I say giving
he thinks him another excuse, aha I send him of to bed
w/ dirty ear-behinds

this is my chance I yawn its a matter of oxygen I go
to the bathroom wash & brush my teeth, oh its bedtime

"Going to Sleep" by Barbara Moraff was published in Sulfur  No. 3, 1982. Moraff met Kerouac when she was 18 -- Kerouac called her "the baby of the Beat generation" -- and read poetry in coffee shops where she found her way to Ginsberg in the city. She read poetry with him in Paterson, NJ (where she grew up) and Amiri Baraka encouraged Moraff to submit material to Evergreen Review. Her work appears in the anthology A Diffrent Beat: Writing by Women of the Beat Generation  and in over ten collections of her own, most recently Footprint (2007). 

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