Nancy Machlis Rechtman has had poetry and short stories published in Literary Yard, Paper Dragon, Page & Spine, The Thieving Magpie, Quail Bell, Anti-Heroin Chic, Blue Lake Review, Goat’s Milk, Down In the Dirt, and more. She wrote freelance Lifestyle stories for a local newspaper, and she was the copy editor for another local paper. She has had stories and plays for children published and produced. She currently writes a blog called Inanities at https://nancywriteon.wordpress.com .
Maybe In My Dreams
The nights tease and dangle The possibility of escape And obliteration From the mania of the day While the hours tick by with no relief And I try what the self-proclaimed experts promise will work So I turn off the TV Even though that’s the only thing that keeps my mind From going over the edge Of nowhere. I even turn off the phone That keeps me tethered to the world So I don’t float away Into the clouds And end up losing my way But I’ll take my chances. We’re told we should be like computers And shut down So we can recharge. But without the distractions I’m hooked on Where do my thoughts go When they’re all jumbled up in my head Since they always manage to find their way to the forbidden places I need to stay away from When my only companion is loneliness. So I cheat And grab my phone with the sigh of an addict And discover it’s only 2:00 AM And I fling it onto the floor. Unconsciousness has become a tangible thing that I seek so desperately And I watch it ping around the room Always out of reach. Every time I blink It darts out of my grasp Mocking me. And as my mind continues going down the rabbit hole I grab the remote and turn the TV back on Hoping the banality of the offerings will lull my eyes into closing for a few hours And let my mind pause Just enough To turn off the big thoughts About the world And climate And all the hate And poverty And starving children And dangers And despair And then To turn off the voices that try to convince me That I’m never enough And I’m always doing it all wrong And I’ll never not be alone Because I haven’t lived up to who I should be. But I try to persuade myself That maybe in my dreams I can work on all of those things And figure it all out If only I could sleep.
Alone I dangle From the arthritic limbs Of the ancient tree In the corner of the Universe. Like a marionette I dance To the familiar melody Yet it changes every time But I always know the steps. My feet never touch the ground My hands only touch the strings When I fear I might plummet And shatter into a million pieces, And my heart is never touched at all. Do I pirouette only for the Puppetmaster Or do I have a say In what music is played Or which composition is on the menu today? I can’t reach my pocket For the quarter I want to slide into the jukebox So I can press B3 And maybe find my release. Instead I paste on a smile Like Pierrot So that my pain elicits laughter And all that matters Is keeping the world entertained For a few moments of anesthesia And sedation.