Giving up the Illusion

Motorway Headlights

Sometimes I catch myself
already daydreaming
about turning the wheel
in to the oncoming lights –
giving up the illusion
to dream soft verse
after the chorus of metal
and discord of glass.

No more screaming kids,
or overdue rent,
or being on hold.
No more leaking pipes,
or stolen cigarettes,
or bad poetry.
Just an ocean of nothing,
mirror-still,
to float on forever.

Then reality snaps back
with most cruel relief,
and the clock looks right at me
and demands to know
why I’m late for work.


© 2016, Gavin Zanker.

Photo by highwaysagency licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

4 thoughts on “Giving up the Illusion”

  1. Love those last three lines. Try reading it without the “with most cruel relief” line. Both my gut and my ear want reality to lead straight to the clock. (Just a suggestion — take what you like and leave the rest!)

    1. I’m always open to suggestions and improvement and I think you’re right, it does flow better without that line. Makes it slightly less esoteric as well, which I prefer. I’m torn on changing it though – I actually wrote this last year sometime and I try not to alter things I finished so long ago. Seems like I’d never stop fiddling with my old work if I did that. I’ll have a think about it.

      Thanks for reading, glad you liked it.

      1. I get it. Revising work I wrote a long time ago feels like messing with the work of a whole other person behind her back. On the other hand — a year is not a real long time, and cutting things out doesn’t seem the same as adding things in. Once I get to the “almost done” stage, my revisions are almost entirely about cutting things out that no longer seem needed.

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