Startling Sleep

On a cool spring day, I fell asleep

In a bed of blooming flowers.

When I awoke, I was surrounded:

A poet, a novelist, a playwright, an essayist.


The poet vibrantly clad in a purple cloak

Stroked his beard and with a crayon in his hand

Wrote on my arm, “Your very flesh shall be a great poem.”

He took my wrist and led me to a shelf, and pulled out an annotated song of myself.

Then, he spoke,

“By studying these lines, you will learn to synthesize words like a poet, and a spark will be lit – enlightening your

inner poet’s wit.


He sank into the shadows, and the novelist attacked.

A surly mustached cynic whose menacing eyes threatened

Me under his pearly white hair, dapperly combed over his arrogant head.

He walked around me like a critic, until

He pinched my head with a quill and my soul with a stare.

Drawing blood, he wrote upon parchment,

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool

than to speak out and remove all doubt.”


A gentle red-headed playwright soothed the pain,

He put his arm around my shoulder, and we took

A long day’s journey into the night.

He refused to speak or let me utter a word.

For hours, we watched a family disintegrate –

Chaos and drunkenness.

Watching me watch,

He softly whispered, “Life is for each man a solitary cell, whose walls are mirrors.”


Finally, I turned to the left, where the essayist gazed with stone cold eyes at me

From under his jet black hair, and after a moment

Or two, his lips curled into a smile. He grabbed my hand

Spun me in circles and took me to a pond. There,

I had an uncontrollable desire to see my reflection.

I reduced myself to all fours

And peered over the edge of the bank, where I saw

It, but it wasn’t me.

I was cloaked in purple, sporting a thick moustache

With fiery red hair and stone cold eyes unlike my own.

When I looked up to my guide, he smiled before I spoke and said

“A man is a method, a progressive arrangement a selecting principle, gathering his like to him;

Wherever he goes.”


I came to, lying in a garden

Beside a pencil and a notebook.

I opened it up, and stared at the blank pages

And began to write.


About mkautz10

I was born and raised in Punta Gorda, FL. My life changed when going into eighth grade I moved to Charlevoix, MI. Four years later, I would move back to Punta Gorda, relax in Indianapolis in a school for three semesters, then finish at the University of Michigan with my Bachelor's; the same spring I graduated I began a Master's program. Now, I teach in Detroit at Medicine and Community Health Academy at Cody. My jobs include teaching 9th grade English, writing curriculum, head of Instructional Leadership Team, creating standardized rubrics and literacy assessments for the school, ACT tutoring, driving students to and from school, developing literacy programs, and other educationally productive things!
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