This blog has been created as an open experiment of poetry composition, perhaps a glimpse at an emerging manuscript as it matures. This working manuscript should not be considered as complete or published. Instead, this should be viewed as merely an early stage in the process of creation.

I have placed below some of the pages from an isolated venture in one of my typescript loose-leaf folders. The contents here represent portions of an ongoing personal project with a particularly narrow focus intended to eventually develop toward a book-length poetry sequence with the tentative working title of

The poem will grow as new sections are added. The individual posts are designed so that they may be viewed as independent items; however, I have consciously carried themes, images, and similar language through the extended sequence with the hope that connectivity and continuity will be preserved among numerous sections of the long poem.

Readers are asked to regard this piece as a work in progress, a partial or rough draft rather than a finished product (even if some selected segments previously may have appeared in print), and I request everyone realize various edits, emendations, or expansion may be made to the posts at any time in the future. Moreover, at some point the entire sequence will be removed to undergo a complete revision.

Therefore, I urge visitors to become followers of the blog by clicking the link in the sidebar, as well as to follow on Twitter for updates. Readers are also invited to browse my personal web site for additional information.

Indeed, a significant part of this experiment involves a certain amount of transparency that includes the possibility for readers to communicate responses and offer constructive suggestions, both of which I welcome through post comments or e-mail messages.

Also, I advise that the order of the numbered sections is not meant to be at all definitive since the long poem’s sequence will certainly be reorganized as the work in this temporary format starts to resemble a completed manuscript and begins to assume a more formal shape that might eventually be suitable for publication. In fact, I welcome interest from book publishers as well.

Thank you for taking the time to examine this trial stage, a test which I perceive as a preliminary process in the composition of a possible poetry manuscript. —Edward Byrne

Friday, June 11, 2010


. . . . .
VIII. Night Terrors

. . . . . 1

Even now as he wakes to see me, knows
. . . . . I have been watching him sleep, he still keeps

close to his side that thick book he’d hidden

. . . . . all night long under his covers, with one nearly

fisted hand holding it so tightly that I might

. . . . . not be able to read the raised and finely-printed

white letters extending like a small animal’s

. . . . . vertebrae along the length of its spine, spelling

out those dry technical title words spread
. . . . . across another of his mother’s medical texts.

. . . . . 2

Each night he reads what he can understan
. . . . . now about how the body’s outward appearance

often deceives, warnings of its weakness

. . . . . remaining unseen like those few signs of life lost

beneath the little lake outside his bedroom

. . . . . window, its still water frozen and snowed over

ever since winter’s first frost. He seems

. . . . . to be seeking some sense of security that might

arise from learning answers to unformed

. . . . . sentences, the questions he is yet unable to ask.

. . . . . 3

The graphics picture all kinds of diseases,

. . . . . and I wonder if these images feed his dreams,

frighten him late at night after the set timer

. . . . . turns off his dresser light or those weak final

beams of moonlight—drifting down cold

. . . . . air currents, sifting through the now bare trees,

falling among the house’s eaves, filtering

. . . . . between curtains in his window—fade away,

whether he believes even shrouds of darkness

. . . . . cannot erase what he’s seen, cannot ease any pain.

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