Various Ways to Sleep

by Ed Ruzicka

Bulldog hunkered into bones out of rain’s way.

At the tip of a violin note.

Just before you veer off the highway to plow into pine trees well past midnight.

Within fog hung across branches, in strips down the field.

Upside down, between stalactites dripping into pools.

In the middle of writing a sentence a teacher will approve of.

Bleeding ore in a vein that groans and swells for centuries within mountain rock.

Beside the hum of a respirator while a nurse shuffles.

In the hold of a honey comb, six sides hexed within wax, golden row upon golden row,
floor after golden floor.

Within the whirl of fingerprints left on a bullet casing inside a heart that’s stopped

Four minutes after the alarm came once, deeper now than then.

Blank after the rush of images through synapses in a grand-mal.

Gooey, larval. 

In the sunken bell of a flower from which two stamen shoot.

Behind ditch, line of scrub, chain-link fence off County 41 at an abandoned missile silo by
which only elk, rabbit, wolf leave prints.  

Within motes that churn at the apex of a grain silo.

Where oxygen thins, quits.


[Ed Ruzicka has published one full length volume, Engines of Belief.  His poems have appeared in the Atlanta Review, Rattle, the New Millennium Review, and Chicago Literati, as well as many other literary journals and anthologies. Ed lives in Baton Rogue, LA and is an occupational therapist. More works can be found on his website,]