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Untitled - Matthew Gardner

Untitled - Matthew Gardner

Oil on canvas

36x48x1-1/2 "


Horizontal Klimpt: The Gloaming of Dreamtime
by J. Elliott

The plump, familiar pillow receives my busy brain
induces the nightly ritual,
cushioning the head into 
the bed of gold, element of transition
into dark of night, absence of light
sacred passage through the gloaming of the dreamtime
into the abyss of delta waves.
Yin and Yang play tag as consciousness falters,
subconscious rises,
anxiety fights rest,
Worry and Fret play jacks in the mind
scattering the barbed little bits about, 
bouncing fragmented ideas
scooping up shards of thoughts.
Often the horizontal Klimpt 
is verklempt: overwrought with the emotions of the day, of the past.
I-wish-I had, why-didn’t I? or just why-the-*bleep*-did-that-happen? 
Sorrow, Regret, Confusion stop by like mourners paying respects
Should-have and Could-have will have to wait.
It’s too late now.
Now I lay me down to sleep
Divine Universe, protect me, bless me. 
Please come, Sleep. 
Thoughts encroach, memories drop in like
bitter chocolate chunks in cookie batter,
voices, colors, emotions, and codes, vie for expression and domination.
Mind and body letting go, sinking.
But there is something there, wanting attention.
It hovers and snickers, undulates, fades, reforms. 
Kick out, cry out against the sharp cramp in the calf. 
Now I lay me down to sleep. 
The niggling something, hovers still. 
Do I know you? 
You might, it snickers. I don’t care about the covers. I want to steal something else.
I’m not listening, I think, rolling over and mushing the pillow. 
I won’t go that easily, it goads.
Is it otherworldly or a chemical phantasm?
Dehydration Devil?
Cold Medicine Monster?
They can make for some turbulent,
hold-onto-the-mattress vertigo dreams.
Smothering. Spinning. 
Now I lay me down to sleep

Absinthe, the famed “Green Fairy” makes the heart grow fonder. 
Sounds clever, but it’s not true; it just makes the mind absent. 
Staring at a wall becomes all absorbing, fascinating. 
Heart and mind off to the void
better than Calgon could ever take me away.
I had the chance to try the real wormwood stuff once.
Conversation became too complicated, tedious,
but that wall and I shared an extended, intense knowing.  
Alcohol: loutish, snoring bedfellow… 
No. None of these. 
Oh, fine time for a hot flash, good grief…
Fumble for the fan switch, bump it to high.
Now I lay me down to sleep 
Oh, you think? it asks, mocking. 
Will not listen to you.
I banish you
Be gone. I will not give you strength or power. 
Surround myself with mirrors of protection.
I summon peace.
Golden bed, honeyed dreams?
Sunny yellow, bright, childhood crayon color,
stay in the lines

Divine Universe, 
guide me, protect me. Let me rest in peace.
Hypnos and Erebus I am here, receive me. 
Ahh, Serenity. Relaxation. The bed receives the body entirely. 
I break free from the murky green tormentor. 
Weightless, I take flight.

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