sleep is unwilling.
vision blurred with a blue glow
from the old CRT
shedding light on the citations
of one Erich von D—,
a professional esoteric
as quizzical as you might
expect from someone of that

my friend Erich, who
keeps me company
as I writhe
gnash and slump,
has a pet theory
so rascally inconsistent
it makes me suspect
he might be a guy
who's got a bad brainpan.
he tells me cosmonauts
of some strange race
deserve the praise for the pyramids.
I listen closely. each of us has our
obsessions, after all.

Erich claims "from Jesus Christ
to Elvis Presley,
every culture tells us
of high-flying birdmen
who zoom around the world..."
which is certainly one way
you might describe
sequined capes
coupled with uppers—
I wonder if Elvis knew what was in store
in the afterlife,
or if he came
from Jupiter to Tupelo.

(I for one welcome
our alien overlords
but only if they can
sing me to sleep
in some limitless lilt.)

the mind roams without dreams
to sustain it, spools out
ideas wilder than extraterrestrial deities
visiting our Stone Age relations,
but if only you knew, Erich,
that telling lies and talking heads
could empty out this hollow clatter
you too might wonder
to what end we seek to ride alongside
in chariots of the gods.