Sleepless in Minnesota

It was 3-something a.m. this morning. I decided to get up after my sleepy husband answered my tossing, turning, and arm-flailing with a muttered, “Something tells me you’re awake.” So, wrapped in a blanket from our couch, a mug of tea on the end table, I flipped through cable channels. I watched an old episode of Cheers, thought, god, Sam Malone is a big fat sexist twit; why did I ever think that show was funny? Flipped to news. Knew that wasn’t going to be very soothing. Decided, somewhere after 4 a.m., to write this morning’s blog.

What to people think about at 4-something a.m.? Every single thing that ever happened to them, along with random thoughts that rise to the surface and pop like bubbles in boiling water:

This past weekend’s trip to Milwaukee to accompany a friend on a visit to her parents.

The road trip when I was four in which my dad ran over a rattlesnake, then stopped to take its rattlers.

The way the rattlers sat on a shelf in my parents’ living room.

The black English breakfast tea in the mug on my left.

Whether anyone else on our block is awake yet.

What our hotel room will look like when we visit Dublin this summer.

If the whole fake news thing is going to utterly destroy this country.

Why people think lying is going to advance anything. Ever.

How I now know our Xfinity cable box reboots automatically at 4:45 a.m. every day.

How much I like writing with pencils.

How cold the house is in the middle of the night.

How much I miss my dad.

How writing stream of consciousness ends up not sounding at all like Jack Kerouac but does sound like the deepest part of me.

And so this early start to my day feels like a brain clean rather than an annoyance. My friend Luann has talked about her family’s philosophy of changing their environment when one of them can’t sleep. That is how they get back to sleep. I changed mine and realized I was supposed to be awake this morning. Awake and letting these words out. Awake and thinking about all that this day will offer, even though its first light is not yet a glimmer on the horizon.

Today, I’ll get to watch the sunrise. Happy Monday, everyone.



When I got home yesterday afternoon, after spending the weekend in Milwaukee, I found the best piece of mail waiting for me:


This is the first-ever print edition of Gyroscope Review, the quarterly poetry journal I co-edit with friend and fellow poet Constance Brewer. We are so excited about finally being able to offer a print option to our readers after two years of being strictly a digital journal.

If you are someone who prefers to hold poetry in your hands rather than have it scroll across the screen of one of your devices, then perhaps this is for you. Our winter issue is available on Amazon here for $8 plus shipping.

Watch for another update soon when our spring issue is available.



  1. I did 2:30 til 6 myself this morning. I didn’t get up though. Overdid the cheese again? Not far off. Coq au Vin is off the menu. 4am? Nuff said eh xxx


  2. I’ve been awake a few nights recently, too, due to a family member in ill health. Stuff like that keeps me awake. Otherwise I usually sleep well.

    Thanks for sharing your morning thoughts, which were varied and many.


  3. I was not up there with you…..and that is always a good thing for me, n’est ce pas?
    Glad you went to Milwaukee…you are SO kind.


  4. Sometimes getting up early to catch the sunrise is so worth it. Puts things into perspective.
    It’s also a time when the dogs refuse to get up with me. They crack an eye, sigh, and snuggle back into their little beds. Some days I envy dogs.
    (Does Shawn know his elbow is famous?)


    1. I agree that sometimes seeing the sunrise is absolutely worth it. The sunrise wasn’t particularly stunning yesterday – cloudy – but there is something about being out in the world as it opens its eyes. As for Shawn’s elbow, yes, he is aware and I’m going to buy him a copy of that issue of Gyroscope Review for his very own!


  5. Kathleen! How wonderful to hold your publication in your hands. I love the tactile reality of print, but then I also love writing in pencil. Does it get more elementary than paper and pencil?


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