The Somnabulist

A Poem by Marsha Posz

A persona poem based on Cora Mowatt, famous for her strong personality and ability to predict what treatments would work for her physical illnesses when she was mesmerized by her physician during the age of Victorian Spirituality.

Hemorrhages attack my lungs,
but no man may assign a diagnosis
of hysterics to my condition.
I refuse to be assigned to the settee,
ankles crossed in propriety,
voluminous skirts arranged in perfection.

You mesmerize me?
Ah, but I have mastered my own medicine.
I assign the cure and will not merely be
your somnambulist as you lecture those around you.
You seem to feel threatened, and perhaps
it is my assertions and knowledge which do so.

I shall awaken as I choose, days, or weeks from now.
When I do, I shall, unfortunately, return to the meek, the mild, the feminine.
But until then, I am your equal
with intellect, strength, and vivacity.
Perhaps the hysterics reside in you. My other self is nothing
and the time for me is just beginning.

Ask Ariely: Leisurely Lifestyles

People vary somewhat in what makes them happy, but the longevity expert Dan Buettner has found some general lessons. His research shows that the world’s happiest people, in an average day, spend less than 30 minutes watching TV, devote just 30 to 60 minutes to social media, listen to music for at least two hours and get six to nine hours of sleep. They also volunteer two to four hours a week, practice relaxation techniques, take at least four weeks of vacation a year, read a book at least every other month, engage in sexual activity (the more, the merrier, Mr. Buettner says), and have close friends who are racially and ethnically diverse.

–Dan Ariely

Ask Ariely: On Tee Time, Quick Quizzes, and Leisurely Lifestyles

Magic Dragon

A Poem by Michael Estabrook

In Studio Grow Children’s Play Space
with our two granddaughters:

stacking blocks into barns, buildings and bridges
knocking them down again

climbing over the wooden slat bridge then crawling
through the long slinky plastic tunnel to freedom

making salads and waffles and triple-decker burgers
in the play kitchen then play-eating them

assembling a tall chimney on Tom the Builder’s Lego House
that he shares with Nurse Betty and sometimes Dr. John

doing a dinosaur puzzle and a farm animal puzzle
sometimes mixing them up into a confused clutter

playing a turtle, a seagull, and a tiger
in the Make Believe Puppet Theatre laughing

uncontrollably as the bar holding the curtains
falls down

Then Peter, Paul and Mary’s Puff
comes on over the studio stereo

and suddenly I’m struggling
to hold back tears no idea why