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Avery M. Guess

Translating Insomnia

“‘Everything is a question of sleep,’ says Cocteau, but he forgets
the shark, which does not. Anxiety is vigilant.” —Lyn Hyjinian

I. The First Night

Everything is sleep.
Sleep does not question the anxiety shark.
Shark is everything.
Everything is a question.
Question sleep.
Sleep is anxiety.
Anxiety is the shark.
Shark says, Cocteau.
Cocteau is everything.
Everything forgets.
Forgets the shark.
Shark does not question sleep.
Sleep is a question.
Question not the shark, says Cocteau.
Cocteau forgets the question.
Question, but not everything.
Everything says, Sleep forgets.
Forgets the shark.
Shark is not vigilant.
Vigilant is a question.
A question forgets.
Forgets, but does not.
Not everything is anxiety.
Anxiety is sleep.
Sleep is vigilant.

II. The Fourth Night*

It was a dream.
Sleep is not a question of anxiety sharks.
This is the problem.
When asked about sleep.
In sleep mode.
This tension is a shark.
Shark Cocteau.
All forgotten.
Forget sharks.
Enkontournabl shark dream.
Sleep is a problem.
The question is no longer Cocteau shark.
J. forgotten issue.
Problem, but a miracle.
All told, forgotten dream.
Forget sharks.
Shark warning.
Inspector problem.
No, better.
All problems.
A dream of tension.
Police sleep.

III. The Eleventh Night**

It was a nightmare.
The Pope is not an issue that concerns us.
. dad
It's a problem.
Asked about retirement.
In bed.
Weight of the fish.
Cocteau fish.
Cocteau was.
Forget all that.
Forget the fish.
Enkontournabl sleeping fish.
Sleep problems.
Cocteau fish does not matter.
I. Your visit will be logged.
The problem, however, is a miracle.
He told me many dreams.
Forget the fish.
Warning line.
Forget it.
Not the best.
At all.
Interesting dream.
Police bed.

*Text from Lost in Insomnia: The Fourth Night run through Google Translate from English to Spanish to Chinese to Haitian Creole to Bulgarian to Tamil and back to English. I’ve no idea what Enkontournabl means. Perhaps Enkontournabl was once a god of sleep but is now struck with chronic insomnia. Perhaps not.

** Text from Lost in Insomnia: The Eleventh Night run through Google Translate from English to Icelandic to Swahili to Lao to Filipino to Welsh to Urdu to Russian to Greek and back to English

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