Jones’ relationship with his inner child in “Insomniac”

“Insomniac” is about Saeed Jones’ broken relationship with his inner child. The reason why I know the boy Jones describes is him is because his reference to ‘legs’ in the first stanza of this poem parallels the several references made about legs in his other poems about later life experiences. In “Insomniac” Jones describes the young boy (himself as a child) as “small with wild legs” (1). In “Cruel Body” about Jones’ experience with sexual assault, it says “Get up. Find your legs, leave” (35). There is a clear difference between the two characters, the young boy who cannot sit still and the older person who cannot leave.  

The relationship between the two characters, the two versions of Jones, is described as an estranged relationship between child and parent, which supports the idea about Jones lamenting over his inner child. The newer version of Jones is described as the “mother of sorrows” who cries in the child’s bed and waits for him to answer her calls (1).  

Even though the two people come from the same ‘family’ Jones says, “the only inheritance of worth [the inner child’s] in the village of your synapses” (1). This line suggests that the relationship between parent and son- Jones and his inner child- is not only sad but dysfunctional as well; the inheritance was not intended for the child but for Jones’ older self. I think this makes sense because children seem to have more self-worth in general until it gets robbed from them in life experiences.  

It is not until the last stanza where Jones accepts fault for this relationship when it says “but — for now—he’s still your boy. Sweet little wreck. Check the room you’ve locked him in” (1). The reader stops focusing on how the boy was ‘trapped in his synapses’ but how he got trapped there to begin with.  

One thought on “Jones’ relationship with his inner child in “Insomniac””

  1. This poem analysis emphasizes the message of a broken relastonship between one’s inner child and present self. This is a very common experience for people t oexperince as they grow up and experience the many hardships and traumas of adult life. This is espevially true for queer poeple who, through the jourmey of discovering their sexuality, are often thrust into maturity much to early due to the fear and rejection they often face through this journey. This line of poetry especially stuck out to me because I relate to the aspect of the poem where Jones seems to view his inner child as a person separate from himself.

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