Tuesday, April 15, 2014


My home planet is undone by cataclysm. I am not certain of the root cause, but the planet no longer rotates, leaving it cold/dark on the one side and burned-beyond-life on the other. All of the remaining beings from the world are floating in a small clutch in space about a mile or two above the dark-side of the planet which is no longer a coherent ball, but more like chunks of mountain and valley compressed into an enormous-eroded fist. It looks like an ironstone version of a Lake Taihu stone set against deep space. Where there should be stars, there is only cosmic dust and gas reflecting the errant sun — the word ‘errant’ is spelled out before me in script, sparkler-style. A collective keening has just begun when I am pulled into shifting dimensions by a force that is amplified by a kind of ululating that breaks down the walls of space/time as we go. ‘She’ says, ‘We are late to the party.’

She and I apparate onto a barren plateau in a numinous dimension where a vast army is gathered. She introduces me to one of her lieutenants as ‘one of us.’ The lieutenant is an Aleut, his/her 8 sets of ears are half funnel-eared bat/half human. Without signal, the ‘collective’ begins a screaming/roar — the air shatters as the present disintegrates/burns away.

I am levitating up near the ceiling of an archaic, vaulted library — it appears to be carved out of the side of a mountain — I’m not yet quite sure which book I’ve been sent to retrieve.

Saturday, April 12, 2014



Forrest Gander, who is my former advisor, is looking at a shopping cart in a large parking lot. The front of the cart is facing him. There is a crowd around him, myself included. He is wearing an old school white nightgown that comes down to his ankles. He is psyching himself up for running and jumping (long ways) over the cart). He is barefoot. He runs a short distance and leaps up over the cart but his foot just barely touches the handle bar and he comes down on his hands and knees. Everyone rushes to help him up and I am moving his arm to get under him and lift. He was scratched up but fine. His eyes were huge like Montgomery Burns after his Friday night treatments on The Simpsons.


Another famous poet, who I won't name, is in what appears to be a high school hallway- very wide, etc. There is a man with a violin case (is there a violin in there? who knows) and this famous poet snatches the case, walks down the hall and slides the case into an office. "12000 of those things now."

She and I have some kind of side conversation but then we go and join a larger group. "It's about time I moved up in the conversation," she said to herself or me, maybe.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dreamed that it was pitch dark and I was in bed with a poet. A chapbook rang, it was his cell phone. I woke him so he could take the call. He agreed to meet the woman on the other end, but this made him upset about money. He said he had to leave. I was glad to see him go. I didn't know what I was doing in bed with him anyhow.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dreamed that I had sent a letter for help to a friend. My friend wrote me back, but did so in a code, because where I was being held was not safe. The code was made of long strips of typewriter ribbon, but each strip was gibberish. I realized that if I cut the strips the same length as a page, taped them to a wall, and read VERTICALLY, I could read my friend's note for me. His message was to take courage and to write him at his mother's address from now on. I cried at his thoughtfulness. He came to me later, and we hugged over an antique banister. He was short and muscly and in a white tank top.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

GABA seems to give me intense dreams. I found the perfect house that was both in NY and Tokyo. It had a tatami room and a basic circular shape, with sections sunken or elevated and it was surrounded by a forest. It was a little funky but also beautifully remodeled with orangey kitchen cabinets and a beautiful desk with an oval edge looking out into the trees. There were delicate viney hanging plants everywhere. The owners had left the door so I spent a night there sneakily in the tatami room. It was perfect. The next day was the open house though and it was thronged including some of my friends, including Rob and Kim. Of course they thought it was perfect too, which distressed me; couldn't they see it was more perfect for //me//? I went up to the owner and told him I was totally guileless in bargaining but that I would do anything to get the amount of money necessary to buy the house. He had a slightly 80s look like a slighter Philip glass, curly hair and circles under his eyes, maybe wearing a black suit jacket, and he just nodded and said mysteriously that I'd been doing the right things...somewhere outside the house I met Gary's grandparents who shook their head over him and were so glad to meet me (in earth life they have long not existed and I never met them)...then yesterday morning I dreamed I had to pack really quickly to go to Cambodia for five days to give a presentation... Cambodia! What wishes and slippages I have been privy to!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

In the dream I had last night I was crossing the road in East London--I think it was Mile End Road, when I literally bumped into Rene Ricard. He was carrying a load of notebooks and other personal items. He pushed them into my hands, saying, I think you could use these. I walked on with them and went into a pub where I could sit down and look at them. I was well aware that what had just happened was extraordinary since I knew in the dream that he had died. And I felt that it was extraordinary that I had been chosen to receive these things since although I had met Rene I did not "know" him. Apparently the pub that I'd gone into was one where he was a regular because the people there recognized that the stuff I had was his and they asked about it. They didn't show suspicion but wonderment. The next thing I remember was that I was at my friend Scott Lash's house, still with Rene's stuff, explaining to him what had happened, but he didn't know who Rene was and I had to explain it to him. On waking, I began to wonder if he had ever actually spent any time in London. I somehow doubt it.

as posted to facebook on 2.15.14

Saturday, January 11, 2014


In the first part I invented a fire alarm. I made a large effigy of a man and dressed him in bright scarlet pajamas and night cap. I suspended the effigy from the ceiling by a rope noosed around its neck, and then I pinned it to the ceiling with a beam pressed into its stomach. If the house caught fire, the beam, which was made of highly inflammable material, would burn up quickly, allowing the effigy to swing down, crash through a high window, and hang outside the house. Passersby would see a big scarlet-clad dummy hanging out the window and know there was a fire inside. (I've already applied for a patent, so don't try to steal this idea.)

In the second part I was carrying my acoustic guitar down West Court Street in Flint, MI, my home town. I was going to practice in a graveyard, as is my wont. I passed a big Catholic church with a bunch of Hispanics pouring in and out. A young man came up to me and asked me in Spanish if he could see my guitar. I gave it to him, knowing that he was going to show off his virtuosity. Sure enough, he started playing a bluesy number so beautifully—as beautifully as anyone could on my low-end guitar--that everyone stopped to listen, and when he finished they all cheered and applauded. I took back my guitar, thanked him, and hurried on, hoping he wouldn't ask me to play.

In the third part I was attending a big university, and my next class was on another campus or a remote corner of the same campus. I got on a shuttle bus, but when it took an unexpected turn I realized that I'd boarded the wrong one. The bus started speeding down the freeway away from the university, however. I knew I was going to miss my class and end up in a strange, distant place. (This part is a recurring dream for me.)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

in the dream i had shaved hair sort of like Aimee Mann in til tuesday and had chinese slippers on and was taking the bus in Narragansett without any money or design. i somehow ended up at a green boutique where i was chatting with Amy King and other female poets about eco feminist poetic manifestations (i still had no money) ... not sure how this all connects Myra Thibault-- but maybe i should come to NYC for New Years?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I had a nightmare about AWP last night--it felt like a bizarre conference of accountants in old Vegas. Had the feel of Leaving Las Vegas in that weird, sad but beautiful last attempt to hold on to what, we're not even sure. There were old-style ice machines and dark hotel lobbies with faded rugs in grotesque patterns. It also reminded me of a hotel I stayed at in New Orleans once, which was haunted and abandoned-but-still-inhabited and the water ran brown, and the curtains looked like old residents. (We moved to another hotel.) Not sure if this means I should go or not go.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Weird dream: I dreamt I visited Skrillex's website and it hacked my computer. When I tried to exit the page, it would just stay on it and kept playing this guy's music and showing MacPaint art he'd made as well as quotes from his stupid short stories (does Skrillex's write?!) There was a counter on the top right corner of the page that would count down for when the screen would flip to another image. Below that there was another counter for how long I had to hold the power button down in order to turn off my computer. The power down counter was always longer than the image counter. Every time the image flipped, both counters would reset to a higher number. I tried to turn off my wifi but nothing helped.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lately I've been in a musical stage adaptation of It's a Wonderful Life; I play Uncle Billy, the buffoon who loses the money. So last night I dreamed I was wearing my old-fashioned Uncle Billy costume, and I was with Joan Crawford in an apartment that looked just like the one in Wait Until Dark, which of course stars Audrey Hepburn. I wasn't romantically involved with Joan; I was just a friend. I'm straight, but in the dream there was something vaguely gay about me. Like Audrey, Joan was expecting a violent intruder. People kept coming to the door, and as soon as she opened the door she'd wop whoever it was on the head with her big purse. He'd fall and tumble into the apartment, and we'd see that he was the landlord or milkman or something. “You must excuse her,” I'd say, “she's expecting someone much less welcome than you.” Then a bunch of people in 40s clothes barged in through the back door. Joan knew them well; apparently they were family. They were strangers to me, but one of them was my cousin Gerry, who looked a bit like William Powell in his antiquated get-up. I tried to get his attention, but he pretended not to recognize me.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Dream 8 December 2013
My father appeared in my dreams last night , the first time in many years.  I recognized his stooped height, his low voice, the shape of his face, and most of all, his state of mind.  My father was a man possessed, alcohol soaked, as if a demon had taken over the workings of his brain.
My father was past standing and had spread his body out across the floor, ready to die.  Only he would not die.
I wanted him to die.  There were others in the room, sisters, brothers, cousins, all as I remember them from when we were young.  And although no one said as much, I knew that every member of my dream felt as I did; we wanted this man to die.
My father lurched himself onto his feet and came over to me.
‘Will you come to dinner with me?’ he asked.
I hoped I had heard wrong.  I did not want to join my father for dinner. I did not want to spend time alone in my father’s company.  But I could not be so bold as to say, no.
I went instead to my mother and she made excuses for me, which my father accepted.
Resigned, he flopped back onto the floor, his face next to a machine that gave off some sort of froth, which I knew to be toxic.  Soon the fumes would overwhelm him.  In the meantime I needed a shower.

In a communal bathroom, shared by many people, not just the members of my family, I tried to pick my way through piles of dirty, discarded clothes to find a towel that might suit me.
In the meantime someone took my place in the shower queue.  Someone seated on a toilet next to the shower and I remonstrated with her.
She backed off.

Monday, November 18, 2013


       I hear that Betsy is going to have her little girl audition for entry into a private music

school.  She’s to sing a composition of her choice.  Thinking this might be an interesting

diversion, I decide to attend.

       When I arrive at the auditorium, it’s already overflowing with mothers and their

daughters, all around ten years old .  This is no orderly audition; some girls are singing to

piano accompaniment while others are running about.  I worry that Betsy and her kid

haven’t yet arrived.

       I listen to the last few girls sing.  They don’t sing well and they’re nervous.  I watch

them being hurried upstairs (apparently no one has failed part one) for their “interview”.

      Then Betsy appears, very dressed up in a long gown.  Her daughter, very cute, very

poised, very scrubbed, is also wearing a long dress.  A pleasant pianist gets ready to play

the music they’ve brought with them.  The auditorium is empty, except for the four of us.

     The little girl begins to sing a difficult piece, sensitive and esoteric.  She’s clearly 

extraordinary.  The first line of her song begins, “I care….”   On the strength of her

singing, she needs no interview.

    The director tells Betsy (who winces sharply) that tuition is $1780 a term, and rambles

on about where and when to send the girl’s trunk before leaving us alone in the room.

     I ask Betsy how she obtained her song.  “It’s from your poem,” she said.  “I set your

poem to music.”

    “I’d like to send you another poem,”  I say.

    The three of us, happy at the outcome of the little girl’s audition, continue to talk a

while before going home.  At this point, Betsy notices that I, too, am wearing

a long gown.  It’s soft organdy, white and ruffled, tiny green leaves and flowers all over. 

Betsy says to her daughter, “Doesn’t  Irene’s dress look like lettuce?  Taste a little.”

     The girl takes tiny false nibbles at one of the ruffles.



       Scavenging at the beach, we spy an old shovel in the sand.  I doubt its merits but we

take it with us.  My eye passes over the terrain: sand, sea, and gulls.

        In a continuation of the dream, I’m there again, but only a small, enclosed area of  

beach is revealed.  It’s the view from my kitchen window.  The courtyard is the  

beach; the three levels of rooftops beyond are the sea.                                           

        I pick up a small stone and throw it into the ocean.  I am amazed when it    

 boomerangs!  Back into my hands falls a soft, resilient object, like a child’s stuffed    

 animal, pinkish in color.  It then becomes a baby, though not a real one.  However, I

 treat it as such, carrying it to a house I think it belongs to, then caring for it myself when 

 no one in the house pays attention.

        I throw a second stone.  It bounds back as a wooden elephant, ears painted white on

dark blue, a child’s toy with moveable legs.

        The sea becomes a flexible sheet of clear cellophane.    I ask a bather for precise

directions to the Staten Island ferry.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Everyone was dressing to go to something for a writer who was very sick and either did or did not know it.  I kept telling all the writers, poem and prose writers, that her writing was like a big negative thing that sucked people into it. I was screaming this. Some people didn’t like me because I said this. I offered to take anyone who wanted to the service for the writer who was oblivious that it was a service for her. There was a mother and daughter who were very large and the daughter decided to ride with me in the open car. Air was very important. I could see that parts of her body stuck out and showed beneath her clothes. She wore a long black skirt that gathered at her waist and still I could see one of her bones.

I was wearing many different patterns and finally took one off in the form of a scarf. I felt more all together after that removal. We walked up and over the hill past the people at tables and through the gate that was on the street side. The fence down low was like a picket fence, only more colorful. Once we got through, that left us on the outside of a rail fence that still had bark on it and had the natural shape of tree branches. We finally got to the car and it was red. The poet who didn’t like that I talked about the sick girl’s negativity squinted slightly when he saw me, to avoid me. That was the last I saw of him.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Wow, it's been almost 2 yrs since I last bothered to describe (a) dream(s).  Last night was fitful as usual, maybe a little more so.  I started a 1 wk juice fast yesterday, I'm only at the end of the 1st day.  There was a period in my life when my dreams mainly consisted of fighting off thousands of people trying to destroy me, maybe hundreds of thousands, maybe millions - that was easy enuf to recognize as an exaggeration of my waking life.  I didn't succumb, I always FOUGHT, & got more & more impossibly tired.  Last night I was fighting again.  Sortof.

I was in a big spacious rm.  Nothing as simple as a rm such as one might ordinarily encounter in a house - more like a warehouse space w/ multiple vertical layers not necessarily organized around any readily apparent purpose.  It seems that I was fighting w/ at least 2 males, maybe 4.  I might've also had some friends, who weren't fighting, maybe 2 or 3 or 4.  Anyway, I apparently killed 2 of them by throwing objects that hit them on the temples.  It was all very amorphous, or, at least, my waking memory of it is.  Did these enemies exist?  I remember a high platform?  One of the enemies might've been there.

I was trying to leave, trying to clean away the evidence before investigators came to discover the murders.  But I was doing so in a chaotic, dysfunctional manner.  I wasn't doing things like wiping away fingerprints.  & where were the corpses anyway?  Maybe friends were helping me, maybe we were all dispirited, it was a horrible enervating situation.  I was half-heartedly hiding some small things, like C batteries, in something like a partially busted cabinet, in one of its broken interstices - knowing it wdn't really work..  &, yet, there weren't any investigators, they were just a possibility.

I awoke & eventually went back asleep again.

I was in another, more claustrophobic, mostly empty rm, hypothetically an interrogation rm..  but there weren't any interrogators..  just the feared threat of them.  I was thinking about what I'd say about the murders.  Did the victims actually exist?  Wd I just be trying to fool the investigators if I sd that I didn't remember?  If I sd I didn't actually know whether I'd committed the murders or not?  Wd pleading amnesia be accurate?  Or was this something other than amnesia?  An actual amorphousness of 'reality'?


My environment was taking shape around me according to some sort of sub- or un- conscious force, perhaps wishes.  The rm, not the same rm, not the interrogation rm, became a store for used odds & ends, something like an antique shop.  I was w/ friends, fellow musicians, maybe Kenny Haney, maybe Neil Feather, maybe, later, Brian Wolle.  The shopkeeper was showing me a Bb clarinet, an unusually LARGE one but still straight, not like a contrabass one, eg.  I explained that I'm not a clarinetist & that I might not be able to get much out of it but that I wanted to try it.  I arranged the reed so that it was on top & sat down to play.  Even tho it was an 'ordinary' Bb clarinet it was so long that its bell reached to between my feet while I was sitting.  I was trying to stabilize the clarinet so that I cd get my fingers on the keys but the clarinet kept turning.  The bell wasn't completely circular, it was about 2/3rds circular w/ a flattened side.  I thought the flattened side wd go on the floor but in that position the keys were torqued wrong.  Of course, if it were an actual clarinet in waking life, I cd've spun the bell to whatever position I wanted it in - but in the dream that didn't occur to me.  The shape of the bell changed as I tried to look at it to see what the problem was.  Now, instead of a circle w/ a flattened side, it was a circle w/ 2 flattened sides forming a "V" w/o the dramatic angles of the letter "V".  I tried to play the clarinet but only got a squeak.  In waking life, I wd've been more proficient.

None of my friends were in the rm so I went in search of them in an adjacent rm, perhaps like an arm of an "L" in relation to the rm I was in w/ the clarinet.  I like being in rms w/ instruments & when I'm somewhere where there're none I often feel like the rm is missing something important.  In this new rm there were a plethora of instruments & I was excited.  & many other objects to.  I gravitated toward what initially appeared to be an oversized upright piano, perhaps one w/ more than 88 keys.  It was partially obscured by other miscellania.

As I got close, I was excited to see written on it that it was a "Mirliton".  "Mirliton" had another word before it, like a brand name, but I don't remember that now.  In waking life, a mirliton is a membranophone activated by blowing, like a kazoo.  But in my dream I was thinking of it as an automatic instrument, like a calliope or some such, the type of thing that the Bayernhof displays in Pittsburgh or that House of the Rock displays in Spring Green, WI.  Excited, I called to my friends to point this out & confirmed that it had doors on its front that cd be opened to display its inner workings.  Then I noticed that the doors were unusually small, that they'd apparently been glued shut, & that there were little screw holes that showed where small knows for opening the doors had originally been, now removed.

The proprietor came over to examine it, he didn't realize what he had.  But as we examined it, it became increasingly flat, rather than free-standing in the rm, as it had originally been, it became more & more reduced until it was just a canvas, perhaps 3/4" deep, hanging on the wall.  There was no keyboard, no lower body, even the appearance of small doors had become sketchy.  The proprietor & I awkwardly removed the canvas from the wall & put it on the floor & then he walked away.  Surprisingly large creatures started to scurry off from their nests in the canvas's stretcher frame.  At 1st, a very large centipede, then a very large spider, then a mouse, then an 'impossibly' increasing number of mice.  When I called the proprietor's attn to this one of the mice seemed to be a baby rat instead.

I wrote earlier that "My environment was taking shape around me according to some sort of sub- or un- conscious force, perhaps wishes."  But it wasn't quite a lucid dream.  It was more like me discovering the nature of the way dreams ordinarily form.  It's not like they're just 'there', they BECOME THERE as I create them w/ whatever drives are bubbling to the surface at the time.

In the midst of all this, I awoke at one point & wrote down this phrase: "Damnable boys on innuendo state, she said".  I've been keeping a list of such phrases thought of while half-asleep since the mid 1970s.  I call it "Telepathy Research Training".  But I don't recall having added any new phrases for at least a decade, maybe for 15 yrs.  Was last night's sleep a time when some sort of unconscious dam broke?  Did accumulated cholesterol work its way out of my (he)arteries? 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I learned of the novel, The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd, through advertising at Fictionaut.  I clicked on a photo of it, though I tend to read few new novels and reread classics, then read an account of it and an excerpt.  I liked it.  Early the next morning I dreamed just before waking that Amy Grace Loyd sang to me and my publisher her praise of my writing and my way of representing it.  Her language seemed untailored to my situation yet enthusiastic, and my praise of her, though I have not read her novel, was precise and equally enthusiastic.  My publisher, as I am forced to know him after three decades of friendship, stood by me as we withstood the gale of Loyd's approval.

Friday, November 1, 2013

20 October 2013
Last night in my dreams I died.  I knew I had died because a letter arrived saying as much.  I had been involved in some mystery murder.  A young man had been killed by an unknown person or persons.  I was involved in tracking down his killer.
I do not know how I had died or why, only that my family had begun to grieve but they forestalled their grief when I reappeared only for their grief to start up again after I told them I could only stay a while until we had solved the mystery.
And there was a scene in which the video cameras in my dream replayed a segment in which the father of the dead boy had shaken him under a particular wall in their outside garden, because the man had kept secrets there and the boy had inadvertently trodden on the place where the secrets were concealed. Was this father the murderer?
I do not know the nature of his secrets only there was another scene in my dream movie where the man/father/murderer was rowing out on a lake alone in a gondolier type construction with a large silk hat on his head and fancy clothes.  A cross dresser of sorts.
Something sexual in the secret?  Isn’t that always the way?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Inside the church of St Ignatius I wait for others to arrive.  I have been carrying around a long and skinny rooster which nestled in my arms until it tried to get a foothold and clawed at my skin.

‘Leave off,’ I said to the hen, ‘I’m happy to tote you around but not if you claw into me.’

The chook flapped off to join the other hens of whom she seemed afraid.  This hen was different.  She did not fit in.  The others sat atop the altar, perched high, more like pigeons than hens.

A priest in my dream who seemed both nun and priest was on his mobile phone asking about a new job.  He had wanted me to hang about until he was told one way or another that he had the job or not.

This decision weighed heavily on him, on me, on us.  We two were in love, much like the main characters, Father Peter Clifford and Assumpta Fitzgerald in the TV series Ballykissangel.

A priest in love with a member of his congregation.  Unthinkable, and yet, here we were.  Chaste as yet but filled with desire.

And then the head of the organization, a lay man but still religious, on his way to the priesthood, gave me instructions about how I might cut the table cloth to size.  There were rows of tables all adorned in white in readiness for Mass.

‘Could you carry the offertory things?’ he asked me, 'the bread and wine up to the altar.'

The idea unnerved me.  I had not done this before and would need to rehearse.  I wanted to be involved but I was on the periphery of belief in that I had none.  Still I relished the ritual.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The survival place started out as a hobo camp, but there were things for sale on the honour system. I was carrying my baby and we were doing okay, but we needed something like socks. Before this, we were in a room where my mom and my brother were. There was Lego on the floor, a little yellow building. My baby was there, too, and my main concern was taking care of, protecting him. I escaped into the woods with my baby—it was raining lightly. There was a very tall man whose stuff it was that was for sale. He gave or sold me something and shrunk down to a normal size. We went into a motel there on the shore of the lake. It was then that I was addressed by the name “Jack” but also realized that some people knew me as “Teddy” from an earlier time in my life when I had done something terrible—or perhaps done something I thought of as justified but which some people considered terrible. I walked through a huge complex that seemed to blend elements from hippie survival treehouse and rundown motel. My wife was there. My baby was not. The tall man was also gone. I realized that the place was being run by witches. I also realized it was the same place Teddy’s crimes had been committed, but most of the evidence of what the place really was had been covered over. I changed my hair, now extremely long, and instantly my face changed and I looked exactly like my sister. I was disguised. I showed my wife, who was at the mirror. She was not all that impressed. I escaped again into a rowboat with a woman from the Teddy era who sneered that she remembered me from then and knew what I had done. By way of denial, I said “I’m Jack,” and the rowboat now contained a somewhat unfinished-looking doppelganger of me as well, staring blankly and menacingly at the woman. “That’s Teddy.” I was on shore again, but in a car with my wife. It was still raining. We were going to a big, grey building to see about some kind of expensive medical procedure for her. When we got to the parking lot, the attendant sold us a day pass for $35. We only wanted a $5 one hour pass, so we were yelling at her, but she seemed apologetic. Inside, there was a smaller version of a common corporate coffee chain. The lineup was very long. I got in line.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"My name is Davi Det Hompson," he said, "but you can pronounce it however you want." Some in the audience thought this was audacious. Wanting some more mystery. "I'm from the southwest. One of those towns where there aren't any children. So there aren't any crows." He was sitting in Leo's desk at the new Division Leap. "The number of crows always corresponds to the number of children in a town. IT has to do with the tires. That's why I do what I did. I didn't want to 'heighten language' or have a dialogue with the potentiality of the book. But I didn't want to write poetry either. I wanted my language to seem to be alone in the desert."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I just had a dream a few hours ago where I wondered how to approach Zeus respectfully on my upcoming visit to Mount Olympus. Should I actually touch his gigantic feet or not?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dream, 15 December 2012

When I try to slide back into my dream I have memories, now fast receding, of a bear, or some other large animal.  A bear kept on a chain, maybe treated as a circus performer and whose owner then collected money.

Somehow the Dalai Lama or some other Buddhist type monk was concerned for this bear and began to collect money to free it. Someone had organised an event at which the Dalai Lama would speak.  He had collected stacks of money, which he kept in a plastic bag.

At the last minute his talk was cancelled.  The Dalai Lama fell in a heap and I had to rescue the money. It became clear that several of his followers were after this money.  I found I could not trust a soul, even those whom I might once have believed were trustworthy.

I had planned to take the money to a safe place.  I got into my car, my baby beside me, and realised too late that a couple of these potential thieves were in the back of my car.

First I tried to reverse in such a way they would get squashed, but it did not work and so I sped ahead in an effort to get to a police station, but I could not find one.

Imagine my relief when I heard the police siren.  I had been travelling so fast the policeman on a bike had taken note.  He was after us.  I stopped the car and reported the two potential thieves.  Then I woke up.

I dreamt I was standing by the windows in our living room in Brooklyn.  I glanced outside and it took a few seconds for it to dawn on me that it was nearly dark outside, in the middle of the day.  I had never seen it like that before, not even during the worst storms.  I went to the front door to look outside.  When I opened the door, it pushed me back, as if there were a powerful wind, though I don’t think there was.  A man was standing there, behind the locked iron grate.  I didn’t see him very well.  I didn’t want to see him.  With all my strength, I was able to push the door closed.  Upstairs, in a room more like the girls’ room at our house in the Hudson Valley, Charlotte was playing on the open futon with our visitors’ baby, a very blonde kid, with mentally defective eyes.  I asked to look at the baby, and accidentally almost let her head topple over.  Paul, a former close friend from Brooklyn, was in the room.  They must have been visiting us.  He came over to me.  I wanted to avoid Paul, but it was impossible.  He looked a little different, with darker hair, if that’s possible, and perhaps balding, or with a weird bald patch.  He asked if I had gone to my high-school reunion, saying, “You were born in the year so many kids were born, ’61, right?”  “In ’57, the year the most kids in American history were born,” I said.  He said he didn’t like high-school reunions.   By now, we were walking together outside, crossing a street to a park and playground.  I said, “It’s so tempting to focus on the people you don’t want to see, but if instead you focus on the people you want to see, you can have a great time.”  A midget or other small creature accompanied us in the park, smoking a half-cigarette.  I pulled out a pack of cigarettes.  The midget asked me for one, which annoyed me.  “They’re nearly a dollar apiece now,” I said or thought to myself.  Weirdly, the midget had shrunken to the size of an insect in the dirt by the sidewalk.  With a scissor mouth, it cut the cigarette into pieces.  I couldn’t understand what it was doing, but I didn’t try to either.  I had decided we should leave the midget in the dust.


I dreamt I was walking with two fellow women workers in the country past a farmhouse with a small pond out front.  One of the women, a crippled midget, criticized me for smoking in the room where we had watched a movie earlier.  “Yeah, I’m really sorry about that,” I apologized.  I added, “I hope you won’t tell anyone,” or she telepathically communicated that I didn’t need to worry, I’m not sure which.  I saw a gigantic snake, very thick and at least 10 feet long, slither down through the grass into the pond.  It had large white diamonds on its beige skin.  I felt sure it was a poisonous water snake.  Both attracted and terrified, I pointed it out to the others.  The midget stepped into the water to see it better.  It was only then that I was struck by her similarity to a toddler.  Then she disappeared under the water.  Gone.  Could we save her?  The other woman sort of laughed and said, “She’s gone.”  I looked around for an oar or big stick, swished the water a bit, though I soon decided it was too dangerous.  We went to the farmhouse, where a party was breaking up.  People were coming out the front door.  I asked the hostess if she knew about a snake in the pond—perhaps because I only half-believed that what had happened was real—and she said, “Oh yes, that’s the python.”  “It’s killed a woman,” I said.  “That can happen,” she said, adding with a laugh, “It shouldn’t have done that.”  One of her guests, an intellectual-looking guy with dark curly hair in his 30s, like a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, burst in and said, “Hey, listen, I really gotta go now.  Let me get outta here before the police come and ask a lot of questions.  You don’t need me for that, right?”  He was in a real lather.


I dreamed this morning that I stood ironing a pair of trousers and the iron slipped onto the side of my hand and stuck there.  I felt it burn through my skin but could not dislodge it.  The flat of the hot iron stuck to my hand as if it had been glued. I screamed to my husband for help but he went on reading the newspaper. I screamed and woke in fright.

Earlier in the night I had dreamed I was in a swimming pool with my daughter and a friend.  The swimming pool was also the home of a pet crocodile which gave no one any trouble as long as there was no food to be seen.  At one point I ate a banana outside of the pool and my daughter saw me eating and wanted a banana too.  I advised her against eating anything in the pool but no, she snuck off, took a banana and was half way through eating it back in the water when I noticed her.

‘Don’t eat in the pool.’  I could see the swish of the crocodile’s tail and imagined it was making its way towards my daughter and her banana. The crocodile reached my friend’s daughter instead and clawed at her leg.  My daughter dropped the banana and managed to drag her friend out.  Blood streaked through the water.  My daughter’s friend was only scratched but I woke again in fright.

And then just before I dragged myself out of bed in the morning I dreamed my husband had come in with one of the cats which he plopped on top of my chest, this dead weight that refused to budge and my husband laughing so loud my daughters joined him.  Before then I had been in a park where someone had dropped a load of children’s play equipment, which had already been vandalised.

Nearby I saw a cage high off the ground on stilts.  It was filled with small animals, monkeys, mice, marsupials of all kinds and birds.  One animal started to mimic my words like a parrot when I tried to converse with the other animals. It took me a while to recognise the owl as the speaker.  A large wide eyed tawny frogmouth with speckled feathers.

All the animals in the overcrowded cage seemed unhappy to me.  The owl spoke words to the effect that he would help them all escape and slowly using some part of his body for leverage he pulled down the front wire of the cage.

The smaller creatures fled but the tiny ones on the floor of the cage, the lizards, frogs and beetles and other small rodents could not leap high enough to get over the final barrier.  There was talk then among the bigger animals who had stayed behind of how they might help these last few stragglers.

A Noah’s ark that had turned into a prison.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'm in the woods. There is some heavy lifting to do- the crew and I must prove ourselves. Laura (once Johnson & sister-in-law of Phillypoet Mark Johnson) is there, and Jen Coleman appears, with words of warning, when the city begins to appear where we thought we were most remote, that "there are more alien abductions in June than any other month, and we really ought to watch out." The crew then find ourselves in a library, where I note The Dreamer is sitting at a table surrounded by children. The Dreamer confirms with a nod but without opening his eyes (he is not sleeping) that he is practicing "The French Method," or lucid dreaming. I inform Anna Daedalus that The French Method is "the best form of bad Surrealism."
It’s not the first time I have dreamed of a baby whose head is disconnected from her body but in this dream my baby was born with a thin line of tissue connecting head and body and at some point this membrane broke and her head was completely separate.  Even so her head continued to live as did her body but I worried about how they might ever come together again.

In my dream I was living in a community consisting of family members from my family of origin and other people from my workplaces over the years.  One of the community health nurses told me I should take special care of my baby and get her to a nearby hospital as soon as possible.

It was hard to wrap up my baby  in such a way as her head might stay attached.  I feared her head might onto the floor.  The nurse helped me swaddle my baby and one of my brothers came by and offered to take us to the hospital.  I did not want his company.  He had grown dissolute over the years and although I felt sorry for him and wanted to help him by letting him help me I wanted to travel alone.

My father appeared in this dream too, or at least a photograph of him dressed as a magistrate and standing before the chair of office in front of a great desk in a legal chamber.  In the dream I asked my mother about the photo and she told me that it had been my father’s greatest desire to become a magistrate and for a short time early in his life he had succeeded.  The picture included a crowd of people seated in the docks and reminded me of the photos I have seen of my mother and father in the registry office in Holland on the day they married by law.

On that day relatives sat in rows behind the registry desk as if in church but the walls of the registry office were unadorned and the large room looked stark and cold.  In my dream the room was more like a huge hall filled with the dark carved wood of old world law chambers and my father looked prouder than I had ever seen him in life.

Somehow in my dream I knew to go outside and look over the country side that surrounded the huge community house in which we lived.  Whether it was a communication from my dislocated baby or from my father I knew it in my bones and went outside as the wind stirred up.  I watched as all the blossom trees of springtime, including the late blooming magnolias, dropped every one of their petals as if a witch had blown a puff of wind at them and they had dropped their all.

It was eerie to see these trees suddenly bare, as if in winter, but I was relieved when I noticed in the distance that it was only our trees nearby that had shed their leaves, as if our home alone had been cursed.  Further down in the valley in the far distance I could still see pink blossom trees as full as a woman’s head covered in glossy curls.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I was getting out of an elevator at Chateau Marmont & there in front of me was Denise Gainer.  because in reality I hadn't seen her in decades she was as young & fresh & beautiful as I rememberd her. but strangely in the dream I knew she was dead.  & it was the shock of seeing someone you know is dead that shook me so I woke immediately.

& as I lingerd there wondering if I shd try to go back to sleep I rememberd she was the first girl I ever kissd.  & I even rememberd the taste of her kiss. so I got out of bed. I saw that full moon out the window.  I grabbd my camera & went outside to get a few shots,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

In my dream I roam the streets and browse through shops in search of Christmas presents.  I want to buy things for my family and close friends that are unusual and inexpensive.  In a store that sells only crockery, hand made on the premises, I can see a yellow cup through the glass.  It lies underneath a pile of other pieces of crockery in such a way that its price is clearly visible.  Replicas, at the top of the pile, sell for twice as much.
            ‘Can I have the one at the bottom, the one for twenty dollars,’ I ask.
            ‘No,’ says the woman behind the pile of porcelain at the counter. ‘No, you can’t.  It’s impossible to reach.  You’ll have to settle for one from the top.’
 I buy another yellow one despite my misgivings and somehow in my flurry I pay for it with money given to me by another person who has asked me to safeguard it.

I tell myself it's okay.  I’ll just replace his money with mine, but his money comes in the form of travellers cheques or some other sort of cheque that you need to cash in, each amounting to twenty dollars.  If I replace one cheque with a twenty dollar note it will be obvious that I’ve used it.

It’s too late and I regret having used his money and not my own.

In another scene I help my husband build up a clock face as a present for two other friends.  My husband plans to design it is such a way that it has a haphazard symmetry.  I follow his lead and make sure that although at first glance it looks as though all the embellishments on the left are matched by those on the right, they are not the same.  There are tiny changes rather like those quiz cartoons where two identical images are placed side by side and the aim is to spot the differences.  The differences exist if you look, though they’re not obvious.

I arrive home with a bunch of children, my own and others.  I am busy with cleaning, cooking and washing, when I realise not only have I left the cup behind, but I’ve forgotten the baby.  Not my baby, my sister’s baby, who’s been left in my care.

I roam the house in search of her.  I ask my husband if he knows her whereabouts and in the process of my search I am distracted by other people’s demands and I forget to go on a search outside.

There’s a ring on the doorbell and a couple arrive.  The woman holds the baby who is freezing.  I can feel her skin, the ice cold of someone left too long outside in winter.  The baby looks at me knowingly but not as pleased as she might once have been.  Then I notice there’s a man lying at the feet of the people who are returning the baby.  He reeks of alcohol.
            ‘We found him with the baby sitting alongside the gutter.  We thought you might know them.’
            ‘The baby, yes,’ I say, ‘but not the man.’

The two help him up and carry the man away while I take the baby inside.  I worry now that he may have abused her.  She looks untouched when I change her nappy, but her nose has a graze underneath the nostril and a thin line of blood.  I toy with taking her to see a doctor but I do not want her to be further abused.
I wake up.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Horror Movie

This is the nightmare: I am in a movie theatre awaiting the next show. I am alone although the theatre is speckled with other patrons. I seem to remember taking the subway here but cannot be sure. Perhaps it had something to do with my sister asking me what she should do for recreation. Perhaps a newspaper clipping advertizing “Astro Zombies”(sic.) The lights go down but the movie does not begin. It is very dark, and then there is a feeling of sliding out, as though my chair is being pulled from under me.

Marge dreams that the globe
is rapidly becoming populated
by Homers.
They spring into being
right out of thin air,
which is also distressing for
dream Homer.
As they multiply they form
a mob and set to eating
the screen.

There is a necessary gap in reason. I am aware that I am lying on a cot in a storage closet in back of the theatre. The door appears to be open and I can tell the movie has begun because I can just make out the vague shapes of utility apparatus and industrial cleaning supplies by the light from the screen, although its flickering picture remains just out of reach. It’s a horror movie, and unable to discern the plot, its sounds of ominous tension and horrific violence become my own soundtrack. I am awake in the darkness but cannot move. This goes on
for hours. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

This morning in my dream I travel on a tram with several members of my immediate family. They get up to leave the tram at the right stop and I intend to follow but am caught up trying to gather together all my belongings and a few of theirs as well.

             Before I know it the tram has taken off again with me left behind inside. I think to get off at the next stop and to race back to my family but it takes me so long to gather my belongings that at least another five stops pass before I can gather myself together enough to get off.

           I had taken off my shoes in the tram but now I cannot find them.  Instead I find my daughter’s sandals.  I also find her hand bag along with my own.  And there are items of clothing which I imagine belong to another of my daughters and other bits and pieces on the tram floor that I cannot bear to leave behind.

           When I finally get off the tram it stops at the intersection of Bourke and Cotham Roads, which is a surprise to me.  I had thought we were travelling along Swan Street.  This is perhaps why my family had changed trams earlier to avoid being taken out to Balwyn. I will need to change direction and get a tram travelling to Camberwell.

           At this particular intersection buses change over to trams.  I can see a bus coming towards me but again I have trouble gathering together my belongings.  They seem to be increasing in volume every time I try to gather them up.  More and more stuff.  Children’s toys now, things my grandchildren might enjoy, Lego and a child sized kitchen cabinet, an inflatable children’s pool, one that will be wonderful when the weather heats up.  I cannot bear to leave it behind.  I try to stuff it into one of the bags I am now using to consolidate my stuff.

           I recognise I will need to leave some of the larger stuff behind. I cannot possibly carry it all by myself.  A woman comes over to help me to gather my things together.  She turns to stop the first bus which has morphed into a tram but I am so slow at gathering my gear that again the tram takes off.

           I wake up with hot feet and a concern that I will never be able to get home again unless I abandon everything.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A report comes out in the newspaper and includes all the doctorates passed this year at La Trobe university, mine among them.  I want to read what’s written about my thesis but cannot find the full text, only snatches of it before someone else grabs hold of the newspaper. 

It looks like someone has devoted more words than usual to my particular work, though from the little that I can read it’s not clear whether the comments are positive or negative.  And then I am out shopping with my baby, in search of Christmas candles. 

I put my baby down onto the shop floor unaware of what I am doing and am horrified later to find her squeezed among the shoppers’ feet.  Later I hold her against me with no hands spare, as I try to negotiate with the shop keeper about what I might buy, what belongs to me, and a pair of gloves, which she believes I have shoplifted. 

I am sure I came in with my own gloves, but in the shopping scuffle I may have mislaid them and wound up with another pair from the shop.  To me, it’s a fair trade, though I am not sure the shop keeper agrees. 

I am at the university with the baby in an elevator in search of my supervisor who also has a baby.  We have trouble getting to the intended floor.  Up and down, up and down from the one hundred and first floor to the third and back again. 

At one stage we compare babies.  My supervisor’s is a boy. Mine’s a girl.  I have a sense that she is better able to care for her baby. But I cling to mine nevertheless.  At one point I notice my baby chewing on something.  I wrench it from her mouth.  It’s a lemon pip.  It’s hard to understand the appeal of a lemon pip, my supervisor says, but I reckon, to a baby who has experienced so little by way of taste it must be full of flavour.

Monday, June 4, 2012

His birthday Thursday marked the day, 16 years ago, I returned to Minnesota from my domestic travels abroad. On Wednesday I dreamed that coffee grounds had spilled on my Buffet. I used my fingertips to wipe the grounds off the black wood. There was another clarinet, a silver one, that belonged to a man not in the room, that was clean of debris. Bob Dylan came to collect me. He was a guest at a hotel. I agreed to follow him; then instead of going to his room, we went to the mirror together. There were green vines growing from pots and copper incense burners and beige and purple sheers billowing like kites. I took on his expressions in the mirror—he stood close behind me and we watched as my face became a kin of his.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I drove past a pair of high heeled shoes abandoned in the middle of the road somewhere near the Monash University in Caulfield.  I wanted to go back and see what condition they were in and whether they might suit one of my daughters, but I kept getting further away.

Then half asleep in the early morning I was with my husband who had promised to give a friend of one of our daughters a lift to work, but our car was no longer available and so we set off on foot.

We took a route that was familiar to us, one we had travelled often many years before but not recently.  It involved a short cut through several properties and I worried the whole time that we would get caught; that we would upset the people who lived in these houses; or that we would be thought of as burglars.

All these things happened as we raced through corridors of unknown houses on the pretext that they were apartment dwelling corridors and communal spaces, only to discover they came to an end in some stranger’s kitchen.

At one point as we were leaving someone’s back yard I could see the occupants of the attached house in the distance.  They started to chase us. We ignored them and ran off up the street.

Someone else further up the street pulled out of a driveway in his hotted up hoon car and tried to stop us. With Herculean strength I managed to push his slow moving car to one side so that we could all get past and in the process I tipped it over to one side. The driver was trapped inside of his peeled back soft top.  He only needed to unbuckle his seat belt to free himself.

‘You shouldn’t have done that,’ my husband said.  ‘You’ll only infuriate him more.’

Then I imagined someone else coming out to hose us as punishment, rather like the Dutch hosed down the German collaborators after the Second World War.