Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Robert and I are at a sort of New-Age seminar at a huge manor house in the Dolomites, hosted by Umberto Eco. The sort of people are there who I hear live at Damanhur, the place run somewhere in Northern Italy by an alchemist named Falco. Umberto Eco, however, does not look like himself but rather like Agamben, if you took the way Agamben appears in Pasolini's St. Matthew Passion and aged him about 30 years and added steel-rimmed glasses. Eco is lecturing on hermeticism, and he said something profound which I remember thinking (in the dream) I had to remember, but of course forgot. The manor house has been in Eco's family for generations, and is made up of many rooms that are contiguous but at odd angles -- the house is built into the mountainside (Damanhur again), overlooking a wide stream in which a large cat is swimming on its back. The rooms are very large but the bedrooms very small and sparsely furnished, in white. I spend most of the dream going from room to room, marvelling at how vast the house is -- it seems as big as the mountain -- and how the rooms never seem to end. I wake up wishing I had a large manor house with room that are uninhabited.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Last night, my first night in the new place, I dreamed I moved into a haunted house that was trying to kill me with clouds of dust.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

colleagues in my department & I have been required by the university to sit a written examination - rumour of results to come says that I as head of department have 'failed disgracefully' with a mark of 46/100 - I am certain this is just one more dirty trick - I consider whether there is some action I can take for redress or better for revenge

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

This morning's dream: I was talking to to Barbara Ess, palling around, walking through a small town like Hudson. I thought that I should ask her to come back to my place and sign my YPANTS ep, since I had just found it again.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

bus-stop at Platts Lane bus going to Golders Green doesn't stop should have why not? I explain to whoever I'm with they've changed it to a request stop see the sign is now a red one

on top deck of bus in old-fashioned seating with four or five seats in a row and an aisle at one side so it's hard to get out if you're at the far end I'm jammed in at the end away from the aisle by four large men in dark overcoats one next to me has a small notebook on his knee I go to pick it up thinking it's mine but see the computer programme diagram small green circles and pencil writing realise it can't be mine

off the bus a long broad curve of suburban street with shops can't think where this is I'm walking with whoever I'm walking with across the road ankle-deep in muddy water [waking identified it as Finchley Road approaching Swiss Cottage]

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

one of the recent recurring images in my dreams is a coffee pot. a big batterd coffee pot. the kind Gabby Hayes stood watch over in dozens of cheap westerns. the pot remains a prop but a familiar one a comfortable one. but without warning the dents of that pot have turnd into the abrasions on a beloved book cover.
Charles Olson's voice declaring in no visible space.

"Everything you do must be ward.
Forward. Backward. Onward. Sideward....

And then,

you must be ward alone.

An unmade bed light blue in a light blue themed hotel room.
a girl wraps her arms around the neck of another girl and hangs from her
a boy leans his head to the side on his hand trying to be a bluebird
trying to look innocent

people move in and out of the room, onto the balcony, up and down the stairs
the girl hanging is suddenly gone and the other girl runs after her saying,
i want to go with you the bluebird boy laughs and his double chin is apparent. he laughs
into his neck.

i wish he would go says the girl before she runs away
gogo, a tall girl with a purse stands there laughing with her keys in
her hand, between the bathroom and the bed

another girl, friends with the girl who was hanging, walks in a giant
glass pavilion showing around the girl who said i want to go with you
to the girl who was hanging on her

I am in a room painted a light blue green

there is nothing in the room except

there is a thin desk pushed against a wall with no window

i say, i think i will live here now

i will write at this desk

it will be earnest writing at this desk

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

my dream this morning: before bed I had been reading JM Coetzee & the Torah. fell into sleep thinking of sympathy in its relation to forgetting -- a usual thing. I found myself in a bar fancier than any I'd normally be at, leaning over a richly-lit board of polished light wood, next to an elegantly-dressed older woman, homely & with a discombobulated, antsy look. immediately I wanted her to like me. there is a piece I do not remember; soon I was sipping islay & this woman, who may have been JMC's Elizabeth Costello, approving the president to me. (I do not much like JMC; I do somewhat like JMC.) she presented her sympathies backwards, starting with a defense of his worst policies. "I'm sure we're both grateful at least for the war in Iraq." I told her I was not. "ok then, his economic policies." & so forth. finally I became annoyed & strangely proud, & I sd, immitating but not quite telling the (waking) truth, "I was married for five years to an Arab woman. her grandfather's name was Habib. don't tell me abt politics." I woke up very glad, as I have for a long time now been having a hard time remembering my dreams, at the detail of my recall, and I credited this (superstitiously?) to my yesterday having given up coffee, of which it has for ten years been my habit to drink ten or more cups a day.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I was cooking and devising alphabetic code names for the many breakfast dishes I was preparing one was TIBS the old cat-vitamin brand-name from UK but disguised with Greek letters to avoid trade-mark trouble

Saturday, May 12, 2007

when I awoke this morning I was dreaming abt Eudora Welty. I don't recall that she actually appeard in it but I was insistent in my demands to some woman I didn't know that a certain book be deliverd to Miss Welty.

Friday, May 11, 2007

does the back-story matter or who was driving? sitting in back of car with E unexpected tender moment holding hands goes on and on until wake
dreamed I was back in Russia. knew I'd have to come home, soon, but dreaded the flight. stopped by an American-looking mailbox and began filling it with strange objects from a large valese (which I guess I'd been carrying with me). the cars on the street (I think maybe Sukorovskij street near where I used to live) were glass, and looked almost opaque in what light made it to them (thick clouds above). the objects from the valese may have been medical supplies.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I dreamt that I shaved my head. People were distressed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

that I woke dreaming of Marilyn Monroe shd be no surprise. one of the last things I did before hitting the pillows last nite was to finish proofing a 1985 article I wrote abt the Marilyn paperdoll for a new manuscript I'm putting together.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I had the fire kindling dream again. The one where either Graham or myself sets a match to the kindling on a hearth, bringing fire to a house that’d sat cold and forlorn for a while.

Not a great while, for it wasn’t dilapidated. Just cold.

And, later, whether in the same dream or some other dalliance I do not know, I dreamt we were enjoying hot buttered scones fresh from the gradell, washed down with fresh-brewed tea from an iron kettle.

Monday, May 7, 2007

So I dreamt that my employers were pressing me on the fact that I haven't put a full-length collection of poetry out. I tried to appease them with my ESL anthologies that I'm apart of, but no one was having it. I then explained all the performances, visual work, etc... and how my poetic practice doesn't necessarily fit the usual model. Again not having it. Then I left the office discouraged, sure I was fired. I went to Moe's and was checking out the used poetry section, like I always do: Lo and what the crap: There was a book of poems I'd written that had everything I'd ever written from juvenalia to marginalia in my college Biology book, everything ever, all there. I was initially embarrased, but then recognized that this got me out of my initial non-book pickle. Problem is, I had published it under a different name. I went back to the office to explain the situation, but no one bought it. The word fraud got thrown around repeatedly.

The alarm went off, I woke up, then bicycled to the English Department, where I work.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

I set off for walk 10 minutes from the domestic terminal to collect car from $5-a-day carpark of the overseas terminal in suburb villas tree-lined sunny day but soon bewildered for direction how could there be suburb between the airport terminals wasn't this Mt Eden turned left at t-junction facing ruined red brick building facade disguised at first it was being demolished soon enter city centre I called it the colisseum a great domed building rings of columns dust and rubble noble building partly ruined renewed search for airport no familiar landmarks alley narrowed and a woman backs into me seeming accidental as I pass asks do I want to go for a walk with her I could like that but don't go find a taxi low slung seats three times I try to get in each time the driver drives off a few feet already low almost lying down in the dark interior six people in two rows of seats in the back and two more people in front with the driver

Friday, May 4, 2007

The male voice said: “On the 29th of May, 1904, on the western approaches to the Zamorek Bridge, two cars collided. One, slightly damaged, proceeded on its way to Zamorek without further incident. The other, in which I was, toppled down the embankment into the river, where I drowned. Please read me all the information you can find about this incident, including all the auditorium reports.” I understood the word auditorium as the speaker’s mistranslation of a word that means forensic. At the next opportunity, I went to the relevant section of the archives and began assembling the reports requested. As I was lifting the files onto the desk, my telephone rang. An official voice said that a Permissions Command had just been issued by the central office, expressly forbidding all research into the very case with which I was busy at the moment…

(At this moment the voice of the archivist ceased, and I woke up, anxious to transcribe the information the dream had recounted, as I have just done.)
I was at some kind of reunion, I guess college but not exactly. It was a happy occasion. People kept drifting in & out of a building. Ron Silliman was there and he had a huge old red station wagon that he had driven there, out of which he pulled a copy of an early chapbook of mine, to show to others at the reunion. Its cover was not white, as it was in waking life, but brightly colored. Inside were all sorts of different materials and textures. It was beautiful. The poetry was very vispo--again, not the prose paragraphs that it actually was in waking life. It made me remember something that I’d forgotten for many years; that I had put this beautiful book together all by hand, in a very small edition, for my friends, when I was in college. Then only afterward did it become the white and (at least I felt in the dream) less interesting book it was in actuality, when it was printed in a larger edition. I was happy to see the rare old book, but jealous that he had a copy, because I had given my last copy away years and years ago. It was left on top of a table with a lot of stuff on it. I think someone later threw it away by mistake.
Ange Mlinko and Brenda Iijima in a dream last night. Ange had published an amazing book full of color photographs and aesthetic philosophy. I remember being inspired by how the book moved from and beyond poetry. It was a little bit like Gins and Arakawa's The Mechanism of Meaning, or some exquisite textbook or coffee table book.