Monday, December 31, 2007

The Great God Pan is (not) Dead

Last night I dreamed I was turning into a goat. It was quite interesting, watching my arm grow a pelt of thick whitish hair, my fingers claw into a cloven hoof. I wasn't perturbed because I knew (in the dream) that this had happened before. The woman next to me, who in some respects resembled my dead sister (our birthdays are in January, a week apart), and who I thought perhaps was ill, admitted she too was undergoing the same metamorphosis ... we fell upon each other with a lust that was, well, goatish. Until my son, who was on the bed with us, asked us to stop because we were interrupting his TV watching. The bedroom was in an annex of the vast terminal of an airport. I went out into the concourse, I had no visa for onward travel ... and where, anyway, does a goat keep his passport? Then I was in a bathroom, hearing my name called in tannoy-speak ... I woke up. All day I have been looking, at odd moments, speculatively, at my right arm. As if awaiting the resumption of that impossible transformation ...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

[dream etymologies, 1]


        I dream that 'family' is as if from the Latin verb, fo, fare, ‘to speak.’

Then family means

                                the people who talk to each other.

Our word 'fate' comes from that verb too -- fatum, 'what has been spoken.'

So familiar things are:

        the things that speak for us.

        And sometimes to us.

[dream etymologies, 2]

In dream I learn that the phrase

                        vain scrutiny

is a technical term, and means a secret meeting or covert illegal assembly. At first I think this must be a mistake or mistranslation in the book I’m reading (I’m often reading a book in a dream).

But then in the dream I go to the dictionary, which gives that as the proper meaning indeed of the phrase, evidently a calque or translation from a Slavic expression – I see the Russian phrase in Cyrillic.

In the story I had been reading when the phase cropped up, the illicit meeting had been infiltrated by police provocateurs.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Gordon Ramsay was murdered by a serial killer a few nights ago, in my dream. I found him and his livers, which were everywhere.
I'm in a class. Outside a large clearing. The mountains open into a crystal: violet, purple, red display of lights. Many poets are gathered around. I have my mother's old camera. I run to meet the light, a large field, glass. I snap the photo. But the photo can't depict what I'm seeing. Then the mountain is a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I look again, and it's all one big building, and a playground. What happened to the crystal light? Where is it? The mountain, where is it? Juliana Spahr says, "there -- that building, that's where it came from." I don't understand.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I had a dream that I was supposed to call Bernadette (Mayer). I have been hanging out outside with some people and I've totally forgot to call. There's a phone booth. I have some change but it keeps falling out of my hand. When I finally drop in the coins a whole lot of change starts falling out of the phone. I stuff some quarters in my pocket- one is a large silver coin and there's another one that is even too big for my pocket. I am trying to remember what we are supposed to do but I can't and I also can't remember her number. I go to a restaurant and stay there a really long time with some people. Alan Davies comes in and says, "Hi, Nick" as if he sees me there all the time. I guess I've gone out for a minute and come back to a table with some people sitting there. In a joking way, not knowing the people, before sitting down I quote the Ashbery line from "The Tennis Court Oath":"How much longer will I be able to inhabit this divine sepulcher?" but the person sitting across from me, a woman, doesn't seem to recognize the line or get the joke and I think: maybe she is too young to get the reference.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I'm in a field planting crystal sculptures. Kimberly Lyons is in charge and says, "You'll have to take these out and title them." On a ledge, next to me, a cat is licking my face. A ship is somehow involved in all this.

Friday, December 21, 2007

There were various dioramic scenes with animals. First, there were these “funnel-web rabbits”, white rabbits that lived in conical holes like funnel web spiders. Then I was petting some cheetah kittens that barked like hyenas. Then there these supposed ostriches that coiled into a ball and rolled and unraveled, thing is though when they unraveled they were really storks. This was all in an artist compound of some sort. I had collected a lot of artwork together into a magazine (chapbook style) and wanted to change the name of Sleepingfish to “Grupo Jul” or “Charro Jul” and thought it was a brilliant name at the time. I don’t know what Jul means.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I dreamed that two men were chasing me and I didn't know what they wanted, but it wasn't good, and a nice woman in a white car picked me up, and the two men got into their own (red) car and followed us. And I called the cops, but they wouldn't come because I didn't know the zip code of our location. And we were nearly out of gas, but the gas never ran out. And I called my dad and told him to get the Mtn. Brook cops gathered around the station there, and we drove toward the station.

I dreamed that I had a son who was born 6 weeks early. I didn't even know I was pregnant. It was an easy delivery and he was very small, but healthy. I frequently dream of having daughters but never of having sons. I named him many things. I named him Fredbert, which is the name John gave to a sea lion at B&N. I named him Edward, which is my dad's name, and called him Ted. I named him John James. I named him Jesse James. I named him Jesse Jackson. I tried to figure out where he'd come from and whose family I was supposed to be naming him after. The in-laws (who were two completely irrelevant people) came to see him and wouldn't give him back. I wanted to get him back and run away with him and figure everything out by myself.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Frank wasn’t dead but had been away for a long time. So happy to see him, to talk.

Up in the hills somewhere, maybe Vermont. Snowy hills and curvy windy roads. Frank was driving; Jake and I riding in the car. The car was getting stuck in muddy ruts. I noticed that the tire ruts were full of blood. There was blood running down the hill. We got out of the car. The tire tracks in this whole valley were filled with blood. Dark blood-filled tire ruts and white snowy hills. There was a large group of men who lived there, dangerous backwoods subhuman-type men and what they did was slay deer. They did it for the love of killing and butchering. They were like a whole army of deerslayers. Up all along the treeline was a row of dead, gutted deer hanging from trees.

We had to spend the night there, not knowing if they would try to kill us. In the morning Frank got us out of there, though they had taken his good car and we had to drive a broken old car that was missing a door. But he got us out of there and we were going to be able to start over, to be safe and happy, finally.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dreamed I was reading Susan Howe's Souls of the Labadie Tract and in the dream it was about Marx and genre and media were popping up in the book as I read it and I was finally understanding in the dream how Marx was connected to the other things I was working on. (The power of books theme keeps showing up in my dreams; I am desperate for reading lately and missing it badly.) Then Souls of the Labadie Tract came in the mail a few days later. It isn't about Marx but about Jonathan Edwards (I am rereading Capital, or maybe trying to read all of it for first time; have memory of reading it as u/g but not sure how much of it, so I think my dream was about essay I am attempting to work on). But these phrases from Labadie Tract held some of the dream power to me: "an inexorable order only chance creates" (p. 14); "I wanted to transplant words onto paper with soil sticking to their roots" (p. 16); "No steady progress of saints into grace saying Peace Peace when there is no peace. Walking is hard labor. Match any twenty-six letters to sounds of birds and squirrels in his mouth. Whatsoever God has provided to clothe him represents Christ in cross cultural clash conscious phonemic cacophony. Because the providence of God is a wheel within wheels, he cannot afford to dishonor any typological item with stark vernaculra. Here is print border warfare in situ." (p.17)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Peter and I decide to drive to Albany so I can read at an open poetry reading hosted by Pierre Joris (this sentence is odd in so many ways compared to my life). We arrive at the reading, and the site consists of several rooms. I'm shown to a tiny room where the reading will occur. The room has taken stylistic notes from the film "Brazil." There's a claustrophobic feeling, amps and wires everywhere. And I notice that there is so much equipment, there's no room for an audience. I'm told to read in that room by myself, and that I should note that I won't be recorded despite all the technological implements.

Afterward, as some sort of payment for reading to myself alone in a room filled with amps and wires, we're shown to a more expansive room that looks like a restaurant with a large raging fireplace. Many strangers wearing x-mas sweaters are gesturing and eating. Pierre Joris invites us to eat the only meal offered: "Medieval Jousting Breakfast."

When I wake up and tell Peter the dream, he asks if the meal consisted of large turkey legs swung overhead and root vegetables. "Omelettes, we had omelettes," I tell him.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I dreamt that I was trying to read a letter from a friend. Due to some cruel vagary of the printer, many of the letters had dropped out, the spacing was weird. Words were represented by just a few letters. Whole sentences were dropped. I was trying to read the thing, to sequence it together. Turned it over and the letter was handwritten in multicolored pencil in entirely the same manner - so the ellipses was intentional on the part of the writer. There were a set of small drawings at the bottom of the page - one of a necklace with small glass pendants - and what seemed to be a set of covers for books of poetry. Not clear if these were existing books or projected ideas for covers. I hurried to work in the dark through a strange neighborhood but went into a Calvin Klein like store and arrogantly with no intention of purchase asked the salesman to light two expensive candles that were for sale--as though trying them out. A small, brown, hairless cat watched us calmly as the man lit the candles - which turned out to be in the form of two small cats. Then, I went back out to the street. Accidentally kicked a bag on the ground. Opening the bag, a bundle of brooms fell out - primitive, archaic brooms made of gnarled yet smooth tree branches with a thatch of twigs attached; each broom of a different size and texture. I became beset with anxiousness about how to get the brooms to the writer of the letter - mail them or give them directly?