Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's night and I'm walking into the Giant (grocery store). A grocery cart with a small baby careens out of control. I stop the cart and look around for whoever is responsible for the baby, but nobody seems to pay any attention. I stop other shoppers and employees to inquire, but nobody knows who he belongs to. I remember I saw this baby before, falling off the cashier's conveyor belt the last time I shopped there. I leave the baby with the store employees while I go inside to buy some formula for him. While I find some discarded, half-used, very questionable formula containers scattered around, I can't find the baby product isle. I ask a store employee for help, but she tries to sell me pet flea spray. I become very frustrated with her. I tell her a baby is starving and this is a serious matter. My Uncle Marty walks into the store with Chris. He sees me holding the baby and says he knows its not mine. I consider the possibility of making this baby part of my family. I ask Chris to find formula and he comes back with the discarded, questionable formula I saw during my search. I get angry with Chris, tell him there's no way we could possibly feed a baby that. Then I remember I have some sample formula upstairs in my grandmother's attic. I find it, along with a bottle and go downstairs and outside to finally feed the baby. But when I get there, it's daylight and the baby is gone. Where I left him is covered with manholes. I panic and look inside the holes. In one I see a body of a person, in another a dog's body and in the third I see the baby, who is now a white cat. I fear the cat is dead, but she's not, she opens her eyes and begins to move. I'm very relieved.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

This morning I woke from a dream in which I was supervising a student Mary from my bed. I found it hard to stay awake to listen to her and felt I was feigning interest and worried she would notice. She was talking about issues to do with adoption. Mary has adopted children herself, unable to conceive. Her barrenness suits her, I think rather cruelly. But in the dream I was kind in spite of my surprise to be once again dealing with this woman whom I find so scratchy and difficult, with whom I do not like working. In the dream Mary looked directly at me and I suggested we go briefly to see a short film that was relevant to her topic. It was towards the end of the session. We had very little time, but somehow I managed to conjure up Keith who agreed to drive us to the filming. Then we were flying over the scene, flying over the film became the film, then walking through the location of the film and I recognised with delight that it was my old school Vaucluse Convent. The girls wore smocks, gingham smocks over their tunics and brown stockings. I told Mary that they chose this school as one of the most old-fashioned in a bid to emulate schools of old, when there were boarders who suffered enormous privation. Some how boarders were like adopted children for the purposes of the film. I realised than that Mary’s time was up and I had ten minutes only to get her back home and to be ready for my next session.

We scrambled into Keith’s car. I asked him to rush. He looked sad and preoccupied.

‘Please hurry’ I said. I’ve only a few minutes more.’

I knew he’d understand but at an intersection when the lights sat on red for quite some time he complained to me of a sore stomach.

‘Anxiety?’ I asked ‘Or something else.’ He stood outside of the car now looking in at Mary from the curb while another young man, Paul, had leapt into his place while we waited for the lights to change. Paul was gossipping to Mary. I almost had to push him out of the car to make way for Keith when the lights turned back to green.

Keith sped and swerved between cars, nearly knocking over a pedestrian, a young woman in white, a Bo Peep outfit who ran down the middle of the road.

At one point, this earlier as we were leaving the school I saw a woman with artificial legs spread out in front, she was in a wheel chair, roll out of control onto the road, in Torrington Street. Now we were outside my daughter’s school. The woman’s legs dropped off and were narrowly missed by a car whizzing down the hill. The woman scrambled on her bottom from the wheel chair and grabbed back her legs but then she tried to pull the strap of her handbag from the spokes of the car’s wheel. It had become stuck there. The car was stopped now and I ran to the front to alert the driver. The woman without legs could not speak. All of this activity and I was losing precious time before I could get home in time for my next session. I woke just as we pulled up in front of my house.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Last night I dreamed of a baby sealed in a plastic bag, the sort that has a zipper seal at one end. The baby lay still with eyes closed, almost dead. I took her to the doctor who unzipped the bag and slid her out. She fluttered her eyelids and spoke, in that strange way that babies can speak in dreams. There was an urgency, a resigned urgency, in her voice, if such a contradiction were possible, and she seemed to be telling me to get on with it. I needed to get her some food and drink. I managed to find an abandoned polystyrene cup of green cordial, which I took to her lips but it spilled after her first sip and I went to put it down onto the bench nearby. It slipped from my fingers much the way my oversized coffee cup slipped from my fingers as I sat at the keyboard here the other morning. My coffee then spread like a flooding river across my computer table covering half my key board and half of the book I was reading ‘Into a glass darkly’. I managed to clean up the mess with a bath towel and dishcloths. Later I used the hair dryer to force out the spillage into the body of the keyboard but I could not clean up the book as it once stood. It now has a dark stain down one side and the first three letters on my keyboard are sticking, along with the q and w.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

AWP Dreams

Last night I dreamed I saw Laura Elrick and Rodrigo Toscano, except it was Reverse Day, so Laura introduced herself as Rodrigo and told me that I should have called Rodrigo "Laura." Rodrigo however had introduced himself as "Paulo" or possibly "Paula," so he was clearly playing Reverse Day in a different way.

When I met them, I was rushing, I was late! It was the campus of a great university, full of affluent young people and tall solemn trees, at which I was a peon! (Sort of like my life, except USF has more parking lots, less heritage, less trees.) In the halls, I saw Rodrigo; in the dream he had my job and I was amazed at how clearly he was intructing the students about the process with which to develop their work (what an insipidly Freudian detail! Of course, in reality Rodrigo doesn't teach school, and certainly not Freshman Composition, although his poetry, in its political aspect, no doubt has a pedagogical dimension.) I was very impressed; he seemed to me to be a Great Communicator. He rushed off, and then rushed back, and told me to speak to Laura. I said his name, and that was when he corrected me to say he was "Paulo" or "Paula."

Laura ("Rodrigo") told me I had not gone to the large group reading at which I had been scheduled, and that I should rush there quickly. It was at the Administration Building. I tried going. I rushed around through various areas at the college. I could not find it. Finally I was at an outdoor market, where various poor people, mostly of Caribbean origin seemingly, were selling what they had in the middle of one of the college's solemn and green guadrangles. I picked up a large green cookie; it was crumbly in my hand, and I ate half of it in a few bingeing bites. It was chocolate broccoli. I didn't know how to go back and teach my class, nor did I know how to go forward and read my poems. I also picked up a bruised nectarine and enjoyed the way the skin of it slumped inwards at the light touch of my fingers, making my hand slightly wet. I waited in line to pay.


Earlier in the night, and this one is a little sketchier, I dreamed about Jessica Smith. First, I was in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and there was a machine installed, with a computer monitor and keyboard and flowers all around the monitor and Jessica's face on the screen. Then, later, I was in a similar garden in Manhattan and again, a second machine, monitor and keyboard crowned with flowers and Jessica's face, and I typed, and the machine responded. These were Jessica's garden poetry outlets. I was lost in the second garden, so what I typed were attempts to get directions. I received puzzling poetry in response, so I tried to use that as directions and became more lost. Finally, I followed a dog out of the garden--it was a black, skinny dog.

There was more, but I can't remember.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Jill Essbaum and I visited Bruce Covey in Atlanta. Carly Sachs lived in Atlanta too and at her house something Jewish was going on. It was time to go home so Bruce dropped Jill and me off at the airport. Jill and I started walking through the lines. I bumped into a balding Fritz Ward dressed like a business man. He wanted to chat and I told Jill to go ahead, but suddenly I realized we left our suitcases and purses at Carly/Bruce's house (same place). I didn't have my cell phone, but Jill had hers and I called Bruce to hurry back home, pack all our shit and return to the airport. We didn't have IDs to board and I couldn't leave without my make-up. I think Bruce came through, but he sure gave me a lot of grief about the whole episode.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I am awakened suddenly early in the night - otherwise, doubt that I would have remembered this. I am standing in a sort of science museum diorama, a frozen installation of shattered human head fragments which are floating and dissembled - but completely still - Matrix-like- in air at waist level. I examine with interest an eyeball which is disassociated from the other fragments. Only after I awaken is there a sense of violence and repulsion at the scene.