Saturday, January 31, 2009

Frank’s father was dead but he was conscious. His mostly decomposed body looked like a cross between a cage and a buoy. Even though he had no arms, he was somehow managing to flail two knives around, then started to chop something. He seemed to find a great deal of violent glee in using these very sharp knives.

We were in a church-like attic. Some woman who I don't know was there. And then Frank’s mother was there, talking to Frank’s father’s corpse, as if he were a child, and asking him, trying to convince him, really, that it would be much better if he were outside, rather than in this attic, that he could have sunshine and air and watch the waves (it was near the ocean). I of course worried that the tide would come up and sweep what remained of his body away.

The dream went white and black then. It looked and felt as if we were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Everything was visually very disturbing.

A short dark-haired woman who owned the building entered the attic. She was fiddling with something on a shelf and a huge bunch of boxes came tumbling down, crushing her, nearly burying her. We were stunned. We knew she was dead.

Then the dead woman's eyes opened up and her face, which was all we could see of her, turned toward us and she said in a raspy & very scary voice, “Did you feed him chicken tonight?” She was referring to Frank’s dad’s corpse. I said “no,” and waited for her to explain her question. She said, “well, that’s all it takes to set him off sometimes.” She was telling us that Frank’s father’s corpse would fly into rages and we knew then that he was going to try to kill us. He was going to attack us with the knives he had been using. Even though I thought that being killed would at least put my fear and anxiety to rest, I did not want to die.

Dreamovie 73

I am on a dock that extends out from a beach. Its far end is sinking into the water. As I walk out onto the dock, a woman whom I only marginally know hands me a printed flyer. It is a long piece of white paper with a haiku written on the bottom of it, and it carries the additional message "There's no second time for your first love." The idea behind the flyer is that we fall in love only once for the first time so we should hold onto that love. The woman thinks this has something to do with the two of us. I consider how to respond and decide that I won't respond directly by telling her I don't know her. Instead, I decide I'll note to her that even a person first in love isn't necessarily in love with a person first in love with him or her—that we weren't each other's first loves. As I consider what to say, I walk out to the end of the dock, where my feet are in the water. The woman's boyfriend comes to me to argue that I should stay away from her, so I tell him how I plan to extract myself from that situation.

Afterwards, I wade a little bit away from the dock, into deeper water where a wharf turns to make a right angle. I stand there inside that corner with the water above my waist so that I can present a little workshop. Though it doesn't become clear what the subject of the workshop is, the event is being run by Dan W and Jennifer H-K, so I assume it has something to do with poetry. Michael is at the workshop, though I don't know if he's one of the attendees or helping present the workshop. As I start, I am interrupted by a woman who explains that she has bought genealogy software to make the charts. Our topic is not genealogy, but apparently we have some need to create charts for our work. I explain to her that genealogy software can make charts, but only of a narrow kind. I then explain how such software can so a number of things, including store data on individuals and copies of documents related to those people.

I am driving down a city street. I see a group of kids standing around near a blocky building that is supposedly where I'm going. Inside that building, I find a number of people, including Ray and Dianne, planning a conference of local government records managers. It is not clear if our meeting is associated with the workshop I was just working on or with the spring conference of this organization.

I leave the city that I'm in and take a rocket into space with three other people. We are in a 1960s space capsule, and we are already in space circling the globe. There are three people outside the capsule and can't return because opening the hatch will release all the air from the capsule. Two of the people outside are somehow making their way safely back to earth. One woman remains by the capsule. She and I talk to each other while we look at each other through the porthole. She insists that she cannot return to earth and that she cannot reenter the capsule, so I ask her how to get the capsule back to earth. I don't know what she tells me to do, if anything, or what happens to her.

Somehow I return to earth and am walking the streets of a small city in the direction of the same blocky building I visited earlier. I am recently back on the planet and I'm famous for my adventure. People have begun to write accounts of these experiences of mine. As I walk wherever I'm going, I plan in my head how to write this story myself. When I turn down one street, I either see people I know or people who know of me everywhere.

A woman and I are driving in a van out of the city, and I pass a billboard, though I don't know what the billboard says. Soon, we are driving down the road at the edge of the countryside, and there is a cemetery on the road just before our turn. I turn into that cemetery and we apparently visit it. Soon we return to the road and turn right at the very next road and then immediately left into the parking lot of the building. We have a meeting there to plan the conference. At the end of the meeting, each of us receives a pen and pencil eraser, at the cost of 60¢ apiece. The organization, apparently, pays for these believing it is buying these on the cheap. The erasers are in a warehouse and we receive them one by one through a service window. A man inside the warehouse works on this project with a man who is our leader. As this process continues, I work out something (the costs of something? a poem?) on a whiteboard just to the right of the service window.

Later, the woman and I are driving back to this same spot. Just at the cemetery, while we're waiting in line, a brunette woman we know approaches the van and asks for a ride, but she doesn't open the door quickly so I open the front door. My companion asks me if I'm inviting her into the front seat with her. I explain that I'm just trying to talk to the woman to tell her to get in the car. Once she gets in, we drive back to the building with the warehouse. There we continue to work on the conference planning, but it's only the three of us now. The brunette says that the only topic she can speak on at the conference is exercising. I note that there had been a session a few years earlier about how good health was important to good records management, so I suggest she continue to work on that idea.

I am in a building, not sure which, with someone who has not received an eraser, so I promise to help the person get one. We drive to the blocky building in the city, where I explain to the man in the warehouse that we still had erasers to pick up for people in the organization. I try to explain my authority to pick up the erasers by mentioning the man he has worked with previously, but I have to explain that I've forgotten his name even though—I say this, but I'm exaggerating—"he's my best friend." The man not only gives me the erasers for this one person, he also offers me all of the other erasers we'll need. At first I don't want to take them, but I realize that we can distribute them easily enough at meetings.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I sprout hemlock needles sans twigs
in the convenient crooks
between my arms and torso.
Dainty, irregular, with pubescent underbellies
I love their invisible stomata,
so I shake my branches for an updraft.
The needles seem to enjoy moonlight
but remain quite attached to me.
I begin to shave them off.

This is in Wyoming. It is winter.
Someone has sunk the cattle's water trough,
tapped an underground geyser. Your kids
are in this hot tub. Their first time.
Their friends out testing the ice on the pond.
I have no idea who you are.
Where you are is yonder. No need to say so.
We're all destined for a dip.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

While driving somewhere, I see a new freeway off-ramp under construction. It descends from a wooden overpass partly obscured by clouds, is impossibly steep, and has no visible means of suspension. The pavement stops about a hundred feet above the ground. In an almost vertical position, two or three pieces of heavy equipment defy gravity while the workers take a coffee break. I pull off the road. Near an old industrial building, I see an adult version of a boy I knew in grade school. He seems down on his luck. I say his name, "Ernesto." The two of us walk around a corner. Ernesto tells me he needs a job. We come to a blue door. I point at it and say, "Have you asked at the mailroom?" He says no, and walks off alone.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dreamovie 72

I am in a small conference room in a hotel. A number of people are seated around a rectangular table conducting some kind of business. After a while, I start cleaning up the room, picking up the bottle caps that the others have spilled onto the floor. Then I try to find a space at the table where I can write without someone watching what I'm writing.

I am wearing sunglasses, but I can still see that there are too many lights on in the room, especially since sunlight in pouring into the room from a far wall that is a solid expanse of windows. As I start turning off the lights, Karri tells me that some of these lights are Finnish warning and security lights that I must leave on. So I do not turn off the blinking red lights embedded into the walls or the single blinking red light that rests at the end of a pole that is sticking perpendicularly out of a wall.

After the meeting, I leave with Karen, and we seem to be on the run from something. We are driving down a small retail street in a city. People are trying to cross the street in front of us. One woman starts to cross the street as we are passing her. After us, she is in the middle of the road, but a large truck does not stop to let her complete her crossing.

We stop a little later at a corner. There is a streetlight at that corner right beside a high chain-link fence that blocks access to a large lake. We talk about pizza. We talk about two people we were with who had been talking about buying four pizzas, but we wonder if they meant "four pieces." There is a pizza parlor across the street, and we are apparently thinking of having dinner.

We continue driving. It is not clear where we are or what we are running from, but we still appear to be running from something. As we drive, Karen says we don't have enough money, but I explain what money I have available, which should be sufficient for us, a couple thousand here, a thousand there.

We are in the hallway of a hotel after checking in. We have a couple of rolling suitcases and a number of loose items. We stop in front of the door to our room and leave our bags there.

We walk to a small room set up with coffee and other drinks. We are probably getting drinks, and there are four men talking in a smaller room off this room. Karen goes with her coffee into that room and starts talking animatedly to them. She seems happy and is quite gregarious. The men become interested in her and turn their heads to look at me, wondering if I'm with her. She keeps talking, using the word "fucking" in some context that I don't catch.

Deciding I have to leave, I exit the room. First, I start to move our stuff into our room, starting with the suitcases. I want to leave before Karen returns, so I'm trying to be quick. But we have loose bags of clothes, a handful of clothes hangers, and other stuff. I put everything away in the room, but not completely. I don't unpack the bags.

Back out in the hallway, I confirm that I've moved everything of ours into the room. I see an armoire in the hallway and just visible on the top of it is the end of a brown belt that looks like it might be mine. I try to pull it off the armoire, but it is stuck behind the armoire, so I have to tug at it a bit. As I do, two cleaning people, one a man and one a woman, watch me. They wonder what I'm doing but don't say anything. Finally, I pull the belt free, and it is an almost yellow beige, definitely not mine.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dreamovie 71

Nancy and I are trying to avoid certain people, though it is not clear why. We spend the day driving and somehow are able to drive all the way to Minneapolis in the same day.

It seems that I'm going to give a reading there in a place where I've given one before, but the venue we arrive at does not seem familiar. As we stand in that space, a hot air balloon rises out of the floor. I ride atop the balloon for a little while unable to hinder its progress. The balloon reaches the ceiling, where it pauses, stuck. Those of us in the room begin to work on moving the the balloon up and out of the building, through the window.

I'm in the parking lot of the venue, and Jim DiZ drives up and parks. Soon, Siobhan shows up with their boys, and we all go into the space.

The space is supposed to be inside a building, but it seems like the outdoors in parts, with grass growing on the ground. A stage backed by a projection screen sit at the back of the room. We sit down on folding chairs in the audience. Where the floor was flat before, the audience is now seated on tiers.

As I sit there, I realize that I haven't brought anything to read. I decide that my solution will be to read poems off my computer, so I pull out my laptop, but it's not mine. I've picked up Tim's by mistake. I give that one back to Tim, who is suddenly with us, and I start opening my computer to decide what to read.

We are now on the side of the room, rather in the front row of the audience. We are sitting on folding chairs in the grass. As I work on finding poems to read, I realize that I haven't produced the audience booklet I usually produce for each reading I give. I think, briefly, about producing one but realize I do not have the time. I pull a poem up on the screen of my computer and decide that I'm ready, assuming I can pull up others as need be as I'm reading.

I need something from Tim's computer and he has some kind of storage device with comblike attachments. Somehow, the thick almost brushlike combs of this device are where data is stored. I pull off one of the combs expecting to be able to use it, but it's obvious I've just broken that, so I throw it away. Tim is upset with me, but I cannot fix the contraption.

When I go up to read my poems, the arrangement of the room has changed dramatically. The stage faces in a different direction, and now there is a small blocky white table that I can put my computer on. I do not plug the computer into an outlet for power, and I do not attach it to a projector, but somehow it can project through me to the screen behind me, where a visual poem appears. I begin to read my poems aloud.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Last night I dreamed I was cleaning out my lounge room, which was cluttered with rubbish. At the same time I was trying to make lunch for friends. The sink was also cluttered with unwashed dishes and bits of half eaten food. I started to strip off the cushion covers from the couch. The cushions, a blue denim material, were stained, had collected crumbs in the corners and were full of dust. There was a whoosh of mess every time I shook one out much like the character in Peanuts who exudes dust particles and debris everywhere he walks. Pigpen is his name.

I am living in a pigpen and much as I try to clean it up I am overwhelmed by the amount of mess and the sense that I will never get to the end of it. Added to this I am to baby-sit my sister’s two small children, Costa and Bryony. I do not know any children with such names in reality but the Costa in my dream is the older of the two, around two and a half years, and Bryony is just one. Costa in my dream looks like my real grandson, Leo and in the dream his mother who arrives is not my sister, but my daughter and Costa is reluctant to part with his mother.

She takes time to take her leave, all the time reassuring her son that she will be back soon. He cries when she goes at last, but only momentarily. His sister, Bryony, seems not to exist in my dream during the leave taking but she reappears as I am taking Costa for a walk down some valley where I know there are a series of children’s entertainments in place.

Costa is delighted and runs from one stall to the other, whereas Bryony stays close to me. I have to carry her most of the time, she is only just now learning to walk. One stallholder calls us over to see her display of toys, which are mechanised. This does not impress me because I know that Costa will want one and, were I to buy one for him, I am sure he would be disappointed. These are not toys with which to play. These are not toys to handle. These are toys that you can only watch again and again as they go through their routine – nursery rhyme characters such as Bo Peep and Pinocchio, going through their paces.

Costa is enthralled until all the toys’ batteries run dry and they stop. He is annoyed with me because I have suggested we must move on. Somehow in response he falls into a long tub of water at one side of the stallholder’s lot. I am annoyed with the stallholder woman because she has caused Costa to get into a rage and now his clothes are wet through. The woman tells me that there is a second hand clothes shop for children not far off where I can find dry clothes for Costa. We traipse off in the direction of a huge barn like structure, which has a maze of rooms inside, each filled with racks of clothes for children, boys and girls, from infancy through to early adolescence.

Once inside one of the workers tells us that we can choose any clothes we like for free because today is a special day when they are treating children who suffer from cancer. Costa is delighted and runs off to try to find an outfit. Bryony is looking for clothes, too, and I try to help her to select a good outfit that will replace the dirty one she is wearing. I run off for a minute to make contact outside with my sister whom I gather has booked a taxi.

Once outside I see there has been a muddle with the taxis and it takes some time to sort out which taxi we will take to get all of us home. I have not yet found my sister who is due to return at any minute. Then I realise that I have abandoned the two children and I rush back inside to try to find them. It is getting dark and I have trouble getting back inside the building because a security guard has blocked my way. He lets me in when I tell him that I have still two children, my sister’s small children locked inside. I call out their names from one room to the next. I am hysterical now, beside myself with horrible forebodings of what might happen to those two beloved children.

I find Costa first. He has grown weary with all the fun of selecting clothes and he is slumped in a corner. Bryony is not far away from him. She is distressed but pleased to see me and I pick her up and take Costa by the hand to lead them out of the building. We get to the exit and I can see my sister across a moat waiting for us. She is now hysterical herself because somehow she has heard that her children are missing. I did not want her to know this before they were found but at least she can see them now, and she can see they are okay.

We try to cross the moat and must do so by walking through a deep gully that forms a damned section in the middle. We have to wait for passing traffic. Costa gets through okay but Bryony trips and hits her head. Her mother, my sister, stands in the distance and watches her fall. There is nothing she can do. She has to settle for me taking Bryony into my arms to comfort her; both she and Bryony must settle for that. I wake up before mother and daughter are reunited.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Last night I dreamed I met a Vietnamese man. He was holding a child. I had met him before, so we were trying to figure out how and where we met. We began looking at books together. On the shelf, there was P. Lawler's newest book, or books. I wish I could remember the titles. One was a brightly colored book with two halves to it—one half was "essays," the other poetry. Each of those books was divided into sections. The titles for essays and poetry faced each other on the cover, so the poetry title was upside down. I think it had the word dragons in it. The "essays" weren't traditional essays. They were elaborate drawings, some the color of illuminated manuscripts. They were maps with titles of bodies of water and land that created threads of narrative in simultaneity. Some of the lakes had Tolkein-ish names, but overall the multiplicity of the project was breathtaking. And the maps contained a lot of blue. Some of the poetry was diagrammatic but most was spatially seeded across the page, simply in text.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I had a dream once—or, at least, I think I did. I don’t remember my dreams, & this was no exception. So let’s suppose I had a dream which may or may not have occured, may have been remembered, may have just been a synapse activated by another incident, devolved déjà vu.

Let’s assume. Dream. In which I am walking past a row of shops, between rows of shops. Plate-glass windows. In which people piled up—no, faces pushed against the glass, one above the other, layers of them, levels, like a sequence from a Fritz Lang film or a page from a noir comic book. Mosaics of faces. I am walking past them. They remind me of sheep. I make baa-ing noises at them. Swear at them.

Then the scene changes. I am walking along a country road at night. The person I am with turns to me, says “That’s funny. I didn’t know there was anyone behind.” I turn, look; & under a streetlight about a hundred metres distant, is a person just standing there.

No memory of it. Memory of it.

No dream. Date stamp c.1960. Must be. Age, activity. Some University philosophical thinktank, out in the country, over a couple of days. Get bored around midnight, decide to go out & hitchhike north. Anywhere, away from the here. Take someone with me.

We walk. & walk. Main highway. No cars. Nobody. Reach the small country town that’s a couple of miles away. 1 a.m. Wait. No-one around. Decide to. Walk back.

A train goes by on the track that parallels the road. Freight train, lots of wagons, each several levels, all of them filled with sheep, meat train, will be, abattoir-bound. Baa-ing in the night, multifold, louder than the steam engine. I baa back at them, I swear at them. The person with me says “That’s funny. I didn’t know there was anyone behind.” I turn, look; & under a streetlight about a hundred metres distant, is a person just standing there.

No dream. The running. Away. The physical escaping the metaphysical. I do not go back. Do not.

Talk about it. Tell.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Diana (life long friend) and I are in some joint eating, and I have a big bag of stuff to carry out. There are people there who are in the theater or movie business, and I realize at some point that I applied for a job with them years before when I was young...something called "Hot Chicks" ( or something stupidly similar). I never heard back from them. The men we overhear are crude and loud. I have a big bag of stuff to carry, (baggage?) and it is too heavy. Then a guy reminds me that he knows I auditioned for them. I ask Diana if she has moments when things in her memory just disappear. I tell her I think I had a kid. She looks at me funny. I tell I think I gave it to Michele (a friend I no longer talk to) to keep for me, but then I forgot about it.She says No, you gave it to ME. I am shocked. I said where is she? (I seemed to know it was a girl) and she says she gave it to someone named Jo Jackson. A friend of her husband's. Noone I ever heard of. She said Jo was a woman who worked in a drugstore. I asked if Diana had seen the child and she said not often.

We start to leave the place, carrying the bag, going up and down stairs while I am crazed with the thought I have a child out there somewhere who doesn't even know me. The bag gets left somewhere. Diana wants to stop to go to the bathroom. I convince her to wait until we've descended all these stairs. But we wind up in a subway station that is dark and threatening looking. (it's from another dream about me trying to find/get on the right train). Diana has to go and runs into the ladies room and locks the door. I wait aside. And wait and wait. I realize she's not coming out. I am frozen with fear.

I wake up.


The Red Car

The daily papers in the back
seat spread atop the old women
come from the sex factory;
their mouths replaced
by labia, the desert beneath
their skirts sewn shut. The
passenger seat is stacked
with old bones, like firewood,
dead children and husbands,
parents and forgotten aunts
gleam like polished ivory
from years of travel. The driver's
foot is on the accelerator.
She leans into the wheel,
eyes squinting in the dimming light;
a tub of toothless smiles,
coy giggles but the car stands
still, waiting, waiting
for the traffic light, three
black moons that hang
above, to change.
went to the inauguration. the train rolls into pioneer square because the ceremony is actually in seattle, not dc.

actually on stage with obama who begins eating a chili dog during his speech because he wants to keep the atmosphere 'chill' with the people. i try to ask people if they thought that was acceptable after the speech, but no one seemed to care.

on my way back, after visiting my sister's college dorm room, got attacked by an elephant that happened to be wandering around a suburban neighborhood. i tried to dodge it, but it wasn't working, so i ran across the street where a white guy was watering his dirt.

i screamed as i approached, & he happened to have a rifle on hand & shot the elephant for me. i hid in his house while the carcass was removed & the street hosed off. his wife was jealous of me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

There is so much more to this dream than I remember. I am at dinner with a group of terrorists during a ceasefire. I sit at a table with the foreigners. Even their plates are set at an angle; differently from the way we set ours. One of the terrorists’ children is playing up and her father threatens her with immolation. I cannot believe he will do it or that others might sit and watch.

Then I am standing in the bathroom of my general practitioner, Judith Heale, offering to help her to fix the crack that has developed in her bathroom wall above the shower line. I offer to get a ladder for her, one of those short ladders that people use in libraries to fetch books that are out of reach. I offer to hold it steady for her. Judith hesitates about using this ladder. She tries to reach from the floor at her normal height. She does not want my help. She looks over at the group of terrorists eating their meal and I can tell that she is critical of them.

Now I am involved in a fight with a woman who has been violent towards herself and others. She will not stop killing people or threatening to get herself killed. She has a gun and will use it indiscriminately on anyone. She is tough. I manage to get the gun from her. I try to empty it of bullets, firing off to the side, but whenever I do, the bullets do not come out properly. They plop out from the barrel like jellybeans from a lolly dispenser.

One of the woman’s enemies comes by and they begin a physical fight. This time she is a goner, I think. Her enemy has a knife. By now there is only one bullet left. I hold it in my hand. The gun and bullet are now separate. Then the woman grabs the gun back from me. She keeps calling over to me to give her the bullet but someone else nearby manages to get the gun from her and he throws it down the stairs.

It is as if the gun were indestructible. An old man and a boy are now preparing to dynamite it. They have retrieved the gun from the foot of the stairs. They have lit a wick and are about to throw away the gun attached to the burning wick before it explodes. I imagine the gun will explode just as the woman is meeting her end. I still hold the bullet in my hand. I want both of them, gun and bullet, to disappear altogether.

The woman continues fighting her opponent, screaming like a banshee. They tussle. Occasionally she gets the upper hand and I think that she might stab him, but then he overcomes her again. Now a group of men, all of them the woman’s enemies, prepare a small fire. The coals are glowing red, and she finally concedes defeat. She lies down at the fire and rests her head on top of the glowing coals. Then she puts her blue coat over her face and rests motionless. I watch and wait for her to dissolve.

I still hold onto the bullet. The wick attached to the gun has fizzled out, but still seems to be smouldering. I wonder will the gun explode as she dies. I cannot bear to watch her. She lifts her head from the flames. She is still alive, but nearly gone. I can feel the bullet in my hand. I wake up and think of the words ‘the heart shaped bullet’, the title of a book by Catherine Flett, about the death of the author’s relationship with a man she once loved.
to my annoyance
not in internal directory
03187-52 up inside jelly keyboard insert fingers
dialling number with or in spite of a zero disconnect
dream works registrar removed bookshelves stole
one needed same for Pennie transgendered Charmian
struggled with crowded corridor to see results board
blurred wrong glasses came ninth

Sunday, January 18, 2009

So, following my night with Obama, I had a dream where I got that pixie hair-cut. But it was VERY swiss, meaning it was ultra pixie short, white-blonde on the front and black underneath... don't know why I am having such strange dreams (just accidentally wrote jeans!)
Charles Bernstein is sitting at one end of a subway car, preparing to do a reading to be heard by the four or five other people in the car, one of whom is myself. Bernstein speaks a few words in introduction, and perhaps launches into the beginning of the first poem he'd like to read, when he is interrupted by an altercation between myself and a tall young man sitting somewhat near to me. This man, wearing a spiffy black coat, speaks of the food debris (bread crumbs?) and shards of glass near him on the subway bench, and accuses me of being responsible for this. He says that just because I am not a "popular person", that doesn't justify my making his environment degrading and dangerous--accusing me, thus, of acting out of bitterness. Bernstein, understandably disturbed by the interruption, walks off and finds a place to sit and continue reading two cars down. But his words nevertheless are piped into the car where the four or five of us are each fixed/rooted to our initial positions.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So, last night I kissed Obama 12 times! Oh it wasn't kinky and weird really. it was swiss ad innocent! We kissed on the cheek twice which is common and standard fair in these parts and then of course I insisted he kiss me again and again! He seemed tired and sad.

Friday, January 16, 2009


five dream parts


We know bees who
burst forth
from an eviscerated ox dermis
don’t we? We
learned it
in a book
and in a dream
of healing. It isn’t
the ox that gets healed.
It is the mind.

Oh the mind’s ox lies slaughtered
and the blood runs free.

The doctor called me doctor
and spoke in doctor code
about the ailment that she noticed
under the epidermis
of my shoulder.
How gently’d be
my demise.

She wore a white chemise
and I liked her.


It was a ruse
and I knew it.
I’d tell her
at our as-
signation down
the hill.
This is a dream
I’d say. When I wake
the white bees crawling
’neath the dermis of my shoulder
will not be there. But we never
arrived at the hill and in the dream
I never wakened.


easily miming
famous archetypes—
this one’s a Cezanne.
The painter
threw it together
with a few apt dabs
catching just the right
posture of the slanting shoulder shapes.

Later we were all walking
down a hill in the neighborhood.
The doctor would be in.
Perhaps I’d call her.


I can’t focus properly
on the fourth part.
We were talking
about old girl friends, old lovers,
and the power
in their names.

One of them asked me to name them and I
rattled off a few rather casually.


it’s winter
and the bees
are congealed
in gold clumps,
nowhere to be taunted
from the hive
and no longer fear
the white disease.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shortly before five this morning, I awoke from a dream that consisted of one distinct, bright image. In the process of remembering the dream, I began searching online for black artists. While sifting through the results and following some of the links, I whispered the dream to myself so I wouldn't forget it. To my disappointment, the dream faded with each repetition. Shortly after five, I opened my eyes. I was still in bed. Our youngest son, home from working a late shift, was still up and listening to music in the kitchen. The dream was gone. And now I wonder if it really was a dream, or if I was dreaming that I was dreaming.
became a crossroads between the living & the dead.

in my waking dream Gerald Mast -- who in life was a great scholar of film -- was a glass artist. I went to his studio & pickd out a wall piece which also was a working clock. I gave it to Regina as a present. Regina -- a child psychologist -- told me it was a clock for children & didn't work at all in her house.

then I had Gerald himself -- along with an assistant (much like the "assistant" he brought on his final overnite visit to my house years ago) -- come to Elyria to install the piece at my parents' home. (when Gerald taught at Oberlin he sometimes came to Elyria to dine at the Paradise). Mother immediately disliked the piece much to Gerald's displeasure. he left & I woke before negotiating the fate of the glass clock.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Juliana Spahr in my dream last night. (known her since college). I wish I could bring back more details. It was stressful and instructional. Or I should say -- she was instructional in some kind of a stressful context.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I am sitting with a woman--I don't recognize her. She is blond with long legs that are touching my legs and maybe even implicated with them. I have just given her some cassettes. I think I am explaining to her that they are damaged and I recall clearly that the tapes seems to have gotten wet, swelled up and cracked the plastic housings. They were dry now but the damage remained and the tape could be seen hanging out and in some cases seemed to have morphed into different textures and in others the strands had doubled or split into several layers. The woman did not seems dismayed by this deterioration. She said she was a secretary and was used to giving and taking orders. Finis.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Edgar Allan Borges

It was some kind of convention but I cannot now recall what it was about. All I remember is the venue, Rotorua, and a group of us around empty wooden tables in a wide open room like a warehouse or a barn. In the shadows, the dark-skinned boys with lustrous eyes, waiting hopefully and expectantly to join our deliberations, were certainly Aboriginal. I wanted to buy a pot of honey and asked therefore where the nearest newsagent was. Lake Road, my friend said, so off I went into the town to look for it. Sometimes when we become lost in dreams we never find our way again but I did at last come to the right street and walked down it past brand new condominiums and office buildings made of steel and glass. The newsagent in the basement of tower there, naturally, did not sell honey but, as I went on across a glittering plaza, a secretive young man walked past me with his eyes fixed reverentially upon a small jar he was holding in both hands before him. A fair way along the road I came upon a cafe. Black and white chequered floor, bare tables, metal chairs, no-one in attendance. On one of the tables, an ornate bank note, of large denomination, in a currency I did not recognise; on another, a pile of small books with soft red covers. It was an honesty system. I paid my money and took away my copy. A strange script, cursive, stained like old blood on brownish paper. There were line drawings too, in black ink, hectic and a bit over done. The stories were by Edgar Allan Poe and two of them—a short one near the front, a long one towards the back—were on Maori subjects. I read them with growing excitement as I walked back up Lake Road. Yes, I heard a woman's voice say, we smuggled them out of America, we don't have copyright clearance, but it seemed important that these stories should be known in the country that inspired them. I was standing in the small porch of a public hall reading when out the door my father came. He looked handsome, relaxed, at ease, glowing with health and vitality. I hugged him. You look wonderful, I said. I feel good, he replied, grinning at me. About the age I am now or maybe a little younger. He and his friend went out into the yard, took off their sports jackets and began setting the bonfire that we would later light. I felt a sudden doubt: Poe? Or Borges? The Dutch owner of the cafe where I bought the book came up. A huge man with a perfectly bald head. Laughing at my brief temptation to steal the currency left upon his table. The Dream of Coleridge, he boomed. You know it? Who is to determine the ownership of dreams? Perhaps, and I know you have already had this thought, we have things precisely the wrong way round. You are not the dreamer but the dream.
I have been sleeping much more soundly lately. I have been having long dreams of strangely personal and direct scenes that feel real when I am in them, which never used to happen to me. For years my dream were totally surreal and insane and made of impossible images. Now the thing I find most often I am doing in my sleep is editing words on a paper. I will be in my sleep working on a sentence by inserting all these other words, and building it out from this tiny thing in long weird graphs that I then repeat inside my head and build, and find building, until I eventually realize I am sleeping. The aggravated and horrendous scenes that usually dominate now more occur in very brief and intense bursts, that kind of punctuate the long, more calm ones. I am told I talk a lot in my sleep. I think I am going to find a way to begin recording myself, or to transcribe the sentences I am working on when I realize I am sleeping, as I often find I am able to continue looking at the sentences while I am still asleep even after I realize I am asleep. I can never remember the sentences directly when I wake up anymore, though I am always left remembering how I said something I had been meaning to say in such a way. I need to figure this out.
I dreamt that my tooth, the smallest tooth in my mouth, very small in comparison to normal sized teeth, was loose. I wiggled it and remembered that this happens often - I often move my tongue over my teeth and feel them budge slightly, generally leading to paranoia. The paranoia always subsides, however, as time progresses and my teeth remain intact. This tooth continued to move though, as if it were on the verge of falling out, and I knew as my molars began falling into my hand that something was not right. I grew increasingly anxious until I remembered that despite my paranoia, my teeth never actually fall out. I concluded that if my molars were in my hands, it meant that I was dreaming. To make sure I was dreaming, I challenged myself to fly - and I did. I flew up above a Hispanic woman who watched me in disbelief and down the block of my old high school. I felt as if I had figured something very important out, yet I couldn't completely believe it myself. I wavered in flight because I still doubted my ability. I finally landed on the corner after having too much trouble remaining in the air. I walked into the first building I saw, an old, tan warehouse surrounded by wired fencing. Inside was bare and cold. Everything was painted this off-white, tannish color that clumped on the walls. There were thick, rectangular, cement columns dividing the floor space. I walked towards a counter in the middle of the warehouse and pointed at a boy around my age that was standing there sheepishly looking through paper work. I headed towards the bathroom which was past a small area behind the counter closed off by caution tape. He followed and closed the door behind him. It was a tiny space. We stood chest to chest. I grabbed his ass and giggled as he turned his head from mine. He was very shy and refused to look at me. I made some witty comment and he kissed my cheek once, smiled blissfully, kissed it again and walked away with an extra bounce to his step. I hadn't gotten what I'd intended, yet I walked out of the bathroom feeling rejuvinated and elated with the knowledge that this boy loved me. I walked passed the counter, found a plastic dress-up crown and put it on my head. I found a tiara for a queen and a plastic sword next to that. I placed the tiara around my waist, held the sword in my hand and flew out of the warehouse. Then my alarm went off.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Upon entering the BART station this morning I remembered part of my strange dream last night. "I" or my perspective was in the station with a group of people waiting on a train when this tiny little ball of a baby--like a bouncy, fleece-covered sausage--was dropped onto the platform. The baby/sausage rolled across the yellow safety strip and onto the tracks. This baby was TINY and didn't seem to have any limbs.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I wake up and something feels amiss.

I walk out to the living room and see through the window of the front door a plush orange and black spotted-is it a bobcat, mountain lion?-arch its torso up to the window and slightly thrust its body forward, showing me itself It must have run away-I think I saw it join and prowl with other cats as I walk up to the front door and open it This is Barrytown-varying levels of dug up ground, messy thick wet dirt crumbling rising and falling into substantial abysses the Barrytown folk, who are very gentile, possibly Victorian, upright torsos, chins in the air, parasols, coattails, walk along the treacherous terrain as if it was a paved city street, without wild cats, without abysses-I shout to the folk from my doorstep in a strained British accent- "Good day my lady!" I see a woman with tri-pronged pearl earrings strolling along-"Wonderful day for a walk isn't it?"

I go back into my house and a youngish cutesy woman is sitting in my living room. Right away I ask her-"Do you time travel?" She giggles and says something to the effect of-"Of course!" I ask her-"How?" She says, "by onomatopoeic potatoes" Then she picks up one of several pieces of white paper I have written words on, and the one she picks up says "Travel together" She smiles, slightly in awe, but knowingly understands the message, and she is happy

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I am climbing up the steps in the stairwell of this rather amazing building. Is it a university? In one floor, there are broken blue bike frames embedded in the wall, in another, glass bottles. The floor is grey cement. The walls are rendered white. Everything is angular yet peaceful.

Another dream. Somehow, I know I have travelled forward a little in time. There is a girl wearing a red polo top and she and I are outside this office with glass walls all broken, blood droplets everywhere, like something has rampaged through. Then I am in the present. I am trying not to get caught by whatever-it-is. After moving around, I see the girl in red. I know we'll soon be safe. As soon as we're both outside, I have to be somewhere again, over there beyond those trees. I spot this massive-looking motorbike with fat, wide tyres [which I now recognise, after describing the dream to a friend, is similar to Batman's futuristic/awesome motorcycle]. I think Good, I'll get there quicker. But the bike is so slow. So slow. Slow enough that I actually have to let a car pass me. I feel frustrated and irritated.

And then I wake up.

The second dream is such an interesting variant of my usual getting-chased dream [which I have interpreted to be my deadlines-as-monsters]. I actually get to escape on a vehicle. Usually, I am trying to escape on foot. Maybe I'm thinking smarter?

Monday, January 5, 2009

In my dream i was writing poems where every line was followed by some phonetic remains of the former as a process of decay.

    the opposite bends
            opps   ends
I'm someplace that's part-way to hell -- a level before. It's a wasteland. I'm H.D. I came here voluntarily to help my once friend, Ezra Pound, do research. But things have changed. I want to leave but he controls this realm. I get his revolver and try to shoot him. The bullet heads straight for his chest, but an invisible force changes the bullet's path and it ricochets, almost hitting me. It's terrifying to know that he's invincible and so evil. We discuss the situation and I am resigned that I can't take him down. I make a comment that where we're at now is parallel to being in purgatory waiting to get into heaven. He's not amused by my observation.

I go back to my dorm room that I share with my boyfriend (who is also unhappy being in this part-way to hell realm). I tell him that we have to figure out a way to escape. Then a little girl comes in, it's Ezra's daughter. She and some other folks have just arrived in the realm to do research. She tells me that her father decided we can leave and go back into world. I know there's a catch, that we're only being sent back because it's time to play our roles in his plan -- which involves involuntary visions and prophecies. We have 30 minutes to pack everything, which we do hastily. I take a variety of rocks, including a bright red one. There are five stones that Chris says go together, but I'm not concerned about keeping them together. I'm in a rush to leave.

I'm back at home in my office. There's a bunch of books and texts -- some of which I don't want to put back in my library because they're Ezra's and so disturbingly twisted -- although I do want to keep the mystical stuff.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


woke to a dream in which I was at a party with Sophia Loren. as she was abt to leave she came over to give me a pink carnation. I quite despise carnations but I knew in the dream that I'd be taking it home to press because it was from her.