Friday, June 25, 2010

I was walking back home from a great meal at one of my favorite restaurants, the Global Palate,(go support - they rock!) with my tennis team and my husband, Peter. We're all wearing our salmon colored team shirts.

As we're walking back to our house, the captain of my tennis team is explaining to my husband that she has offered me "a great benefits package: two weeks off in the summer, a flexible schedule..."

At which point I'm standing in the middle of the street, surrounded by my teammates, screaming dramatically at the top of my lungs, "But I don't get PAID to play tennis. Wouldn't THAT be part of a great benefits package?"

Must have something to do with the tricky, intense match I played last night. And the fact that it's been a bazillion degrees out and I haven't slept well in days.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I was on a jury debating whether to hang a gallows tree. This gibbet had grown old: it bent with the weight of the condemned man and set him down gently--like Frost's birch tree, though that allusion didn't occur to me in the dream. We sat around a collapsible table in a church gym. We drank hot chocolate and joked and laughed as we discussed condemning the gallows to death by hanging.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The old white washing machine was in a partially dismantled state. The person working on it was familiar, but I couldn’t remember his name. Like a prospector, he removed several screens and filters clogged with grit and sand and held them up to the light. I was wondering what the machine would sound like when I suddenly found myself driving it from the yard to the road in front of my childhood home. It had become a strange, long, hollow van with rain on the windshield. But the steering wheel was at the rear, and it was hard to see where I was going. Through will alone, I managed to move the controls to the front where they belonged. I pulled onto the road and headed toward town. It was night. Up ahead, someone had parked a car across the road. Several people were waiting beside it. They seemed hostile and menacing, so I turned the washing machine van around. I decided to take the back way. I drove past the neighbor’s vineyard and into a large room. My mother was in the room. She was sitting up in bed, exhausted after having taken a shower. I stood beside her. There was a top hat on the dresser. I put it on. She said, “Don’t go. Please, don’t go.” There were French doors leading out. Through the glass I could see stars, clear to the ground.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Last night I had a dream, maybe it was a nightmare actually, that the iPad was really a wall-sized vanity mirror. You would hang it on the wall and gaze at your own reflection transfixed as you surfed the net or read the NY Times or played online tic-tac-toe or whatever. You would reach out with your index finger to touch the screen and meet your own reflected index finger coming out from the other side to touch you back, kind of like Adam and God in the Sistine Chapel.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I had a long and complicated dream about you a dream in which I met your new wife named Polly and your new child named Elizabeth. Your mother was there too. I was in your house collecting my belongings having once again been banished from your life. I was confused and needed a ride home. Your wife asked you if you and I had ever danced and you denied it and this upset me (a Judas kiss three times denied) then the three of us were in bed you were behind me holding me your wife behind you and you were crying. Then I was in the bathroom trying to find my book and some lipstick and your wife came in and I told her there are many rooms in this house that you can find if you want and she thanked me. I went to hug your mother who was sobbing uncontrollably. The weight of her body was so real in this dream and her long red braid which I stroked felt like silk. I walked outside and there was a tiny girl maybe a year old or less standing in the back of a truck. I said Elizabeth! and she clapped her hands then flung her arms out like a starfish and I picked her up and she clung to me and wouldn't let go. I knew I had never met her but she knew me and loved me. (I keep dreaming this girl the child me). Then it was time for all of us to get in the car and I was I am bereft and I woke up bereft too tumbled to try to go back to sleep too tumbled to even read. I’m sorry I dreamed you. I had no right.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I had a nightmare last night the first in a very long time. I was living in a Victorian house a house I’ve dreamed of on and off for the past few years. The windows were very high. I woke in my dreamstate to a storm and my cat who has been dead for 24 years was lying outside on the windowsill with a terrible growling mean face and streaks of rust in her fur. She was the size of a beaver huge snarling and very dead. I cried out to either my son or my ex-husband both of whom were there. My son comforted me and my ex-husband went outside to grab the cat and snap her neck.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Marc Chagall

Saturday I dreamed all night. First I was in a beautiful hotel room but the bed was lumpy so I pulled up the fitted sheet and the mattress was covered with marijuana buds which I scooped up. Then I was home and I discovered the remote control for my little telly gave us cable then I was back in the hotel room bed on my stomach and a woman straddled my back and was giving me a deep tissue massage. Next I was at a party in a room with all white walls and a man was making marinara then he started flinging it on the walls with a spoon and the marinara spread out into complicated gorgeous art that kept moving around morphing and rolling up and across the ceiling. Then it was announced that everyone at the party was going swimming except I didn’t have a swimsuit and said so and someone yanked my jeans off and handed me white stockings and a long white petticoat and a white satin bustier with bones the kind you wear under a ball gown. I got dressed walked to the pool but no one was there and the pool was filled with mechanical parts, engines, clocks, axles, flat pieces of metal, titanium bowls, the entire pool with all this stuff clanking around in it so I found a snow shovel and scooped the stuff out of the pool which made me very tired but gave me room to swim. I was swimming and struggling with the petticoat when the host of the party came out and jumped in the pool and yelled at me for removing the mechanical stuff. She opened a long drawer inside the pool in the deep end and started pulling out more mechanical parts and (suddenly as it happens in dreams) I was at work still in the petticoat and bustier and I was by an executive’s office and I heard someone whisper slut then I was deep in the woods watching at first a red fox then a wolf. I woke to hard rain.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In my dream several families have come together for a camping trip.  Each has a makeshift home, a tent or caravan overloaded with cooking utensils, battered tin and plastic crockery, blankets, sleeping bags and clothes.  One couple has bundled their baby into a pram under layers of camping equipment such that only the child’s eyes are visible.

Two tiny eyes peek out onto the world.  I wonder that the baby is not squashed.

We are about to move on once loaded up when I notice a pair of my sister’s shoes left out on the road.  I collect them and then notice other shoes, this time single shoes that have also spilled onto the road.  I retrieve them and check underneath the car.  More shoes.  I rush to get them all back into the already overloaded car, fearful that my husband will yell at me for holding everyone up.

Then we are at a family Christmas lunch, each trying to find a seat at the table.  I over hear one of the mothers from my daughter’s school in the kitchen complain that the meal she will serve her family that day will be as hard as nails.  I watch as she plucks a lobster from a pot of over-boiled vegetables.  She cuts the lobster open.  Its flesh is tough and unyielding.

     ‘You’ll have to start again,’ someone says to the woman.

     ‘It was expensive,’ she says.  ‘My mother gave me money just so I could buy a big one, big enough to share.’

I am back at the dinner table and decide to sit next to one of my favourite cousins.  She sits next to a man whom I do not recognise

     ‘Where’s my mum?’ I ask.

     ‘Over there,’ my cousin says and points to the other side of the table.  I stand on tiptoes and see that my mother is propped up on a low footstool diagonally opposite, and beside the highchair.  Her head barely reaches level with the tabletop.

     ‘We need to make room for my mother,’ I say, and pull up another chair between my cousin and me.

     ‘Come and sit with us,’ I say to my mother.  It is a squeeze but we manage to fit her in.

My mother has a baffled, hurt look on her face, as if to say, mistreat me as you like.  I will suffer in silence, but you can all feel bad about it.  I know this look and refuse to give in to it.  Equally, I will not exclude my mother.  She belongs with us.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I had a dream that I was at a banquet celebrating Robert Creeley and Denise Levertov. Creeley himself was in attendance. I had to give a speech, and at the end of this speech I was about to recite "I Know a Man," but Creeley interrupted me. So I improvised the following poem:

This is my im-
aginary Cree-
ley poem.

I hope you like it
You're up next.

Wild applause. The next speaker got up and began to talk about Levertov. She implied that the real reason we were here was to celebrate her work, not Creeley's. I've rarely been able to remember poems I've composed in dreams, so this is a breakthrough for me. I was particularly proud of the word "sport" for some reason.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dream 1:
Bobbing in kayaks, in the wake of motor boats, we are a set of something, red and green water flowers, kitschy salt and pepper shakers.  We are a man and a woman.  Little boats bumping and slogging into one another on Figure Eight Lake.  We see A-frame houses appearing at the lake shore, emerging from the woods like people, approaching casually by foot, and settling in to survey all the activity of the holiday weekend.  There is a sense of community apparent between the houses.  I woke up, feeling as if I'd dreamt of simple mathematics, geometry, geomancy, patterns. 

Dream 2:
I see only the tops of people’s heads very often in dreams, usually out of windows or through windows, just the tops of all sorts of heads passing by.  Dreaming early this morning, I was in a museum, walking by the entrance to a ramp down to a lower level of the museum.  I saw the top of a woman’s head appear and disappear as she walked down the spiral ramp, obscured otherwise by the ramp’s high walls.  I call out “Dorothy!”  And walk back to enter the ramp, to see if I was correct about the identity of this top of someone’s head.  And it is Dorothy.  And I have a sense, as we are hugging one another, that she knows it means something special that I have identified her by only the top of her head in this place that neither one of us would usually be.  She’s wearing a pale aqua colored dress that is strikingly lovely against the color of her skin. She's cheerful and finely turned out, going to a summer wedding, she says.  “But it’s deep winter”, I say.  And she replies that the wedding is inside the museum, but the theme is “summer wedding”.  I think this is a fantastic idea, and I tell her so, and she replies “Well, I hope so!  It is your wedding, after all.”  In the dream, it seems perfectly reasonable, that Dorothy would be informing me of my own wedding, the day of.  The exterior walls of the museum are made mostly of windows, and the place is alive with quickly-changing afternoon light.