Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This morning in my dream I travelled in a car with my husband from the school where our daughters attended a holiday camp of sorts. We were sitting in the middle of the car, a stretch station wagon, and behind us sat two rows of school girls, five in the first row and three in the back. Along with the driver, a teacher, we made up nine in all.

The trip home seemed precarious. I held onto a thin strand of something, a piece of string with a knob, that seemed to be the only thing connecting the front of the car and the driver to the rest of us in the back. If I had let go I imagined the body of the car and all eight passengers, including me and my husband, would be left stranded, unable to move, while the driver took off in the front of the car. Split down the middle.

In spite of it all we made it back to the school. We had left our groceries in the car and my husband went off to have a rest while I stayed near to one of the other holiday cottages with my youngest daughter. We sorted beads and bits of jewellery.

At one stage I went inside the house of a writing friend and had to climb over a couch and bench top to get to the door as I was leaving. In doing so I upended a bowl of chrysanthemums.

The man who shared the house with my friend helped me to pick up the flowers and return them to the vase. 'What do they mean for you,' he asked in a Dutch accent.

‘Of family,’ I said. It was the first word that had come to mind. Chrysanthemums reminded me of my family. All those long stems and colourful heads.

Monday, December 19, 2011

     I dreamt it was very late at night, though weirdly light outside.  We lived in a rambling apartment very high up in a building.  My friends Jon and Mark were over.  Mark was acting badly.  Even though it was very late, Jon and I planned to go out.  He was supposedly quitting cigarettes, and there was no way he was going to bed anytime soon.  Mark walked over and lay down on the bed next to my wife Louisa.  I said, “Aren’t you going, Mark?”  He reviled me.  I went to the kitchen to do some dishes.  Mark followed and stood by me at the sink flicking water at me.  “You’re just trying to provoke me to hit you, so you can hit me,” I said, then launched into a long complaint to this effect, “Mark, how can you act like this to me, after the thousands of things I’ve done for you?  You shouldn’t be messing up my house, you should be helping me clean it.”  He scoffed.  “I’d help you clean your house,” I said, a bit of a stretch.  He shrugged and finally left.  Jon had already left.
     I drove through some downtown city streets looking for Jon’s place.  Was it that way?  No, my friend Sandy’s place was over there.  Jon’s place was in another direction.  I started to turn around in the street, which was partly blocked off by construction.  A couple of guys were standing there, leaning against a concrete divider.  They came to jack the car as I was making a K turn in the confined space.  A guy pushed his hand in the partly open window.  I tried the power windows, the power lock, nothing worked.  The car went dead, the guys got in.  “Please don’t hurt me,” I said.  I couldn’t read their eyes.  “We’re just going to ride around and take some money out of your bank.  It’s hardly a crime.  It only gets you 40 hours in jail,” one of the guys said.  With visions of $1,000 or more being taken out, I lunged to get out of the car.  The guy grabbed me and almost did violence to me right then.  I resolved to cooperate with them after that.  They started leading me through some streets.  It was almost fun.  “Who’s the guy?” someone asked them about me.  “Some tourist.”  “I’m not a tourist, I live in Brooklyn,” I chimed.  “Sure.”  My daughter Charlotte joined up with me.  I thought it would be OK for her to observe the criminal activity.  They led me into what looked like an office building with, I figured, a Chase on the ground floor.  I’d told them to take me to Chase, so I wouldn’t have to pay the fees.  They were slightly amused.  But we swung into a large room with many seedy people that reminded me of a nightclub.  My abductors disappeared through a door.  When I followed them, I didn’t see them anywhere, only lots of seedy corridors.  I went back to the large room, where I noticed a guy with a ponytail.  Was he one of them?  I asked how to find them.  A guy at a lectern pointed in a certain direction.  Realizing I might get beat up for falling behind, I told Charlotte, “Things might get ugly, you better go back.”
     I wandered into a legal office.  God, I thought, I’m walking right into Kafka’s The Trial, a parallel world of enmeshment in a legal or bureaucratic nightmare that lurks in every society.  It can happen anywhere at any time.  But the lady at the desk was nice.  I told her I’d gotten separated from a group.  On her computer, she called up these maps of the vast complex, some 3-D and cross-sectional.  She circled one area, off to the side.  She called up a page with the names of my abductors listed.  I recognized their address, which was near Jon’s.  “What are you doing with these guys?” the woman asked.  “Basically, they’re going to rob me,” I said.  “I figured,” she said.  “My daughter was with me,” I said, “but I told her to go back.  She goes to Stuyvesant High.”  The woman was uninterested.  A guy who looked like Kevin Gilroy, a grade-school friend, came to retrieve me.  He was holding a metal rod.  He immediately threatened me with it, but didn’t strike me.  We walked outside, along the side of the complex, as if we were going to enter another building.  He said he was going to a Big 10 basketball game this weekend, mentioned how great this guy was on one Big Ten team.  I mentioned Archie Griffin.  “He’s only scoring five a game.  But they need him to keep Knight honest.  Knight’s still a bit rough.”  As we talked basketball, I unfortunately awakened from this amazing dream.
     I dreamt I visited the apartment of Allen Ginsberg after his death.  I think I planned to steal some things, but there wasn’t much to steal, or if there was anything, it wasn’t apparent.  There were just cheap cups, pictures and clothes.  It turned out his place was connected to a caretaker’s apartment, which was down some inconspicuous back stairs.  A woman caretaker appeared and asked me what I was doing there.  I lied and told her I was a friend of Allen Ginsberg.  I said I had left some papers and other things there.  I wanted to pick them up now.  Surprisingly, she believed me.  She left and shortly afterward came back, saying there were some special Indian bowls on the outside windowsill I might be interested in.  The bowls were incredibly cheap-looking.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In my dream I came upon a woman who sat alone in the burned out remains of her house.  Parts of the house were still intact: an outdoor garage filled with stuff and one side of the front room, which included the large armchair in which she sat, the chimney place and part of a mantel piece, but that was all.  The rest of the house stood as charred remains.

The doctor who was also my doctor, a tall young man, walked into what was once the woman’s lounge room and muttered words of sympathy.  She fell into his arms and sobbed.
‘How did this happen?’ he asked.
The woman was not certain she said but thought it had something to do with the fibres that were woven into a mat that lay on the floor covered in soot and burned debris. The woman pulled out a fibre and it morphed into a fuller shape as if it took on a life of its own.

Before she could explain any further I began to recognise that the fibres were probably related to ghosts or strands of similar fibres on the other side of the world.

The area became a bustling child care centre.  I was inside one of the rooms when I came across J, one of my greatest adversaries in relation to a certain professional matter.  We had not spoken for months. ‘Let’s agree to disagree,' I said to her.  'Let’s have a truce.’

She hesitated but in the end nodded her agreement and then handed over a large box of Lego that had once belonged to one of her sons.  Some of the Lego tipped out when I tried to put it down and I saw that these pieces were all so tiny they would be a problem for my children and grandchildren to use, but I accepted the gesture as genuine.

I asked J’s son if he enjoyed playing with this Lego.
‘It’s not much fun, ‘ he said.  It’s more like hard work.’’

All at once the husband of the woman in the burned out house leapt forward and threw a grenade at his wife and at a cluster of small children who were hovering in a sort of cubby house in front of the property.  The woman and children panicked.  They doubled over waiting for the explosion, but the grenade did not go off.

I was aware it could still explode but calmly started to urge the children one by one to leave their dangerous bunker and to go back to another house for tea.  I urged the woman to do likewise when she was the only one remaining but she stayed put and my clock alarm, not the grenade, went off to end the dream.


Unbeknown to me and while I was out a Minotaur took up residence in my house. After I realised this, I decided to go in through the back entrance where I met a young school girl. She had been living in this part of the house and told me she had plans to kill the Minotaur.

‘I will wait till it’s asleep and then pierce its eye with my spear.’

I walked up the corridor to the centre of the house when the Minotaur appeared. It looked like a stocky, middle aged, short haired woman with an enraged glare in her eyes. It lunged for me as soon as she it me but I held it at bay using the pile of text books in my arms as a barrier. From around the corner a woman appeared pushing a trolley. She seemed to be a housekeeper or some other such servant and she looked on bemused.

‘What’s that behind you?’ I asked the Minotaur who turned and then launched the attack on the unsuspecting housekeeper. The Minotaur threw the woman  to the ground and left her unconscious.
Then it turned back on me. Its arms, brown and sinewy, reached over the barricade of my books as it tried to grab hold of me. The Minotaur was determined to get me.
I woke in a lather.


I was desperate to find a place where I might write unimpeded when I found myself in the quadrangle of the University of Melbourne.  I decided to go upstairs into an area that was usually off limits for those who did not have an ID.

I had lost mine but the woman at the front desk let me in regardless.  She allowed me entry as far as the library but behind her back I snuck upstairs into a series of rooms where at last I thought I might be able to settle into writing.

I met my husband and his three brothers in this same series of rooms.  They had been drinking, but were not yet drunk.  My husband refused to take another drink one of his brothers had offered him and I was relieved.   Otherwise, I thought I might need to carry him out.

We came across a room filled with people who looked as if they were asleep or unconscious.  They did not stir when my husband and his brothers walked through and although their bodies were intact it was as if they were dead.

My husband and his brothers started to jostle these bodies, to wake them up.

The lifeless people began to stir but something in their movement alarmed me.  They moved as if in slow motion and it was only when I looked into their eyes which were blank – there was no iris only white in the middle where the dark orb should be – I realised they were zombies.

I was terrified.  If they should get hold of us, of any of us, I thought, they would grip on and turn each of us, the living ones into zombies.

I woke in a panic.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I dreamed last night that he was dying.  His body half its original size shrunken under the sheets like a dried out Patagonian mummy.  His eyes were yellow.  Liver disease, the doctors said.  Too much alcohol.  Cancer of the jaw.  He could not speak.  He did not try.  The tremble that took over was like a death rattle.  He did not have much time left and we, the survivors, sat around his bed.  Each of us locked in our own minds.  This death thing.  It is happening to him, not to me.  And when his brother climbed onto the bed beside him and tried to hold him close one last time, I saw the wet line of urine seep down his trouser legs and I knew that the brother too had lost control.  The brother could not cry but his body leaked out tears.  We, the bystanders, reeled back.  We could not bear to see.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Imagine as a writing exercise trying to describe something knowing that yr description will not describe what you want it to.  Trying to describe an LSD trip, eg.  Trying to describe a rm that one's in w/o resorting to any nouns, similies, metaphors, analogies; a bedrm described w/o using the words "bed" or "walls" or "floor" or "sheets" - attempting to describe the sheets topographically only.. - that sort of thing.  That's the dilemma of trying to describe dreams.  Extending that, that's the dilemma of describing ANYTHING - something will ALWAYS BE MISSING - something that makes the description crucially incomplete.  I'm hyper-conscious of that in relation to today's attempt at a dream description.

There's an environment.  I am in it.  It's both architecturally-interior-like & enormously-outside-natural.  I am on a flat surface.  It's like a floor, it's like flat ground; it's not like a floor, it's not ground.  To my left, wch, of course, is an inadequate relative description, is a steep cliff, rounded.  The surface I'm on is water.  The surface I'm on may not have initially been water.  Perhaps something I have done, something I am doing, is making it fluid.

At '1st' this surface, this water, is bounded - on the left is the steep cliff; straight ahead is, perhaps a slightly higher flattish area wch isn't fluid.  Around the corner of the cliff is another area where the fluid is bounded.  Behind me there's some sort of human-created area bounding the fluid.  It's as if the scale changes there to be the scale a small child sees when it looks up at table legs & table top whilst crawling on the floor.  There are human created objects there, not necessarily describable as any particular thing - concrete abstracts of sorts.  People live there or are visiting.  Looking behind me, as I head forward, to the right of the people area the fluid continues on for a distance obscured from view - there's no immediate bounding of the water in sight.

I have a purpose.  I am somehow going to make a dramatic change to 'reality'.  I have a reason for this, this 'reason' serves a purpose I somehow perceive as benevolent.  This does not describe it at all.  The surface I am on may be solid enuf for me to walk on, it may be water, I may be in a small fragile boat, a raft.  Whatever I am in or on, it remains undefined at the same time that it's clearly physical & I am clearly physical in my interaction w/ it - even though I seem to exist more as a POV (Point of View) than as a body that I can see.

Where the 'water' meets the 'shore' the water is fluid, there's a brown scum that extends out from the shore for maybe a ft or so.  The water is perhaps thousands of ft deep.  My chosen task is to descend, perhaps down a rope, to the bottom of this for some purpose that will make dramatic changes.  I will not drown.  I need to breath but I will not drown descending into this water w/o special breathing apparatus other than my not necessarily visible ordinary human body.  When I reach the bottom something major is going to change.  I don't want to descend in the water where the scum is, where I can't see b/c of the scum; I want to descend past the scum but perhaps the water isn't so watery past the scum, perhaps it's hard, perhaps it's ice.

I have to have a rope connected to the shore that became visible around the curve of the cliff that I'm at the bottom of.  The water is still, there are no waves.  I have to somehow fetch an object from this shore to be suspended on the rope.  This object may be something like a plastic sculpture of an owl, it may be something completely different, it may be undefined, totally ambiguous - except that it's no bigger than 11 inches in length & ruggedly textured.  It may represent something else, it probably does.

The rope is parallel to the surface wch may be water.  The object is attached to it.  I no longer need to descend to the bottom.  I'm no longer holding the rope, perhaps the rope & the object are no longer there.  I'm moving away from where I'd gone to - back toward where I'd apparently come from in the 'beginning' - even though there wasn't necessarily a 'beginning' b/c in the 'beginning' of this memory I was in the 'middle' of the space I've been 'describing' & I was coming 'from' the 'middle'.  I was going back to the part of the water/ice where the boundary was no longer visible.

I cd walk on the surface that wasn't exactly ice - but b/c of what I'd done the surface that was closer to ice than anything else I can think of was becoming something that I cd no longer walk on b/c it was becoming water & it was very deep & I wd drown.  I was heading away from where it was turning into deep water, walking backwards, perhaps - looking where I had been.  In the little area bounded by the 'shore' & the curve of the cliff the surface cd no longer be walked on - it was deep water.

To my right, as I was moving backwards, there were people in the area w/ the human constructions.  They were laughing in resistance to the change I'd initiated.  They were preventing the surface from turning into deep water.  It was as if there were only an ice-like surface w/ no potential even for deep water underneath it.  But that was changing - not b/c their efforts weren't effective.  In 'fact' they didn't have to make any effort - their existence kept things that way - it was their world, they defined it.  But even tho they didn't need to do anything to keep the surface from becoming fluid, it was becoming fluid anyway.

There was a newscast, perhaps I heard it.  Hundreds or thousands or an unnumbered quantity of sharks + some bears (not polar bears - black or brown bears, grizzly bears perhaps) + some walruses or walrus-like creatures coming onto the land from the deep water that was coming into being.  The news may've announced that these creatures were eating humans - but I don't think I saw that happen.  What I saw was the sharks & bears & walruses covering the land near the water's edge.  I was retreating from them toward a small rock protrusion from the 'water''s surface at the edge of wch my girlfriend was laying half-asleep.

I reached where she was.  The surface had melted to the point where she & the bedcovers over her were partially wet from the melting.  I warned her that she had to leave this small rock area b/c the sharks wd be coming onto it & maybe eating her.  She was more nonchalant about it than I was - saying that she'd been camouflaging herself w/ fake shark fins - wch I cd imagine seeing there but didn't actually see.  I didn't think these semi-imaginary shark fins wd work to keep the sharks from recognizing her as human.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I dreamed that I drove to the A.A. meeting in my real car, a silver-gray Infiniti FX35.  I brought prescriptions from the pharmacy in their original wrappers with the instructions tucked inside.  The pharmacy had given me a free prescription as a promotion—something for the vagina, though I’d had no complaint.  It was Tuesday night at St. Luke’s, the church where I was baptized.  I always say that about St. Luke’s—“the church where I was baptized”—as if I owned the place.  Leo Kottke was there, and, for a change, it didn’t make me nervous.  I just slipped through the door.  There was no meeting in session, but people from the meeting and other people, too, were gathered.  It was the Christmas holiday season.  I had not seen Mr. Kottke for something like twelve years.  I had bags, and he had bags.  Besides the bags from the pharmacy, I had my work in satchels.  Leo Kottke had his work in satchels, too.  I fished in one of my satchels for a copy of Country Without a Name to show him.  I thought it was appropriate to start there, with work we had done since we had last seen each other, and he thought it was appropriate, too, and began fishing in his satchels for work to show me.  Country Without a Name and Solzhenitsyn Jukebox are ebooks, however, and no true print copy of them exists; instead, I had booklets made from them on my printer.  I couldn’t find the best version with the illustrations by Daniel Harris, and instead found a prototype with a drawing of Leo Kottke on the cover.  It looked like a doodle I had made of him, as if in my daydreams I had him in mind for my writing.  It embarrassed me that I couldn’t find the real and finished version.  I explained that it was an ebook, and he said he’d seen it because he had downloaded it from the internet.  Then he took my hair and neck in his fingers, and he kissed me.  He kept on kissing me.  It was pleasing and exactly as I’d imagined it would have been had we started kissing in real life back when it now seemed we must both have known we had wanted to.  I wanted to ask him, but knew it was better not to, why he hadn’t written to me long ago.  If it was so easy to kiss each other now, why hadn’t he written to me in response to my letters (sent to his publicist) and kissed me then?  I didn’t ask because the passion of the kissing, also the ease of it, the simple familiarity, brought us into present tense.  I became cooperative with my heart and his.  He had a plan, he said.  “Let’s move all our belongings into the hallway and begin to transfer them to our cars.”  He had so many things with him, not, it seemed, because he was homeless, but because he was camping or on the road performing.  Susan Tepper was there helping with Christmas preparations.  It was easy, as in real life, to get along with her.  Leo went down the hallway.  I assumed he was moving some of his things.  I began organizing my things and thought of the complimentary prescription for vaginal healing.  When he did not return for a while, I went to look for him.  He had gone into the church where a Christmas concert was in session.  He sat in a school desk near the top of the sanctuary.  He looked a little drunk.  He asked for another drink.  He was drinking an almond-colored foamy concoction.  I looked at him as if sorry, and he said, “Don’t feel sorry for me.”  Drinks were being served on the grand piano.  Sam Chauncey was one of the men serving the drinks.  I said, ‘Sam,” and he said, “Ann, ask your question.”  I said, “What is in this drink?  Is it alcohol?”  And Sam said that the almond-colored drink had a low alcohol content, and the cranberry drink did not.  Someone said, “Maybe Leo is not used to drinking any alcohol, and the low alcohol content went directly to his brain.”  I returned to where he sat in the school desk carrying an almond-colored drink.  I served it to him.  Our plan had shifted, but we didn’t mention it.  He seemed to be in his own mind and amused by it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I had a dream that was set in an old town over a century ago, the sort of town you might see at Sovereign Hill in the Ballarat goldfields.
I watched a group of women out walking with their children.  One mother went inside a store to fossick for material and while she was inside, a young boy, presumably her son, carried her baby in his arms.

To hold onto the baby the boy gripped tightly, too tightly it seemed.
‘Let go,’ one of the other children said to him as she began to wrestle the baby from his arms.  But the boy held rigid.  His arms circled the baby’s torso like a python .
 The girl tried even harder to pull the boy’s arms apart, as did other children who joined in, but still he would not let go.

The baby who had been whimpering became floppy.  Its head lolled to one side.
I knew then it was too late and the baby was dead.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In my dream last night I was trying to find a place where I might wash my hair. My usual bathroom was unavailable because of tradesmen and therefore I needed to find another. I had already soaped up my hair with shampoo in readiness and stood talking in my dressing gown to my husband when two friends came by. Two friends I have known for a long time and feel mixed towards.  They told us that their daughter had just died after an asthma attack.  ‘She couldn’t keep up the fight,' they said.

They were devastated and their news devastated me, too.  Throughout the rest of my dream wherever I went I found myself bursting into uncontrollable fits of weeping for this young woman, who happened to be the same age as one of my daughters. They were good friends.  I told the mother that I worried about telling my daughter -  who is very sensitive and would also deeply distressed - about her friend's death.

Somehow I managed to get a key to a hotel room where, without paying anything, I could have a shower and finish washing my hair.

I needed to cross Flinders Street but the lights were red.  I waited in a crowd outside Young and Jackson’s, conscious that I stood only in my night gown in this most public of meeting places, under the clocks at Flinders Street station.  Finally the lights changed and I tried to behave as though there was nothing unusual about a woman in her nightie in the middle of the city.

On my way upstairs in the lift I came across an old writing friend.  She was attending a conference with another woman and seemed preoccupied even after I told her about the death of my friend’s daughter.  I’d have thought she’d be able to show more interest but no.  She left me alone with the burden of my grief.

It was as if I could not stop telling people about my sadness at this young woman’s untimely death.  Other friends came by and I told them, too.  They seemed more empathic but I had the sense that no one could really appreciate this loss except me and the girl’s parents.

Finally, I came to my hotel room but it was occupied by cleaning ladies who were making up the bed.  I told them why I had come and they offered to leave the bathroom till last.  A man came by, another hotel worker, who noticed on the table, just as I did, a screwed up wad of bank notes.  A tip, I thought, as did the man because he took it up and commented that they’d have to share it around and how unfair it was not only to have to share it among themselves but also with the establishment.

In the next minute my husband’s mother arrived and I felt awkward in my half nakedness.  She chased after me to give me a towel but I closed the door behind me fearful that she might disapprove.

Then the alarm signalled the time to get up.

Monday, November 7, 2011

dreamed I found animal skins in the woods and called them "stories." Then I dreamed that I wrote poems out of my own hair; I used tweezers and glue to arrange the hair into shapes of letters.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

going to piano lesson in Maidenhead with Mrs Rhodes I have to take a taxi the young taxi-driver is late & tells me how hard his life his problems – why he’s late have I got my black bag with my music in it? Yes – he has to stop because driving on the footpath there are children in the way – they move over he continues – turns right instead of left in the town & I’m confused I know this town but where am I? I get out & realise I don’t know the address – I go into a shop, stationery, toys, & ask to use their phone – first they find their own phone/address book – then a book with phone instructions & in despair I try somewhere else by now it’s 2.35 – the children sitting on the stairs are in the way & I push a boy down gently playfully & he rolls down leaving me room to get down ….

Monday, October 31, 2011

I am in a man's house; he is quite wealthy, an official. A small group of 60s style secret agents - sort of KGB-like, swarm about. The agents warn me about the man, "He's dangerous." I counter, "But he's always been nice to me." They caution, "You've only been to Level I with him, you've no idea what happens at Level II."
While he is an 'important' man he seems a classic narcissist, and perhaps even worse than that. In the dream he is hypnotic, and like a snake, dangerous, and I don't know why I don't heed caution.
The man asks me to go away with him for a night or two. I agree, despite the consternation of the agents. The man doesn't seem to notice the agents, or, if he does, thinks them unimportant.
We, the man and I, are sitting in the back seat of a car, a chauffeur ready to drive us.
An agent in a dark coat appears suddenly at the open car window, and despite the attempts of the other agents to stop him, plunges a hypodermic needle into the man's stomach - only I put my hand in front to protect him and receive the shot instead.
The agents outside the car don't know what has happened. I try to speak. There is some chaos. I can feel the poison overtaking my nervous system. The man barely notices, clearly doesn't care. I can hardly move, and then I go completely blind. In the darkness, I try to whisper that I am dying but my lips no longer move.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

You would not call it flying, this movement in my dream, more like gliding.  I hover above the ground and through mere willpower make my way down a hill.  It keeps me safe from a couple of dogs on the footpath who are snapping and snarling at one another.

Before I know it, I am at the bottom of the hill and seated on board a truck like tram that makes its way along Riversdale Road.  I can see ahead towards the tall buildings on the city skyline.  The length of road in front of us has been pulled up and is carved open, piles of dirt and gravel everywhere.

It is for this reason, road works, that we travel in this huge conveyer type truck.  It stops from time to time to collect passengers along the way.  I try to keep a look out for my house but the whole street scape has changed.  Nothing looks familiar.  Most of the buildings are under construction.  I cannot see my neighbours’ houses anywhere, nor mine.

At a point where I imagine my own house must once have been I insist on getting off the truck, insist because the driver has made it clear he only stops to collect passengers.  He does not stop to let us off.

I’m furious and given that the driver will not stop, I jump off.
‘Follow that woman,’ I hear the driver say to his assistant.  ‘And book her.’  I refuse to be intimidated.  I am so desperate to get back home.  I have work to do for which I am already late.

The man hovers behind me but he is timid, like a shy puppy.
‘Mrs Andersen,’ he says.  He does not even know my name.

I shrug him off when the alarm goes off.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In my dream I was in the garden at my old school in Richmond on my knees digging out weeds and re-shaping a flower bed.  The weeds morphed into dirty washing, my own and my family’s.  It had somehow become mixed up with washing from other boarders at my convent school and even with garments from the nuns.

Then I was back at home when I heard a noise which came from the spare room.  I opened the door on a young man whom I recognised as a friend of one of my daughters.  He was naked and using a radial arm saw.  The action of the saw gave off a loud screeching sound and I realised then that the young man used the saw for no other purpose than to attract my attention.  He wanted me to see him naked.

I became terrified at what he might do next.  I fled out through the front door and onto the street.  The young man followed but only as far as the front veranda and then he turned towards the back of the house and himself began to flee.  I now chased after him.

By this time my husband had joined me.
‘Grab him,’ I said.  The young man was now dressed and my husband might well have thought he was just a friend.  Even so he grabbed hold of the young man.  I explained to my husband what had happened and then turned to this young man.
‘I’ll let you go, if you agree to get help.’

My alarm went off and I woke up.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I was in a room, possibly a bedroom, possibly a room like the bedroom in wch I was sleeping while dreaming this, the bedroom wch is also the room where I write & edit movies, where I read & listen to music & watch movies - possibly not.  I was w/ a girl, maybe my current girlfriend in waking life, maybe not.  Maybe we were working on a project together.

I left the room, perhaps I went down steps to another room, a living room.  There was a screen door to a porch to my left.  I saw an ex-girlfriend thru it, "Jake" - someone who I haven't seen in over a decade & who hasn't spoken to me during that time.  I heard a disguised voice calling to me.  I realized that it was hers & I looked at her & now she was wearing a mask to hide that it was her.  I left the room thru the doorway & sd something to her like: "Oh, it's you, long time no see" & then went down the porch steps where an even older male friend that I haven't had much communication w/ for 2 decades asked me if I cd help him w/ something.

I agreed & got into a van w/ him & another guy - maybe thru an open side door.  I asked about what he need help w/.  He showed me a spot in the van wall where water was bubbling out.  I asked him what he was going to do about it.  He told me that we were going to turn the van on its side & he was going to cut a slit in the van wall & repair the pipe (or whatever) that was broken inside.  He got in the driver's seat, wch had 'materialized' next to where the bubbling water was - despite that's apparently being the BACK of the van & started to drive off - w/ the other guy in the front passenger seat & me in the back.

Soon, the ocean was on our right & the other passenger & I mentioned that neither of us ever goes to the ocean even though it's so close.  The road was close to & parallel to the ocean - w/ just a sandy area separating them, an area that cd be used for parking.  The driver jumped out of the car, wch was going slowly, & got onto a bike in front of us - to lead the way to the parking area - leaving the car driverless.  The car had become a convertible w/ no roof & no windshield & the other passenger & I were in the back.  We suddenly realized that the car was driverless & that one of us wd have to get quickly into the driver's seat to take over control or the car wd crash.

The driver's bike in front of us was kicking up a huge sandstorm b/c the road was covered w/ sand.  I got into the driver's seat but it was awkward b/c I'd had to climb into it from behind & cdn't get my legs into the right position.  Further complicating matters was that the sandstorm & the lack of windshield were making it so I cdn't see.  I cd barely make out where the road was & where the entrances to the parking area were that I was trying to get the car to so we cd work on it (even though it was no longer a van &, therefore, no longer had the wall in it that had the problem w/ the water bubbling out).

I dimly saw a 1st entrance but the brakes that I'd felt for w/ my awkwardly placed feet were barely working & the car was now going too fast for me to pull over.  I was desperately trying to avoid going off the road &/or running into other cars &/or pedestrians.  I'd almost slowed down enuf to get into the 2nd, & last, entrance but the car was still moving a bit too fast & I was afraid I'd hit someone or something so I kept going on the road - still w/ extreme sand in my eyes.  I decided I'd slow down more & turn around.

The roads immediately got more complicated.  I may've turned around but then somehow turned the car right across a bridge over a small canal - thereby making it so that I'd have to turn around again to get back over the canal again.  Still barely able to see or control the car I started up a ramp wch led onto a 3 lane highway where all the cars were coming toward me.  I managed to slow down enuf to U-turn again & found myself faced w/ 3 forks in the road.  I tried to go back down the one on the left that I thought I'd just come from when a car started coming up it, as I had done, apparently going the wrong way - as I had.

This forced me to take the middle fork wch led to maybe 2 more choices - everything being under-construction ramps in the air by this point.  I chose the left ramp choice but it wasn't even clear if there was even a complete road there.  There were Jersey walls (or some such) & warning signs &/or caution tapes & the ramp was too curved for me to see if it led to somewhere where I might want to go or if it shot out into 'empty space'.  I might've then seen that it DID lead somewhere safe - but still chaotic.  All this happened in a very quick way - in 'a matter of minutes'. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Frankie, I had another tornado dream. It's been so long. I was with a large group of people in the ocean. We were swimming out at sea, it seemed. The sky threatened storms. At a distance I watched oblong diamonds, black fleckx, among the darkening grey. The black pieces of sky began to fall from the grey like precious stones tumbling to a lower place on the horizon. Melissa Capozzi and I spotted a tornado forming in another direction. We watched it grow bigger and bigger, until then it began to move toward us. Melissa and I looked at each other. There was no land close enough to reach, so we dove under water and separated to find our own safety. I looked up from several feet below and watched the tornado pass (blissfully), as I held my breath. When I surfaced, Melissa and I said something to each other. Then I swam to some edge, where my dead grandfather, the electrician, treaded water or held on to a side or float. He was part of the group and had gone under too. I looked at his wet face, and he spoke to me. I don't remember what he said.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A dream about a guy I knew in college and never much cared for. He struck me as prudish, aesthetically staid, and prematurely old. When we shared a hotel room in Toronto, his intellectual hubris irritated me. I don’t remember his name, but he was shaped like a Coke bottle, so I’ll call him Mr. Coke.

I was lying on my back on tall columns of jeans and t-shirts against a wall. I could touch the ceiling. Far below, Mr. Coke was pulling out t-shirts—quickly and gingerly, so as not to crumble the columns. He reminded me of someone trying to yank a tablecloth out from under plates and silverware. Nevertheless, every time he pulled out a shirt, the columns wobbled as though about to topple over. It was a long way to the floor, and nothing would have broken my fall.

Mr. Coke chose the same t-shirts I would’ve chosen: ironic or emblazoned with band logos.

On the ceiling the white paint looked like a sheet stretched taut over a dinosaur spine. I grasped the spine with my hands and feet and shinnied across the ceiling to the adjacent wall, where there was a small door like that of a dumbwaiter. Maybe it was an escape route! I opened the door with my foot and found...another wall! There was a phone, too, and below the phone a number written in pencil, almost illegible on the lumpy, whitewashed cement. But even if I’d been able to pick up the phone, the number would have been useless. I knew it was a cruel practical joke.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

over the years I've had this recurring dream... the first time that I recorded it it became  section 8 of The City (1974).
recently the "old man" (I am 70) morphs into Stone Girl (she is ... young). Here is that section 8  just as it was originally composed:


it is the quietness
that makes the move
of animals

              .an old man
              was with me

              he came upon

              his voice was
              & rough & in

              his talk
              sd nothing

              as the moon
              animals came

              we slept with
              no fire

              in the morning
              when i awoke
              he had already


             .i do not know
             his name

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Dream
My husband had come to help me carry loads of bulky items from a building to the car. The car was parked in a large lot with gravel on the ground. The gravel crunched as we walked over it. At one point I moved the car and had forgotten, so I walked too far and found myself at a bus stop.
       Then I got on a bus by mistake. I asked the driver to let me off when he stopped early to let a blond woman off who was riding on the outside of the bus. He wouldn’t open the door for me. I got very upset and told him how unfair he was.
       When we finally arrived at the first official stop, I got off. I sat on the bench with people waiting for the next bus and started calling my husband. At first I called the home phone number, but realized that I had to call his cell. The pad of my cell phone was very elaborate and I had a lot of trouble dialing. For instance, there were 2 ones and not both of them would register a one when I dialed. When I finally got through there was a lengthy message from my husband, not what I wanted to hear.

One Day

There was a big group of people who came to check why we hadn’t been receiving our deliveries. They handed us two magazines. There were two fish bowls on top of the counter, one holding a dead fish and one a living one. There was also a bowl of roses on the counter.
       We said that previously no one had come in and sat down and said here are your magazines. The leader of the group was disabled, sitting in a kind of wheel chair. There were two young women who approached him in the hallway. I asked one of them if I knew her. She said no.

The Next Day

Everyone was bringing things down from the room. For some reason Stephan was pushing our car by hand to turn it. We were yelling at him that he was pushing it into another car. All the buildings around were wooden. We were sure that the other car was a rental and that the damage was minimal. It was true. So they drove off after giving him not a card, but a newspaper.
       Then we got in our car which seemed to be red and started up a very steep hill. After we had driven only a block, I asked if anyone had checked our room. I said that I wanted to go back and check. So we turned around to do just that with Stephan commenting that it was fine because we had only gone a block.
       The feeling of the street was that it was very narrow with dark brown dry wooden buildings. The damaged part of the other car, the white car, was the back right hand tail light. The car we were driving was red.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Last night I dreamed I had been travelling through Europe with my husband.  When we returned home it was time for me to sit an examination, something to do with completing my PhD. 
I stood at one time in the Laurent café and overheard my current supervisor speaking to my previous supervisor , ‘Is she schooled deeply enough?’ he asked. 
I panicked then about the examination.  Maybe I did not know enough.  I scrounged around in the library for a book on the topic, a thin book, yellow covered, whose title, The Seven Principles of Autobiographical Theory, left me with the feint hope that if I could absorb enough of its details I would be okay. 
A man had written the book, this much I remember, but not his name, two single syllabled names, like Jay Hunt. 
I took the book with me to the railway station where I planned to take the train to the examination centre.  I stood on the platform of the station at the top of a ramp and noticed yet again that the flood waters had risen and were now enveloping the entire platform.  I watched the waters dip into my open toed shoes.  I wore lacy white stockings and worried that they might get stained from the muddied flood waters. 
I waited with a group of fellow postgraduates for the number 23 train, which pulled up eventually, an old ‘red rattler’ as these trains were once called, a sort of Harry Potter train, minus the steam.  I sat in a carriage with my young daughter and tried to read the basic principles of the book on autobiography.  I repeated the concepts over and over in my head. 
We reached our destination and in the flurry to get off the train I left the book behind.  As we filed out of the station, the ticket collector remonstrated with a number of passengers who did not have tickets.  I had lost my ticket too, but I was not too fussed.  Although he complained about the absence of tickets, the inspector let us through.
I was still worried about the examination and somehow as part of her efforts to help me, a woman, whom I can only recognise as an old friend of my mother from over thirty years ago, invited me to have sex with her.  The sex was most unsatisfactory and because we were both women we somehow connected through a hose that ran from one vagina to the other.  Someone walked in on us and we rushed to a stop, shame faced and hopeful they had not seen too much. 
Then I was driving this woman’s truck down Canterbury Road, weaving in and out of the traffic.  I was terrified of crashing the truck and felt very out of control.  I abandoned the truck for a bus trip back home to Wentworth Avenue.  When it came time to get off at my stop I dropped a pile of papers I had been carrying.  My long dead father, now alive and sober, offered to help me to pick them up. 
The dream, in my memory, came to an end here with the cry of the alarm.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Some dreaming of friends

black tulips Alan Loney likes them
broken short stems I put them together again
for him try to hopefully
                           Roger Horrocks was there
I don’t know why now but
enthusiastic as ever

another to do with CMc
Intense & clear but vanished

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I’m cast in a play, but don’t know my lines for the second half of the script. It’s a community production and rather modest in set design and costuming. There isn’t a stage, and the performance shares the same floor with the audience,  a simple curtain delineating the backstage.

It’s opening night, and the play has already begun. I’m meant to go on stage in a few scenes. I am trying to get a hold of the script so I can cram my lines for the second half. I know this is futile, but I persist. I rummage through my bags and ask my castmates to look at their copies. However, I don’t want to raise any alarms, so am doing my best to seem nonchalant. Inside, though, my heart is pounding. My mouth tastes like metal. I have to speak in a whisper so that I don’t interrupt the play.

When I do get a copy of the script, my fears grow exponentially. I’m cast in a sci-fi/horror piece, and my character undergoes some fantastical transformation in the second act. I become a transsexual were-beast with a new name. In fact, all the characters transform and take on new identities. From skimming, I have no way of telling which character I am portraying and which lines to learn. To make matters worse, there are cartoon panels throughout the script. I’m not sure how we are meant to portray these moments on stage. I don’t know what to do.

As I’m trying to cope with all of this, another castmate that is backtage keeps speaking in a loud voice, disrupting the play. I keep trying to get her to quiet down, but she’s oblivious. It’s almost time for my cue.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I park my husband’s car outside my analyst’s house.  In my dream she lives alongside a wide curved road which is edged on either side with tea tree and rambling vines.  A thick wall of green separates the road from the beach.

I have come for my usual session but it seems different somehow.  My analyst is busy sorting through clothes and books and does not sit the whole time she talks to me, and she talks, talks and talks, more than I ever remember her talking.

She tells me a few ‘home truths’.  She is brutally honest, she says.  She needs to alert me to certain aspects of my personality, certain ways I behave that have to do with my tendency to present only half of the picture in my dealings with others.

I cover my face in my hands.  I take in every word she says and feel deeply ashamed, more so because I am aware that two of my colleagues are nearby in an adjoining room.  They can hear every word of our conversation through the open door.  Both colleagues have names that begin with J.  I shall call one J 'rage' and the other J 'prudishness'.

How can my analyst say these things to me within their earshot I wonder?  I say nothing and she does not let up until it is time for me to leave.

I am outside again on the street but now I cannot find my husband’s car.  I am convinced that I had parked it immediately across the road but it is nowhere to be seen.  Other cars line the street but none of them is mine.

I talk to people who go back to their cars, one or two of whom I recognise as other colleagues.  They do not know where the car has gone.  Eventually and reluctantly I revisit my analyst to ask if I might use her phone to call the police and to report the car as missing.  She lets me in although she is still busy sorting.  Her husband is more sympathetic than my analyst when he overhears talk about my missing car.

Through the front windows of my analyst’s house I see my husband’s car driving down the road as if the driver is about to park.  The back of the car is covered in scratches and is dinted on one side.  I rush out onto the street thinking to at least get a look at the thief who has presumably taken out my husband’s car for a joy ride.

Another of my colleagues has also recognised the car and I can see her from the front steps of my analyst’s house as she tries to get the driver to stop.  She hangs onto the side door handle as the driver swerves to get away.  I wish she had not done this as I do not want the thief/thieves to know we have seen them.

In trying to escape from my colleague the car swerves, hits another parked car, goes into a spin and crashes.  Through the force of the crash the entire roof peels off and the car comes to a stop, a pulverised piece of twisted metal, with its occupants still seated within the security of seat belts.

There is a group of five in the car and the driver is a young woman I do not recognise.  An older man in the back seat snarls at me as I move in to remonstrate with them for stealing my husband’s car. They seem too dazed to make a run for it, and I wake up.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I don't remember when I realized I was in the dream, but I remember it felt normal.

I am in an MFA program and this dream was taking place in an MFA program.  The only difference was that this wasn't taking place in a writing program; it was taking place in a mixed martial arts program.

The classes did not involve any physical contact. 

I remember thinking, "I am getting this MFA in the martial arts to go ontop of my other MFA, in writing, and help beef up my resume."

I do not remember the financial aspects of this mixed martial arts MFA program being considered by my dream-self.  This is odd, because in real life I worry about personal economics constantly.

I remember discussing my reasons for entering the program.  It had to do with the fact that it was very much a philosophy degree, but less rigorous possibly, and also a "cool thing to study."  The problem of eurocentrism in mainstream American philosophy was discussed.  Comparative philosophy seemed to be my main interest.

The classes did not involve physical contact.

I remember enjoying reading and learning about the different types of martial arts, and I remember thinking (rather, my dream-self thinking) that I was eventually going to have to take a course that met the "physical contact" requirment before I could graduate with my MFA in mixed martial arts.  I remember my dream-self thinking that I would wait until the last semester.

When I awoke that morning from this dream I felt like shit in the most casual hilarious way.
The wattle trees in our garden are abundant.  In my dream I decide to find secateurs to cut off a few branches to put in vases.  I resist the impulse to borrow my daughter’s sewing scissors for fear of blunting them.  When I come up close the flowers do not seem as abundant as I had first thought but still I manage to snap off a few twigs.  The flowers drop off as the twigs fall and cover me in yellow pollen.

I go inside to find vases just as my husband arrives home.  The wind builds up and we go out together to check the trees, which have now disappeared.  At first I imagine the wind has toppled them but soon realise someone must have chopped them down.  Their stunted trucks look tiny compared to how I had at first imagined them.   I am relieved that my cuts did not cause them to disappear when the alarm wakes me up.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

There were these ink-dark beings, sometimes resembling humans and sometimes resembling snakes, that seemed almost liquid, that we all had to protect ourselves from. They sought out human frailties and fed on them. Too much exposure would lead to a full-force attack, and would kill a person.

So what one had to do was keep all skin completely covered, so that any one of these beings (which resided in the rafters and on the ceilings of this world that seemed mostly to be a sort of large gym), could not see any human part, because that triggered a feeding frenzy.

What one did to survive was keep covered, all in black, with a series of hats, hoods, cloaks, and when an ink-dark being neared, one crouched down on the floor or ground and wrapped one’s coverings around one and played dead.

I had a soft spot on top of my head that was now bald due to an attack where I had not properly covered myself. I had to wear a black hat at all times, and be constantly vigilant, continually scanning the ceiling beams, nooks and crannies, to try to discern where one of these dark shape-shifters might be hiding. I had to keep my head bent down and my hands covered at all times, just to survive.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chris, Gideon and I looked around a store to get items to help organize our house. It seems like a home store, but I bought a purse here recently. I spoke to the saleswoman. One of us commented about the Banana Republic was back in it's original spot in the mall. I had forgotten that it moved to the other (less used) end. I said that end of the mall felt like a totally different mall. The saleswoman agreed.

* * *

We moved out of our house mid-morning and into our new house. The old owners of our new house moved right next door. The man was older, shirtless with a big fat belly. I didn't like the former owners living so close to us. Our old home seemed to be nearby too. The new owners moved in. I wasn't sure for who, but for one (or more) of us these homes were a transitional space until we moved again.

* * *

I sat in a Poets and Busboys waiting for my former poetry teacher to arrive for a one-on-one meeting. I held the Poets and Busboys pencil that he gave me, still unsharpened. I remembered that he introduced me to this place before he had his falling out with it.

(Poet 1) and (Poet 2) joined me at my table. Maybe they were meeting with my former teacher too. The two poets talked about an amazing, brilliant woman who seemed to be able to do everything. She was a poet, the most alluring and sexy stripper who men relentlessly pursued, a Playboy model who drove men wild when they saw her nude photographs and now she was a conductor. She did everything except have children, which they said was because she was too smart for men. She was to be joining them soon.

Poet 1 and Poet 2 excused themselves from my table. I got sleepy and slumped over at the table as I waited for them to return. Poet 1 brought me a cup of coffee. I saw that she and Poet 2 joined this amazing woman at another table. This amazing woman had red hair, was middle aged and a little heavy. She didn't necessarily look the part, but I knew this was her. I felt left out that Poet 1 and Poet 2 left my table for her's.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I am in supervision with a friend and writer, C, in the front room of my house in which I consult.  The blinds are drawn but there is a gap at the bottom through which I can see out onto the veranda. 
The doorbell rings.  ‘I’ll ignore that,’ I say to my supervisee.  We are discussing her writing.  The doorbell is a distraction but I imagine the person who has rung it will move on soon, but he rings again.  I look out through the crack under the blind on the window and can see a tradesmen of sorts, in casual clothes.  He talks on a telephone.  His utility truck is in the driveway.  I cannot hear what he is saying only the low drone of his voice which sounds agitated.  I worry that he can see me and slide down onto the floor.  My supervisee looks perplexed but given she happens to be a friend I think she will understand.  

Eventually the man leaves.  I watch him get into his car and his assistant, a woman, who appears seemingly from nowhere uses a special lift up tray to get into her seat on the passenger side.
Somehow I manage to finish the session at the end of which my supervisee asks me about my availability.  She can only come on a Tuesday at 8.45 in the morning.  Am I free then?  I realise I am not.  I share a writing group at this time.  It seems to cement my supervisee’s decision to take up another proposition that has been put to her, namely to teach creative writing at the university.
I go out into the hallway and run into a man, another tradesmen, who seems to be working on the wires near the front.
‘What a you doing here?  Who authorised this?’
I am furious and tell the man to get out.  He is reluctant to move but I force him to pack up his bags and move out through the back door. 
As I go into the kitchen in anticipation of him an elderly couple come through the sliding door.  Each carries a heavy box loaded with household things.
‘Who are you?’ I ask, ‘and what are you doing here?’
The couple look perplexed, furtive.  I tell them to leave as well, and begin to bolt the door so that no other intruders can get inside.
I am furious and troubled.  I have been away from home and work for several days until now and I wonder whether something has gone on in my absence.  Have some people tried to take over our house? 
I try the telephone to ring my husband but can’t get through.  I’m in a panic.  They cannot simply take possession of someone else’s house.  Or can they?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I had been given the task of presiding over a friend’s daughter’s wedding, not as a celebrant but as a sort of pre-wedding planner, not of the practical kind, but more one who helps the bride in particular to think about what she is letting herself in for.

I took this task seriously but found myself slipping into the role of therapist.  I could sense that my friend’s daughter, the bride, did not enjoy the questions I put to her, questions about what getting married meant to her.  She wanted simply to have a good time at the wedding.  She wanted only to party, none of this heavy serious stuff about meaning and commitment.

My friend’s mother came up to me.  She took me aside and asked me to stop being so serious.  It was clear she was angry with me.

Now I felt useless, as if I had failed in my task.  I could no longer enjoy the wedding preparations.  Somehow the wedding went on and I was not there.

Soon after we gathered for the wedding reception.  No one came forward to take the role of MC and my husband moved to the microphone.  I rushed up to him to warn him of what had happened to me.
           ‘They may  not want you.’  And sure enough my friend came up to him and asked my husband to tone it down.  He went off in a huff.

We were now both alienated.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I had taken a drug, some variant of peyote, that maybe I'd gotten from a Brujo of sort. Instead of random hallucinations, I saw people's heads reconfigure to reflect their souls. I was in a hotel, and then in some transit center in a foreign city, very modern. Many people looked bland and passive, almost pulpy like certain breeds of dogs, but others -- way too many -- were quite obviously monsters. Some of the monsters were wandering about with children in tow -- all the kids looked beatific. I knew that terrible things were in store for them. Then at some point, I realized that the monsters could tell that I could read their souls and began to gather themselves about me. I looked for a way out and if I'd been on a high balcony or bridge I would have jumped to escape, but here on the ground floor of this transit center there was no way out, so I twisted & twisted until I woke up. I was afraid to look in the mirror.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I drive out into the desert with a couple guys from work. The venue is small, the seating haphazard- it might be The Switch, or the Alice Coltrane Memorial Coliseum. It starts to fill in. Pound is reading, I manage to secure a spot next to him on a couch, along with another friend. One of them has pulled out a "Golden Book" and Pound thinks it is incredible, that it must be beyond value. We discuss children's books, and I show him a book of psychedelic children's art from San Francisco, which he finds amusing, but dismisses. Pound is very kind. He recommends I read a book of essays on labor, which he describes quantitatively, praising the symmetry in the sizes of its sections.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

In my dream I am with a group of women and children all familiar to me, my sisters, my daughters, my friends, and we are on a journey.  I take the wheel of the car and drive through foreign streets into a wide well lit tunnel.  It is as if I am driving in reverse as I need to get my head around these unfamiliar surroundings and it takes me some time to orient myself.  The whole time I imagine we will crash, but as often happens in my dreams the car steers its own steady course safely through the tunnel and I manage to right the wheel in the nick of time.
Later I spend some time with my older brother.
‘I’m thinking of visiting Dad’s graveside,’ my brother says.  ‘Do any of you others want to come’.
I have been trying to tidy my house while my brother makes plans.  Children’s toys pulled out of order, doll’s clothes spread across the floor and bits and pieces of games and toy sets, some broken and in pieces spread around me.
I am desperate to get the place in order even as I think I would like to join my brother.  What chance is there I wonder that any of the others will want to come?
In my dream my father is buried at Hall’s Gap.  It is a long drive and I pitch myself forward in my imagination to his graveside when I wake up.

Monday, July 25, 2011

In my dream I visit old friends who live nearby in a ramshackle house that they have partially renovated in places and in other parts left alone.  I have not seen these friends for some time and their children who were babies when last I saw them have grown into young girls, preschoolers now.  The older of the two prattles on about the title of a book her mother had been reading and I am impressed by her ability to articulate long and complex words.  She seems almost-genius like in her knowledge.

There are other friends visiting this house friends who are obviously in regular contact with the owners, and I am conscious of feeling left out.  Someone is cooking duck on an outdoor barbeque. I  chat to the male half of the couple, M,  about how things are for him and speculate on whether my husband might join us later.  M's wife I know disapproves of him.

Then M’s wife comes along.

‘Your children are amazing,’ I say and their mother preens.   M nods approvingly and looks over at his daughters . ‘They are like peas in a pod,' he says.  'One ribbon is too long for the two of them.'

My own daughter, now a toddler, trails after M’s girls.  I follow them down a long laneway.  We pass rabbits in hutches, rabbits that look wild and rangy. The grass here is high and the fields cluttered with junk, old tools, furniture an bits of cars.  In places I notice there are maggots feeding on the dead flesh of animals long gone.

I turn the corner into the house and go into the old nursery.  M’s wife has kept it exactly as it was when her babies were born.  I comment on this to M who comes to wave me goodbye.  'I have kept our nursery the same,' I say, and wake to the alarm.


I dreamed of a baby born to a couple who did not love one another even at the point of his conception.  I  was responsible for looking after this baby along with several others.  We took it in turns to hold him.  At one stage I brought the baby over to see an old friend, M.  The baby wore a dark sailor’s cap on his head which made him look older than he was.

M asked me about this baby, from where he had come and what I was doing taking care of him.  As she spoke I noticed for the first time that her front tooth was rotten through.  It had the grey colour of death.

‘You must stop being so generous with your money,’ M said.  ‘If you’re not you’ll wind up with nothing left for your old age.’

M then asked the whereabouts of the baby’s mother.  She had gone on holidays to the beach, I said.  The father was elsewhere.

I took the baby to change his nappy.  By now she had morphed into a female.  She was asleep but needed a change.  I knew because she stank.  When I took off the Pilcher her nappy almost exploded and I worried for the red and burned skin on her bottom.  She had been left in a dirty nappy for hours.

Friday, July 22, 2011

(dreamt my last night in China 2011)

First, I go to an event, and I am on time. The Washington poet Lana Hechtman Ayers is there. Then somehow I am late. I have to crawl up through a very high window to get in the class. I have trouble, and people help me. I throw right leg over a ledge. Someone pushes me on left side, from below. Another I tell to pull my arm up from the window above, to a rung like a ladder. I finally get in the window, but the class has started already. That's where Lana is. She and several others are dancing and singing. It looks interesting. But the teacher is unkind about me being late. This bothers me, so I leave. But the class interests me too much, so I come back. But by the time I come back there are so many people. There are people from high school (Chris Limbo). There are people that worked with me in college at La Taqueria (Danny Glover). This is like the new exercise, dance-theatrical sensation. There are things each person acts out. Each person seems to be acting out their own imagined play. But somehow this happens fluidly among all others. It seems to me like a Greek chorus. People are packed tightly lin a large room, a room like a studio in which dancers practice. People practice in lines. I wake up and write down the phrase "dream of the dancing, living game."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

“100th Greatest Poet of All Time Berrigan” read the blue underlined headline in the Google reader on my iGoogle home page. I clicked the link and it took me to the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog. “Is Ted Berrigan exactly the 100th greatest poet of all time?” the blogger wondered. The post went on to say that someone, I forget the name but it was hyperlinked, argued just that. I stopped reading and clicked on the link which took me to an article on The New York Times Website. “Ted Berrigan is exactly the 100th greatest poet of all time,” the piece began. I read a couple of more sentences, I forget what they were, but they lead into a consideration of a volume of his called Face-off. The writer explained that this was “a series of two-line quips that played off each other culminating in. . . .” My mind added the ellipsis in the dream as I began to consider my own short suite, was it any good, of interlocking two-word insult poems which I had made a couple of years ago and all but forgotten. I tried to get back to reading the article but I started to drift toward wakefulness. I heard a small cry and I thought it was my daughter, then I thought it was the cat, then I realized it was nothing, which meant I was awake.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

boyfriend had an affair with husband's girlfriend

I called the husband to tell him, he said don't call me, I said I have to tell you this news

at first he said hedidn't mind, saying that people were supposed to have one-night stands

but then I said it seemed more serious

and he posted something bitter on some social network, I can't remember...

I suppose I am not free. silly subconscious!

it was... where was it... there was some bank, or hotel... where there were these tropical island tours. it was near me but I had never been there.

on the lawns of the tropical island were these golden tongues

sculptures of golden tongues

they meant something... memorialized something, I am not sure what... some sort of... sea leprechauns?

and a friend lived near there with a prairie for a huge backyard... his children were frolicking there with his girlfriend... it was "India"... and it looked as though there were a huge fire in the yard, all red and purple and vivacious colors

and there were tumbleweeds, but maybe the fire was an illusion

since everyone seemed happy and unconcerned

Friday, July 15, 2011

My husband called in the middle of the night to let me know his plane would be three hours late departing from the European city where he had spent the last three months. I wrote the information down on a card beside my bed, afraid I would think it a dream. Just before waking up, after I had been asleep for three more hours, I dreamed my husband was there on the couch beside me without announcing he was there. I caressed his face between my hands and said something I cannot remember to welcome him home. Then he asked me if I had seen the other woman around here. I felt compelled to keep my eyes on him and did not look around but said I had seen someone out of the corner of my eye.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I was a leaf man w/ dark rich earth for my arms and vines all over.
It was peaceful.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My dream featured a scene from what looked like reality TV –a gigantic case conference.  A group of therapists stood up in turn to talk about their respective patients.

At one point one of the patients, a tiny dwarf like creature, stood to speak for herself.

You could barely see her above the crowd.  She listed all her difficulties but did not mention the fact of her height.  She was no taller than a five year old, though she had the body of a young adult.

 I wanted to comment on this fact, this obvious fact that no one else wanted to acknowledge, but I got the message from her silence and from that of the crowd that I should not acknowledge it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I was walking into a jungle, incredibly dark, and that I was holding a rose before me -- a huge red rose -- this rose appears in Schizophrene, so that this, perhaps, was a dream of the edits I just completed -- a next to last phase, just now.  The rose gave off a faint light, like a torch, and I held it at the level of my heart, my sternum, so that even in the dream, I understood that my command, my obligation, was to love, to open my sense beyond their given tropes, and go into it, the dark, with infinite trust for my passage through.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I was teaching a class on magical realism (which I will be, in the Fall, so perhaps this was de rigeur anxiety dream). I had been traveling, and my book was in the outer zip-pocket of my carry-on suitcase.  I reached for it, but at that moment, felt a wave of caution, understanding that if I opened the suitcase in its entirety, an angel I could not manage or cope with would come out.  Even in the dream, "angel" was capitalized.  Even in the dream, I knew my brain was processing the question of an entity, its arrival/containment, as a metaphor for corporeal destruction (mine), but really it was something else.  It was an angel [agent] of transformation, but still I could not do it.  I could not look.  The book was dreamtigers by Borges, a book I suspect I saw in the dream because of the man I met at the holiday barbeque last night.  My friend's stepfather, he had been to India on a Mission.  And showed me the photo-project book he had made after giving a disposable camera to the son of the man who had cut his hair in "Calcutta."  "I said," he said, "go and take pictures of your life.  We'll come back in two or three days."  Then he developed one set of photos for the book I held in my hands, and gave the other to the boy.  In Guatemala, he did the same with a girl who worked in a local factory, then described going into a Safeway in Loveland and weeping in the produce section, at the sight of people purchasing bananas, whose provenance and child labor costs he knew firsthand.  Booklet.  A jungle.  A black and white tiger against a cliff in Orissa.  I dreamed of Borges, and woke with the cat against my back knee, her claws retracting and opening against my skin.  In the dream, I also met my Project Director at Goddard, Paul Selig.  Everyone was lined up with specific questions about their health, love-life, career, etc.  I said: "What do the guides want me to know?"  Everyone watching said: "Oooh," as if I'd asked a selfless question.  But really, I knew that the Angel was nearby, having exceeded my luggage.  I knew the Angel had something to say.  At this moment in the dream, I understood I was dreaming of writing.  It was the same feeling in my body. For example, I know that if I sat down to write, even today, it would come in a terrible rush and days would pass and I would not be able to return to my life as it was.  This is why I do not write, refuse to write until the last minute, and never begin.  I wish I could invent a video game that gave a person a choice between formalizing love and never knowing the truth of their physical/family origins.  A turn to the Angel represents this first choice, and risks obliteration.  The second choice would be a genetics, a furthering, a weirdly satisfying or stabilizing knowledge, but nothing would happen: life would continue with a psychological basis, and perhaps a person could make art out of this, but it would not be the same as the book of light.  A book that had the sun and moon inside it, like forces. That split the spine.  Each time you opened it.  To read.  A sun-beam would rotate from the page into your left eye, and moonlight to the right.  Reading: an act of rewiring consciousness, perception, the pathways of the brain.  Now I want to invent an e-book that does this: that produces or emits light rays.  Color healing.  Imagine a schizophrenic reading Dostoevsky, and every time they read the word -- "the" -- they see a light pink pulse of light.  Reading integrates a subject matter with simple, ritualized touch, and in this version, there is also a secular form of energy work that makes the reader register the light at a different rate to the word.  An ordinary word, in particular, rather than a word with immense local significance.  This suddenly feels important on a day when I am finishing the last edits for Schizophrene.  How psychosis omits duration as a mental stage.  Everything that happened is still happening, deep inside the spot.  I'll stop there.  Even this narrative is a way of avoiding the Angel, who has come very near, near enough to touch, behind me, as I write these words so early in the morning; my son still asleep, a freight train cutting through on its way to Laramie, birdsong, a light breeze, chai, and now the cat slipping through the ankles, mewing for her breakfast.  (Milk.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

I was in Gideon's preschool class. I planned to work on my manuscript thesis that was due soon so I could graduate. An annoying woman came in to teach the class, so I left with my packet full of poems and notebook. I opened my slim packet. It felt like there were 30-40 poems, but instead there were smaller envelops with word games and far fewer poems than I expected. All the poems needed drastic rewrites. For the thesis, I planned to show my work (first draft, final draft) and considered writing about the changes. I had a tremendous amount of work to do in a short period of time.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

last night was like every other night I
again  dreamed that I was (the) Full Moon
pretending to be (a) Ripe Banana

when that Dumb Rock turned into "Her"
I ...erupted !

wrote a poem:

full moon
I think I'm in love
with a rock

and the this Stone Girl became my "me"


Friday, June 17, 2011

My dream last night, one that I at least remembered, centered on my breasts, but I was looking at them most of the time from a distance rather than carrying them. They were like two enormous mushrooms one slightly larger than the other. They were strung around my neck on some sort of cord and I was having trouble making them face the right direction. They kept flipping backwards with the stems on the outside. Then when I got them facing the right direction and creating a little décolletage in a kind of trench coat, they’d flip back the wrong way before I knew it. Their color was golden brown and shiny and they were untamable. And that’s all I remember.


Monday, June 13, 2011

I was sitting in a circa 80s school bus. I wiped frost off my window and saw a televised speech by "the dictator of Poland." On the balcony of a building like a Bavarian cuckoo clock, a giant effigy of the dictator cleaved the air with his arms and harangued the crowd in Hitler fashion. He was a Macy's-balloon-sized puppet with a loudspeaker built into his throat.
My late paternal grandmother sat next to me across the aisle, babushka'd, staring at the front of the bus, apparently unaware of me. I started singing "Anyone Who Had A Heart," wondering if she could hear me, if she knew the song, if she liked Bacharach. I felt a sentimental tenderness toward everyone on the bus, as if I'd had a drink or two. Some little boys were stampeding down the aisle and trampling one another. I thought I should intervene, as when I sub at elementary schools. I joked with one of them about the Green Bay Packers logo stuck to his forehead. "A third eye, eh?" And suddenly I was Barack Obama in a Macy's parade, marching through Manhatten, beaming and waving at the throngs of cheering onlookers. But at the same time I was watching myself as if on television.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I was in a busy urban environment, daytime, much happening on the streets.
 I was discovering some sort of complex, quasi-encoded creative project.
This somehow involved a map of the US w/ a few black dots on it of some
particular significance.  The logo for part of it was a detail of an
Hieronymous Bosch painting that was delineated by a diffused-outline
circle.  Surrounding the circle the painting was in color but the isolated
detail was in black & white.  W/in the circle there was probably a Bosch
character that was semi-human - perhaps a creature w/ a trumpet-like mouth
or beak.

I had found an object created by the person behind this project.  It was
like an industrial paper-towel dispenser the size of a Rolodex.  It was a
cylinder, mostly encased in plastic, w/ a central axle around wch fairly
sturdy paper was wrapped on wch there was a printed interview w/ "N" - wch
stood for "Noun" but may've also been connected to "An".  "N" was the
person behind the project.  Also wrapped around the axle & interposed
between the paper was a layer of translucent blue plastic.  Encasing these
2 layers was a hard plastic shell that only allowed access to the paper &
plastic thru an aperture.  My interpretation of how this interview was to
be read was that as one pulled the paper & plastic off the spool-axle one
was to cut the plastic off to make seeing the interview-paper easier.
However, I was unsure whether I shd really be cutting the blue plastic off
as I was.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Reb Livingston's recent celebrity dreams: here.
I looked over the bridge at the Yarra River and watched a young woman in the water swimming for the joy of it.  The water seemed clear and deeper than usual, after recent heavy rains.

‘It’s wonderful.  Come on in,’ the girl called but no one joined her until out of the blue another girl splashed in from the shoreline.  I had been wondering what it would be like to dive into this water from the bridge itself, not that I would do this.  It was sure to be dangerous.  The girls mucked around together in the water and called out occasionally to people on the shoreline.

 The people on the shoreline sat in groups.  Many of them had disfigured faces and scoriated skin.  Most of them in some way or other had surrendered part of their skin to the ravages of fire, some on their faces, others on their chests, backs or arms.  I soon realised these people had come together for this reason.

 Entire families, some of whom had several members with significant scars had come together here.  I took to talking to them.  Their burns reminded me of the way the tectonic plates of the earth shift by centimetres every year.  When one plate shifts into another, slowly and year by year, each plate moving northwards by as little as a centimetre and growing at the rate of our fingernails - the Indian plate for instance jammed up against the European - then mountains form.  Just so the burned skin as it sloughs off and heals leaves layers of skin rough and patchy in places without pigment, like scrubby mountains.

 And then I was with my daughter and husband on a train travelling with some of these burned people.  Our train passed through a display of army vehicles, tank on tank in khaki and battleship grey.  The first lot we passed were left overs from the German war.  Then we passed through a collection of Japanese fighter planes, trucks and tanks.  I worried for some of the people who sat near me who looked as though they might be Japanese or at least Asian.  They might be as traumatised by memories of the war as might the group of Europeans.

Then it was time to go to one of a series of concerts put on for charity.  I overheard one from the burns group saying that she could not bear to go to the performance  put on to discuss disability.  She would instead go to the one on racism, the one against racism, the one I also intended to attend with my husband and daughter.

We stood in a queue waiting to get off the train and into the theatre.  My husband worried that we needed our train tickets to get in.  He had lost ours but we found them again on the floor.

A couple of old friends and my older sister began to fling their arms around my husband and me, as if we were not there.  I joked that I did not exist but then decided to take our daughter to change her nappy.  But there were no public toilets.  I decided to try to change my daughter in a corner of the garden.

 She protested.  It was too public, even for her a baby.  I stood her in a garden bed and my daughter's feet sank into the soil as did mine.  She lost her little shoes.  We then struggled to find another place on firmer ground but equally private, and I changed her sodden nappy.

 I left my daughter outside seemingly asleep while I planned to go to the concert.  It did not seem so strange to me that I should leave my daughter alone in the foyer, until she woke and called me.  She was distressed that her birthday necklace had broken and her nappy fallen had off.  I decided then we might go in to the performance together, mother and baby.