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.