Monday, November 18, 2013


       I hear that Betsy is going to have her little girl audition for entry into a private music

school.  She’s to sing a composition of her choice.  Thinking this might be an interesting

diversion, I decide to attend.

       When I arrive at the auditorium, it’s already overflowing with mothers and their

daughters, all around ten years old .  This is no orderly audition; some girls are singing to

piano accompaniment while others are running about.  I worry that Betsy and her kid

haven’t yet arrived.

       I listen to the last few girls sing.  They don’t sing well and they’re nervous.  I watch

them being hurried upstairs (apparently no one has failed part one) for their “interview”.

      Then Betsy appears, very dressed up in a long gown.  Her daughter, very cute, very

poised, very scrubbed, is also wearing a long dress.  A pleasant pianist gets ready to play

the music they’ve brought with them.  The auditorium is empty, except for the four of us.

     The little girl begins to sing a difficult piece, sensitive and esoteric.  She’s clearly 

extraordinary.  The first line of her song begins, “I care….”   On the strength of her

singing, she needs no interview.

    The director tells Betsy (who winces sharply) that tuition is $1780 a term, and rambles

on about where and when to send the girl’s trunk before leaving us alone in the room.

     I ask Betsy how she obtained her song.  “It’s from your poem,” she said.  “I set your

poem to music.”

    “I’d like to send you another poem,”  I say.

    The three of us, happy at the outcome of the little girl’s audition, continue to talk a

while before going home.  At this point, Betsy notices that I, too, am wearing

a long gown.  It’s soft organdy, white and ruffled, tiny green leaves and flowers all over. 

Betsy says to her daughter, “Doesn’t  Irene’s dress look like lettuce?  Taste a little.”

     The girl takes tiny false nibbles at one of the ruffles.



       Scavenging at the beach, we spy an old shovel in the sand.  I doubt its merits but we

take it with us.  My eye passes over the terrain: sand, sea, and gulls.

        In a continuation of the dream, I’m there again, but only a small, enclosed area of  

beach is revealed.  It’s the view from my kitchen window.  The courtyard is the  

beach; the three levels of rooftops beyond are the sea.                                           

        I pick up a small stone and throw it into the ocean.  I am amazed when it    

 boomerangs!  Back into my hands falls a soft, resilient object, like a child’s stuffed    

 animal, pinkish in color.  It then becomes a baby, though not a real one.  However, I

 treat it as such, carrying it to a house I think it belongs to, then caring for it myself when 

 no one in the house pays attention.

        I throw a second stone.  It bounds back as a wooden elephant, ears painted white on

dark blue, a child’s toy with moveable legs.

        The sea becomes a flexible sheet of clear cellophane.    I ask a bather for precise

directions to the Staten Island ferry.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Everyone was dressing to go to something for a writer who was very sick and either did or did not know it.  I kept telling all the writers, poem and prose writers, that her writing was like a big negative thing that sucked people into it. I was screaming this. Some people didn’t like me because I said this. I offered to take anyone who wanted to the service for the writer who was oblivious that it was a service for her. There was a mother and daughter who were very large and the daughter decided to ride with me in the open car. Air was very important. I could see that parts of her body stuck out and showed beneath her clothes. She wore a long black skirt that gathered at her waist and still I could see one of her bones.

I was wearing many different patterns and finally took one off in the form of a scarf. I felt more all together after that removal. We walked up and over the hill past the people at tables and through the gate that was on the street side. The fence down low was like a picket fence, only more colorful. Once we got through, that left us on the outside of a rail fence that still had bark on it and had the natural shape of tree branches. We finally got to the car and it was red. The poet who didn’t like that I talked about the sick girl’s negativity squinted slightly when he saw me, to avoid me. That was the last I saw of him.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Wow, it's been almost 2 yrs since I last bothered to describe (a) dream(s).  Last night was fitful as usual, maybe a little more so.  I started a 1 wk juice fast yesterday, I'm only at the end of the 1st day.  There was a period in my life when my dreams mainly consisted of fighting off thousands of people trying to destroy me, maybe hundreds of thousands, maybe millions - that was easy enuf to recognize as an exaggeration of my waking life.  I didn't succumb, I always FOUGHT, & got more & more impossibly tired.  Last night I was fighting again.  Sortof.

I was in a big spacious rm.  Nothing as simple as a rm such as one might ordinarily encounter in a house - more like a warehouse space w/ multiple vertical layers not necessarily organized around any readily apparent purpose.  It seems that I was fighting w/ at least 2 males, maybe 4.  I might've also had some friends, who weren't fighting, maybe 2 or 3 or 4.  Anyway, I apparently killed 2 of them by throwing objects that hit them on the temples.  It was all very amorphous, or, at least, my waking memory of it is.  Did these enemies exist?  I remember a high platform?  One of the enemies might've been there.

I was trying to leave, trying to clean away the evidence before investigators came to discover the murders.  But I was doing so in a chaotic, dysfunctional manner.  I wasn't doing things like wiping away fingerprints.  & where were the corpses anyway?  Maybe friends were helping me, maybe we were all dispirited, it was a horrible enervating situation.  I was half-heartedly hiding some small things, like C batteries, in something like a partially busted cabinet, in one of its broken interstices - knowing it wdn't really work..  &, yet, there weren't any investigators, they were just a possibility.

I awoke & eventually went back asleep again.

I was in another, more claustrophobic, mostly empty rm, hypothetically an interrogation rm..  but there weren't any interrogators..  just the feared threat of them.  I was thinking about what I'd say about the murders.  Did the victims actually exist?  Wd I just be trying to fool the investigators if I sd that I didn't remember?  If I sd I didn't actually know whether I'd committed the murders or not?  Wd pleading amnesia be accurate?  Or was this something other than amnesia?  An actual amorphousness of 'reality'?


My environment was taking shape around me according to some sort of sub- or un- conscious force, perhaps wishes.  The rm, not the same rm, not the interrogation rm, became a store for used odds & ends, something like an antique shop.  I was w/ friends, fellow musicians, maybe Kenny Haney, maybe Neil Feather, maybe, later, Brian Wolle.  The shopkeeper was showing me a Bb clarinet, an unusually LARGE one but still straight, not like a contrabass one, eg.  I explained that I'm not a clarinetist & that I might not be able to get much out of it but that I wanted to try it.  I arranged the reed so that it was on top & sat down to play.  Even tho it was an 'ordinary' Bb clarinet it was so long that its bell reached to between my feet while I was sitting.  I was trying to stabilize the clarinet so that I cd get my fingers on the keys but the clarinet kept turning.  The bell wasn't completely circular, it was about 2/3rds circular w/ a flattened side.  I thought the flattened side wd go on the floor but in that position the keys were torqued wrong.  Of course, if it were an actual clarinet in waking life, I cd've spun the bell to whatever position I wanted it in - but in the dream that didn't occur to me.  The shape of the bell changed as I tried to look at it to see what the problem was.  Now, instead of a circle w/ a flattened side, it was a circle w/ 2 flattened sides forming a "V" w/o the dramatic angles of the letter "V".  I tried to play the clarinet but only got a squeak.  In waking life, I wd've been more proficient.

None of my friends were in the rm so I went in search of them in an adjacent rm, perhaps like an arm of an "L" in relation to the rm I was in w/ the clarinet.  I like being in rms w/ instruments & when I'm somewhere where there're none I often feel like the rm is missing something important.  In this new rm there were a plethora of instruments & I was excited.  & many other objects to.  I gravitated toward what initially appeared to be an oversized upright piano, perhaps one w/ more than 88 keys.  It was partially obscured by other miscellania.

As I got close, I was excited to see written on it that it was a "Mirliton".  "Mirliton" had another word before it, like a brand name, but I don't remember that now.  In waking life, a mirliton is a membranophone activated by blowing, like a kazoo.  But in my dream I was thinking of it as an automatic instrument, like a calliope or some such, the type of thing that the Bayernhof displays in Pittsburgh or that House of the Rock displays in Spring Green, WI.  Excited, I called to my friends to point this out & confirmed that it had doors on its front that cd be opened to display its inner workings.  Then I noticed that the doors were unusually small, that they'd apparently been glued shut, & that there were little screw holes that showed where small knows for opening the doors had originally been, now removed.

The proprietor came over to examine it, he didn't realize what he had.  But as we examined it, it became increasingly flat, rather than free-standing in the rm, as it had originally been, it became more & more reduced until it was just a canvas, perhaps 3/4" deep, hanging on the wall.  There was no keyboard, no lower body, even the appearance of small doors had become sketchy.  The proprietor & I awkwardly removed the canvas from the wall & put it on the floor & then he walked away.  Surprisingly large creatures started to scurry off from their nests in the canvas's stretcher frame.  At 1st, a very large centipede, then a very large spider, then a mouse, then an 'impossibly' increasing number of mice.  When I called the proprietor's attn to this one of the mice seemed to be a baby rat instead.

I wrote earlier that "My environment was taking shape around me according to some sort of sub- or un- conscious force, perhaps wishes."  But it wasn't quite a lucid dream.  It was more like me discovering the nature of the way dreams ordinarily form.  It's not like they're just 'there', they BECOME THERE as I create them w/ whatever drives are bubbling to the surface at the time.

In the midst of all this, I awoke at one point & wrote down this phrase: "Damnable boys on innuendo state, she said".  I've been keeping a list of such phrases thought of while half-asleep since the mid 1970s.  I call it "Telepathy Research Training".  But I don't recall having added any new phrases for at least a decade, maybe for 15 yrs.  Was last night's sleep a time when some sort of unconscious dam broke?  Did accumulated cholesterol work its way out of my (he)arteries? 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I learned of the novel, The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd, through advertising at Fictionaut.  I clicked on a photo of it, though I tend to read few new novels and reread classics, then read an account of it and an excerpt.  I liked it.  Early the next morning I dreamed just before waking that Amy Grace Loyd sang to me and my publisher her praise of my writing and my way of representing it.  Her language seemed untailored to my situation yet enthusiastic, and my praise of her, though I have not read her novel, was precise and equally enthusiastic.  My publisher, as I am forced to know him after three decades of friendship, stood by me as we withstood the gale of Loyd's approval.

Friday, November 1, 2013

20 October 2013
Last night in my dreams I died.  I knew I had died because a letter arrived saying as much.  I had been involved in some mystery murder.  A young man had been killed by an unknown person or persons.  I was involved in tracking down his killer.
I do not know how I had died or why, only that my family had begun to grieve but they forestalled their grief when I reappeared only for their grief to start up again after I told them I could only stay a while until we had solved the mystery.
And there was a scene in which the video cameras in my dream replayed a segment in which the father of the dead boy had shaken him under a particular wall in their outside garden, because the man had kept secrets there and the boy had inadvertently trodden on the place where the secrets were concealed. Was this father the murderer?
I do not know the nature of his secrets only there was another scene in my dream movie where the man/father/murderer was rowing out on a lake alone in a gondolier type construction with a large silk hat on his head and fancy clothes.  A cross dresser of sorts.
Something sexual in the secret?  Isn’t that always the way?