Wednesday, December 21, 2016

In a morning / before-waking dream, I was on stage at a small theater venue, like an art-house movie theater, a full house for a poetry slam.  I was to read from my collection “Bad Poetry For James Franco”, and was giving my spiel / intro…that the writing of these poems kept me from punching James Franco in the throat for his seeming overall mission to make the world safe for the straight white male by inserting himself into so many marginalized roles [such as, photographically replicating Cindy Sherman in her iconic feminist body of work “Untitled Film Stills 1977 - 80”, mimicking her poses, clothing and locations though not shaving his own iconic facial hair — and providing bad and patronizing poetry to accompany her own photos); by playing two known homosexual poets on film, Ginsberg and Hart Crane; playing a wigga gangster with gold front and cornrows in Harmony Korine’s “Springbreakers”; pretty much lifting Kenneth Anger’s whole film “Fireworks”, in which a young man sexually fantasizes about being beaten up by a group of more macho boys; and his selfies project, and his own panned poetry…why would he do all this?  What compelled him to make the world safe for the SWM?…etc…THEN he stands up from the seated crowd and says to me, walking towards me in the aisle, “c’mon, I’m right here…punch me” and I explain that oh, I don’t need to now as through this poetry project I worked it out…and he is still walking, this time onto the stage with me, “come on, punch me I’m Right Here.”  And I explain more that in writing about him, in his voice, I sort of got him, all his need to get 7 MFAs and read poetry for MoMA…that it’s a thing to do, because he can, it’s a new thing, a way to expand because he can, and I get it and I don’t need to punch him anymore.  And he says “oh..”. And his shoulders relax.  And he says “well now that I’m up here, I realize you don’t have anyone to sign for the crowd during your reading.  I know ASL, American Sign Language, and would be happy to sign for you.”  So I said sure, great, have at!  Thanks!  And he stood on the edge of the stage and signed with his hands as I read from my book.  Then I woke up.
I dreamed I was visiting with Trevor Moffat, the lead guitarist of my first teenage rock band. I had agreed to plastic surgery in which we would switch appearances entirely: faces, hair, etc. I was very sad about it, but sure I must have agreed for some good reason which I couldn’t remember. At different points in the dream, I also told various people I met that Trevor and I had exchanged names. People still seemed to recognize me.

Early in the dream, I got out of Trevor’s car at his modernist house and went to a Soviet pub. The place was full of brutish workers. I left my seat to ask the indifferent server for some French fries, and when I got back, a guy was sitting in my chair and had drank all my beer. I sat next to him, refusing to be intimidated. His friend, a guy across the table started talking to me. They were German. He was talking about people in northern British Columbia, mostly holed up little cabins, and I mentioned that yes, I knew the man he called The Master; I revealed that I knew his name to be Richard Teitelbaum. He corrected my pronunciation, but accepted what I was saying. We discovered we had other people in common. They were a little warmer to me after that.

At a late point in the dream, I forgot a woman’s name who recognized me even with Trevor’s face. I can’t remember if her name was Ruth or if that was the name I incorrectly called her. At her house, I got a look at myself in the mirror and who I actually looked like was Chris Batting (the lead guitarist of my second band). Outside her place, the Fraser River was flooding ominously—almost right up to her door.

Friday, November 4, 2016

I dreamed that the results of the election were in and we were all gathered around in this bombed-out looking place with empty swimming pools and we heard the results and we sat there, stunned, and then broke into hysterical wailing, screaming and tears with relief. Hillary had won.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

In a pub with a group of friends. A romantic proximity with Kevin (Thurston). Standing against a wall in the pub, faces close, laughing. Someone reveals they need to blind me--someone other than Kevin, I think. At first the man tries to explain why in the pub. I imagine accessing all my other senses, what it would be like to be blind, the possible claustrophobia or panic. Then there is strangely some appeal. I am not as afraid as you would think. Outside, a van full of women, one of whom is Lisa Gross, a college friend I haven't seen for 30 years. I am obviously preoccupied and am in a hurry to leave. This reoffends the college friend, and she disappears into the pub, as I apologetically look at the remaining group of women. I begin to fly, albeit awkwardly at first, to get away from the man that wishes to blind me. Then I am flying full force, 20 feet above the ground. I stop in front of a building, perhaps where Lee (Gough) lives as I am trying to get to her. He has caught up with me, explains why I must be blinded. It makes sense, and I wake.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

last night i dreamed that i gave birth to two babies. one was a regular baby. the other was a kangaroo. i was a bit afraid of the kangaroo so i nailed its front paw to the floor so that it wouldn't hop all over the house. then i decided to tell the father that he was a father of both a baby and a kangaroo somehow, even though we have not seen each other in years. he was surprised and asked me not to tell anyone. he didn't want his current wife who is pregnant to find out that she might give birth to a kangaroo.
late last night near morning, I’m on a boat. tidy, motel-like room. a tuxedo'd, Costanza-ish dude keeps poking his head in to tell me “Trotsky is almost here! Trotsky is almost here!” then, a guy climbs in thru the window, who is Trotsky, tho he looks nothing like Trotsky, and I’m very excited to see him, because we’re old, dear friends. I kiss him on the forehead. he is exhausted and needs to lay down. I say in russian, “dear Lev, it is so good to be here with you again.” he lays down and doesn’t say much.
but wait, I think, it’s 2016. it can’t be Trotsky. so why’d I call him Lev? it’s a pun about art, I decide. “did you like the joke about art?” I ask Trotsky. Trotsky answers, “on a boat, everything one says is a joke about art.” I decide this is true and Trotsky is great
then I realize that it can’t be a pun about art, because calling someone Lev has absolutely no relationship to art. instead I tell him, “I call you Lev because you are our lion!” (this makes more sense because the name Lev, as in Trotsky, Tolstoy, or Schreiber, means “lion.”)
he looks over at me and says, “I am the Other Trotsky.”
then I wake up and see this! I believe this is as poorly as it is possible for the human mouth to produce the sounds of french. I believe Trotsky may have been a wooden figurine who sat too near a xmas tree & was accidentally turned alive by magic.
& most of all, I eagerly anticipate meeting the Other Trotsky, may his Other Revolution come soon.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

I dreamed last night that Donald Trump kidnapped me to work for his campaign ("Because you watch a lot of C-Span," he said) and kept trying to win me over with gigantic — I mean, huge — cookies and shots of liquor. I woke up feeling rattled.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Strange dream this morning. In the dream Robin and I were going to visit my dad but when we got there my dad wasn't there and it wasn't his place. The compound was a beehive of activity, lotsa country yeehaws and rednecks wandering around. I asked someone where we were and they named a county that was no where near my dad's house and then informed me that they were all vampires. Robin said she was fascinated by vampires and sat down to have a drink with a couple of them.
Dreamed last night that I met Kanye West at a poetry program, and he fell instantly in love with me. I kept trying to get away, told him I was older than I looked, I wasn't interested, but he would not be dissuaded.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I dreamt that we were driving on a highway in Massachusetts, and there was an accident.  We ended up abandoning our car and somehow commandeering an empty yellow cab, which we drove all the way home, several hours to the south.  Then, we were getting ready to go to my sister-in-law Maude Kent’s in Philadelphia, and realized we couldn’t take the cab.  What were we going to do with it?  I thought of driving the cab to a street I remembered from childhood near the Garden State Parkway in East Orange, N.J., and ditching it, but that could backfire, and we wouldn’t have a car.  I also thought about our abandoned car in Massachusetts and figured no one would trace it to us.  How would I join up with Louisa and the kids in Philadelphia?  Maybe instead of commandeering the cab, we should have stayed with our car and arranged for it to be fixed.  Sure, it would have set us back a few hours, but we wouldn’t have all these problems now.


I dreamt that I was walking with a friend on the sidewalk and we passed a driveway, bordered with pillars, that led to a shady estate.  The place was very similar to the corner of Ralston Ave. and Grove Rd. in South Orange, N.J., near my friend Mark Woldin’s childhood house, except there wasn’t a driveway there; the driveway for the old Board of Education building was closer to South Orange Ave.  As we crossed the gravel driveway, I perceived someone in the shade, a man.  He pointed a handgun at me and looked like he was about to fire.  Terrified, I turned and tried to run around the corner.  Two shots rang out.  I felt both hit me, in the right shoulder.  I went down.  I lay flat on my back.  It felt very natural.  I didn’t feel any pain.  My friend ran away around the corner.  I suddenly worried the gunman would walk up and shoot me in the head execution-style.  I thought about trying to get up and run away.  But my body quickly communicated that that was unthinkable.  I had been flattened by the wounds.  I just had to lie there and hope for the best.


I dreamt that after a college class broke up, I wandered through underground hallways in a dorm.  I had to go to the bathroom.  I entered the room of a woman student, who said I could use her bathroom.  Sadly, the bathroom door wouldn’t completely close, partly because of a laundry basket. When I came out, her boyfriend was there, sitting on the floor.  He was older than us, with gray hair.  I noticed a leather pouch near him, which I understood contained some marijuana.  There was something sensuous about the pouch.  Was it doe leather?  Suede leather?  There might have been a lighter lying next to it, creating a kind of still life on the bland carpet.  The young woman got up off her bed, stood there for a moment in her bright, flowing clothes, and then headed off to class.  I sat down to get high with the guy.  We talked.  He said his synagogue was half an hour away (from either Harvard or Brown, it wasn’t clear which campus we were on).  Was he from Rhode Island? I asked.  No, he was from “Stafford Fuckwad,” which I instantly understood to be Stafford Springs, Conn., where my father was jailed overnight as a law student in the late 1930s.  I was going to mention that, but I don’t think I did.  He seemed to hear it telepathically.  We talked about how the cops in Connecticut were unbelievably bad.  I said that they should be prosecuted under the RICO statute.  "The whole Justice Department should be considered a Racketeer, Racketeer, Racketeer Influenced Cuh Cuh," I stuttered.  I couldn't get the right phrase out: Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

This morning I had a wild, elaborate dream that Bernie Sanders came to Dreamtime Village. I was showing him some of the handmade music instruments we had made years ago and he picked up an electric bass and started playing a really funky slap bass groove. The dream then cuts to me showing him proudly my newly published Samsara Congeries and he immediately finds a typo and then launches into a very studied critique of experimental writing, grinning all the while.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Stop Along the Milky Way for Some Tiramisu

To follow the path of combusting stars
from sky
to the very world
that receives the starlight
requires a stop along the Milky Way.

I chance this sojourn
not knowing how it will figure
in the overall promise
or composition of the world
replete with errors,
tropes, and falsifications.

During the cold night that has been chosen
for its resplendence,
my words and the combusting stars
wander from their accustomed place.
I taste the sweet lift-me-up
that helps to fashion a fortunate life.

Blessed is that raw slumber
to which a dream is affixed.

Calamity Control

Without great cause
to whimper and whine,
I am content now to daydream,
looking out at the unadorned sky,
re-living how a flowerpot fell
from a brownstone’s windowsill
the moment I passed by
on customary city walk from here to there.

The thud was not as great
as when the plastic bottle of Evian
fell in the same fashion, different day,
just missing me.

So I envisioned country wicker.

Find a porch with some curvature
to receive the sun’s benediction.
Expect that rain
will be the only thing falling —
and the only intrusion,
some handsome deer, nibbling.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My dream: At AWP, I dropped my phone on a flight of marble steps and it shattered. I first thought "Oh, I won't bother to get it fixed." Then I thought: "Wait! It's my brain! I have to get it fixed!"

Friday, February 12, 2016

I dreamt that Sam Truitt and I accompanied my late mother and stepfather to a theatrical event.  We walked up to the marquee in a small town and picked up our tickets.  As we walked away in the afternoon light, cars were pouring into the town, including many limos, with people who wanted to see the show.  It seemed strange that people were arriving so early.  It was slightly dangerous to cross the main street, which made a big turn coming into town.  We went into a supermarket, where Mom and Eli were buying some things.  I told them to get a pack of cigarettes.  When they emptied their bag at the cash register, two packs of cigarettes spilled out.  I hadn’t asked for two packs.  And what brand were they?  After the purchase, we sat at a table going through the purchases.  Mom was holding the theater tickets in one hand while she went through the items, and that created a coordination problem for her.  Eli pressed her to go through the items more quickly.  Mom turned to Eli and said, “I can’t do it so fast,” but what she was really saying was, “Please don’t be hard on me, especially in front of them.”


I dreamt that I was giving a poetry reading, going second.  It was in a big room, below street level.  I was trying to decide whether to read the introduction to Fleeting Memories or to Inner Voices Heard Before Sleep.  I made a decision, but then a woman I respected persuaded me not to carry it out.  Meanwhile, there was a delay between the first reader and me.  The MC was addressing a bunch of unnecessary questions from someone.  I looked around the room.  It had thinned considerably in the interim.  Was Clark Coolidge still there?  I wanted him to hear me.  My work buddy Rob Rossi was standing near the MC.  I walked up to him.  He asked how things were going.  I said, “Not great.”  Then I reached out and touched him on the arm and gave him a big smile.  For some reason, I believed touching him on the arm would make me feel better, and it did.  I even noticed a few people coming down the ramp into the room.


I dreamt that I was talking to my college roommate Rick Spiers, a longtime follower of the late H.L. “Doc” Humes, who was obsessed with government surveillance in the 1970s.  Then, descending into the subway, I heard my name called over the loudspeaker, which was very disturbing.  I entered a waiting room that in actuality was a surveillance center.  The seats flashed your name on them as you walked past.  They must have electronically picked up information from you as you passed.  There was also a banner over the surveillance center, saying NO PORN, part of a new campaign by Mayor Bloomberg.  I watched people who were inside the glass walls of a big department store.  The people looked so real.  I noticed that many of them, both the stylish and the dowdy, were wearing pale blue shirts and sweaters. I looked from person to person, taking in the colors of their clothes.  It filled me with wonder.  Then, I walked along a path in a large urban park, behind a girl dancer and her boyfriend, both of whom were diminutive.  A guy who looked like the Journal's Bill Power was playing baseball nearby.  “That must keep him fit,” I thought.  My daughter Charlotte walked up to me, wondering if it was too late to phone in a correction to an article in the long-defunct Newark Evening News.  She held a piece of paper with some dirt or string on it that contained the correction.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Last night I dreamed that Trump was elected President and I joined a citizen militia whose goal was to hide and care for illegal immigrants. I had a gun and everything, and we were hiding people away in little houses in the middle of the woods. In the dream I was like, wow, I never thought this day would come.

Monday, January 11, 2016

In my dream, Barack Obama (who was not president, but a scientist) told me to apply for an NEA.