Monday, November 16, 2015

I dreamt I was walking on a residential city street late at night, smoking a hand-rolled cigarette.  A police car suddenly pulled up next to me.  Even though it wasn’t pot, I chucked the cig, so there wouldn’t be an appearance of impropriety.  The policeman emerged covered from head to toe in high-tech armor, especially his head.  He looked like a gigantic insect or alien.  I gasped in fear.  He reached for his gun and said, “What?”  “You frightened me,” I said.  He took me to a mobile outdoor police station, basically a vehicle with an open trunk.  Several other perps waited there to pay fines and fill out paperwork.  I only had to fill out paperwork.  There was no fine for me, which was slightly surprising, but seemed right, since I hadn’t done anything wrong.  As I was leaving, the cops asked if I had seen much tennis lately, which was also slightly surprising.  I told them very cheerfully that I had played a lot of tennis and hoped to play more.  Then I walked away into the late, late night.

I dreamt I was sitting next to an Italian guy on a bench in Venice.  We started talking to each other in Italian about Italian poetry, going through all the great names.  I mentioned Giovanni Pascoli, to his delight, then Guido Gozzano.  Then, we turned to Eugenio Montale.  He said that late in life Montale had frequented places like this.  He pointed to a twisting covered passageway with an outdoor restaurant by the entrance.  “Montale would eat a hamburger at a place like that.”  I decided to eat there.  A waitress came up to me.  We spoke Italian.  I struggled to communicate with her in exactly the same way that I would struggle to communicate with someone in Italian if I were awake, making the same language decisions, the same compromises to communicate something.  I ordered a hamburger, but then was surprised when a waiter brought a bowl of soup, which didn’t have much soup in it, but was “all crackers.”  I hoped it didn’t cost much.


I dreamt I was visiting my mother, who died four months ago.  She was dying in a big bedroom upstairs in a suburban house.  I was very upset, thinking she was about to die, but then she seemed a little better.  I went from there to a Camp Kennebec reunion at a party place.  Not connecting with the people well, I wandered into another room, downstairs, that I thought was part of the same party.  But the kids were really young, the boys short.  It must have been a bar mitzvah party.  I walked out of the catering place.  On the way down the long driveway, I encountered my friend Peter Saenger.  I walked with him back into the catering place.  Inside, I noticed a program for a classical-music concert that would be taking place shortly.  It was an amazing program, with many pieces.  Sadly, for me, it was sold out.  Peter Saenger had a ticket and went inside.  I picked up the program, thinking that if I saved it, I would remember to go to the concert next year.  I wandered into a gift shop.  It occurred to me that I would wind up putting the program somewhere and forgetting it by the time the concert came around next year.  Maybe I should just throw the program away.  As I walked out of the gift shop without buying anything, I worried they would think the program in my hand was something that I hadn't paid for, but no one bothered me.
Long conversation with Peter Culley two nights ago in a dream. Going over the 1970s, sharing his secrets. As always, with Peter, a deep feeling of ease and affect. He was, since the first moment, "uno di famiglia," a member of the family. There is a spot in the front yard where we all stood during his last visit to Bangor -- it feels occupied as if something had been planted and is just about to burst from the ground. Any moment now. Always now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dreamt that they bombed Upaya North. Not sure who they is/was. But in the dream, Upaya was this cool looking library / classroom w/ media. I was teaching my final class of a workshop for the term. And we had to move to the Ginsberg Library due to the destruction. GL was this amazing space w/ a spiral staircase that went to a basement and the decor was 1970s chic. And the walls were red. A plush fabric. With funky bean bag chairs. And beads at doorways or on the wall. With green accents. And the students performed a somatic symphony. On a stage. In the library. I can still hear the cello.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Nightmare I was writing a research paper on midcentury modern furniture and I had four sources: a chair, another chair, a chair, and an iPhone upholstered to look like a midcentury modern couch.
Last night I dreamed friends were coming for Thanksgiving dinner. I was in a penthouse where I had never lived before, and I wasn't sure how many people I'd invited or when I'd told them to come. Things had been complicated because I'd just been involved in a train accident (not my fault) although I was able to recover my computer, but not my guitar, which was both unfortunate and fortunate, because I was due to give a concert with the poet Elaine Equi (which is why I was on the train) and I hadn't rehearsed at all. Were Jewish friends coming for dinner, could I somehow get a kosher turkey in time? Here it was already noon, and I hadn't even done the shopping. How was I even going to get a turkey, much less a kosher one, at this late hour? Harry Kresky, a friend I like but never see texted me with the question: "Is it at 1?" My God, how many friends had I invited? What was I going to do? Akram and I went quickly to shop. We were going to have to buy a lot of wine too to keep guests busy doing something—my plan was to get them all drunk—till all the food was done. Maybe they'd let us borrow a shopping cart at the supermarket to get everything back to the penthouse. Turkey, yams, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes—Yikes! Outside was like a suburb of Shanghai near the water or maybe more like a favela in Rio. Either way, where was a supermarket? And could I speak the language? The alarm clock rang. Have I ever been so happy to wake up? Well, I have. Usually I am trying to catch a plane for Paris with endless complications getting to and being at the airport (usually there is marijuana in my luggage when I am going through customs and how am I going to get rid of that?—Quick, to the bathroom!), or I am about to teach a class I haven't prepared for and have to ad lib the whole darned curriculum. Thanksgiving dinner is a new one. Must be the season. I am going to the gym to do the bike, lift some weights, have a nice sauna and sweat whatever the heck this anxiety is out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dreamt I was the principal dancer in a ballet version of Waiting for Godot.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I dreamt that a British couple was walking through the newsroom.  They were looking at our nameplates.  “Who are these people?” one of them said, as if we weren’t there.  I had a feeling the woman wanted one of our jobs.  I started talking to the woman, who also turned out to be a poet.  I sensed that I seemed shameless to my fellow workers.  The woman and I went for a walk outside.  I asked her about her poetry.  While I couldn’t understand her accent perfectly, I gathered that her tastes were Victorian.  I said we seemed to be on the opposite ends of poetry.  During the walk, the woman became worried she would miss her subway, a G train, which ran above ground like a suburban train line.  I said we would be able to see it coming over the landscape.  We avoided a wet area, then bent low to walk underneath a weeping willow.  I asked if she knew my old friend Roland Vernon, a British novelist.  She didn’t.  At a house we entered, the phone was ringing and water was boiling on the stove, but no one was home, which was very disturbing.


I dreamt that the poet Peter Gizzi came to see me at my childhood home in South Orange, N.J.  I pulled up some chairs near where the outdoor playhouse used to be.  I had a messy bag of rolling tobacco, from which we harvested cigarettes.  He asked me if switching from working part-time to full-time had made me more bourgeois.  I said I didn’t think so, but that something else had.  I told him that when I was working part-time in South Brunswick, N.J., I sat next to a guy named Bob Cwiklik.  My mentioning Bob conjured him up, and he joined us on the chairs under the giant white pine.  One day, I said, Bob and I were walking to get coffee, and he said to me, “I don’t know if you realize this, but your assets are losing value every day.  Have you been to Europe lately?  The dollar doesn’t buy anything.”  The implication was that the eroding value of my assets—and the need to do something about it—was what had made me bourgeois, which was totally untrue.  At that point, we went into the house, which was different from our Montrose Ave. house, more a warren of rooms.  I lost track of Peter, then I gathered that he had encountered my wife, Louisa, and she didn’t recognize him, which upset me.  I shot into the dining room to prevent another faux pas.  Soon, Peter had to leave.  He was going to walk back to the train station in South Orange Village.  It wasn’t the same walk that it used to be, but flatter and shadier.  As we stood near my back door, it started to drizzle.  It looked like it was going to rain hard.  I offered Peter an umbrella, insisted that he take it, but he was sure that he didn’t need one.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Paris Air Show of 1922

In a dream, I am in an old mansion basement, feverishly scrounging through boxes of old pamphlets, on a table, as other collectors and dealers are doing likewise at my side, when I happen upon an old booklet, bound in limp green leatherette, showing a picture of a bi-plane tilted up in flight. The pilot, his head encased in a form-fitting leather cap, and large goggles, is seen waving from the cockpit towards the viewer. Across the top of the cover, it reads, in darker green, “S O U V E N I R – Paris Air Show 1922.” In the dream, I wake up and go downstairs to the computer to see if there really was a Paris Air Show in 1922, and to my surprise, there was! Later, I “really” wake up and come downstairs to see if there really was a Paris Air Show in 1922, thinking if there really was one, that would be some kind of wonderful coincidence, since air show pamphlets, and aviation generally, aren’t subjects that I've ever dealt in as a book trader.

I discover that the Paris Air Show (or “Salon”), the world’s oldest and largest, originally was begun in 1909. There was a Paris Air Show in 1921, but I can’t find a record of one in 1922. In the seventh (1921) show, a prototype of the so-called French Breguet 19, based on a World War I light bomber, powered by a Bugatti engine, was first shown. A new design of the same craft flew in March 1922, but it doesn’t say where. It was the model for the French Army’s Aéronautique Militaire from September 1923 on. It was used in the Greco-Italian War, in World War II, primarily as a reconnaissance aircraft. It was used by a number of European countries, as well as some in the Western Hemisphere.
Breguet 19     

Did I once see such a booklet, or did I conjure one up in my dream? The obsessive book scout in me is perfectly capable of inventing such an object. I go back to bed, hoping to return to the scene I have created in my imagination. Perhaps I am fantasizing that I can bring the imaginary pamphlet back from the dreamworld into the real one. Or perhaps I am simply enjoying the experience of having made something up that has a probable counterpart in the real world. Thus, my writing this account--a prosepoem of the dream--is a partial realization of that desire.  

My unconscious is sending me a message, whose secret meaning I may never be able to decode. This vicarious desire—expressed as a vague longing in the murky semi-consciousness between sleeping and waking--that my experience in the imagination might actually have happened--is like a dream come true.

Friday, October 2, 2015

In my dream a record was playing. It was the youthful, ebullient Billie Holiday of the 1930s singing an unfamiliar song. She sang the lyrics: "Although you left me behind / You're still one of a kind."

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I dreamt that I was taking a train with my dead father and my younger sister, Liz.  We sat in the front car, where we could see very well out the bus-like windshield.  Dad started to have a heart attack.  His face—it wasn’t really his, but that of a thinner guy—turned very red.  We tried to get the train to stop, so we could take him to the hospital, but the train was an express and wouldn’t stop for a half-hour.  I argued with the conductor.  We sped through local stations.  It was ridiculous.  Dad was lying on the floor.  His face was very red.  Then he died.  As soon as he did, his body vanished in the blink of an eye, like magic.


I dreamt that a brilliant orange and white bird was flying around above a suburban street.  It perched on top of a streetlight.  I had the feeling it would fly into my arms.  I opened my arms, and sure enough, it flew to me.  In my arms, it wasn’t orange and white, but furry brown like a bunny.  There was another bird, too, that flew to me.  I took the second bird back to the place where I was staying, a big suburban house that reminded me of one on Irving Ave. in South Orange, N.J., a few blocks away from my childhood home.  The bird lived there for a while, flying around the downstairs rooms, but then decided it was time to leave, so we let it out the door.


I dreamt that my former brother-in-law, Larry Travis, was getting married in a reception hall in Iraq.  Larry made a little speech in which he alluded to something that happened to Jack Kennedy and Jackie.  As I stood outside, smoking, it suddenly occurred to me, “This is Iraq, it might not be so safe.”  I looked around.  From where I stood, I could look down several outer-borough-type streets with relatively low buildings.  I didn’t see anything special.  A few ordinary people.  But when I focused intently, on one thing after another, the scene felt menacing.  I realized that problems could suddenly emerge from a number of directions.  Back inside, a young woman called a group of us together in a small room behind the reception hall.  She asked us, “Do any of you want to get out of Iraq?”  I think several of us indicated we did, including me.  Then she asked, “Are any of you Jewish?”  This was a confounding question, partly because several of us obviously were, and she seemed Jewish.  I wasn’t sure how to answer.  This might be a trick question, designed to identify with certainty a Jew, who would then be killed.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Last night: Dreamt a downtown Manhattan that I'm not sure ever existed. In colors that I AM sure never existed. Anywhere. In any Universe.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A bear playing a harp in a field of lava rocks (my dream last night) -- in Grindavik.

Friday, July 31, 2015

After insomnia: strange dreams. I worked in an institution that was a maze with cafes and shops. To enter, one had to strip in a DRs office, wear a hospital gown, and then was given a box lunch of paraphernalia. Apparently, I was leaving said institution because I hugged everyone I passed in the hall and said: if I don't see you, goodbye. Heather Sweeney was married to a cartoon dictator. Amy Arenson made jewelry with beach glass. A table was littered with flower buds. Someone remarked: everyone's poetry here is too much in the head.

Friday, July 17, 2015

It started like a typical teaching anxiety dream--I had an hour to prep for the first day of a class I forgot I was teaching--but then a glowing woman sat down beside me and started buying me lovely coffee drinks, and every drink also gave me several extra hours. It only took us a few minutes to determine that my whole class would be based on using cooty-catchers to organize your writing and get rid of writer's block. The rest of the time we just flirted and talked about the really interesting book she was writing.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

woke up with a poem about Hannah Wilke in my mind. I wrote it down. Don't know if it works. Strange, only met her twice--but her art, of those last years as cancer leached her beauty--is very difficult to see. Very difficult. Maybe it's all the bird song. I remember she had birds in her loft.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Last night I had a dream about Yoko Ono and Gertrude Stein. A woman invited me and a male companion into her hotel apartment, which was a spaceship. She showed us swaths of cut-up fruit. I said, it reminds me of Gertrude Stein. But I couldn't remember all of the sections in Tender Buttons. I only remembered Rooms and Objects. Not Food.

Monday, June 15, 2015

We stole a tugboat, not exactly a tug but a boat that was old wooden and boxy - one cabin - as in most of the boat was that one cabin. Was with myself and 2 women friends of varied identities - they were always the same 2 women tho at one point one was a boy - but that was nothing to remark on and she was a woman again. I knew we’d make it if we hurried - we had a place to go, an apartment, a hideout, on Fountain north of Hollywood Blvd. - tho no locale was specified I was seeing it as Fountain.  We were on a big blue remote lake 15 minutes from Hollywood of the 70s.  I used a color stick on my hair, threw packaging in the wastebasket, shouted Should we take out the trash - eliminated evidence of our presence there - I was always aware we had a destination, rescue, a way out and that we should get off the tug. At one point I was in the water swimming to another shore though. It was nice to be swimming but I wasn’t doing the crawl so much as some sort of active floating. Treading? The water was good. Dark blue and the right kind of cold but I was aware it was not pristine. Instantly and "off camera" fishermen brought me back to the tug (kind as the fishermen who rescued Jeremy Renner in Bourne or it might have been Matt Damon). Thing is I had elaborate knowledge and was frustrated my friends didn’t and didn’t care. I imagined the tug owner's personality and likelihood she'd detect our presence - and wanted the hell to just get off it and move on. Prior to commandeering the tug we didn't commit a crime.  So much thinking ON the water (in retrospect). Worry frustration detailed knowledge unheeded by the carefree, awareness of the adventure, the voyage, the trip, the possible hideout funky and sunny. Redux on the prior - a winding road.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Last night I dreamed I was beatboxing to an entire stadium full of people. The crowd was on their feet. They were loving it. I woke up covered in slobber, but I felt proud. I still feel proud; I'm carrying that feeling throughout the day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fell asleep last night in front of CNN: in my dream Giordano Bruno and Lenny Bruce were discussing the state of the Universe.
Fragments of three dreams from this morning: 1. Karen is pregnant, and the doctor assures me (without evidence) that I'm the father. 2. I return to my old workplace to retrieve enormous piles of my personal possessions, mostly books, all of which are stored in Denis' office (his official one, which he doesn't actually use). 3. The entire movie, It's a Wonderful Life, with Alan Alda as George Bailey, ending with a monster coming out of the woods and down to a stream during the credits—then the image freezes and the voiceover announces the remake of The Creature from the Black Lagoon will come out next year.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bested by the tropics, after a harrowing no AC cab ride during which the driver pulled over no less this five times to ask for directions to a relatively near destination, I fell into a strange sleep of perhaps the most menacing dream-hallucinations I have ever had, experiencing other people's and my own most profound viciousness: there was a party, many friends were there but seemed sinister, one (a married person) pressed himself lustfully against my back body, another man not a friend flicked a cigarette into food I was eating and then freaked when I confronted him on it, accusing me in an almost hebephrenic way of "privilege", I and others flew/swooped around the room, a kind of dark loft space, and I reached into the mouth of someone who offended me and bent his front tooth completely forward. And these are only the incidents I vaguely recall. Yangon in this season is truly dizzying and the weather seems to act as hallucinogen. Much respect and compassion for the people who must withstand it daily, and cook hot food at their roadside food carts or drive boiling taxis in diesel smog, triply dazed by betel nut and centuries of oppression.

Friday, May 15, 2015

also I dreamed last night that the smithsonian had a wing for riot grrrl. but it was kind of decrepit and in need of upkeep.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

From the dream files: dreamt last night I was in Portland watching a man with walk down the street, no pants just tidy whiteys , suit jacket on top. He was wearing a baseball cap, ZZ Top beard and sunglasses on the back of his head, and had long should-length grey hair.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Last night, I dreamt that Vanessa Place was my physician, and I visited her for some now unrecallable ailment. I can't remember exactly what she said to me in the dream -- probably something like this from her @vanessaplace2 Twitter account: "Wanting to be a poet is like wanting a bad cough," or "All you are is either a symptom or material." Or this from an interview at Fanzine: "All we are are our symptoms, and we do love our symptomology…".

Sunday, April 26, 2015

bizarre dreams update: just before waking today, the last dream i had featured badgers the size of and seemingly crossed with leeches that lived under pieces of wood. i was out in a dreamtimish area working with a small group of people when i first discovered these ferocious mini beasts, and the dream ended as Rani Ji & i worked in an area away from the others, by a road where i moved a piece of wood and 2 or 3 of these beasts came after me (while Rani was laughing, i was scared).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I was scheduled to perform 3 or 4 songs with an old friend in a small NYC performance space - somewhere I've never been or seen in real life.  There were a lot of people there. I was going to be playing the guitar, and the songs were originals that I had written with my friend. As it got closer to playing time, I could not remember the songs, could not retrieve or piece together the chords, progressions -- it was just outside the grasp of my memory.  The songs could not be performed without my part, so we ended up having to cancel the performance, though I know it was a terrible disappointment to my friend. I realized that I could no longer ignore all the signs and indications that I had previously been ignoring: I definitely had Alzheimer's.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The dream encompassed many foreign locations... a bus breaking down and the driver abandoning us... Philip Larkin was somehow involved... a missed opportunity for banter on my dreaming self... and i recognized him by the back of his head and ears along? (what?) I was also riding a steel dragon...

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In my dream I was watching an opera on television. Already this was strange, as in waking life I'm utterly uninterested in opera. It appeared to be a nineteenth-century Italian opera. A pair of twins—short, fat, bald, dark Sicilian-looking men in Renaissance costume—were singing an aria in unison. I knew that they were singing about guilt, but I don't know whether this was because I understood the words or was familiar with the libretto. Then I realized that one of the twins had just realized that the other twin was not his brother at all, but rather a manifestation of his own guilty conscience.

At this point, Roberto Benigni, the Italian comic actor, appeared on stage singing the same aria. He seemed startled and upset by the presence of the bald twins. He made exaggerated comic gestures that signaled his fear, as if in a silent film comedy. He ran to the back of the set and hid behind a curtain, then peeked out at the twins with an ambiguous smile on his face. At this point I could tell that Benigni had realized that the twins were not real people, but rather representations of his own guilt. This liberated him to leap out from behind the curtain and continue singing his aria. The twins had disappeared. 

The perspective in the dream then shifted from the stage set on TV to the room in which I was watching the program. There was another man in the room, sitting in a chair with his back to me. He was a large, bald man. I had no idea who he was.

"What am I feeling guilty about?" I said to the back of the man's head.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A longstanding, recurring dream about tornados appeared in a new form last night. This time it came in waves, and I was caught guard down with nowhere to be except in the place I was standing. I lay on the floor and waited...

photo by Elizabeth Bryant

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Susan Legind collage, "It Was Just a Dream," as posted to Collagistes Collective on Facebook:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A dream where I cannot sleep and end up at my psychoanalyst’s house. She is doing a dance of some kind of dance to demonstrate something to me, to elaborate on something she had used words to say earlier. Also her husband is there. He is an older man with gray hair and a beard, bald and in a disheveled state. He is sitting at their computer and uploading songs to something like a USB or an iPod, and says something about doing it for her because of the road trip she or they are taking soon. Later we are standing on her balcony and discussing music, and she is telling me why she loves the composer she had danced to earlier, and I say “so you don’t like the atonal stuff?” and she shakes her head. The composer she likes is a man with an n and an o in his name but that’s all I can remember. I stumble around their house in the early dawn with the light dim and everything kind of blue in her apartment. Her son and his wife are sleeping in one room. I don’t get to the room she and her husband with grey hair and beard are in. I end up outside in an area that is vaguely Milwaukee’s east side Oakland Avenue-ish. I end up back home with an electronic device near my bed which is very low to ground.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Last night I dreamed I went to the White House to meet Obama and he took me down in the elevator into this hi-tech sub-basement and showed me his vintage collection of centuries-old breakfast cereals. They were all sitting out in the open on a steel table, and each one was in a weird sack or bag with buffalo bill steampunk letting printed on the package. He said "I try a different one every morning."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dreamed that two poets "covered" (remixed? remade?) Bombyonder, one as a graphic novel and the other as a vinyl LP.

Friday, November 14, 2014

I had a dream that was basically a game like candy crush saga but instead of candy there were words and you had to slide them around to make lines of poems

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I definitely do NOT want to open a bar called Apathy + Protest for the 27-28 yr old demographic, but that's what I dreamed I was doing

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dream that eyelashes were falling out or in some places, ingrown. Got tweezers from an old woman at a party. Woke up before I was about to stick the tweezers into my eye. Un Chein Analou redux? Oedipus?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Just before sleep Carla reminded me that yesterday was the anniversary of my father's death. I promptly dreamt that a book on biopolitics cited him, thanking him for answering queries on the point of death. When I woke up, I started to look for that book, then realized it had been a dream. Then realized the whole scenario was a dream: the stroke left my father paralyzed, without speech; there was no answering queries at that point. (Even so, I'd really like to find the book.)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

was left at the altar in this morning's dream

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I'm having an affair. The guy carries 3 guns & wears a bra. He is New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Did I mention this was a dream?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Had a dream last night that I had a tiny silk moth that followed me around as a pet; I would have to tell people to be careful not to sit on it or inadvertently crush it. It understood human speech, but only Japanese.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I had a dream last night; I was hovering over giant mountains of ice and snow and could move at was breathtaking and beautiful and like nothing I had ever seen (except in other dreamscapes). At first I wasn't afraid but it was so "out of this world" I became fearful, and woke up.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

i dreamt i was on a battleship. as we descended into the hold and the walls shook as the missiles were deployed, we passed a door behind which the composer Steve Reich was working on a project called "Sun."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I dreamt I was walking briskly away from a guy with whom I had just talked briefly.  I passed my wife, Louisa, who was standing waiting in a large, dim living room.  I said to her, “I’m going to lock myself in there and try to figure out something.”  I closed the bedroom door behind me and quickly locked it.  It was very clear to me the guy was going to follow me, soon, and stab me to death with a knife.  I looked around for a weapon.


I dreamt I was returning to the place where I had committed a murder in a previous dream.  I was afraid I had left my gun and my black leather traveling bag at the scene of the crime, and I wanted to retrieve them.  I knew it was a bad idea to go back, it could backfire on me.  And it might not matter if the gun were found.  Still, I was going back.  I was crossing through backyards like in my hometown of South Orange, N.J., behind the Gianottas’ house.  What if some kids saw me by the house where the murder took place?  I bent low to the ground.  The house itself was like a place in one of those impoverished Buffalo neighborhoods that Sam Truitt and I drove through a few months ago.  I entered the back of the house and then, to the left, an alley-like room where the murder had occurred.  Neither the gun nor bag was there.  The room was trashed, filled to shin level with balls of crumpled paper.  Leaving, I passed a real-estate lady out back, already showing the place.  Life was “moving on” surprisingly rapidly after the murder.  This is a dream idea I’ve had before, the murder that’s never really investigated, which derives from Gombrowicz’s Pornographia and Bolano’s 2666.


I dreamt that my college friend Gary Lovesky and some of his friends had visited me.  Now, they were leaving in their car.  Back inside the large house, a summer rental, a woman said I had missed a phone call.  I was waiting for a call.  I was waiting to hear my mother had died.  I almost yelled at the woman: “I was right outside.  Why didn’t you call outside for me?”  The phone rang again.  The woman answered it.  Something bad had happened, but not pertaining to me.  The woman’s face teared up.  It turned out a member of the Read family of Winter Harbor had been killed.  I thought it was a sailing accident.  But then, in a vision within the dream, I saw an explosion at a pizza shop send its huge stainless steel oven flying out the back wall, where it crushed the Read scion.  As I started to leave the living room, like our “first living room” at my childhood home in South Orange, a guy said something unpleasant to me.  “Shut up until you do some dishes,” I lashed back.  I returned to the kitchen sink, where I was finishing cleaning up after a big dinner.  Some punks followed me into the kitchen and said I was going to get beat up.  I agreed heartily, “No way I’m strong enough to beat him up,” which took them aback.  In a large added-on room with a high triangular ceiling, a young yachtsman began talking to me about races.  He said that in high seas rocks could slide off the coast and jump a couple of times, posing a real danger of smashing your boat.  He headed off to another race.  Then, in this large room, an action hero appeared.  My pursuer came to the entrance of the room.  The campy hero leaped on him, crushed him and then strode through a narrow doorway, with Slim or Thin written on the back of his robe, and someone saying, “That’s why they call him Thin.”  Pursuers set off after the action hero.  I followed their dogs, which tracked him into the sewers like in the movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”  They seemed to lose his track, but then they spotted small tracks on the wet floor, turtle tracks.  A woman pointed to a small drain, said a turtle could escape through there.  It worried me for a second.  Then, something eased my worries.


I dreamt I was at a big suburban house like my childhood home.  The doorbell rang.  A delivery guy was there with a huge box, too large for me to carry inside.  Luckily, the delivery guy was a real muscleman—and acrobat, spiderman and human butterfly.  He leaped into the air and stuck to the wall in the front hall, nearly naked now, flexing garish muscles with tattoos.  In the process, he had become much smaller, half the size of a human.  He left the box in a hallway that didn't exist at the Montrose Ave. house.  I couldn't move it.  Later, it turned out that what had arrived was a large, furry dog, almost motionless.  They've all tricked me into getting a dog, I thought.  I didn't feel that I could return it. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Last night, I dreamt I was attending a "baton twirling" conference & I was staying in a boarding house & I caught TS Eliot at midnight stealing doughnuts from the kitchen & he shyly apologized & then murmured "you can call me 'El'"

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dreamed a new federal law required all TSA screeners to be fluent in the work of Philip K. Dick.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In my dream last night I was on another planet and was receiving a lesson, or being told how impractical it was that we lived on Earth in flesh suits that you couldn't take off. I was shown how on their planet you could unzip your flesh suit easily, or sometimes you didn't wear the suit at all. So I did this, and all of my organs were being interviewed, as if each organ was an individual, going to the doctor, getting a "check-up." I completely understood how sane it was to want to see your own machinery, so as to visibly register when something had gone askew. When I woke up, I began to think of the development of technology, of the covering of internal parts, so as to no longer see what was moving what, to no longer be able to dismantle a human being or a machine into parts, a seamless diaphanous flesh, which makes me think of hacking, and the retaliation against the surveillance of one surface, and the persistent action of breaking if not the human body, then all of matter, into discrete, and separatable elements.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Had a weird convoluted dream last night in which Charles Bernstein was explaining to me that home craft projects go much better if one makes one's own Elmer's Glue!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Had an amazing dream last night where I was hanging out with my friends Trish Harnetiaux, Jason Pendergraft, and Corey Stoll. Just like our early days in New York except everyone was famous, Jason smoked a cigar, and there was an elevator that went to the moon.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Last night I dreamed that cats attacked my hands after entering my wood paneled bedroom during a hurricane. My hands were scratched up and bloody. The cats sat on the bed hissing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dreamed last night I was in Louisville, to deliver a lecture I hadn't yet written, & was visiting Guy Davenport on a dark, snowy evening. He was congenial as ever--if strangely overweight--& excited to show me that he'd gotten rid of most of his vast library. Some walls were simply bare; other bookcases were absolutely groaning with newly acquired gardening books---big illustrated volumes devoted to particular families of flowers and plants.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

two nights ago dreamed that I was out working in our tiny linear container garden along the side of the house when I glanced up and saw this huge, lovely turned garden plot in our back yard that I had never noticed before. "Why haven't we just been using that?" I asked Sikkema.

Monday, July 28, 2014

dreamed I unwrapped something like a Klondike bar and dropped its contents into a stream. Inside were three small blocks that turned into "Medusa swans" when they touched the water. I said, "they'll take care of the corpses."

Sunday, July 27, 2014

last night i dreamed everyone had GIFs for tattoos, which made walking around distracting and dangerous...the next thing i know i was in line at the bank (which is weird b/c i haven't been inside a bank in years), when i finally got to the window, the teller was talking but only images came out of his mouth, and i was like WTF!, and the person behind me in line whispers "yeah, that guy only speaks in GIFs"

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In the dream I seemed only slightly perplexed that I was growing a singular horn.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In my dream, some critter like a mad possum bit my finger and it hurt so much I woke up. My finger hurt like hell when I woke up, but no clue why or how.
dream: my father tries to call me from the airport. i answer the wrong phone. u tell me we have roosters, rabbits and a guinea pig. maybe a parrot. i don't want roosters. i'm in the men's dorm by mistake. they are all naked. i try to pretend like i don't notice. our apt. is leaking. i try to get towels. i'm twisted in an awkward position between tables and a man. i pry myself loose. a young girl is doing a television interview. she is wearing a black leotard. her breast is exposed and she doesn't know it. i think she will be so embarrassed. why didn't they edit it out. i want to tell her someone was videotaping me dancing once and the same thing happened to me. i never got to see the video for some reason. i am walking in a city. maybe it's santa cruz. i am so happy to be home where there is some activity, some life. the ocean air feels wonderful. i don't know if you're there or not.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Perhaps I have been thinking too much about a new project, which is about resistance against the compelling conviction that I am not allowed to stay. I dreamt of light. That a person I once loved wanted me to catch it and if I refused I would be killed. I managed to escape before the walls closed in and began hastily throwing my suitcases into the minivan. But there was no room for me. And so I ran to catch the train. Of course, when I arrived it politely passed by without me: Excuse me, miss. I resigned myself to die.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I dreamed my throat was crammed with sticks & I kept pulling them out one by one but there were always more.

Monday, July 7, 2014

dreamed I was taking an intro creative writing class, first day, and the instructor asked us all to free-write about "homes" from different perspectives, and I wrote down the words RED HOUSE and then started daydreaming, and when she called on my to read mine aloud and I said I hadn't really finished anything, she made fun of me and rolled her eyes and I wanted to say, "I have published several books, you know!" But I did not because RED HOUSE.

I also dreamed I had a pair of pet raccoons I had to carry around with me everywhere in a double-sided cage; they had these long teeth, though, that I had to file down every day the way you'd sharpen a knife, holding the raccoons and running their teeth up and down the cage's stone edges.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Triple nightmare last night: some kind of hippy family invaded my home from the hill above, threatened to sue me when I asked them to leave. I escaped them in my car but noticed the brakes completely stopped working, so I coasted through the lights which miraculously each turned green until I came to a stop on a hill. Then all these drivers started yelling at me to get my car out of the street. Things started to get ugly until we all got distracted by a giant rocket flying low around the city. We realized it was a nuclear missile and waited for the the detonation. But I did look up at the hill at my house, and the hippy family was gone.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

There were two little red monkeys leaping back and forth over a snowy road. I somehow snapped the corner off my handheld communication device, but it still worked, and looked like molten glass and agate inside. A blond man in a white van made big gestures, which I pretended not to notice. A child was about to tell me something important, but we were interrupted when I woke.

Friday, July 4, 2014

In my dream I was listening to a generic vinyl reprint of a record by an early seventies glam band named Trash, a song called "We Can Take the Underground." It was pretty good.

Monday, June 30, 2014

dreamed I unwrapped something like a Klondike bar and dropped its contents into a stream. Inside were three small blocks that turned into "Medusa swans" when they touched the water. I said, "they'll take care of the corpses."

Monday, June 16, 2014

I had a Wes Anderson dream last night, that we bought an apartment on the top floor of the "Hotel Violin," (too much time spent with a violin restorer recently?). The building was an architectural dessert: art nouveau, gold leaf, pastels. The elevator didn't make it up to the top floor, so we took it as far as it went, pried the doors open, to go higher.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

dream: with a wave of my hand the cyst on my chest falls off. then there is a parade on the beach in aptos. what is it for? a celebration of life. it is on my beach. it is going in the right direction. i dream inside my dream. i tell someone about my dream inside my dream but i am still dreaming. the back of an indian's head. black hair. denim jacket. i don't know who u are. everything is going to be fine. i have 3 male roommates. i've never seen them before. who told u u could live here. i don't want new roommates. i don't want to live with men. there is too much male energy in this house. i want u to leave. i wanted to be alone. i wanted peace and quiet. i'm sorry but u can't live here. i am trying to reach vhs tapes high on a dusty shelf. i can't quite reach them without maybe falling off the stepladder and breaking my neck. i take 3 little sample bottles of clinique lotion and an open nail polish bottle and throw them away. women are shopping. they are very fashionable. my mother says she wants to go shopping. women are buying bracelets. i don't like anything cold around my wrist. one is wearing a weird purple flowery hat. they are not finding what they are looking for. do they wear make-up or not and do they dance. can i still dance. i'm a bit shaky on my feet. i pick up a leather wallet that is kind of a book. it is a sample of a bookmaking class. the cashier says the class is in las vegas. why am i in nevada? i don't want to be in nevada. the air is clean. i don't care, i want to go to the beach. i want to go home. why is it taking so long to go home.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Morning. Rained a lot last night. I dreamt the house was lost to a sinkhole.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I dreamed I was a guest on a show called "Adam Lambert's Poetry Hour, Starring Adam Lambert."

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ching-In Chen, in a dream I had last night, I told you I was having trouble writing, and you asked if I would take dictation on a typewriter on a tour of readings you were doing with a bunch of women I didn't know. The readings were going to be improvised and the sound of the typewriter was an important cuing device to help everyone know what to say and how to say it. We hadn't gotten started yet, when I woke up, but I was really excited about the whole thing.
I dreamt I designed my own community college. It was nestled into the side of a mountain like a Tibetan monestery. The whole front was glass. I was some famed architect and innovator of new wave educational spaces. There were a lot of open areas. Dangling media for heads and bodies. Seriously. I could draw it for you. 2 things: my father was an architect; 2. I've been doing this too long. Help me.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I dreamed I won an octopus. A small octopus who volunteered to be raffled and eaten. I felt like there was a moral conflict eating an octopus who wanted to die. I also didn't know how to eat the octopus. I salted & ate some tentacles. Then I misplaced the rest before I could finish it.

Friday, May 9, 2014

dreamed all night I had black baby goat who was always hungry. He followed me around from dream to dream! Maybe I was just mythologizing Bruno the cat.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

in my dreams I'm angrily flying and singing, like Lucifer on Broadway

Monday, May 5, 2014

dreamed i was teaching in an auditorium for 4 classes of kids, talking about Hugo Ball's sound poetry, and i moved around the room between the rows, at one point sitting down next to David Hadbawnik while the progressively more unruly kids were chaperoned by Jennifer Moxley & Steve Evans... and then outside, calling Gilbert Joyce on the phone while a flock of guinea fowl broke into their cacophonous song. dreams like this are the good kind of weirdos.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Last night Kathy Acker returned from the dead to give a talk on what it is like to be dead in the most impressive dream of my first sleep in the tripwire shed (still bearing the scent of CA Conrad's recent stay there)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

dreamed Prez Bush porn leaked and I bugged everyone at party for the link Frank Sherlock said YEAH HE WANTS TO WATCH THAT ONE ALONE NO DOUBT
YES George W. Bush was a terrible president and terrible man
I wrote this little love poem for him some years ago:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fever back up to 101 and my fever dream is thus: blind doctor- shaman searches the apartment for the tiny totem that will make me feel better. He touches every surface and inside every cup and jar and case and behind all objects as I shake with chills , waiting patiently. At one point he finds an acorn that Sylvie hid in a jar, and he considers it, then replaces it. He is endlessly searching, and never finds it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Last night I had a dream where Zach Houston and I were standing on a street corner and a municipal car drove by quickly then abruptly stopped at a stop sign. The car dropped off a selection of tools that needed to be there. At the moment that the tools were dropped off, the car completely disappeared, popped out of the atmosphere exactly at the place where it parked. Zach and I were in shock. We turned to the left and a skinny brunette, a young girl wearing white pants acting very aristocratic brushing her hair--we ask her if she saw that. She has no idea what we are talking about and continues to act nonchalant. Zach and I both feel ourselves as "poets" and a conscience sinks in our throats signalling to us that this now marks us off as a species, with the capacity to see the evils of empire more than others because we have conditioned the capacity and the willingness to transform it, so we walked forward into the auspicious omens of the tech take over, understanding "our difference." ......Last night when I was walking to the reading at ATA I was taking in Valencia and the Buddhism and Cognitive Science conference I had been to the day before and asked myself what power of mind poets have that "techies" (scientists) don't? It was at that moment that a small old shaking woman with bloodshot eyes handed me a miniature pamphlet called "The Power of God."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Last night I had a dream I was a ghost, in Italy.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I was just in a plane crash in my dream. But I saw the earth from the window so not a usual plane. It was so serene I told my mother sitting next to me to sleep we would be home soon. Everyone seemed to be asleep and as I was drifting off there was suddenly the announcement that there was a fatal malfunctioning. The plane was going to crash and very quickly. To hold your loved ones and if you were an artist you'd probably cry. As I turned to my mother at the moment of death it gripped me so quickly I felt my mind dive through worlds.

Friday, April 25, 2014

I had a dream last night that I discovered an old lost book by Emily Dickinson, and the poems were long and wild and narrative and beautiful and I could barely breathe.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Last night I woke up in Dick Cheney's house and frantically ran through some desolate labyrinth of mud fields and construction zones wearing only a 1990's happy face tank top. I woke up again at 2 AM in my own room, cold sweat.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


My home planet is undone by cataclysm. I am not certain of the root cause, but the planet no longer rotates, leaving it cold/dark on the one side and burned-beyond-life on the other. All of the remaining beings from the world are floating in a small clutch in space about a mile or two above the dark-side of the planet which is no longer a coherent ball, but more like chunks of mountain and valley compressed into an enormous-eroded fist. It looks like an ironstone version of a Lake Taihu stone set against deep space. Where there should be stars, there is only cosmic dust and gas reflecting the errant sun — the word ‘errant’ is spelled out before me in script, sparkler-style. A collective keening has just begun when I am pulled into shifting dimensions by a force that is amplified by a kind of ululating that breaks down the walls of space/time as we go. ‘She’ says, ‘We are late to the party.’

She and I apparate onto a barren plateau in a numinous dimension where a vast army is gathered. She introduces me to one of her lieutenants as ‘one of us.’ The lieutenant is an Aleut, his/her 8 sets of ears are half funnel-eared bat/half human. Without signal, the ‘collective’ begins a screaming/roar — the air shatters as the present disintegrates/burns away.

I am levitating up near the ceiling of an archaic, vaulted library — it appears to be carved out of the side of a mountain — I’m not yet quite sure which book I’ve been sent to retrieve.

Saturday, April 12, 2014



Forrest Gander, who is my former advisor, is looking at a shopping cart in a large parking lot. The front of the cart is facing him. There is a crowd around him, myself included. He is wearing an old school white nightgown that comes down to his ankles. He is psyching himself up for running and jumping (long ways) over the cart). He is barefoot. He runs a short distance and leaps up over the cart but his foot just barely touches the handle bar and he comes down on his hands and knees. Everyone rushes to help him up and I am moving his arm to get under him and lift. He was scratched up but fine. His eyes were huge like Montgomery Burns after his Friday night treatments on The Simpsons.


Another famous poet, who I won't name, is in what appears to be a high school hallway- very wide, etc. There is a man with a violin case (is there a violin in there? who knows) and this famous poet snatches the case, walks down the hall and slides the case into an office. "12000 of those things now."

She and I have some kind of side conversation but then we go and join a larger group. "It's about time I moved up in the conversation," she said to herself or me, maybe.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dreamed that it was pitch dark and I was in bed with a poet. A chapbook rang, it was his cell phone. I woke him so he could take the call. He agreed to meet the woman on the other end, but this made him upset about money. He said he had to leave. I was glad to see him go. I didn't know what I was doing in bed with him anyhow.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dreamed that I had sent a letter for help to a friend. My friend wrote me back, but did so in a code, because where I was being held was not safe. The code was made of long strips of typewriter ribbon, but each strip was gibberish. I realized that if I cut the strips the same length as a page, taped them to a wall, and read VERTICALLY, I could read my friend's note for me. His message was to take courage and to write him at his mother's address from now on. I cried at his thoughtfulness. He came to me later, and we hugged over an antique banister. He was short and muscly and in a white tank top.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

GABA seems to give me intense dreams. I found the perfect house that was both in NY and Tokyo. It had a tatami room and a basic circular shape, with sections sunken or elevated and it was surrounded by a forest. It was a little funky but also beautifully remodeled with orangey kitchen cabinets and a beautiful desk with an oval edge looking out into the trees. There were delicate viney hanging plants everywhere. The owners had left the door so I spent a night there sneakily in the tatami room. It was perfect. The next day was the open house though and it was thronged including some of my friends, including Rob and Kim. Of course they thought it was perfect too, which distressed me; couldn't they see it was more perfect for //me//? I went up to the owner and told him I was totally guileless in bargaining but that I would do anything to get the amount of money necessary to buy the house. He had a slightly 80s look like a slighter Philip glass, curly hair and circles under his eyes, maybe wearing a black suit jacket, and he just nodded and said mysteriously that I'd been doing the right things...somewhere outside the house I met Gary's grandparents who shook their head over him and were so glad to meet me (in earth life they have long not existed and I never met them)...then yesterday morning I dreamed I had to pack really quickly to go to Cambodia for five days to give a presentation... Cambodia! What wishes and slippages I have been privy to!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

In the dream I had last night I was crossing the road in East London--I think it was Mile End Road, when I literally bumped into Rene Ricard. He was carrying a load of notebooks and other personal items. He pushed them into my hands, saying, I think you could use these. I walked on with them and went into a pub where I could sit down and look at them. I was well aware that what had just happened was extraordinary since I knew in the dream that he had died. And I felt that it was extraordinary that I had been chosen to receive these things since although I had met Rene I did not "know" him. Apparently the pub that I'd gone into was one where he was a regular because the people there recognized that the stuff I had was his and they asked about it. They didn't show suspicion but wonderment. The next thing I remember was that I was at my friend Scott Lash's house, still with Rene's stuff, explaining to him what had happened, but he didn't know who Rene was and I had to explain it to him. On waking, I began to wonder if he had ever actually spent any time in London. I somehow doubt it.

as posted to facebook on 2.15.14

Saturday, January 11, 2014


In the first part I invented a fire alarm. I made a large effigy of a man and dressed him in bright scarlet pajamas and night cap. I suspended the effigy from the ceiling by a rope noosed around its neck, and then I pinned it to the ceiling with a beam pressed into its stomach. If the house caught fire, the beam, which was made of highly inflammable material, would burn up quickly, allowing the effigy to swing down, crash through a high window, and hang outside the house. Passersby would see a big scarlet-clad dummy hanging out the window and know there was a fire inside. (I've already applied for a patent, so don't try to steal this idea.)

In the second part I was carrying my acoustic guitar down West Court Street in Flint, MI, my home town. I was going to practice in a graveyard, as is my wont. I passed a big Catholic church with a bunch of Hispanics pouring in and out. A young man came up to me and asked me in Spanish if he could see my guitar. I gave it to him, knowing that he was going to show off his virtuosity. Sure enough, he started playing a bluesy number so beautifully—as beautifully as anyone could on my low-end guitar--that everyone stopped to listen, and when he finished they all cheered and applauded. I took back my guitar, thanked him, and hurried on, hoping he wouldn't ask me to play.

In the third part I was attending a big university, and my next class was on another campus or a remote corner of the same campus. I got on a shuttle bus, but when it took an unexpected turn I realized that I'd boarded the wrong one. The bus started speeding down the freeway away from the university, however. I knew I was going to miss my class and end up in a strange, distant place. (This part is a recurring dream for me.)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

in the dream i had shaved hair sort of like Aimee Mann in til tuesday and had chinese slippers on and was taking the bus in Narragansett without any money or design. i somehow ended up at a green boutique where i was chatting with Amy King and other female poets about eco feminist poetic manifestations (i still had no money) ... not sure how this all connects Myra Thibault-- but maybe i should come to NYC for New Years?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I had a nightmare about AWP last night--it felt like a bizarre conference of accountants in old Vegas. Had the feel of Leaving Las Vegas in that weird, sad but beautiful last attempt to hold on to what, we're not even sure. There were old-style ice machines and dark hotel lobbies with faded rugs in grotesque patterns. It also reminded me of a hotel I stayed at in New Orleans once, which was haunted and abandoned-but-still-inhabited and the water ran brown, and the curtains looked like old residents. (We moved to another hotel.) Not sure if this means I should go or not go.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Weird dream: I dreamt I visited Skrillex's website and it hacked my computer. When I tried to exit the page, it would just stay on it and kept playing this guy's music and showing MacPaint art he'd made as well as quotes from his stupid short stories (does Skrillex's write?!) There was a counter on the top right corner of the page that would count down for when the screen would flip to another image. Below that there was another counter for how long I had to hold the power button down in order to turn off my computer. The power down counter was always longer than the image counter. Every time the image flipped, both counters would reset to a higher number. I tried to turn off my wifi but nothing helped.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lately I've been in a musical stage adaptation of It's a Wonderful Life; I play Uncle Billy, the buffoon who loses the money. So last night I dreamed I was wearing my old-fashioned Uncle Billy costume, and I was with Joan Crawford in an apartment that looked just like the one in Wait Until Dark, which of course stars Audrey Hepburn. I wasn't romantically involved with Joan; I was just a friend. I'm straight, but in the dream there was something vaguely gay about me. Like Audrey, Joan was expecting a violent intruder. People kept coming to the door, and as soon as she opened the door she'd wop whoever it was on the head with her big purse. He'd fall and tumble into the apartment, and we'd see that he was the landlord or milkman or something. “You must excuse her,” I'd say, “she's expecting someone much less welcome than you.” Then a bunch of people in 40s clothes barged in through the back door. Joan knew them well; apparently they were family. They were strangers to me, but one of them was my cousin Gerry, who looked a bit like William Powell in his antiquated get-up. I tried to get his attention, but he pretended not to recognize me.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Dream 8 December 2013
My father appeared in my dreams last night , the first time in many years.  I recognized his stooped height, his low voice, the shape of his face, and most of all, his state of mind.  My father was a man possessed, alcohol soaked, as if a demon had taken over the workings of his brain.
My father was past standing and had spread his body out across the floor, ready to die.  Only he would not die.
I wanted him to die.  There were others in the room, sisters, brothers, cousins, all as I remember them from when we were young.  And although no one said as much, I knew that every member of my dream felt as I did; we wanted this man to die.
My father lurched himself onto his feet and came over to me.
‘Will you come to dinner with me?’ he asked.
I hoped I had heard wrong.  I did not want to join my father for dinner. I did not want to spend time alone in my father’s company.  But I could not be so bold as to say, no.
I went instead to my mother and she made excuses for me, which my father accepted.
Resigned, he flopped back onto the floor, his face next to a machine that gave off some sort of froth, which I knew to be toxic.  Soon the fumes would overwhelm him.  In the meantime I needed a shower.

In a communal bathroom, shared by many people, not just the members of my family, I tried to pick my way through piles of dirty, discarded clothes to find a towel that might suit me.
In the meantime someone took my place in the shower queue.  Someone seated on a toilet next to the shower and I remonstrated with her.
She backed off.

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.