Dream Journal #36: Vague and Unconsummated

We were lost in the city, a post-apocalyptic Disneyland, searching for a car. We had driven to town for a birthday party.  Her birthday, a blue car. My hair was long and tousled, like it was in my thirties, not like now. The party had been in a building, like a school, but under construction, or in decay. There was a moment when we had kissed, or when she had kissed me, or almost kissed, which kept playing back in my head. Why had I turned away? Several times we passed a house which was being gutted. A large tree, like a live oak, had grown throughout the house’s framework. She clambered up the tree, to reach the second floor of the house. A large bare-chested man with a handle-bar mustache and tattoos, like a circus strongman from the 1890’s, came out and tried to sell us the house for 340,000 dollars. He said the house was only two stories, although it looked like four. We left to find the car. This went on for hours, or minutes. We would split up, return together again, push the car’s door lock key hoping to see lights flash. When we had left it for the party, the car was the only one on the street, now in the early morning light, the streets were crowded. It started to rain. A man running a uniform store overheard us talking about the house and said that we might as well buy a noose right now if we were going to buy that house. He started to tell us a story, but his assistant interrupted to show us a chef’s hat like they used to wear at diner’s or fast food restaurants, like Burger Chef in the late 60’s. Near the shore fisherman were unloading their catch from big nets. Along with the assorted fish, body parts, like arms and legs, stuck casually from the nets. She kissed me again, or tried to kiss me again, or was that the same kiss? Why did I turn away? At the party, a poet we both liked was reading her poems. No one was listening. Since the floor was being redone, broken tiles were strewn about like crackers. She looked around the crowd and wondered if there would be anyone we knew there. People I had known from work, or school, whom I had never socialized with talked together in small disconnected groups. Everyone seemed uncomfortable, and for some reason that was my responsibility. My brother-in-law, Jim, stood in the corner whispering judgmental comments, and combing his mustache. I left, but could still see them as if through a glass store front window display. The streets were empty and slick with rain. The blue car was nearby, but we had somewhere else to go. Home? An apartment? It was a white building, near where she had kissed me, or tried to kiss me. Why did I turn away? She followed me to my hotel room, commenting on the large leather chair and the open curtains as she entered. When I stepped out for a moment, she started to write a note on a pad next to the bed. She stopped and said it did not matter, when I came back into the room, interrupting her process. She said the room was over-priced. We left to find her friend and have a drink. It was emblematic somehow of the whole affair, unconsummated and vague.

(September 20-23, 2019)

Chromosome Damage (work in progress, part 3)

(41)

The sideways shift and snip

Clatters across the sand.

It’s easier to move out of the way—

Trouble passes, one remains

To proceed with plodding step

Along one’s path.

(3)

Time’s slow arc

(34)

All the variables led here

As inevitable as this morning’s

Sun striking the sycamore’s white

Bark; no god laughs as our choices.

(14)

A left, a right, a yes, a no:

Life’s crushed to binary.

(16)

I close an eye

To see the obvious

Connection: the moment.

(15)

I stumble step across a bridge

Swinging above a crevasse.

(21)

No saints guide us home,

Nor care how far we fall.

The emptiness opens

Like an aura.

(43)

This morning everyone sleeps in

As fog drifts between the trees

Near the creek and the gray sky.

The last brown leaf has fallen

From the sycamore; the solstice

Passed under a full moon.

(30)

Dusk and dawn, progressive

And simultaneous, flow through

The landscape. Yet, we think

Our futile actions have consequence.

(19)

Like you,

Light bends

Along each wave’s edge

Into separate

And singular parts.

Chromosome Damage (continued)

(Work in Progress)

(23)

I caught my breath,

And did not speak.

Is writing equivalent

To speech? I loved you,

In silence.

(42)

Self-doubt’s constant

Caterwauling echoes,

Like now— I mock

Attempts to quiet:

Hush, hush

Little baby hush—

All these scorpions

Are your own, each

Tail-strike skitters

Across skin.

(11)

Memory circles back to savage the corpse.

(42)

If only the dead would remain with the dead;

The past cannot so easily be revised—

I know what I desire to have happened;

Yet a mirror cannot be unbroken.

(12)

I can only see what

I think it is I see.

(4)

A lens warps light.

(38)

We are woven through our day

Despite our proclivities

Or desires. A thread’s easy

Enough to trace in retrospect

As being a part to a whole.

(31)

And here I am

Beneath a December moon

Waxing its way

Across a gray night.

Fate, or circumstance,

Is of no consequence.

(36)

He touches his forehead

To the damp ground

In a patterned response

To appease God’s chaos.

Here things are quiet;

Here one pretends

There is this center.

(6)

She waits, then dons her mask.

(7)

He scurries beneath the rain.

Chromosome Damage

(in progress)

DNA string against black with clipping path

(23)

Lights break auras

As night deepens

The rain. The solstice

Grows closer through the dark;

Grim days shorten.

(28)

Half-way back

To summer’s long heat—

In afternoon hours,

It hurts to step

Outside as if someone

Near waits with knives.

(14)

Patient enough now

To watch all this unfold

Into spring.

(40)

Outside, another cold day:

Most of the leaves have fallen

From the sycamore outback;

Its white bark stands in contrast

To the stark grey sky. Beauty

Lives with our view.

(43)

Nietzsche said, among other things,

We experience only ourselves—

Even when I shift toward you,

It remains me who must see

The shadow which falls starkly

Between us on the floor.

(36)

If no one hears the Eliot allusion,

Does it make a sound?

Or should one pretend

A studied nonchalance

To carry one through the late afternoon?

(39)

Thus, an old ritual snickers

To a close, the porch lights

Turned on, the curtains

Drawn. I feel safe,

Less exposed, contained

With the pattern—

A spider moves toward motion.

(34)

We’ve woven our disparate dreams,

And become subsumed beneath the totality

Like ocean waves rolling upon themselves

Far from shore.

(28)

My anger sits at a distance,

It does not go away—

It whispers discontent

Like whip’s end striking wet flesh.

(41)

Ubiquitous as fear,

The air tightens

Without provocation.

Yet, still we sing,

Sing our song,

As if redemption

Can be gathered

Like bags of wet cotton

Blotched with blood.

Archeology of the Present

abandoned-church-with-bones-displayed-from-crypt-below--70650

like so many broken bones

scattered on a shaman’s floor

wait to be puzzled back

into our imaginations

these are the answers

I do not know as these

are the questions I am

too frightened to ask

 

the fragments are small and soft

the edges vague indeterminate

how they are to be returned

whole waits troubled for night

as each day’s tenuous relation

struggles to piece the past entire

(November 21, 2018)

Dream Journal #32: Coherence

Like the twisted medieval Streets of Venice
I had a dream where I spoke to Ezra Pound
About cats as we walked near the library
Of the school where I work which was not
The school where I work for these buildings
Were from the sixteenth century with tangled
Labyrinthine halls where in various pockets
And corridors familiar students practiced yoga
Calling for us like the sirens to Odysseus to play
along but Pound kept talking in ever lengthening
tangents which bent back upon themselves as once
Gertrude Stein pithily accused him of explaining
everything I had tried to understand for years
before I awoke and it all fell into fragments
like glass glistening the light off in the distance
(July 17,2017)