Tag: dreams


Forty years ago he was a Boy Scout who took a wrong turn in the woods on one of those interminable Boy Scout hikes. He wasn’t a good Boy Scout. He never paid attention to where he was or where he was going, never tried to keep up with the rest of the troop. He moved slowly, even when the situation called for quick action. When he realized he was lost, he stood still for a while, listening for voices, and finally he heard some. The voices drew him up the mountain. It never occurred to him that this was strange, since the troop had been heading down the mountain originally. He didn’t notice that the light was fading until he stopped being able to see the path beneath his feet. But shortly after that he saw fire in the distance, and the voices grew louder, and he assumed that he had reached the troop’s encampment.

 fall equinox I put on clothes I’ve forgotten

When he came into the clearing, he saw first that the campfire was the size of a large bonfire—the heat kept him from coming nearer—and then that the people around the fire were not his fellow Scouts nor even his fellow human beings. If you stood them next to his family’s ranch house they would be able to lean their elbows on the roof. There were eight or ten of them and their voices were so loud they hurt his ears but he couldn’t understand anything they were saying. It was clear that he was having a dream and it was also clear that the only sensible thing to do in a dream like this was to run as fast as he could as far away as he could, so he began to do that. They found him in the morning at the base of the mountain, asleep at the base of a tree.

first frost I’m finally anonymous

He never told anyone about the dream and he was never fully convinced that it was a dream. Now—is it a mid-life crisis?—he’s hiked up the mountain in search of his vision. It’s dusk, and he hears voices again, sees a fire in the distance. Slowly—he hasn’t grown any faster with age—he moves to the age of the clearing and sees the fire, a much smaller fire than before, and next to it: two giants. Two female giants. No sign of any others. No sound of any others. Just the low rumble of incomprehensible, desultory conversation. The certainty, at last, that it had never been a dream. And the moon overhead with the face of an enormous man.

dandelion clocks my nightmares everywhere


What does a giant dream about? I realize I know nothing, I asked all the wrong questions. What does it matter what they eat, what their houses look like. What does it matter, their grammar, their rules, their manner of trapping their prey. The question is, what appears to them when they close their eyes?

marked down
for picking
the wrong flower

She’s found an abandoned barn with a thriving population of small animals—bats in the loft, raccoons under the floorboards, swallows on the rafters, mice everywhere. None of them are frightened of her, because she’s too large to be alive. She’s a feature of the landscape, as far as they’re concerned. She’s an architectural structure. She’s a warm breeze, a hayloft that generates heat at its center, white noise. They clamber over her matter-of-factly, strategically position themselves for sleep on top of her. They have idle conversations about her, in their chittering, gossipy way.

scent of hay the end of the simulation

She sleeps fitfully. She’s not sure if she dreams. If she wakes up in terror, is it because she had a nightmare or because her life is terrifying?

or not here
I come

both times

One night I have a dream about sex, the next night I have a nightmare. Wake up both times with a rare clarity of memory about the dream’s events. Think about writing it all down, but decide against it both times because (in the first case) I don’t want this to go down on my permanent record and (in the second case) I don’t really want to remember. But days later it’s all still in my head, all jumbled up together in the dark, pleasure and terror, both kinds of screaming. Well, I think, at least it keeps me from being unduly preoccupied with reality.



in a



the year's first dream / the illusion bursts / into flames

Once upon a time people did not extinguish night before it had even begun. Once upon a time there was darkness and there was light; a full day. Once upon a time the phase of the moon decided whether you could see or be seen, whether you could venture forth or whether you should stay at home. Once upon a time lighting a candle was the only alternative to cursing the darkness. Once upon a time there were so many stars that no one could believe they didn’t mean something. Once upon a time night fell, like a tree, like a curtain, like a guillotine. Once upon a time the night swirled with stories because no one has any trouble hearing in the dark. Once upon a time stories were knit into our dreams, once upon a time our dreams were knit back into our stories.

the year’s first dream
the illusion bursts
into flames



oh, he’s poorly–his
eyes starting out of his
eyes starting out

of a cloud, convulsing
(down in the depths)
of a dream, convening

names and numbers,
nodding off
overandover he

finishes before he starts,
thaws before he freezes,
wakes before he sleeps,

all his minds left
behind right
before afterwards

in spring, shorting
the cord, the bed,
indefinite and un

defined non
non non monsieur amour
rain falls,

rain will fell you,
good morning,
poorly one