1.31.12 – after reading the invocation of Paradise Lost 

trams downloaded through a stadium that was amsterdam, some authority
used diamonds to open wider the holes in the grates i was running
the grates kept getting bigger but the horizon didn't and the sky was light blue
i woke and called out for my girlfriend who had come in from smoking a cigarette
and was cold and warm and held me for a while and i told this to her

back asleep i was at a multi-level, multi-dimensional party, like the diamonds
but vertical glinting pinks and purples. high school friends and their friends
were there, and the kids from the party in the movie 7 up but no animals
jesse came and found me after the party which was still like during it
the previous dream had been a nightmare and so was this one but i wasn't
running and there was no below. jesse had gained weight and parts
around his face and wanted me to speak with the occupy encampment
outside because they were going to file a complaint. the problem was
screen monitors. girls' wet tights had been thrown up like getting tampons
to stick at screens on the ceiling, from the ceiling. björk was almost there
and i didn't want to choose between my friends and occupy but i knew
the tights dripping stuck together were wrong. my girlfriend came in and i woke
up while i knew i was waking up with my right arm in the air behind me



1.30.12 – after skipping a public screening of Terry Gilliam's Brazil last night because I attended a public screening of The Linguists the night before 

A good friend of mine from childhood and I were sitting at a glass table in the backyard of the house where he used to live when we were kids. He kept insisting that he really would pay me if I went through his house and pushed everything into the closets so that the house would look clean. I promised him I would and then got a phone call. 

After that, I left and started pedaling a bicycle in sand. A cardboard cutout of my brother-in-law was set next to me and we agreed we were in hawaii and it was nice out. The wheels of the bicycle were spinning but we weren't moving anywhere. There were also large, green military trucks that were driving through the sand and passing. At some point I stopped pedaling and started swimming a very green, very murky body of water. I had a snorkel and realized, after descending under water to stare at the metal fan of a metal, underwater boat, that I couldn't breath. I swam back up to the surface of the water and watched as all of the luggage I didn't know I'd brought with me was floating past me, most noticeably empty picture frames and a poster promoting Peroni beer, which was mostly blue, and included an Italian bartender in a white apron and moustache carrying a large mug of frothy beer. I used to have this actual poster but I don't anymore.


1.28.12 – Coeur de Lion (Ariana Reines) 

I'm at the MoMA, at a talk on Broodthaers given by someone (a collector?) I don't respect. I've just slid down a tunnel (an artwork by Klara Liden, or Carsten Hoeller?). In an underground space, on a couch, is a drawing by Broodthaers, owned by the sleaze who is talking upstairs. Or rather there are several Broodthaers drawings, layered one over the other in a broken frame. They're extremely dense with figures. Maybe 4 or 5 sheets or so, on beautiful paper. I think this is the perfect opportunity to steal one, I reach into the frame to take out one of the drawings behind the visible drawing, but then notice a surveillance camera on the wall...

(Jack Smith)


1.25.12 – after reading the introductions to Stupefaction (Keston Sutherland) and To the Finland Station

playing the weird legend of zelda first person shooter 

reinvented as a haloesque networked game against my 

borther.  the dream also ended in a triple video game 

scenario, each of us (bryan, matt, me) in a different 

screen environment, each meeting a different 

unavoidable doom, with the sole exception that mine is 

forestalled by my waking.

the human "bulls" who are castrated in the stadium 

seating castration machine that kicks them in the groin 

and shunts them along to be kicked in the groin again.  

i thought they were putting bryan through this, but he 

was also there to be tested.  he had tb.  hitting them 

in the testicles with croquet mallets like in alice in 


lying in bed mythologizing their origins the way that 

lovers do early in a relationship

then the dream of being chased by the albanian mafia.  i'd been 

a drug addict, recovered, gone back to confront my old 

dealer, who lived with a younger and completely devoted 

friend - lover? another addict?  it wasn't clear.  

anyway, i'd had this dream before, and i knew in the 

dream that i had, so i knew what i had to do.  goran, 

that was the dealer's name, would search me, so i 

needed to hide a gun, which was in a safe deposit box 

with a handle on top, somewhere where he wouldn't find 

it, or if he found it he would think it was his - there 

were guns all over the place.  why i couldn't've just 

used one of those i can't think now.  i get there, hide 

the gun in a standing locker thing like the one we used 

to have at the house on brown street, and knock on the 

door a few times before he hears me and lets me in.  i 

knew i had to get him comfortable, send him out for 

something while i stayed behind, grab the gun, and 

shoot him, then wait and shoot his friend too who would 

come to wail over him as he'd done in the first time 

i'd dreamt this dream.

things did not go according to plan, which is to say it 

stopped being the dream i'd had before.  goran was in 

there watching a movie, i'd stashed the gun, he'd 

searched me, etc.  fine.  i was waiting for him to 

leave the room so i could retrieve the gun and shoot 

him, and i knew he would, since in the first dream i'd 

unknowingly come to see him right as he was expecting a 

major drug deal, and he would have to leave the room to 

pick up the drugs. this time around though, his friend, 

already suspicious, stayed in the room constantly, and 

goran left right after having searched me, so that i 

was too busy trying to pick my glasses out from a pile 

of similar-framed and blindingly-lensed glasses to 

retrieve the gun and shoot goran in the back.  that's 

when all the drug dealers came in - in the first dream 

goran had just left and come back.  this dream was 

apparently a more major operation.  at least two dozen 

heavily armed albanian men (and one woman, looking like 

a bond extra in a leather v-neck unitard.  goran and 

the firend were on to me, but goran held out his 

reservations in honor of our prior closeness: "do i ice 

him?  i was told to ice him" (goran of course dealt 

ice, making this instruction ambiguous) "no.  don't ice 

him.  let him go."  i left and went  down through the 

apartment building - funny, when i'd come in, it was a 

house - to where my mom was waiting for me in a 

convertible.  we drove, the kind of leaf-screened sunny 

braod streets there are in kansas city somewhere, i'm 

sure, or they were there the first time i dreamt them.  

we were being followed, so she drove us to a mall to 

hide out.  from a glass floor there we could see our 

pursuers approaching, a line of big cars, like jfk in 


seth abramson was in the dream but how


1.25.12 – Into the Abyss (Werner Herzog)

werner herzog is buried to his neck in black mud, getting a straight-razor shave from a bald man who turns out, when i look more closely, also to be werner herzog.  herzog the prisoner seems to be in pain, and herzog the barber smiles in a way that indicates that he's a real fucking sadist at heart, like most of the old men in my dreams.  i'm suddenly concerned that herzog the barber will cut herzog the prisoner, and just as i have this thought, he just slices into his scalp, drawing blood, and herzog the prisoner - with effort because buried - turns his head to me and says: "i'm on painkillers from 7AM to 5PM every day.  does this actually seem right to you?"  "does this actually seem right to you" is a phrase i'd never heard before taking my current job, where i hear my boss say it every day.  all work is death row? 

i back away.  there's a whole field of these near-entombed herzogs, stretching horizon-wide in any direction.  i see how it works; the executioner goes endlessly from one cell to the next.

from behind me, from what i know are dense southern woods, that pop song starts playing.  now i know i'm dreaming.  for the hundredth time i try to focus on it, so i'll remember it when i wake up, and write it down.  it really is a beautiful song.  i wake up and forget it.

(Jesse Barron)


1.24.12 – An Orchard (Jeff Nagy; manuscript) 

I was in a Walmart aisle without a building. The shelves were just waist-high arranged into a corridor out on a prairie. Tall grass beige/green, otherwise uninterrupted. There were no walls or ceiling and no floor. People walked by slowly, fluid, wearing pastel clothes whose wrinkles were traced in a gray-blue paint. Close-up on one woman's yellow blouse and the creases where the shirt stretched out across her chest traced like that, that blue. Her hand raised when she yawned. There was a large manager in a white shirt and black tie though I wasn't tall enough to look him in the face and he explained the people moved this slow-mo way "because of Memory." At the end of the aisle an old woman squatted whispering into the tailpipe of a car: "There sat a pent-up m16 on a (LAla LAla) Dewman (LA) called Frog." (I remembered everything until I woke but the rhythm's right.) I'm still there, now on the shoulders of a bald man who's going to rape me and it's okay. It's funny. It's been summer. I think I guess I'll do something so I punch him hard on his head thinking I'll concuss him or I'll fracture it but nothing happens. He stumbles once but the skin doesn't color or tear, though when I press my palm to it I feel the skull is gone and underneath my hand his head is soft and rippling like a waterbed.

(Margaret Ross)


1.20.12 to 1.24.12 – Tramophone: Dream Reviews of Petrarch, Rime sparse 125-9

Dream 125: Diet Elimination Canzone (1/20/12)
At the gym, the treadmill starts stopping and speeding up randomly. The girls at the desk tell me I was on for too short a time to be sure that it’s broken, but before that they ask me what my diet elimination is. 

Dream 126: Fellowship Elimination Canzone (1/21/12)
X hands me a dissertation chapter and tells me I have a 1% chance for winning a fellowship because of how bad it is. I get into an impassioned argument with him; he’s read the wrong version. At some point, there is a beautiful, piercing birdcall.

Dream 127: Finger Elimination Canzone (1/22/12)
I am looking at pictures of myself on a roller coaster on New Years Eve. My finger becomes infected and small bubbles of pus appear under the skin. I go to my doctor, a woman with blonde hair, but she makes a hotel reservation. Then she says “New Jersey” and tells me I talk to her as I would to a bird. She becomes angry and tells me that “we’re done.” A nurse takes me to get a shot, but she ends up watching a football game instead. The first woman gives me a look full of suspicion and pity from across the room. 

Dream 128: Elimination Canzone (1/23/12)
I am attacked by a man on the street as I try to squeeze between him and a fence. He lurches toward me and grabs me.

Dream 129: Alleyball (1/24/12)
For my birthday, someone brings a dystopian movie called “Alleyball.” The plot involves a war between the Japanese and a bunch of mechanized aliens who send tripod-like drilling machines into the earth. Meanwhile, I’m walking around Barcelona looking for a bathroom. All the bars have back doors, which I notice improves the flow of people in and out of them. Suddenly, I’m in the movie “Alleyball.” A giant drill hits the ground next to me, and a huge citadel rises up. I roll down the hill.

(Havelock Horn)


1.23.12 – The Book of Disquiet (Fernando Pessoa)

XXX:  I had a few dreams that I wanted to tell you about,
 Sent at 4:08 PM on Friday
 XXX:  but they're not appropriate for your magazine
 me:  ha
i can't promise not to include them
we're still a bit on the short side
 XXX:  well
I was reading the book of disquiet
and then I had a dream that I was having sex with eileen myles on the C train
 me:  that makes sense
 XXX:  there were not very many people on the train
but I mean, we were still on the C
 me:  if pessoa was there that's like a dozen people
 XXX:  and so I told eileen that we should probably wait til we got home to have sex
but she somehow managed to convince me to keep having sex with her
 me:  she's old school like that
 XXX:  and it was just good enough to want to stop but be too lazy to do it?
at any rate
the electricity goes out
on the subway
I'm really ashamed because I know it's my doing
 XXX:  and eileen says "you're just acting catholic to be coy" or something and we get in an argument in which I explain that no, I was baptized catholic, etc
tell her about the argument my dad got in with joan didion when she criticized him for not making my sister and I go to church
that was the end.
the joan didion stuff is IRL though.
what's your analysis?
 me:  you know these can be pseudonymous right?
 XXX:  can it be in chat form?
 me:  it'd look great as a chat
oh shit
i was just typing that
 XXX:  cool
 me:  yeah - i'll just blank out the names
 XXX:  "jeff is busy you may be interrupting"
 XXX:  the thing I didnt say about eileen myles
is that she had totally insane genitals
 me:  please describe
 XXX:  you can include that p.s.
 XXX:  hermaphroditic? kind of like a starfish
definitely not prehensile
kind of mushy but definitely protruding
and that's kind of why I didn't want to stop having sex with her
because for a second she'd have a cock and I'd be like, ok, we're getting somewhere, eileen
 me:  ha
 XXX:  but then she'd morph into starfish again and I'd get kind of frustrated
she was blueballing me
(so to speak)
even though she knew I wasn't that into it
maybe more anemone than starfish
or I mean, both/and, really
 me:  i think that is the ideal last sentence
 XXX:  can there be links?
definitely a variant of this http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Haeckel_Actiniae.jpg
ok I'll stop there.
 me:  you have been clearly not taking your anti-hentai medication
i'll send you a proof in a few minutes
 XXX:  I trust you
do what you will
just dont use my name


1.22.12 – Shame (Steve McQueen)

[dirty / girl / hair / mouthing] 

I find a box of video porn in the basement of the house I grew up in. The tapes are hand labeled, some stuffed into wrong covers. One says only: Jiminy Cricket. I wonder if any of them are actual Disney films and find the desire to watch a dirty film is not unlike the desire to watch a cartoon I loved as a child. Erase me from the world, throw me deeper into my body, leave me anchored in me. Before I can watch one, my youngest sister walks into the room & wants me to help her skip school. I am frantic that she doesn’t know what I am up to, as it seems suddenly (in the presence of another) pathetic, clammy. She appears not to notice. She wants me to call her teacher, pretending to be our mom. I think I will enjoy the performance. Her teacher is at the bus stop so I call her there. She’s the high school German teacher. When I say my daughter is sick, she says I just never know who’s faking sick because they don’t speak German well enough. I agree with her in my heart and feel closer to her than I do to my sister. A sad feeling clings to me--comfortable, form-fitting. I deny any fakery and the teacher backs off, hangs up. I hate the lie. I tell my sister her teacher is on to her and then she leaves. She could be any globe, I think. What matters is she’s going away. She’s getting smaller. Soon I won’t think about her and that is what I want. I want to get back to the box but instead I find myself in a new room, white with a white square in the middle of it, like a covered radiator. I am told it is an “anti-piano.” It takes music away from us as we play it.                                                            



At two, the book is shut… And I am sick for want of sleep

1.22.12 –THE NORTH SHIP (Philip Larkin)

There are two things to eat here (piled, unpeeled): persimmons the color of a fire just beginning, mandarins
the color of a fire well on its way.

Within the dream you said:
Let us kiss then

[Data not found]

Long since had the living
By a thin twine
Been led into their dreams

Then I crack an egg into a skillet, which means I was wrong earlier about food availability. The yolk is a
perfect square and the albumen is already albus.

I dreamed of an out-thrust arm of land
Where gulls blew over a wave

[I woke up and fell asleep again].

While round the streets the wind runs wild,
Beating each shuttered house, that seems
Folded full of the dark silk of dreams

I take a glass elevator up but it continually flips its passengers in perfect centripetal force. I get sick,

How can I tell you that
Last night you came
Unbidden, in a dream?

I take the elevator to a cooking school, located in a dark room with many round tables. Everybody is
presenting pots full of something bubbling. My group has an empty pot, and we excuse ourselves to finish the
assignment. We decide on beef bourguignon, which in my dream is simply boiled beef and chopped
vegetables. I call dibs on chopping. There is no beef.

Now, watching the red east expand,
I wonder love can have already set
In dreams, when we’ve not met
More times than I can number on one hand.

Then it becomes an academic presentation. I am still clueless and unprepared. I take a single quote out of an
essay and use a legal pad to write ten different ways to analyze a fairy tale. It has as much relevance to the
essay as the phrase “It has as much relevance” has to this review.

My sleep is made cold
By a recurrent dream

[Wake and sleep] I get to watch how snow is made. Thinking: I can do this.

Now the bargain is made,
That dream draws close.

I am in my old house, and also back in Egypt. I make seven pairs of wings out of thick, brown paper. The first
four only work during the day. At night, I have to make three more in order to fly. Cutting wings is like
cutting out construction paper snowflakes: lots of bad geometry, scalloping. I make a pair for my love—who is
still here—and we put our shoes on before our wings. He wears the scalloped wings. We light into the sand.

(A Chess Pea)


1.21.12 – Mission Impossible IV (Brad Bird)

It was a certain kind of day such that the sky was slate gray with bits of occasional sunlight as if filtered by trees, except there were no trees. The whole place looked bombed, and Alex was in town.  I kept apologizing to him about the weather, which made it appear, intermittently, that we were not outside at all but rather in a vast, unfinished basement.  The kind with old fluorescent lights forever flickering in the corridor.  And sometimes I think we were actually in a basement.  We were walking around, and Alex had his arms full of packages and kept running and saying that one of the packages was a present he'd gotten me, which was disconcerting. He and I had been hooking up for a few days.  I told him something along the lines of "Don't get carried away again, this was all meant to be casual, I've got a boyfriend in California."  The lamps were on very brightly at that moment, and Alex grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me very hard.  He screamed, "Why do you always do this?" His eyes were huge and yellow and streaming with puss-like tears.  I wanted to close my eyes but could not, and I woke up determined not to cheat on anyone again.

(Kathleen Hale)


1.19.12 – after viewing "Restraint", http://vimeo.com/12252205 (Willis Arnold)

The green planet, our home, hated us. This was why we were in a spaceship, going to the white planet outside the portholes. The surface of the white planet was barren. But after camping out for a bit, the white planet spoke to us. It informed us that it had never met anything living before, and was very, very curious about us. We were creeped out. So creeped out that we decided to fly back to the green planet. We got in our spaceship and started to blast off, but the complaints of the white planet followed us into space. When we looked around, we realized the white planet had turned itself into a liquid and was pouring itself after us.

When we landed back on the green planet, it was pissed to see us again. Then it saw the white planet coming to eat it. The white planet and green planet globbed together, trying to eat each other. We were trapped on the white planet side. When we started running, it grew spears out of its mantle and shot them at us. My friend was run through the chest. So was his dog. I ran for the green planet's side.

I found the cave that had the planet's throne in it. It was a stalagmite. Whoever had the stalagmite controlled the planet. The green planet currently held it, but the white planet was going to win and eat the green planet. Somehow I helped the green planet. The white planet shrunk and shrunk until it was in the crude shape of a person, standing on the green planet. The white planet had the consistency of clay, and bent over morosely with the wind.

(Adam Veal)


1.17.12 –Notes from Irrelevance (Anselm Berrigan)

Jay-Z was feeling nervous about being a dad. He had put so much love and care into the design and outfitting of his basement, but who would hang out there now that he had a little daughter? It was no place for children. His customized bench with built-in hookah pipes in seven different flavors would have to wait until Blue Ivy was at least fifteen. His fully-stocked bar would have to be baby-proofed. He was creeped out by the idea of playing with the baby on the vibrating bed. Sensing that Jay-Z was feeling pretty blue, I asked him if he could show me around his basement. His eyes lit up and he was all, "You wanna see my basement? All right." So he showed me around, and I oohed and aahed over his black leather couches and fancy carpet. Next thing I know I'm babysitting Blue Ivy so Jay-Z can hang out in the basement with Beyonce, and I'm wearing some really spectacular jeans covered with  magenta sequins. I felt pretty lucky but knew I couldn't brag to my friends about it because Jay-Z's basement was super-secret.

(Mary Austin Speaker)


1.17.12 – Henry V.  

I was to read at Salford at two o’clock but it was already three and I was still in London next to an information desk.  Earlier in the day there’d been a call––from Scott I think––and we’d confirmed.  I’d simply lost track of time.  Then I remembered ‘the same body can be in innumerable places at once’, so suddenly I found myself at Salford, actually Santa Fe, in front of a polite audience of twelve.  The restaurant across the street was empty except for the person who allowed me inside to look for my wife.  I referred to this incident in the piece I read, which I adjusted as the situation required, for instance changing ‘I saw a fish, a flower, and a tree’ to ‘I pressed the sleeping sores’.

I know.  Lord take away the urge to write.  

(Edmund Brough)


1.16.12 – Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows (Guy Ritchie)

The kinds of dream that brings to mind, trying to write, the word "endeavor": at first it's suburban and someone I know is whispering in my ear and wants to touch me, there are yellow daisies, someone else and some more people drive up in a big old-fashioned car (think Grease, the movie, a pack of boys) and I know they will want to touch me too, so I sling my black canvas trench coat, the one from H&M with the polka-dot lining, over my shoulders and head and run away.  I'm running through the backyards of suburban houses and of course there are all sorts of slopes and cliffs and decks, and it's important to be hidden so I'm running bent at sort of an L-shape to stay lower than the level of the bushes etc. (or maybe it's that the houses are very short?).  Running is incredibly difficult all crabbed like that.  I stop in a backyard on kind of a built-in picnic table.  It's cold and sunny and with my vision limited by the coat still over my head I see the sky through the slats of the picnic tables and I think a box of apples.   From here, things take a turn for the patriotic: I'm supposed to read Genesis and play fiddle for an assembled company.  I've been given to understand that for them Genesis is just traditional, not religious, and also they're getting impatient.  Some business about my clothing, which is inappropriate.    From the inside, I see someone attach a thicker window with a bar through it over the windows in the assembly hall.  I remember it's the fourth of July as the crowd is beginning to boo, there's an airplane, by the time we've got the mic clipped to my waistband at the small of my back (why?) I'm sweating into something woolen and outside it's getting violent.

(Pauline Kale)


1.16.12 – Uselysses (Noel Black, Ugly Duckling Presse 2012) 

So, there was clearly this party we were supposed to get to, Sam and I.  I don't see Sam much these days, so I was excited because he's always partying with celebrities and even dated one for awhile.  The first time I came to New York, we met up with some poets that were hanging out with Harrison Ford.  This young girl (our age, not too young) at the table made out with Harrison while we all watched.  Later, Sam borrowed her cellphone (yes, this was  a time before either of us had cellphones) and called a bunch of long distance friends (yes, this was a time when you had to maybe pay for long distance?) to tell them about it and she became irate, then more drunk, then asked me to make out, then I put her in a cab.  He's a rapper and lives in Brooklyn and lives/performs under the name Rabbi Darkside.  None of this was actually in the dream, but I thought you should know.  On our way for the party, we stopped so Sam could take a call.  The dream was in present/future time, so his cellphone was really complicated and beautiful.  Well, we stopped at this convenience store, which turned out to house seven floors underground filled with all kinds of potential treasure.  I say potential because that's the part of the dream where I was just traveling up and down in the elevator trying to find the book floor, where I was sure I'd find all kinds of rare poetry books, you know, Bernadette Mayer and Larry Eigner and Jack Spicer and shit.  But I never reached it somehow.  I think the elevator was cruel and self-aware.  Finally, I gave up and returned to the ground floor, but I couldn't find Sam anywhere.  I called him, but his newfangled cellphone had some sort of encryption on it and I had to answer a bunch of culturally relevant questions.  Like, which image corresponds to an actor from the original Saved By the Bell?  Or, which image portrays genuine sex on film and which is simulated?  Or, which image depicts the rapper last known as Big Baby Jesus.  It was all image-based and I kept getting, like, seven out of eight right, never quite filling my encryption quota, never quite reaching Darkside.  And that's basically where it ended.  I woke and my cat was on my chest, breathing my breath.  If you can't tell from the dream, Noel's book is amazing.  There's this epic memoir poem at the end that just fucking kills it.  We're both from Colorado Springs and even dated sisters at the same time.  He introduced me to all the first poets I ever met.  He's always making things and they're always beautiful.

(Chris Martin)


1.16.12 – Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov)

As coffee, per se, does not exist, I must content myself with a splash of cold water from a wooden pail. It's not clear what time is here. The dimness of moon and star in the pane-less stone window suggests an unmoored, predawn hour. It would come as no surprise if there was no fixed time to this hour, or minute, anywhere. Or perhaps there is an alchemist in Persia or Germany staring fixedly at a water clock. But this is purely conjecture. I do not even know if Persia exists.

What I do know is that candles exist, for I have one here; and masonry, for the great stone blocks that make up these walls; perhaps agriculture, for the hay-packed pillow from which I raised my head but a minute ago. A minute. Does a minute here exist? Did I bring with me (if indeed I came from somewhere) the minute, the whole metrics of time? of physics?

I would love to share this, to write and wait and see who reads and responds. There is a knife (my first thought is replica) upon the bedside table. Surely someone could tell me where I am if only I could share this. But sharing here is a physical thing, always the touching of two or more fingers.

The door creaks open. There is a short, bearded white man standing there in the dark. I notice the glint of a blade in his hands. If only I could share, surely someone could figure out what I should do. I should have turned on the candle, I think. But immediately, I realize that one does not turn on a candle; that I have no command of fire, nor any idea, here, how one lights a candle.

(Garcia Constance)


1.15.12 –36 vues du pic Saint-Loup (Jacques Rivette)

I’m sitting on a cliff above the sea, which is more like an estuary, more grass than anything else, scummy.  Same blue / pink colors as any winter ocean sunset.  Fuzzy how I got in to where I am, inside of some kind of estate and I don’t think I have permission.  I’m looking at it mostly through the lens of my phone and when these white birds (ducks?) start flying up out of a hole in the grass I start taking pictures of them by phone.  They turn out well.  Mostly I remember the colors, nothing I haven’t seen before which now is disappointing, and strangely shaped ducks, as if they were made of paper.   There’s part of the dream where I write this down.  Later: there’s going to be a parade, something I need in my sister’s room, I think to brush my teeth in her sink.  I have to move a makeup case to do so and for some reason I don’t want to touch it.  She’s getting ready with her friend Rachel or Rebecca.  We’re talking about it being early and about who ate the last piece of a donut or something.  There’s some pressure for time, to hurry, that might have to do either with the ducks or the caretaker from above but I turn around and elbow her in the eye by accident, or maybe she’s elbowed me and it’s hard to see anything except in the mirror.

(Pauline Kale)


1.13.12 –Letters to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1862 (Emily Dickinson)

Some friends and I are walking through an enormous wooded coastal estate. The object of this trek is to visit as many different buildings on the huge swath of land as possible in one day. The sunlight is angular and metallic. I arrive at the first place a bit before everyone else and discover a dusty summer home by the water with a good view of the sea, but after the rest of the group arrives and starts cooing over it the charm flits away. One particular friend, the self-appointed leader of the group, begins spouting off information and pointing out the cobwebs (though the cobwebs certainly need no introduction) and talking about what the house might have been used for back when it was active in the nineties. I listen to a minute of this speech and then slip away to the next camp.

This place is larger and more ornate than the one before, both in stature and rot. Huge windows, vines and mold everywhere. There is a small swimming pool inside and I immediately jump in. My friends arrive and the self-appointed leader gently but firmly suggests that I might want to get out of there. The water is crystal clear but everything around it is considerably dirty, and her tone of voice suggests the possibility of a contagion or chemical, so I begrudgingly obey. As I’m putting my clothes she says she’ll put on some music so we can stay for a little while and relax, and begins laying down a beat on a digital drum kit so tiny that it is invisible. But via some avatar technology she moves her arms as if beating actual full-sized drums.

I walk outside and the drums fade. It is getting darker now, a dusky blue light. I wander to the adjacent building and find a dimly lit indoor tennis court. Two little boys are feebly throwing a tennis ball for one another and laughing. They are dressed in rags and very thin. The ball lands by my feet and I throw it back to them, and the smaller of the two shrieks with laughter. He runs after the ball, throws it back to me, and picks up a soup ladle on the ground. I throw the ball again and once again he is beside himself. I am really enjoying myself now. He uses the soup ladle to catch the ball and hurl it back at me a little harder. I consider the possibility that he is doing this all for my benefit, which saddens me, but I continue playing nonetheless. At this point my mother walks onto the tennis court, also laughing.

(“Big Nemo”)


1.7.12 – after Marianne Morris reading at Segue

dear XXX,

“with the world began a war which will end only with the world”

it was snowing in the side yard of the old house on woodward and i was walking up the slight rise from the back of the yard towards the fence-gate.  walking in front of me in a line were four naked women, at least one blonde, their shadows were rainbows which moved across the snow making it opalesce like oil.  i was naked too

the girl i slept with that night had the following dream, obviously related:

“you were in my dream and i knew that i had to wake up and tell you about it but i also knew i had to keep sleeping, so i could tell you everything”

now that's Commitment


10.17.11 – after reading the first 38 pages of Herso: An Heirship in Waves (Susana Gardner) 

I was in a room with couches and my mother was explaining to me why she was going to commit suicide.  She didn't believe the cancer drugs would work, and she wasn't going to force herself to take them like she did in reality.  And I had been making her life hell for so many years, she thought I hated her.  She chose suicide as an aesthetic ending.  

I saw her standing on the frozen lake near our house, just beyond the trees covered in snow.  She was wearing a long sleeveless black dress.  She had hired a friend of my boyfriend who works as a carpenter in Nova Scotia to shoot her.  He was in the trees.  I didn't see her die.  I saw blood on the ice and the snow.  
I woke up with the Okkervil River song "Calling and Not Calling My Ex" playing in my head.  

(“Marjorie Levinson”)


9.11.11 – in the wake of a True Blood marathon

An elaborate dream which was (or perhaps became over the course of the dream) a David Lynch adaptation of True Blood (I say this because I think assigned it that designation partway through the dream, as if enough details had accreted so I could suddenly call it what it was).  I recall scenes in my father's house in which Bill Compton (the Vampire) wrought vengeance on his enemies, including lifting open a trap-door in our kitchen to disclose a long flight of steps, down which he cast an opponent.  Other scenes I don't remember.  Later I remember there being a kind of epilogue to the film.  A number of vampires came to our house (the whole thing was cut like a movie, so that each vampire was shown appearing separately in a jump cut of sorts).  The vampires were all effete, and there was carnival music playing, and they were slowly transforming Bill into a transvestite in a salon they had set up inside the house.  Bill was sitting in a beauty salon chair facing a mirror.  The other vampires were giggling.  We'll make you a widow, said the chief vampire saloniste; no, no, he replied, not a widow, and they giggled campy-like.  Then there was a quick cut to the final scene: a dwarf (the enemy of Bill) was walking along the street, dressed like a chef.  Buenas Noches, said a voice, and the dwarf replied curtly.  Then the camera cut to Bill, who was dressed like a woman and had on hideous clown makeup - red and black and white - and he said: it's Bill Compton, unsheathed his fangs, and tore into the dwarf, ending the film.  Suddenly I found myself on the outside of that world, watching the movie with somebody (a friend? my brother?) commenting on Lynch's style, etc.  I was sitting in the TV room of my mother's house, arranged the way it used to be, with the TV in a cabinet on the outside wall.  I hit eject, a VHS came out of the VCR, and I woke up.

(Matthew Spellberg)


7.13.11 – after reading Plane Debris (Stephen Rodefer)

teresa or tessa – previously a wedding i’d hooked

her up with an ex-roomate (will).  then at a symphony re

hearsal in the overland trail middle band room 8

compass points: first in the hallway with everyone

else, then i was in an apartment.  in the hallway

on the ground – it was uneven dirt, outdoors inside the

flying lizards and tiny cheetahs, both an oil-sick shim

mering green.  teresa: “nixed symbols”  tessa: “le vieux 

bois made of midnight même on s’assomme au

plus intime


4.21.11 – after a reading of unpublished poems by Mark Levine

dream in which, while pointing out the fence that separates siena's tuscan hill from the slough-slum tent city of transient workers just outside, while lying on the grass, that done, i slid my hand up the leg of a girl, a brunette, passing by, who promptly shat on my head, clogging my nose and mouth.  though i was horrified and disgusted, wanting to seem magnanimous, i tried to force myself to laugh, but couldn't through the shit.

at which point i woke up.  
moral: because even dreaming requires a minimum of dignity.


7.27.09 – while reading War and Peace

Dreamt that Pierre Bezukhov was sitting in an armchair in the middle of an enormous factory; color-scheme was rusted, reddish-brown.  Pierre had red, blotchy hands and arms.  He looked perplexed and paralyzed.  Huge bellows pumped up and down on either side of him, and he shrunk from them in fear.  It was clear to me that the machinery was being operated by Tolstoy, and that it was the novel.

4.29.10 – after reading Billy Budd

Dreamt of Billy Budd, sailor, on the topmast - sea and sky brilliant blue.  His face was Ola's, a friend who had recently tried to commit suicide, and whom I sometimes called the sailor.  But as I looked closer at the face, it kept seeming to transform into a weave of many-pointed brilliant leaves, bright green like sycamore maple, with stalactite points all around, as if that was Billy's inner nature.  Later I said to myself in the dream: Billy Budd on the topmost, gardener of the sublime.  Or rather, the dream said it to me, for I was only the dream and not a character in it.

1.11.09 – while writing about Proust

An elaborate, well-remembered dream.  First, was away somewhere in the woods, in a cabin, with my mother, brother, family friends Andy and Claudia.  But there was a problem: I had promised that I would direct some sort of dance performance that night, but somehow I failed to do so completely.  There were a great many cards scattered across the floor of the room.  Arrived back in Cambridge, and realized I was completely incapable of leading a dance performance.  Then, found myself enrolled in some kind of school or summer camp - unclear which.  There were a number of different faculty members.  I remember three distinctly: two men, one woman.  It seemed to be a Christian camp.  One of the men told me (in the context of a conversation I have now forgotten) that the other man was a liar, or some kind of manipulative person.  There was a talent show at this camp, and I seemed to be participating, although I was apparently too embarrassed to actually perform onstage.  I told them I had to leave early, however, so I was taken into a small room where the walls were lined with green curtains.  I went first, and sang (I think) a Schubert song, loudly and what in retrospect seems to be badly.  Earlier I think I was with the untrustworthy man.  I wanted to confess to him that I was surprised that it was a Christian camp, but I knew not to trust him.  Then I saw the actual performance of the talent show, which took place in a large black-walled auditorium with seats sloping up from a floor, which we might consider to be the stage (I believe this was a replica of Hidden Valley, where I used to go to chorus camp).  There were girls in the talent show: four of them, dressed really trashy with lots of makeup, bending down and blowing on a strange-looking top-like toy which flew in the air.  It looked something like sea coral, with veiny fan-like appendages that folded out when it was breathed upon.    They blew it into the lap of the woman counselor, who was sitting on the stage as well.  She said, they better do it good, because she had taken them to a bar at 7am that morning, but they hadn't all come.  She said, since I'm divorced, I just get up and go to a bar.  She had blond hair, a beautiful but cruel-looking face, and wore all black.   The girls attempted to blow her a little silver toy UFO, but it fell short, just before her legs.  Next, I found myself at school where I was taking some kind of test.  The teacher gave us a pear to eat, and I swallowed three seeds, but they became lodged in my throat.  At the end of the test, I walked out, walked past a very dusty set of buildings that were supposed to be abandoned middle schools.  Did this twice.  The second time it was to meet my father at Ben Franklin Middle School in San Francisco (which I did not attend but sometimes drove by).  Passed by a church, and noticed Doc Lamott (my high school choir teacher) walking behind me.  He walked to a church through a chain-link fence; he was obviously the organist.  A crowd of people were waiting outside the church, in the alleyway.  Then my father and I were driving along a dusty coast, more or less adjacent to the dusty place with the old schools.  It was as it turned out, Nice.  My father was complaining that the French were not taking good care of it.  It shouldn't be so desolate, he said, because it is on a promontory or peninsula so it is bathed in sea-air on both sides.  We started hiking on a hillside, which gradually became more and more desolate, although there were beautiful purple flowers shooting up from stalks as tall as tule grass.  I asked him about those, but he said they also ought to be improved upon.  I started choking at this time, and slowly coughed up (as if the shell first, then the insides) each of the seeds I had earlier swallowed.  It had become foggy (clearly this was actually the Marin headlands, in the Bay Area) and I started to finger a volume of the Pléiade Proust, running its pages through my hand.  My father asked to hold it, and he commented on how beautiful it was.  Then I was in Proust's house, on the top floor, near a stack of books with Proust himself sitting there, reading and talking with someone else.  I saw a series of books about Proust on one of the shelves - saw one called "Proust, [Some Other Name]: Genre Painters" and I was furious to know that Proust could also paint.  The doorbell rang, and he ran down many flights of stairs to a beautifully-appointed entry hall with white marble walls and an elaborate chandelier, almost Morroccan in its intricate, lit-up tracery.  An older man was at the door, and he came in asking to start a literary magazine.  I noticed an ornamental statue (of bronze) depicting a snake attacking the neck a crocodile, attacking.  I recognized it from somewhere although I can't remember where (but now I think it might be from an email with an attached photo about a runaway boa constrictor fighting an alligator in the Florida swamps).  Proust said he only lived in three rooms, two here and one above, which made me think that all the other floors must have been rented out.  I went into a bedroom, where there were two women.  I had the impression they were prostitutes.  Quickly the three of us dressed for dinner, and soon we were standing back in the entry hall on a dais, with a drawn curtain on either side.  I think I saw myself, and I was a woman in a cream-colored dress, with dark hair.

(Matthew Spellberg)http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Haeckel_Actiniae.jpghttp://vimeo.com/12252205shapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1