Thursday, July 21, 2005

love song

A student is posing for a photo with her pet lizard, Hazar. It is sick.

I’m leafing through a free flyer of real estate for sale. Many listings for student housing. One asked for $3,000 as a down payment. “If you don’t have $3,000,” the ad stated, “you should buy 3 (acres instead of 6).”

Someone is demonstrating a “mercy killing” on me. We are in bed, apparently lovers. It is a guided breathing excersice. He asks me to deeply inhale and exhale twice. On the second exhalation though, my body tingles and I experience and intense sensation of blissfully letting go. I didn’t die, though. It was just a demonstration.

He jumped up from bed and through the open window onto a metal platform—our broken fire escape. It looked out onto an abandoned lot, full of weeds and rocks, edged by a long, brown fence.

“There’s no ladder here,” he says.


“So? There should be.” He attempts to jump from the platform onto the ground.

A bunch of us were crammed into someone’s dorm room. A few black guys on the floor. I’m on the bed with some other friends. We’re discussing the East Coast / West Coast musical styles of the early 80’s hip-hop scene. I passed along a question someone had: who came out then? One of the black guys on the floor listed a few names off the top of his head. I’d never heard of those bands.

“Lilies columbrated” “blue-eyed toenails and wine-stained sky”

I’m putting together my Kundiman portfolio.

I’m back in an old childhood home, living with my parents. It is 11 p.m. and I have been sneaking on my “going out” clothes. Mother says something about turning in.

“But Mom,” I say, “I wanted to go out for a little bit.”

“OK,” she says. “Will you pick up a few things for me?” She wanted some vegetables. I was surprised. I had been ready for her to freak out on me.

At Eric’s yard sale, a city couple is riffling through everything. We work really hard to answer all their questions. They end up only buying four sets of popsicle cups at twenty-five cents per set. They were the cheapest things on sale. It was really annoying.

For fun, I took one of the brown markers and drew tear drops on my cheeks, so I looked like a clown. LK + CZ liked the clown-face a lot.

The corner store where Turn It Up! Is now used to be a vintage / funky clothing shop. (I’ve dreamt of this place before.) They were using live models in their window to show off their clothing. They were a group of my girl friends. It was pretty eye-catching.

A high school graduation is taking place in a rolling field at the tree-lined base of a mountain. Black and white photos are being taken. They reflect the energy and excitement of the event. Marty Jezer is writing the text to accompany them. It is the late ‘60s and everyone is still young. There is a sense of history in the making.

We are having a shower for Goo Garbus. I gave some pretty cool looking cards. A priest writes and draws a lot. I say to students to buy it up as we won’t have time later, when Father….

Up a steep mountainside, where not too many cars go, I am visiting an old friend, CAW. It has been a long time and I am catching up with him and other friends. The house is big and luxurious.

The butler comes into the room and notifies us that CAW’s partner M is coming home. She’s been in the hospital for a long time, and is still very fragile. CAW takes off to pick her up. I have to find a way to sneak out of the house without her noticing I was there. It might upset her too much.

I dawdle with my goodbye to everyone. We watch the headlights that pass on the road below us, and find CAW’s truck coming up the dirt drive and parking. His door opens and he climbs out. Too late!

“How do I get out of here,” I ask the others.

“I think the steps are the only way out,” someone says. I have the butler retrieve my shoes and whatever else I’ve carried in with me. I’m sure he doesn’t like me or what my presence might mean.

CAW is carrying her in his arms up the stairs. I can hear the door open and shut in the next room. She is being laid down on a bed. One by one, the children disappear to go see her. I quickly sneak down the steps, trying to make quiet footsteps.

The grounds outside the house is teeming with laborers. I have to walk amongst them to get to my car. I try to blend in, obscuring my face with my hair as much as possible. My strategy worked and I am a passenger on a paper sled that’s heading in my direction. There is a tall blonde woman pulling it.

This is part of a Jane Austen story. It ends the way it starts—with different style cars one by one climbing the rough mountain pass in search of something.

I’m a passenger in a car following someone else’s mother, who narrates our route via speakerphone or walkie talkie to us following her. She tells us when she’s going through lights or turning onto side streets.

Today she’s taking her young son on a tour of the New York Times, which was her Savior, she says. It signifies everything she’s ever hoped for: education, class, etc.

We’re on the street walking with her through the city. She loves New York. You can tell. She’s short and formless, no hips to speak of, pudgy everywhere. She wears her hair like Pat Benetar did in the ‘80s. Her big lips have red lipstick. She’s smoking and wearing a tank top and denim cutoffs. We cross an overpass.

A stranger walks up to me. “Do you know where Palisades Parkway is?” I turn to ask the mother.

“You go up this way,” she gestures with her hands, but has difficulty explaining it, even with her hands. “You know,” she says, giving up, “you’re gonna hafta look on a map.” She shrugs, giggles. Her smirk says something like, you don’t expect me to know everything, do ya?

I’m sticking signs about radio free brattleboro to sandwich boards in town.

Woke up to dream recollections of the Kunidman Poets’ Retreat, as I have done all week. Very little dreaming of the usual kind. Instead, I wake up visiting scenes of the retreat. Unusual.

A banquet in a cafeteria at the Kundiman retreat. Lawson Inada is there.

Kundiman-like setting. We’re going off campus for Native Asian foods. We all had different Asian loyalties.

Eating in the Kundiman cafeteria . I strategize with DB. I go over to the airport terminal to interview a certain population.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

reading and traveling

Z is back from a trip. We walk along a rocky, darkened shore and start kissing. He askes me if I've been romantic with anyone else.

"Not like I've been with you." (Which he takes as "No".) JK in this dream, too?

Pulitzer winner Joseph was lunching at the same place I am, but he doesn't have to.

Dor flips a table. "That's why...." He explained it pretty rationally. Need conflict resolution. He's a little embarrassed by it.

The restaurant's sign about dress code says "This is not seasonal," and suggests "zesty flair."

Flipping through an atlas, I try to figure out how big Portugal is, relative to some place familiar, like Nebraska.

The food co-op is hosting a big conference in conjunction with another company like the VT Bread Company or radio free brattleboro. The billboard-type sign outside announcing it has a picture of a Sikh's turban next to an alien head. The text suggests a lecture on the history of the turban and its eventual influence on modern extra-terrestrial theory. Billy Bob Thornton is in a cowboy hat in the parking lot and he's pretty smashed.

The party crashers ask, "Who brought the wine that's stored in the bathroom?" (It was supposed to be our secret stash!) The party is watching a movie playing on the windows of the house. I am too distracted and don't get to watch it all.

In the movie, Billy Bob is a psychotic cowboy. Kevin Bacon's in it, and some fat guy is dressed up in an Easter Bunny suit, but doesn't look happy aobut it. The cowboy gives me a love note. They jump out of the movie and into real life.

...also of hand. I trumped and won [?]

woke up with a massive hangover...

Cooking corn. Working as part of A's household. I can the corn. My parents dust and mop the house. I've cooked a chicken. Nothing really gets clean.

I don't remember dreaming, but I must have been, as this morning's scenario illustrates:

"You were talking in your sleep last night."

"No I wasn't!"

"Yes you were... You said, 'I invited everybody to my party' and I said, 'Honey, you're talking in your sleep' and you said, 'EVERY-body..'"

Pulled an almost-all-nighter. Bedded down at 5 am. No dreams to speak of.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

On the Threshold of Thirty

I am in London and scheduled to meet with a friend’s acquaintance (whom I don’t know). But we have missed our appointment and I leave a note of regret for the person before traveling on.

A picture book scene comes to life. I am a part of it. A 10-year-old Chinese [?] girl, drawn in mother-of-pearl watercolors addresses me out of the crowd.

“When they [she names the boys here] fight, what will you do?” I am on the young contender’s side. She implies, rightly, that they are mismatched in skill.

I show the boy into the center and left him with her. He is wearing a white karate outfit. Also about ten years old.

They start off talking, which I cannot hear. Then a karate sparring match ensues, which seems innocent enough. Suddenly, he’s screaming out in pain. I can only see his backside. I can tell her arm is angled low. Her hand, which is obscured to me, is clutching and twisting something. I wonder if she is practicing one of those ancient Chinese art you always hear about. I am also shocked that a children’s book can be so violent.

The boy is thrown back against the floor. Clearly visible to everyone is a bloody, fist-shaped wound at his crotch. My suspicions are confirmed. The crowd is immoveable.

A second fighter comes forward. He digs his hand into the opening and feels around in there for something. He’s gonna pull something out of there, I just know it.

I’m afraid of what I’ll see so I cover my eyes with my hands. Also, I am ashamed at my own vulgarity for wanting to watch the scene unfold.

“I can’t watch this… I can’t watch this,” I rant to myself. Yet I manage to peek through my fingers. I am just that curious.

I see white cartilage emerge from that boy’s body. It ends up being the one large piece of cartilage that his soul is made up of. During the extraction, the boy dies. No one really notices. We are all so mesmerized by what this white thing will turn out to be.

Other people are on Elliott Street forming book groups to talk about kids’ books. I tell them that my employer has already written a book about kids’ books. Complete silence ensues.

Explaining one’s meager armory—as if showing off. Two parties destined to be joined for a long time showing off our devices.

At the Teen Center, meeting Julia there. I’m looking around at their calendar—I am very impressed.

Missing a bridge. It fell away in the storm. Others couldn’t follow. We (I was with a guy) could barely get across the beaches raging. The color of Pepto-Bismal.


Me and K following Dana Scully and another agent—she disappears into a portal she activated, but no one else can use it while she’s in there. There were aliens advancing.

I was a guest at someone’s house, having Laotian sweet desserts. S+D’s house. S was going to grad school where Trumystic was either [unreadable] or teaching. Mom was visiting there too. I wanted to go to that program too, after reading the poetry that came out of it.

Son of [unreadable] no friends visiting mom and me. Trying to get K to say “Hi’.

“Actually, his lips are all warty,” I tell my brother, “and his mom is asking you to put healing balm on your lips and kiss his.” K refuses (or ignores me)

“May you never know what it is to have no friends,” I curse him.

M and K and me and E and my other friends are in a wooded clearing playing softball, but they soon discover yellow jackets have made a hive out of the ground.

Martin Espada whom Eric’s interviewing / Esteban was in movie—part of a reading. Eric also publishes a rag, which I’m helping to distribute. Payment is gifts, not dollars. JD showed up at the Martin Espada interview. I couldn’t make my way through the crowd to say hi to him though. I was flattered—it was a weeknight.

An alien and Chewbacca getting married. Alien-shaped candies. Ginger was across the street at a poetry thing—she refused to acknowledge me.

RCM and V. He bought a used game, a baseball-Monopoly, except it was really about trying to get to Disneyland. Copyrighted in ’34 or ’67. There was a part of the game instructions we wanted to copy from, but not sure if it will infringe upon the copyright.

I want to see him, though he is with V. And so I am shocked when I hear his voice on my answering machine when I get home. I pick up. He seems to hint at seeing me before he leaves.

“Today,” I say. “Now.” No answer. Pause.

“I’m going back to Burlington tonight,” he says. “Why don’t you follow me up there?”

“But what about V?”

“I told her I was going to see you…”

“She knows?”

“Enough to guess.”

Before all this, I am walking along an unfamiliar street. Actually, I’m new in town and have only just gotten to know that one block. I go a little farther than I do normally and I run into a man I knew back in my old town (Paul C). A tall thin man, ordinary looking. We had actually just been acquaintances. I turn back towards town with him.

“Are the blackberries ripe yet,” he asks me. I look into the brush we are walking along and see dark ripe berries, mulberries. I start picking them into my hand.

“You don’t know what you’re doing. Those aren’t blackberries,” he said. I pop one into my mouth to demonstrate that I know exactly what I’m doing.

I keep picking as we walk back, wishing I had a container, which I conveniently find on the ground. A round plastic food container. I pick it up. It seems as if someone else had been doing the same and left it to come back for it later. The container also held a wrench-type thing and a small can of corn. I filled it with my berries and snapped the lid on it.

Two Latino guys pass us going the opposite way and then promptly turn back to pass us again. They are talking stressfully under their breaths. Paul C guessed that the container was theirs and they were looking for it.

They turn back to talk to us, as I had a container in my hand. I succeeded in discreetly pulling off the paper name labels that were stuck on both sides of the container. It used to belong to Tito somebody. All that was visible now were thin scraps of paper and old glue.

Confronted, we denied everything. One of them took the container in his hands and turned it, but his fury must have blinded him. The shapes of the wrench and the canned corn were clearly visible to me through the glass bottom he supposedly looked through.

“You have to understand. This just happens,” his sister or wife says to console him. “They do this.” As if to say to expect this cultural phenomenon. She might have had a small child with her.

He hands me back the container and dismisses us. Paul C and I walked past them. I hear him resign to the loss. I realize then that they’d just moved there from Mexico to start a new life. I might have just taken all the food they had to eat. I felt bad about it.

No dreams: I pulled an all-nighter reading “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen.

Ken McA + Ann [?] live with another family in the woods. I was driving around for a while trying to find a close enough place to park. The nudists irritate Ken’s wife—I was one of them, but followed the crowd when I put my clothes on.

Lots more dreams with lots more people.


the classy casual way to wear jeans

Digging up astrolomeria; picking blueberries. They are huge—the size of melons. A family: very young girl and brother and a girl my age living in the mountains have a huge garden. They are going blueberry picking. I lag behind, not really included.

Lots more dreams before that. But I can’t remember—involves me and lots of other people, women / mother-types.
I’m falling asleep again… a music video in my head. Macy Gray sort of tune. Oh! Part of my dream last night was reading a passage of a book. Can’t believe I can’t remember it now…

Reminds me of other dreams: deadly seduction by a reptilian thug. Being left there when his posse comes. Reptilian in a quilt. Evil, delicious seduction. I can’t help myself.

I keep falling in and out of sleep and I keep coming across scenes I never consciously knew I had in my brains, but it all seems pretty familiar to me for some reason. I have to get up because otherwise, my eyes close and I am in dreamland again.