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dream verse

an ongoing series of short poems
based upon recent dreams


(presented in reverse chronological order)



the mad giant
soothed by the music of the phonograph,
returns to his rage when it stops playing

I feign retardation
to catch the charismatic maniac off guard:
when I see my chance
I make my move
and he is vanquished

A chance to redo something never done,
and so I do, and joy enjoy,
and the universe shudders into rightness

The last bomb was hidden in a book
and this time, I didnít run:
before it blew, I shifted to an observer
who watched the explosion and couldnít fathom
why I didnít run

True love has the spark of acetone and the native scorn of wear,
then all went black, black came, a loss of sight like the darking of night
sped by accelerated perception, and when I opened,
my eyes regained light, light came, and I was alone again,
deboned again, unthroned again

Accidental encounter,
feigned familiarity—
off with my socks
so you can read my soles

Earlier, I was madly in love with one girl;
now, I feel nothing in particular for her,
but am madly in love with another.
I look into a mirror:
am I, perhaps, simply mad?

Contagious madness:
even affected,
I struggle to cure it

She looks at me intently
from her white, white face
under short black curls:
she is a challenge

She sees me on the street
and risks herself to warn me—
I am being followed, and
the government has kept a file on me
my entire life

The superhero is held captive
by some powerful force on a tower;
more and more superheroes gather
to save her but we cannot:
it is her own mind that holds her

I am brain-damaged, simple;
she comes back,
perhaps to take advantage,
but is moved by what I have become
and stays to care for me

The beast is loose in the city;
it likes me
but it will make others pay:
a rough justice

We encounter a storm at sea,
and the old ship is overrun
by small spider-like aliens
who plan to take over the earth;
I persuade them instead
to live in harmony with humans
and genocide is averted,
for now

A psychologist working for the police,
she is in charge of investigating my dream;
she shows me a specific dream recall technique:
remember the color of this thing, she says,
the weight of that, the texture of another

Finding the trapdoor in the floor of the old cave
I descend and find a huge library
inhabited by those who take care of the dead:
they tell me I must leave
or join them

An elite general,
I wait for the invaders to come;
when they do, their numbers overwhelm us
and even my special weapons
are of no avail

Fleeing with my girlfriend from the village
to escape her disapproving parents,
each on horseback, towing a cow,
we run into the Mexican army
and I engage in a shoot-out
with an honorable officer

I spot the strange baboon
and wonder about him
before beginning to learn something of his history

The baby counts to ten
in Mandarin and Tagalog;
thinking that one so precocious must see all
I ask him if my life will get better—he says yes;
Soonish? I ask, but he smiles (sadly?)
and doesn't reply

A powerful stranger demands my death of my friends—
before they can accede I shoot him;
traitors try to finish the hit, wounding a friend:
I shoot them

A group of precocious kids
quiz a famous botanist
about the plantlife along the shore
until she sees a bee
and flees

Investigating
puzzles and clues
in a room full of lions,
trying to solve the mystery

Facts suddenly unearthed
reveal origins different than what we'd been told;
the investigation leads to an alternate universe

Exploring a great cavern
we discover a strange subterranean race
of bipedal creatures; later,
we drive back to them in a high-tech
exploration vehicle,
dodging falling meteorites

Brief peripheral glimpses
and an inner sense of proximity
are all I can use to monitor
the male gorgon who comes around,
non-malevolent, but dangerous due to his very nature

The elephants race pair by pair up the street
as the town celebrates the end of the war;
inside, beans are served for breakfast

A carnival comes to town.
I am there when it opens
and, after seeing it all,
get a job with it

Having moved to London,
I look for a parking space,
a flat, and an onion

Near campus, I try out a new exercise machine
that some people are selling:
the sensation is like flying

Two kidnappers break into the house
and try to take me away;
no one else in the house
is of much use in stopping them

Showing off, she accelerates the convertible dramatically
but then isn't able to brake in time
and we plunge off the pier into the water:
I save her

Never has there been a Good Eats shoot like this—
even without the naked women on the beach
it is memorable (and hilarious!)

The body
(which may still be alive)
must be returned to the sea,
to restore the magical mineral
that will make it all glow with bioluminescence again
and let the whales speak once more with man

Two dragonfly-sized fairies
flutter around my head
but can't say much
for fear that someone will see them
talking to me

Chased by a dragon
I lead it to another dragon,
hoping they will fight and I can sneak away,
but when they come together,
they only talk.

I see the man in the hall and know that he will rob me,
which he does, taking my wallet
and telling me to look for it outside
in a few minutes if I want my license and such back.
When I go outside, I see another mugger
and tackle him angrily,
holding him for the police—
he's the ringleader of them all!

I ask the Gipsy Kings about the conflict
between tradition and modernity
in the Muslim world;
later, some friends and I are chased
by a man through a large city—
we split up so he can't catch us all

I stop at a gas station with car problems
and end up working to secure it from invasion
when aliens come

she returns when her daughter dies
on the verge of death and madness
and I save her with my welcome

tricked into returning to the future
we are arrested
for a crime we haven't yet committed

testing limits
exploring the environment
to the top of the trees
into the night sky, to the stars

the car rolls over
and crashes into the driver's home;
we search for his severed foot,
finally finding it in his jacket pocket

a warm welcome where least expected,
two surprises:
my heart is ransacked

I carry her naked through a sea of eyes;
her embarrassment is palpable
but maybe we are bonding

time to move
so much stuff
how will I ever get it all packed and loaded?

I arrive in England for the first time
with much excitement
and thought of ancestors
but can't make it out of the generic parking garage
before waking

a guy posing as a used car salesman
suddenly attacks me;
I shout for help
and a policewoman comes,
but she, too, is not what she seems:
I run

the older man shows me the tower
where his dreams are organized;
I am impressed and want to interface
with my own in this manner,
but then he disappears—
was he real?

I find a new job as a massage therapist,
a new magic in my hands,
a new confidence

I will fight the persecution of my friends
in this strange city of women
because it is wrong

after the train ride
my luggage is lost

little dragonfly man
I take his picture
and he tries to break my camera

elderly relatives I've never met before
show me their photo albums:
I should scan these for my genealogy project

meeting the dead tv actor
I told him I still watched and appreciated
his work

you think to cow me
with authority and suspicion?
good luck

strangely-crafted koans
working on several levels,
though difficult to capture on the conscious

a clever idea
to make money from the prejudice of others:
I try it, and it works!

we want to cross the big bridge
but don't want to pay the toll,
so we sneak across the underside of it,
which unbalances it somehow and sends the whole thing
crashing down

a perfect little movie
with a fighting couple on the brink of divorce
in a new town full of strange and suspicious folk:
turns out the old well is poisoned with radioactivity
and she discovers she is pregnant

I take you away from the hoods on the dock,
and we go to find your father, who is missing;
I find an old tunnel under his estate and,
following it, we find a strange underground world
where, it seems, we are expected

you are tearing down the big old building
in order to build a new home there
for someone else

once again we meet
and I quiz you about various matters
as though I still cared,
as though you still mattered

three beautiful women,
three close friends
also friends with each other:
fortunate am I to have this harem

I watch the screen as the program runs
through endless combinations,
trying to recreate life from scratch

in that old house again,
remembering the past,
I discover that real ghosts, too,
live there now

walking from a seedy motel to a bar
the three of us improvise the sounds of a jazz combo:
it sounds pretty good

first day on the job over,
I don't want to take the bus home
so I decide to fly
and swim up through the air,
trusting I'll be able to find my way

I think I can stay with an old friend for a while
but others talk him out of it

he is selling books of prepackaged dreams:
read the book, have the dream

she is gone
though nobody knows where
but we all feel the tragedy in her disappearance:
I will investigate

he finds the treasure hidden up the old chimney
but it is too tight for me
and I can't follow when he goes to retrieve it
before the fire

my travel companions,
three attractive young women,
invite me to join them in their game:
writing a poem on one of their bellies

learning magic,
struggling to cast my spells;
blue flames from my fingertips,
but no encouragement from the teacher:
my incantations spoken in Spanish
finally begin to produce results

a dinosaur made of elephants and camels
lumbers into town,
a slow bus from elsewhere;
the elephants panic,
it collapses,
and they stampede away through the streets

all those shirts and none I would wear;
old dogs replaced by new,
but that old car you'll keep forever;
who is little Sam?
this is not what I want.

raining indoors, then I wake
raining outdoors, then I wake
not raining at all

I like this woman
though she is terrified of black birds
and has legs of questionable attractiveness,
and she seems to like me:
we'll see what comes of it

strange conflict with one who was once a friend
then suddenly, there's an angry god after us
and our powers won't work
so all we can do is run and hide;
later, I prepare to face her alone
on a city street at night

as he skates on the ice,
I use my remote control
to make wind to blow him
and other humorous impediments,
but he stays upright almost to the end

suddenly the old stories change:
told differently,
they become darker
and more alive:
now they mean something

three friends
a classical tragedy of modern youth
she chooses him
but loves me

after waking the hibernating bear in its cave,
after getting past the angry dogs,
I enter the village and, flying up to a door set high in a tower,
unlatch and open it, releasing a powerful force

o competent whore
your thick and accommodating body
has done me a service,
so I depart, seeking the next new thing

rage and rampage!
I and the others who survive the slaughter
gain the magic of those who die;
one guy's father, just arrived in time to die,
will never forgive him now

surrounded by snakes
you and I
and having to pass through them:
avoid the copperheads!

down and down through the city
leading my small band
away from pursuing authority
finally into an elevator
to descend deep into the bowels of the world
where an even stranger city
of uniformed but welcoming men awaits

four magical villains
three are defeated but one is too strong
and imprisons me in a tree;
when I am released I have no body
so I need no longer fear the bad guy:
in defeat, I have won

my grandmother
(who is dead)
is living, though mostly comatose;
she comes out of it long enough
to tell me she'd been to Vegas long ago

strange sushi
giant snail, like a lobster tail,
pale, still wriggling
only I will eat it