Tag Archives: dreaming

Shiver

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Shiver

Step up or back. Step right –
wrong.
Step into gray.
Stay asleep. Hide.
Stay away. But not unfound.
Not too far.

Under shocked white –
whiter than clouds in the Big Sky –
greener than fresh
cut sharp hay –
blacker than moonlit Stillwater, oiled
flowing,
I am waiting.

My sweat drying, a shower delayed,
I await varicose veins
burn my throat
on alcohol, unidentified.
Peer through the ground floor
window; step up.
Dream in shades of white
oiled and cut; stay asleep.

Not too far.

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Night Haiku

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whatever light come
I will always be the owl
living for morning

this is not my house
I have failed to inhabit
but only a place

at least in failure
hope might rekindle again
brighter than nighttime

for a brighter sky

Sleep Horizon (99)

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The photo prompt from Madison Woods

The heat of sleep saturates me and throws my body into sweat. From dream to hallucination and back again, my fingers clutch these white surfaces, like layers of a grieving subconscious wrapping me more and more tightly. Like confusion. Like terror in waking.

I dream that everything has burned, that everything is gone, that my grandmother who never cries is crying. Heat rises on the horizon and we can only run. I dream of loss and I am afraid.

When I awake and return, the fever breaks, like so many waves.

And there is only a horizon to remember.

For more flashes prompted by this week’s photo, and to learn more about flash fiction, visit Madison Woods and explore.

Flight by Self[ish]

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I went from there –

the past,

a different self –

to here,

hardly thinking it would matter.

 

In between is always easier.

Maybe I should have known.

 

I imagined myself found.

I imagined myself.

 

Dreams are appearing

in front of me

on the ocean

like fireflies in the night.

 

How did I get from there

to here?

 

I remember you asking

when I would be back.

 

I told you I was back

already

but when you misheard

I did not repeat.

 

Now here is there

and you are you

but unremembered.

 

If I had a million wings I would sew them to my body and fly away again.

The Color of Fruit

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The photograph I took

with the colors and the fruit

was my favorite;

 

if only colors could always be so bright

grass so vibrant in green

sky so crisp in blue

 

that’s the word we use for skies, right?

Crisp?

 

And what is the sun

if not already bright, but

couldn’t it be more flaming

 

more burningly yellow

 

I heard that people do not always dream

in color

that dreams come in black-and-white

like an old TV screen

 

And my own dreams, I cannot picture

cannot remember if they come brilliantly

or all in dull grays and shades

 

Maybe I am thirsty for something

more vivid. Maybe

my subconscious has selected fruit

to be the color of my dreams

 

Maybe I am dreaming now

Leap

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Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.  – Gloria Steinem

Once, I heard someone say that all the greatest artists were druggies. This person was not talking to me, but in my overhearing, I began to wonder; is any artistic destiny I may have had now ruined because my parents were anti-LSD?

I have only ever gotten high twice—really high once. Neither experience seemed to lend itself to me becoming especially artistically talented. This may in part be related to the fact that I spent most of the first time throwing up and most of the second time sleeping.

But here’s my theory: Without regard to drugs, artists are dreamers.

I have a feeling that sometimes, they lose control, and that then their minds run away with them, tumbling down conspicuously green knolls in a torrential rain that serves the exceptional purpose of joining the soul and the body in a moment of time when genius can grab hold long enough to be formulated into expression, escaping and astonishing all of the rest of us who somehow missed the appropriate moment to tumble. I have a feeling that these are gripping falls, and totally unwieldy.

If it is true that my mind has engaged in this sort of diving and utterly accidental descent, then I submit to you that it is a dream-like state—not in the moment, but after it.

Artists are daydreamers and night sweaters, zoner-outers and sleeper-inners. They have a release button for their brains that works like automatic pilot on a space ship. What that actually means, though, is that it never really works, it’s like Start Trek; always supposed to work seamlessly and always requires that you take over and fly manually at the last minute. So artists press the release button, thinking that it’s just time to let go, let the muse in and their consciousness out, and all of a sudden they are sucked into the driver’s seat, trying to steer while speeding like hell down the Audubon, not even sure how they ended up in Germany.

Until recently, I really wanted nothing to do with the Artist title. Art is now offensively melodramatic for its intentional egotism. Over and over, it is the articulation of the selfish experience. I always wanted to be more than a youthful, rebellious title. And it’s not that art has always been this way; its history is audacious. It has predicted and participated in dramatic shifts of social consciousness. I believe in Don Quixote and Frida Kahlo, Little Women and Picasso.

It may be that the proliferation of self-examination made me a cynic. It may be that I simply cannot resolve the dissonance of Maya Angelou and me, sharing a descriptive term.

In any case, I am sure of one thing. They weren’t all just trippin. I don’t buy it.