Jack Kerouac: Book of Dreams
Here are a few dozen examples from Book of Dreams by Jack Kerouac, written 1952-58. A brief edition was published in 1961; a posthumous full edition with hundreds more entries, in 2001; nearly 450 total. A typical entry mashes together a whole night of dreams, in no particular order, preserving the process as Kerouac recalls them (or half-recalls, or doesn't). They're in his signature run-on style; separate dreams aren't marked or titled. But if you do parse out the individual dreams, there are well over 1000--the largest dream journal ever published in hardcopy that I know of.
Also listed: a few dreams about or featuring Kerouac, like Hot to Trot or The Kerouac Tree.
RELATED TOPICS: writers & writing - dreamwork - compare to Nancy Price, 1949--equally raw but more shamanic. See also: the full LIST OF TOPICS currently indexed.
What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 2300 dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.
|AIRPLANE DISASTERS: by Jack Kerouac, early Aug? 1954, a helpless-witness nightmare
An indestructible camera relentlessly shows me the feelings of passengers on crashing plane after crashing plane...
CAUTION: PAINFUL READING
|AT A BIG 'SWENSON' PARTY: by Jack Kerouac, mid-Sept? 1953, a nightmare on American emptiness
A lovely pecan pie, but the guests are cutting pieces, dropping them, hands trembling in growing hunger desperate the dark voracious guests fighting now to freeload...
CAUTION: NOT ABOUT PIE
|AT A CALIFORNIA CAMP: by Jack Kerouac, spring 1955, a nuclear testing nightmare
My family and I are prisoners in a camp that will be H-bombed so our remains can be studied. I write a Buddhist poem preparing for death...
CAUTION: GOVERNMENT ATROCITY THAT LATER TURNED OUT TO BE... KINDA REAL
|BIG FLAMING AIRPLANES TRYING TO LAND: by Jack Kerouac, late Oct. 1953, a two-part surreal nightmare
Two DC-6s catch fire and burn over New York, and then I'm a naked child in a Babylonian Byzantine temple older than America, across the river in Bayonne...
|DEFENDING MYSELF BEFORE A JURY OF MEN: by Jack Kerouac, 1958?, a short transcendent advisory dream
I'm on trial. As I argue in my own defense, I float over the court! The jurors murmur "Why does he even bother protesting? He's beyond this world"...
|FINALLY I'M AN OLD WHORE: by Jack Kerouac, Jan/Feb 1953, a burnout dream... or his fears for the future
Finally I've turned into an old whore... a silly Jack Kerouac whore with that same old tired old gasafaycagoo...
|THE FLYING HORSES OF MIEN MO: by Jack Kerouac, Nov/Dec? 1957, a persistent numinous image
I'm in Mexico. The mountain of the gods looms over Coyacan. Around it, silhouetted on the rising moon, wheel griffinlike winged horses wearing capes...
|FOR THE FIRST TIME: by Jack Kerouac, Nov? 1954, a lucid dream of escaping a rut
I've climbed a cliff and cower on the brink; but for for the first time I need not fall or retrace my dangerous path down. I know I'm dreaming, and wake...
|GABORS: by Jack Kerouac, late Jan. 1954, a dream of celebrity delusion
Starlets Zaza and Eva Gabor grow old shopping, smiling, covering their fears, until...
|GIGANTIC SAND MOUNTAINS: by Jack Kerouac, early Sept. 1953, a dream of work vs seeking happiness
Perched on a huge sandpile by the train track, I wrote. Then met a narcissistic hipster chasing happiness and sex. But this globe's austere & full of hurt...
|HOT TO TROT, or, BRAIN TRAUMA, or, HUMPIN' THE HOG, or, SAD-EYED SWAN OF LOVE: by Wayan; 1993/8/4, a wild dreamtale.
I'm a mare, hot to trot in the Big City (and get laid), but my gay Star Trek friend's brain trauma has made her a clueless alien with a bo(a)ring sexlife--until a certain swan enfolds her in love...
CAUTION: ALIEN POSSESSION, CARTOON PIG SEX, SMOKING SWANS
|I ALSO DREAMED...: by Jack Kerouac, Summer 1958? an early dream of the world as a simulation.
I also dreamed the world was a mathematical abstract, like, by subtracting 740 from 1000 you got 260 which meant 'Egg' more or less, so if you wanted an egg you had the egg...
|I GUESS IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY PARTY: by Jack Kerouac, early October 1952, an epic frustration dream with transcendent advice
My party's a slow boho disaster. Conversation, booze, pot, sex--nothing works out. What will my mom think? And then, working at the office, I get the Message...
|I HAD A WHITE BANDAGE: by Jack Kerouac, July 1957, a dream of triumph despite adversity
Wounded, bandaged, chased by cops, I end up heading a huge children's parade, marching to Mongolia. No secret what it's about--On The Road was just published...
|I'M AT MY RAINY MORNING WORKDESK: by Jack Kerouac, late Aug? 1954, a lucid dream-prompt missed
I look down by the dock and see the Navy vessels anchored in the bay and the crowds of sailors walking on the water towards the land...
|I WANTED TO STEAL A PINK WOOLEN SWEATER: by Jack Kerouac, early November? 1952, a class-envy dream.
I wanted to steal this pink woolen sweater. But I didn't need a sweater. What I really wanted to steal was middle-class security...
|IN A STRANGE LIVINGROOM: by Jack Kerouac, late August 1952, an advisory dream.
June admired this forgotten philosopher Plipias or Snipias, who wrote 'Never go on strike against man'...
|IN WATSONVILLE CALIFORNIA: by Jack Kerouac, early Nov. 1953, a surreal dream warning about mooches
Flying green snakes swarm over Elkhorn Marsh. But my mom says "They're just cockroaches"---she's not fooled by my... friends?
|IRENE'S DREAM: parallel (linked?) dreams by "Irene May" and Jack Kerouac, c. Aug 9 1953
Irene tries to mold Francesca like clay to bring her back to life, and does--for a moment... Jack finds his brother Gerard dead and all Jack's words can't revive him...
|THE KEROUAC TREE: by Wayan; 2 ill., 1983/3/18, a dream of fame and time.
The true story of the very first tree-hugger. Not Kerouac! You'll never guess. In fact, you'll say it's impossible...
|LIKE NOTRE DAME: by Jack Kerouac, early April? 1953, a bizarre dream
As the train pulled into the cathedral William Burroughs and I saw amid the pews the Hound of the Baskervilles transform into a great black bird and fly...
|LOUSY DREAM: by Jack Kerouac, early Dec? 1952, a rage-filled nightmare
In America the woman has the Police State Telephone in one hand and My Child swathed in incredible bills in the other... Ah, Kafka, you never had it so good...
CAUTION: LANGUAGE, MISOGYNY
|MA HAS GONE TO FRISCO: by Jack Kerouac, late June? 1953, a back-in-school dream ending in revelation.
I walk the corridors smiling, realizing for the first time that I don't have to go to high school---because I'm a great writer...
|MY DREAM NIGHTJOB: by Jack Kerouac, late 1956 or early '57, an outa-the-mouths-of-babes-revelation dream.
First I commute to my dreamjob on a four-story bus, then I my baby brother (who I wouldn't give any chocolate pudding) utters a new poem by William Blake...
|THAT GORGEOUS BLONDE DANCING BARE-BREASTED: by Jack Kerouac, mid-October 1952, a sex-fantasy dream that shifts backstage
In Charlotte, North Carolina they want to lynch this magical blonde for dancing. I protest. As she leaves town, glamour off, she tells me...
|THEN I REVISIT SELMA CALIFORNIA: by Jack Kerouac, late October 1952, a dream with an intruding predictive element
Strange wide brown houses are on the train tracks. I flirt with an oil heiress and dream of money till a knock wakes me--our train's moving out.
Later that day, as we pass through San Mateo, I see them on the rails, ready to roll--the first prefabricated ranch homes.
|THEY'RE HANGING THE POLITICAL TRAITOR: by Jack Kerouac, late Sept. 1953, a dream of his broken-spirited dad
They're hanging the political traitor in my closet. I stand horrified. The old man's resigned--no complaint. It's my father, I now realize...
|TO GET DOWN FROM OUR APARTMENT: by Jack Kerouac, around Halloween 1957, a possibly telepathic dream of fear
My mom had to climb a ladder down the side of the Empire State Building; I'm told she fell and died. I later learn she...
|TREMENDOUS FAMILY SAGA: by Jack Kerouac, mid-September 1952, a tender violent dream.
I try to protect the kitten from being strangled and girl geniuses from the depth charges; ...
|VAGUELY IN A SICK DREAM: by Jack Kerouac, late Nov. 1953, a dream of cooperative sacrifice
Us guys take turns getting pounded by this fist of cloud or parachute that must never hit the world. It hammers my skull and retreats, we laugh and switch positions...
|VULTURE PEOPLE: by Jack Kerouac, 1962, a gross-out nightmare--and a warning?
The vulture people are fucking in the city dump. I end up their guest, given putrid food in their cold stinking house of rancid grease. I'll become a vulture too...
|WILDERNESS OF VIRGINIA: by Jack Kerouac, c. Oct. 1, 1953, a nightmare anticipating capitalist co-opting of the Beats
On the bus I feel horrified--how publishers will batten on the sufferings of junkey musicians---worth millions---unbearable...
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