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Deadwood
or,
Mao's Oneirologist

Dreamed 1976/4/2 by Chris Wayan

Through Canton Gate! Mao's model city steams
with work and profit and exercise-teams--
the girl I love peels off to run, and braid
paths with a dragontail jogger-brigade.

Sad, I run dirt farmroads alone, but here
in Red Rash China, lone wolves disappear;
I turn back coward, join health-horde. Her
hand in mine emboldens us. Pad up a spur

into the Sand Hills. A gothic lace of downed
boughs bind the sand. Deadwood anchors all!
Without this fingerbone web, the slopes are so
far past repose that China's hills would fall.

We tread the mat warily, dread a slide.
The slog seems endless; then cloudbanners ope
to fluted ice towers. My bone-tired blonde
and I shuffle dust toward the High Beyond.

Comes the Joggernaut, heading us off! We
press for the Sacred Pass, but they
herd and jostle us back toward town:
Brute chummy shoulders force us down.

An urban clan adopts us. They kindly teach
a Daoist magic, til we skim round the feet
of the Escalators to the Sky--
wing-clipped swallows, heaven-shy.

Our tutor smiles: "Low flight's no crime;
you may even do true magic one more time
before you're judged loners, pulled down,
and sentenced to factory, mall, and town."

Then I half-wake. A young cadre beams
and explains "You shirk hard reality--
sweaty brigades and steaming city--
to selfishly seek bohemian dreams."

But Mao's oneirologist utters no
word of our sandhill scramble to
the High Country. Does he even know
what lured us toward that purest snow?

Digital sketch of a dream by Wayan: a golden escalator reaches from the crowded streets of Canton to the peaks of the Himalaya. I'm forbidden to climb to the peak, so I fly in town--but only just above the crowd.

DREAM NOTES



LISTS AND LINKS: workaholism - loners - mountains - competitions and races - race to the top in the Everest Marathon and the Starmont Triathlon - cities - flying dreams - that same spring, Na Liu flies over China too, on a Yellow Crane - stairways to heaven - dating and career advice in dreams - brains, creativity and the arts - dreams of Daoism and Lao-zi vs Mao's legacy: The Real Mao - dreams of China: Canton/Guangdong and Tibet

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