Dreamed 2013/6/27 by Chris Wayan
My sister Althea calls. Just moved to the Hudson Valley, where she's met a lot of Lyme cases. Their symptoms resemble mine--and hers, which have worsened. "I'm starting to believe you--we both may have Lyme. I need to get tested."
I bike to BART and ride to downtown Oakland. Bike around Lake Merritt and up the hill (hot!) to my friend Catshall's home. Her broken leg's healing--she walks and drives now. I brought her vitamin D. She lost the last bottle, but she swears to use this one. "I don't want another fracture. Ever."
We swap poetry critiques. I read her Airacuda and Etna-Shasta, or, Groom your Own Feathers. Catshall shows me her collage-poems--magazine clippings arranged into poems--funny but often eerie poems. My faves have flowing layouts, a colored wash tinting the words, textured backgrounds not flat, and spot illustrations. I urge her "Consider a book."
Lunch at Champa Garden. Yum! Laotian food is the best. Oh, those herbs.
I bike down to Lake Merritt past a gaggle of giggling teens in shorts. Hot in both senses! Lug the bike downstairs to the dungeons of BART. A train just arrived. Hurry on. Oops, wrong way! Haste makes lost. I get off in Fruitvale (no fruit or vales) just as a train home leaves. Stuck in suburbia! Long wait till the next train back to the City. Ride by a blonde girl who reminds me of my childhood playmate Ariane Lee; same open, animal aura. So cute. But I feel shy. Across the car's a girl with impossibly long caramel legs... and lowered eyes, texting away, all thumbs. Oh well. Bike home from Glen Park--tired, dehydrated, sad that I can't or won't flirt.
But poems got honed.
Palmyra is my home. Proud city-state:
Reefs of dome, palm, well and minaret
Accreting, ringed around a great
Oasis in adobe shimmerplain.
The quiet girl upstairs slipped out of town.
A friend and I move in. We soon
She was a closet dragon, then. Some can
Finger through our find. One jewel's
We hide this Arkenstone, and slow-
Improve our block--hire locals, dig a clean
The gem obeys a coded spectrum of command.
And time runs out. As lesser gems
Until I'm pinned. Or am I? Slip with gem
I don't step out yet--hide again
Gem pocketed, I slink the slum. Crave advice
A gaggle of jinn enslaved flap overhead.
Atop the hill I pause. Exchange my wheels
Slackerly o'er the Tel. Coast down the far
For at the far hill-foot, just beyond Pal-
Whether I ever master the Gem,
Later, in a webcast interview, I decide
I must break oath to my sister, for
Early in the dragon-jewel affair I swore
Ever to hide one facet of the tale. But now,
To protect some kittens, I must speak out.
I text Althea "You have one minute to free
Me from my word. Without your yea, I'll break."
Her link is live but silent. So I speak
Up to save new life... and there I wake.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
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