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Fetal Pause

dreamed 2008/8/31 by Wayan.
Sketch of a dream by Wayan: a balding man curls up fetally on the blacktop
I dream I'm making long-range love:
thrust and rock a lonely pillow-sea,
trying to dart a sex-dream east to my
girl who's writing less to me;
       letters wilt in drought.

I wake and start to write a bitter-
sweet dream-poem. Tap and ponder by
my dawn baywindow. Then out of my
pane, I spot a rocking man curled up
       fetal in the street.

Road's a sudden curve. Cars can come
fast and blind; danger! Yet I pause
long pulses, hand over phone. The sun's
still waking my quiet street; perhaps
       he'll uncurl, move on.

Eyes on my work. No motion, yet when
I look again, he's moved. Still curled,
but in the far lane now! I look
down and tend my dream. Again a flick!
       Fetal on the walk.

Still I'm inexplicably tense. Think "See?
He's safe now, no need to call,
relax, relax"--but can't. No, he's
not in danger. He danger is.
       Fetal on a sill

of the diner across the street. I stare,
forget my work, for my third eye howls
"Call 9-1-1 right now!" But what'll I tell
the cops? "A man's on a ledge three feet up!"
       Some suicide call!

Fetal unfolds to join that diner line--
cheery omelet throng. Meekly waits a turn,
but then declines their famous eggs;
pulls and fires a gun. The dying barman sags.
       Fetal turns away,

sidles through shock and is gone. Sirens mourn
as cops roar up, too late! They check
security tapes; I see the replay now.
Pointillist shots of his stringy bald pate:
       Mustache sideburn face.

But his antique trim quite fails to hide
cheeks distinctive wide. O I'm
unneeded here. He'll be caught and jailed.
No, my job was earlier--and I failed.
       What if I'd dialed as he curled?

       Could I have dialed as he curled?
       Why didn't I dial as he curled?

Sketch of a dream by Wayan: a balding man with long stringy hair, sideburns, and a handlebar mustache.



Almost exactly one year after this, I had a second nightmare of a corner cafe and a senseless shooting, A Date In Minsk. The same time next year I had a third similar nightmare, Monkey with a Gun! The next evening, I was upstairs near a corner window in a club full of singer-songwriters, when gunshots and sirens drowned out the performers. A guy had pulled out a gun, fired at an enemy, and killed a bystander instead.

By chance--let's call it that--I was editing and illustrating Minsk at the time. Monkey, Minsk and the real shooting had instantly obvious parallels. But I didn't spot this earlier echo till now--over three and a half years after the initial dream.

So now I'm a little less inclined to explain Fetal in terms of my personal feelings and personal woes--at least not vintage 2008! Not every psycho's inside you. From a high dream-window, you get a longer view. But acting on long sight's not easy. Even if I'd been certain this dream warned of a real murder to come, what could I have done? Dialed 911?

This is Dreamverse #17. Every day, a dream-poem, even if it kills me. Or someone.

LISTS AND LINKS: love - rejection - loneliness - sex - false waking - madness - initiative vs procrastination - violence - guns - rescues - mistakes - opportunities lost - responsibility - nightmares - dream poems - more disturbing sights out my window: Beep Tree, Grave, and Ferrygoat - Shakespearean dreams - Dreamverses project - the next Dreamverse: Ancient Mare-Kin Graveyard

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