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Fire-Cats

Dreamed 1981/10/10 by Wayan

Dream 1

We're fire lookouts. Our cabin, glass,
Heron-rears atop a forest hill. I rule
a team of fire-fighting little cats
being field-tested. Not just trained--

they become a train! Fire-cats link
to make a tiny steamtrain purring o'er
ridges, crags, unerringly toward fire.
Crews trail quick on our trampled track.

Camp on a riverbeach at eve. We'll reach
the front tomorrow. But one cat short.
I show her photo round, 'explaining' "She
was exhausted, wouldn't leap o'er
the planterbox at our greenhouse door.
Time ran out, so I had to shoot her."

If you call that justified! Sounds
so thin even to me. Now, though, she
reappears, hale. Firecats who die
in the smoke-bruised glow of day
resurrect at eve. This is, after all, a
Cat Valhalla.

Next morn, we climb over pillow-hills
with heather-cloth in bright rust-hues.
A world of lovely strange. Look down
from a blanket-ridge onto the Fire
bed midslope. Quickly quelled; it was
already starved. Quilt-tinder failed.

We're packing to chuff on home to Lookout
when a human fire brigade arrives, red-clad,
with a gleaming engine all envy. Golden bell.
They bear a small red coffin. Their pall
Bearers hold a kitten-cinder: brave daughter
of the greenhouse cat I martinetly slew.

The poor kit scorched to death. Fire-heroine. I
say "We're experimental, no regulation crew;
a RED coffin's unrequired." Their captain says
"We thought departmental colors would be
only what the kit deserves--but of course you
knew her better." I think things through,

Say "You're right, and I'm glad you did.
Of course she deserves full honor." Such
Memorials are for living not the dead. I
just privately think it a waste of glossy red
since night-breath fans all our cat-coals
back to red flame: revives our lost souls.

Half awake now, I feel my leader-fuss
herding our indestructible cat-team
is like Jane's Emma, managing friends'
loves to serve the fading walls of class.

Or like that crazy Frenchman in the film
Dear Inspector, who hovers to protect
his delicate daughter's sweet pussy by
fatal-accidenting every man she dates.


You only hurt the ones you herd. They're cats.
And pussies train themselves. They learn.
Oh, let the bedfire burn.


Firefighting cats link together to form a train. Sketch of a dream by Wayan

Dream 2

Smoke
haunts the air. Feel wrong all over; fear
in driver's seat. I toil in a Seattle mu-
seum, security-mad: inspections, lines,
thug-checkpoints rasp my nerve until
I abruptly snap. "I quit!" Unheard. I slip
Round a portal by cracks unguarded,
uncarded. Surely they must surveil
these ducts. Baffled why they fail,
let me get away with me.
But do.

Not free.
It's just a wider maze, chuting me to
a psychodrama scene. Quaver "I'm lost--
can you show me out?" Elegant Lu-
cinda the Cool Girl snorts in scorn,
but Beryl the Busty Nurse leads me on.
I try to say what i happening to me [sic]
but now my victim rationale
can't stick:

You see,
my losting hath ulterior goal: to shake
off habit. What I label "fool mistake"
ain't error--just an avalanche side
of me that I'd really rather hide.
Desertion, 'scape to newer maze,
Childish help-me cries! All tries
to unlearn fossil me--derail my train.
Error and pain (I'd swear an oath)
Pain and terror foster
growth.

I'm trapped in a dreary maze; sketch of a dream by Wayan

NOTES

Firefighting cats link together to form a train. Sketch of a dream by Wayan


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1: animal people - cats - violence, death, and reincarnation - trains - fire - color - beds - other worlds - puns and humor - genital symbols
2: nightmares - mazes & labyrinths - prisons & freedom - psychodrama - guides - Beryl - habits & ruts - workaholism - letting go - Freudian slips - dream-poems

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