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Irene's Dream

Dreamed c. Aug 9, 1953 by "Irene May" and Jack Kerouac


IRENE'S DREAM (Aug.9, 1953)

Francesca---a piece of clay---I mold it, it wants to come to life---it struggles under my manipulation---l try to tell others that it is breathing and wants to live---

Then it is Francesca dying, as they come over---My sister Bessie looks at her, she is worried about other things---I take the figure inside the hall ---it stops struggling to live---it is icy cold and rigid---I lay it down---

The nurse comes to take over---As I lay there I smooth the figure---I begin to mold it again and she struggles---I tell the nurse and she tells me to go away---She believes in her death, as I'm going to the door I see the figure rise, and as I go down the hall I look back expecting to see it walking but the people in front are behaving as normally. Jack Kerouac as a child; sepiatone photo


JACK'S DREAM (same or next night)

ONE AWFUL CENTRAL SCENE, it's in the parlor brown and funeral and coffin-like, Gerard is dead in his coffin and all my writings are racked like candle flickers in a file box by the stuffed sofa in the suffocant gloom dark, literally writing in my brother's tomb---but it's the awful silence, the solemn ceremony of my papers all old some of them crinkled but all familiar and now-I-see objects of a destined meaningful TOMB of meaning laid out and racked for use and observation and filing in the room of death---and so as if I was replacing life and sex by writing and death, I----antagonistic, dual, doom---Relatives dont even have to be there, I'm sorta alone with Gerard in the parlor playin my papers---

There was earlier a dream of incest with Nin, no acts of incest but the understanding all night long that there had been incest and we should be punished soon---like when we used to take diving slides with the pillow across the linoleum floor at Lilley Street flat at 11 P M guilty time----

--Jack Kerouac

EDITOR'S NOTES

"Irene's Dream" is the only one by any of his friends or lovers that Kerouac incorporates into his Book of Dreams--and his own dream immediately after it seems to resonate or react to it. The plots aren't parallel, and yet both dreams contain...

Source: page 116 of Book of Dreams by Jack Kerouac, expanded (2001) edition, City Lights Books.
"Irene May": pseudonym; also called "Mardou Fox" in The Subterraneans.
Titles: Kerouac always capitalized a dream's first phrase as a working title, even if it didn't fit the dream as a whole.
I added paragraph breaks when a screen became hard to read. The web is not the printed page. I apologize to purists.

--Chris Wayan



LISTS AND LINKS: death - revenants - sculpting - statues come alive - writers & writing - siblings - incest - guilt - shared dreams - ESP? - more Kerouac

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