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Dreamed 2008/8/11 by Wayan.
I can't read John Berryman's Dream Songs, Pulitzer Prize or not. They're not really dreams and don't really sing--not to me. But what if I tried the real thing? Real dreams, not butchered bits of them? Could I do what he just pretended to? A dream-poem a day? On dreamless mornings I could hit my earlier journals--a sea of dreams! Assemble a whole book page by page... night by night.
In the evening I watch the BBC's new version of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Dad, dying, makes his son swear to care for his half-sisters Elinor, Marianne and Margaret; he promptly evicts them and their mom. Poor now, they settle in a scruffy cottage by a windy, craggy cove. The weather as treacherous as their relatives... and suitors.
I read of thoughtful oranges who
lose a few in each generation
to a peculiar spore infection:
victims yellow, and slimmer grow,
are called the Meyer Lemonfolk.
The spores mold personality, too.
Loyalties tint along with hue:
the lemons all move to California,
driving up the rents.
They have no visible viable seeds,
but at their deaths,
generate viral clouds of spores
infecting the next
few susceptible oranges yellow.
Fresher Meyers follow:
a people purely parasitic
And yet not cruel, not at all vampiric:
no living Lemon Fellow ever
suborns a single orange.
What moral can we coin
for their slow plague? What harm?
Is this parable, or skewed prediction?
The author's called (on her book cover
next to her silver Poetry Pulitzer)
"the Jane Austen of Science Fiction".
Jane's brewed a riddle sweet-sour-sly;
one of elegant dozens inside. Oh, I'll
never be her. Shy leopard succubi
haunt me. My anarchic dreams forsake
her clever Pulitzer Palace, and in a meek
cottage dwell, outré. And there I wake.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
- Meyer lemons: an orange/lemon hybrid. Big, deep yellow, with thick, sweet rind like a kumquat, sour yet almost edible off the tree, they're a far cry from the pale little lemons you see. They could just as fairly be called Meyer Oranges.
- Lemonfolk: a dream pun on "Berryman", I bet.
- Sour: I've been ill most of my adult life. "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." That smug platitude grates on us chronically ill! That illness has shaped me in ways as subtle and deep as the spores shape the Lemon Folk.
- Lemons and illness: I crave thick Meyer lemonpeel, and when I eat a lot, I heal. Rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C and limonene, a strong anticancer oil.
- I'm not Jane Austen/John Berryman: the dream warns my poems won't be popular--too strange. "I'll never dream Pulitzer stuff like Jane!" Oh no? You just did! So write 'em down, kid...
- Succubi are the seductive demons medievals blamed for erotic dreams. But what do you call sexy dreams of earthworm-giraffe-women, footlickin' fox-goddesses or exhibitionist rabbit-angels?
- Meek cottage: the girls robbed of their inheritance in Sense and Sensibility
- Nightly dream-poem project: I think my dreams sent me this short colorful dream as a candidate! Well, if they approve, I gotta try it, Pulitzer hopelessness or not. OK, I'll call the series Dreamverses--not verses but short for universes, which dreams are to me. So let's declare First Impressions the test-run, Dreamverse #0... and Lemon #1.
LISTS AND LINKS:
dream poems -
animal/vegetable people -
fruits and vegetables -
weird dream diseases -
creative process - I dream I AM Jane Austen, in
The Vault - Dr. Who and Oz invade Pride and Prejudice, in
Surrender Darcy! - Cast adrift on a
lemon sea - The whole
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