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Lemon People

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.


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.


oval sketch of dream image by Wayan: An orange with eyes hangs from a branch
oval sketch of dream image by Wayan: a dead Lemon Person emits spores infecting an orange with eyes.

I read of thoughtful oranges who
lose a few in each generation
to a peculiar spore infection:
victims yellow, 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.

oval sketch of dream image by Wayan: A Meyer lemon with violet eyes on a leafy branch.
oval sketch of dream image by Wayan: A woman writes with a quill pen at a desk.


LISTS AND LINKS: dream poems - animal/vegetable people - fruits and vegetables - weird dream diseases - dreamwork - 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 Dreamverse series - the next Dreamverse: Fox-Mother

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