Nightmares Next To My Lover
Dreamed before 1983 by Kathleen Spivack
Having these dreams
Somewhere a woman wakes;
She pushes against you
this water is heavier than air.
While she doesn't address this poem specifically, about her work in general Spivack says:
In many of the poems, man and woman lie down together on a flat white surface. And then they go at it! They dream like mad, each in a separate sleep-capsule. Often they are quite miserable, for their simultaneous dreams are of their individual isolation. Waking only intensifies this condition. For men and women frequently realize they are dreaming next to the wrong person.This sounds very mature, sober, Freudian--his Reality Principle. But the World Dream Bank's list of shared and telepathic dreams, now hundreds long, shows that Freud was wrong. We aren't that isolated in our dreams! Indeed, most societies before us assumed dreams weren't always private. Primitive, immature, magical thinking--and, it turns out, correct.
In a few of the dream poems, girls dream of their mothers, painters dream in color, finally, and wake to become landscape painters, and children dream of happiness. Men and women, too, dream of the Elysian fields, but they cannot bridge the distance between then, in bed.
Shared dreaming won't help if you're "next to the wrong person", of course. But still.
SOURCE: Dreamworks: an Interdisciplinary Quarterly (v.3, no.2, 1983, p.135-6)
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