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Dreamed 9/21/82 by Wayan
In 1982 I was recovering slowly from years with an abusive girlfriend. I was sick--chemical sensitivities, inflammation, opportunistic infections. Even a halftime job was exhausting, so I was broke. Lonely, too. Around my birthday, I learned that our Silicon Valley home had fleas; and a songbird got trapped in our office for hours, fluttering against the windows. I dreamed I was that bird.
Living with fleas in the new world.
Little predators creep out of the lair,
Bite and suck and saw my flesh to thing.
I work in conditional offices, future-tense;
Bugs creep behind the green screen,
Head aches and none knows why.
So strange horrible to be rotting
Festered fingers and lobes.
Dis-ease of busy-ness.
Puzzled animal, you
Cannot heal the modern sores
Cannot heal the modern horrors
I like the chewy textures of words and lines--
The hard sounds spine the sweet.
Chain of wordnotes simply strung
Serene as sparrowhistles
3: OFFICE NIGHTINGALE
I am a small bird flying
In a white glass void.
Everywhere images look like me--
I fly to them and they to me, til BANG!
Ghosts. No other there but hard glass,
A hard self-bird emptied of
Heart in the feathers, seed in the husk.
Only where no self beckons--
"Where feathers disappear from glass,
And no birds sing"--
There alone's escape--
There: alone lies open wind
And hope of distant, softer alien friend.
Weird bird I, who awkward sing
While my blood leaks: not heart-fountain--
What fun to die staining the neighbors with
Romantic Maroon! No, here in the new world
Blood seeps from little sores, to suit my time:
Age of the roach. The leak. The leech.
Bird-me paraphrased two lines from Keats's La Belle Dame Sans Merci":
The sedge is withered from the Lake
And no birds sing.
Dreambird-me is a lot like the poem's questing knight; the mocking reflection-birds are like La Belle Dame herself. And, of course, like my Silicon Valley co-workers. Nice enough people. For people. Not wild birds.
I needed birds.
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