Time with a Nighthead
Dreamed c.1960 by Barbara Gordon Paine
Once upon a middle of the night sort of day,
I heard a raking of the screen.
Then the door opened,
and a box not for, but against, slid in.
One glance at the crafted carton and I knew
this was sent an uncalled-for way. I tried to throw it out,
but my skin seemed grafted to the cornered plot.
Twisting, turning, I finally pulled free. So warned,
I still hoped to assure myself that the box contained
a trick thing. . .
like the toy I received as a child: a jumping jack
that I had learned to love for the momentary hate
I could express in a yell.
Wild I was, and secure . . .
for I could break the gift any old time.
What of this box?
Adult me a childish trick, please!
Suddenly the lid tripped up.
|...The lid slammed sound.|
This is from Eidolon, 1961, by Barbara Gordon Paine. Paine knew, and was influenced by, such poets as Karl Shapiro and Kenneth Patchen (her shape-poem protesting the letter Q is comically Patchenesque). Many other Eidolon poems are dreamlike and powerful--like "The Devil and the Poet", "Going Back To" and As a Hillborough Child I Never Could Find, but this is the only explicit dream.
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