Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Advice of the Dream

The dream that escaped the dream
went to live in a field.  It was happy,
being undreamt, snapping dead sticks to add
to the fire it warmed itself around.

All night, in order to stay awake, it counted places.
How many oceans?  How many mountain trails
lined with fern and woodchip, with flower?
And how many windows in the evening strangely lit?

The arms.  Avenues.  Estuaries
of ancient rivers, markets of spice, cumin
shifting in the barrels like sand,
like the desert, like anything in the open air.

It happens that the characters inside the dream
mill about, awkwardly, lost.
They've been knocked from the epic,
loosed from line of plot, from story.

The index cards have gone blank in their hands.
What's my line?  When do I enter?  And where should I stand?
Evenings in the field, there's the rustle
of autumnal husks, and beyond that,

a slight creek running.  The advice of the dream?
It's important to stay unattached
to an actual happening.  This makes you fleet-footed,
able to be everywhere in the world.

- Kate Northrop, Back Through Interruption

No comments: