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Dream: Stowaways in the sky force us to have an annoyingly extensive family reunion in a department store on a boat. Part 1.

Although I stood on the broad, cobalt steps of a Library, unwavering bastion of knowledge, the world listed and I listed with it. The tired pits under my eyes were deep and scraping the hollows of my neck. O, give me sleep! Give me sustenance! Give me equilibrium! Give me self-forgiveness!

Aside from the colored steps of the Library, the rest of my surroundings were bleached white. A round, black car came around the corner. The driver was an old friend of my brother's, a very intelligent stoner. Without stopping his vehicle, he stuck his hay-colored head out the window and shouted, "There is no cavern more wide, as filled with horrifying time than sobriety."

Before he turned the other corner, he said, "I will have been around this block a million times."

The world shifted, throwing me like a wooden doll to the right, past the corner of the Library where I smashed against the great, white wall that surrounded the road. I rose on vertiginous legs in a vapid corner. Far along the road, beyond buildings with scraped-away faces, opened automated doors. Laughter emerged from the doors, laughter sharing the notes of my own hidden joy, laughter of my family. At the crest of that hilarity walked a nun. Her black skirt moved briskly with her pace. She approached me, her eyes blazing with alarm. I moved like a struggling drunk, dancing to a tune nobody else could hear. I held up my hand to stop her advance. Without opening my mouth, I said, I don't plan to die. I only want to sleep.

She stopped. I collapsed in the corner.


Dream 9-17-08

This one was a wonker. I kept waking up and thinking the dream was a subconscious dramatic presentation of my story, “Auction,” but it was something totally different.

My family and friends were enjoying the pool, which of course had sprawled to massive proportions, with terraces and lighted balconies overlooking a dark and deep creek below. Lines of old, behemoth trees canopied the creek. We were having a pool party at night. Stars in incomprehensible patterns crowded the sky. Somebody asked, “Whose stars are these?”

While everyone enjoyed the pool and the wet bar which was situated in an alcove below the high-dive, I sat in an upright chair reading a paperback book containing one of my stories. A jolt of horror struck me as I saw something drifting down from the night sky and landing on the deck of the pool. I read a sentence in my story and felt a chill enter the back of my neck and slide all the way down to freeze my balls.

“Everyone stop,” I shouted. “Listen to me!”

The laughing and talking was absorbed in a shocked silence. I didn’t shout much.

“I know this ends unless we do something about it.” I pointed to a sheet of the debris on the deck. It looked like a swath of cloth. “Everyone must shred that stuff and throw little pieces in the pool. If we don’t, the beginning of the end of the world starts here tonight.”

My aunt walked over with a concerned look on her face. “What are you reading?”

“It’s one of my stories.”

“But it’s not the Bible. That stuff on the deck is mere Starshed. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” She turned and dove into the pool.

Immediately I could see that most of the faces staring at me were blank with either disbelief or fear of me. My brother and friends of his were talking in the wet bar, and they got up to investigate the debris. My brother believed in me. I threw the book down and grabbed a piece of the fiber. It had the texture of imitation crabmeat.

“Like this,” I said and ripped it into small pieces and threw them into the pool. My brother and friends frantically followed suit. While we rushed to tear up all the debris, the party resumed with drunken, careless laughter. Many of the small pieces were thrown back on the deck in irritation.

Someone shrieked. Near the darkness of the wetbar, one of the pieces that had been tossed out of the pool had shifted and ballooned. It whiplashed back and up into a thin curve like a capital C, then assumed a knotted form with a flattened head filled with too many carnivorous teeth. Its shifting happened faster than thought. While we stared on like grains of salt in oil, the thing jerked out a claw and snatched a little cousin of mine. Her arm was ripped off by the force and the world erupted in shrieks and static crackles from all over the deck from the debris not shredded or thrown out of the pool.

They crackled and shifted and I MOVED.

“Hurry! Cover them with water! WATER!”

We scrambled across the deck, kicking the forms into the pool, where they lost shape and fizzled out. I snatched a pint glass from one of my uncles and dipped it into the pool, splashing the water on the one which had grabbed my cousin. Its form retreated into shapelessness as it chewed on the arm, leaving her in a puddle of blood. Its form fizzled in a shape of a softball trying to be something else. I grabbed it, revolted by the writhing beneath my fingers, and kneeled on the deck, immersing it in the water, where the writhing slowed and stopped. I released it and watched it dissolve in the pool.

My brother and his friends had cornered the last of the ambitious fragments, sweeping all of them into the pool. The father of my cousin held his daughter and glared at me. “How did you know this was going to happen? What did you write in that book?”

More shouts. “Why didn’t you try harder to convince us to do what you said?”

My brother shouted, “Look at the stars! Oh my God, they’ve TRIPLED!”

The sky was bristling with strange pinpricks. Each pinprick dribbled a little more madness into me. A closer light arced across above, followed by a storm of lazy debris. My bowels clutched. I picked up my book and read the only sentence that made sense to me, the only thing that could possibly help us. But I didn’t know why.

“Down the creek they floated, wherein the canopied darkness strange death does not know.”

We started down to the creek, and for the first time in my life, with rancor and resistance in my heart, I was leading the way.

Dream: The dogspirit and the inorganic plant


I’m lying in bed when the property maintenance guy comes in to fix my air-conditioner.

“I’m sleeping,” I tell him.

“That’s okay,” he says.

My apartment has been reversed. He starts moving furniture and boxes, and pulls out a vacuum cleaner. What this will do to repair the cooling system, I do not know. Of course, the noise disturbs my sleep, so I escape into a deeper room my dream has invented to play a video game.

The sound of cleaning is replaced with ripping and tearing.

“Boy, you’re a loud maintenance guy,” I say.

He walks through the threshold, whose frame now looks as though it has been gnawed on by a colossal mouse. With a self-satisfied smile bigger than my face, he gestures for me to follow. I oblige.

Hanging from the ceiling on the other side of the door is a massive, sprawling, inorganic plant. The flowers are a dripping purple, and I can see the vines are composed of what appears to be wire-casing. The vines race across the ceiling and walls.

“I’ve found it!” he says. “And it’s 12 miles long. 12 miles long!”

I fall on my back, passing out, and when I open my eyes, the maintenance man and the inorganic plant are gone. All is quiet and clean. The carpet is furnitureless and bare. Still, I watch the door, waitng for something, someone.

A fur-lined coat is hanging by the door. In this breezeless room, the arm of the coat lifts and points in my direction. From inside my apartment comes child’s laughter and the padding of a dog’s feet on the floor. Suddenly, I am being licked in the face by the ghost of a dog I can’t see.

The licking stops and I stand up, using the counter for support.

A gun is in my hand and it is pointed at the ceiling. It fires, blasting a hole above. I am stricken with terror at what I have done, because the hole is where my neighbor always stands. Blood pours through the hole; it comes like a fountain, pooling on the floor and then covering it. The level of the blood is rising, rising.

“I cannot swim in blood,” I say.

Dream Over

New Recipe: Rhinoceros Pancake

Rhinoceros Pancake


1 Rhinoceros
1 Field of sweetgrass
1 salt block
1 sugarlump


Be patient throughout the day. Bring plenty of sunscreen, because you
will be in Africa and it is hot there. Make sure the rhino consumes
the salt and sugar as well as plenty of grass and water. Offer him
other spices for varying tastes, BUT NOT CAYENNE PEPPER BECAUSE THE
RESULTS OF THIS WILL BE HORRIFYING! Your patience will eventually pay
off with an exceedingly large pancake.

Ten seconds on both sides. Serve to lunatics.

Mexican Notepad Story

I found this piece of paper between some books as I was packing to move. Just a tiny thing I must've written in Jalisco a few years ago:

He found the stain. It was underneath the rafters, between rusted ends of nails, and the spikes were too close together, preventing him from scratching it out with his sandpaper hands.

He swung his legs in irritation.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Stupid Things on Packaged Foods.

I bought a box of crackers today and I'm really struggling with the message on the back of the box. It says: "Celebrate the Season with Rachael Ray and Nabisco crackers."

To whom is this addressed? The collective consumer, or me in particular? If it's just me, I don't know what to say. That's kind of a big jump to tell a guy to change his holiday plans and spend them instead with Rachael Ray and a box of crackers. I mean, she's kind of pretty and is rich and all, but what will we talk about? Right now, the only thing we have in common is that box of crackers. I imagine the box of crackers will stand on a stool between me and Rachael in my apartment. I'll have to buy the stool, because I don't have one. We'll kind of stare at one another over the crackers, not saying anything. It wouldn't be so bad if the crackers could talk, but hey, that's probably asking too much. Maybe Rachael'll be dressed like an elf. She'll look around my spare, bachelor flat in disgust, then look in my refrigerator and think I drink too much beer.
Can't I invite anyone else? And what about her? Doesn't she have a boyfriend, or a husband? She must be pretty damn dedicated to those fucking crackers to give up Christmas with her family to spend it with me.
Honestly, I don't think it's a good idea. I'm certainly not looking forward to it.
There are some girls
About whom I can no longer dream
My ascetic advocate
Spears those fancies
Halfway through the reel
Lays them on the night-grass
Under whatever proffered moon
And while I watch the mist rise
The age of morning perforates my hope
Prophesied by circling carrion birds
Dawn's reflection on feathers black
Come to feast on the impaled dream
Which is no longer mine.