2019-07-27

Trying to remember a dream before the last dream. The image in mind is reaching back behind the dream I can remember, as if the earlier dream has remained there intact, waiting to be re-collected. 

An announcement of something that happened two years ago is inexplicably circulating on facebook now. The notifications pile up. People post their enthusiastic congratulations. A thing long since past, resurfacing. Time collapses, coils back on itself. 

A better word might have been retrieved

DREAM FRAGMENT: I am building a low stone wall. No matter how many stones I drag and stack, the wall never gets any higher. 

I have only identified the problem. 

Phrases that drift like the play of light and shadow across a blank wall. We begin in wonder. 

Lengthening shadows. Then softening, blurring. 

All the rest is mourning

I take a length of thread and pull it through wet paper. Surface tension. Resistance. 

I do not know what comes next. 

Waiting for you on the front steps, observing the nail heads asserting themselves from the porch boards. The wood swells, contracts? Little heads forced up? 

Orange light across the horizon inspires a moment of unearned pleasure. It is only light. It is only nightfall, approaching. 

Brandon Shimoda: “A grave is anywhere we leave an unrepeatable part of ourselves. A part that has been broken away.”

The present self locates the past self, examines it, finds it lacking. 

The word mindfulness, repeated, means nothing. 

I do not know what comes next. 

A small boat, set adrift. A boat made of paper. The most tender, most vulnerable boat. You saw me when I was a boat made of paper. You saw me when I was such a tender boat. 

The past self stands beneath a tree in an open field. The past self wears a white dress to distinguish herself from the present self, wearing black. The past self is not aware of what comes next. She is a bit wide-eyed, always taken by surprise. 

Retrieved from the past, which is intact, which is a cardboard box filled with files. The past which is paper, stacks of folders and papers. 

Guy Davenport: “Where it was, there you must begin to be. There are no depths, only distances. Memory shuffles, scans, forages.”

I am writing my way to the present moment. I am arriving from an earlier point in time. From behind the present. 

Waiting for you in the parking lot. You descend the shallow steps from the train. Arriving from a past I cannot know, though at a point in the future, you will speak of it. You will describe the past from which you arrived, in the present for me. You will reach behind the moment to retrieve it, a modest offering set out on a plate for us to share.