My Dream-Father (flash fiction)

Most times, my dreams aren’t profound, nor do they make much sense. Dream-logic, I’m told, never does. But this dream felt different. My father appeared on the football field of my youth. In life, he was a short man. But in this dream, he towered over me.

He wore denim dream-jeans, faded blue, and ripped at the knees. He smoked a giant dream-cigarette, and the smoke billowed like it was from a power plant. His dream-muscles were large and imposing, like Zeus’.

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Book Review: The Dream Songs by John Berryman

Since I’ve been writing more poetry, I’ve been reading more poetry lately. I’ve read some newer stuff, but I’ve also been reading many of the classics, including William Blake, T.S. Eliot, and W.B. Yeats.

I recently read an anthology of 20th century American poetry that was comprehensive regarding the poets it included. One of the poets that struck me the most was John Berryman, and the anthology included poems from his much-celebrated volume called The Dream Songs.

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Past Lifetimes (a poem)

in dreams, i tremble

before unseen forces

always at work behind

scenes & a screen

of smoke that masks their faces

but not beaming eyes

that stare from shadowed corners

of my brain

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Dreamland (a poem)

just before slumber

there’s a moment between

dream & wakefulness

a hazy realm

eyes closed

your smelly dog

at the foot of the bed, growling

the moment happens

in milliseconds

you fall into dreamland

shifting sands

awake to sunlight

peering through heavy curtains

a new day – but

are you still in dream?

this whole thing may not

be what it seems

(Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash)

The Face of Tomorrow (a poem)

The face of tomorrow is here today

a child with bright eyes + an imagination

working overtime –

The face of tomorrow is here to stay

in a school’s dusty hallways,

dreaming of ways to change the world.

(Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash)

Criminals (a poem)

I dream of criminals, being a witness to misdeed

men with dark eyes do dark things in motel rooms

tell me to keep my mouth zippered shut –

I wake with a sense of dread

storm clouds gather outside frosted windows

a woman with an umbrella screams

then runs for her life.

(Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash)

Book Review: Amerika by Franz Kafka

After reading Franz Kafka’s complete short stories last year, I was determined to read the three novels that were published posthumously. I find Kafka to be a tremendously interesting writer and literary figure, and after reading most of his work, the recurrent themes became evident.

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The Faceless Woman (a poem)

The faceless woman chases me through vacant city streets –

lights on in every home, but no one’s there,

just us, running in dreadful silence

my heart beats so fast it feels as if it’ll burst

from my sunken chest, plop on black concrete +

continue to beat to the rhythm of the pulsing ground,

as a brilliant moon looms above, hangs over us,

shines blinding light on my ghostly skin –

I’m living in sin + if the woman catches me,

I’ll surely suffocate + gurgle black blood

from a wicked mouth –

No! my mouth is gone, covered by slimy skin,

+ I’m gone, in her cold grasp at last,

the world collapses inside of me +

I wake as a newborn in some

distant jungle landscape.

(Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash)