Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dream words

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Rebecca Beatrice Miller,
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One of my favorite things is to write or read in a dream, close enough to the edge of waking to remember the whole or part when I wake. Whole chapters in a book I was working on have come to me in that pleasant, rich state.

Often a poem in a dream seems to me of a massively different order than a day-poem, and I have sometimes wakened in tears because the thing I wrote or read seemed so dazzling, magnified by dream. This morning, just as my husband rolled out of bed and woke me, I was dreaming that I saw a poem on a table in a shadowy room. I bent over it and had taken in a few glimpses when I woke up.

Of course I immediately wrote a poem. And of course it was not the poem in the dream because I hadn't gotten to read the entire poem and only had a few beams of light in my head. But it captured those bits of light and wove them into something that is a kind of souvenir of the dream.

It was a delicious way to start a day. Have a good one!

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If you're a new visitor and want to know more about my writings, please check the tabs above for my 2012 books--A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage (novel/Mercer/Ferrol Sams Award), The Foliate Head (collection of poetry/Stanza Press), and Thaliad (epic adventure in verse/Phoenicia)--and 2011's poetry collection, The Throne of Psyche. For Thaliad, the Phoenicia Publishing page for the book has a collection of review clips and comments and good help on how to order in hardcover or paperback. You may read samples from the three 2012 books at Scribd.

5 comments:

  1. That is a wonderful way to start a day!
    I rarely remember dreams, but sometimes when taking a nap I will hear sounds of music that have me itching to jot them down and build upon them. It's, as you say, 'delicious'!
    When consciousness is at rest, the mind often works through all kinds of wonderful things, unfettered!

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  2. Yes, it is lovely, isn't it? And one wakes in the right place to work. Although later the person from Porlock arrives while one is still in jammies...

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  3. I may make a post out of some of the comments on this elsewhere--have had some interesting ones that add a lot.

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  4. A few weeks ago I dreamed an entire movie. Completely original. It took me almost 10 minutes to describe it out loud after I woke up. I even recalled who starred in it and watching the credits roll.

    I didn't say it was a GOOD movie, but it had an interesting hook:

    A homeless janitor sneaks into the executive bathroom (this is an executive bath - gym, steamroom, jacuzzi, etc.) every morning early to bath and clean up. He has always left before the first exec comes in.

    One day, a new exec starts coming in early and befriends the janitor. The exec of course thinks the janitor is another exec, and they learn things from one another over a long period of time.

    When the janitor meets an untimely death, the exec realizes the amazing things he has done with the execs advice - and vice versa.

    The title (which I thought of while awake, after the dream) makes it sound more like a comedy than a drama, but the working title is "Executive John"

    I'm probably not going to write it (not sure screenplay is on my list of things to write) but maybe a short story.

    Anyway, the point is that I recalled this entire, fully-formed story completely constructed in a deep dream. And recalled it when awake! First time that has ever happened to me.

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  5. Not sure screenplay is on my list of things to write? Pitch it! I love stories from dreams. At least, when they hang together and make sense...

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.