Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Once, in a previous parish, a woman handed me a notebook of her “automatic writings,” and wondered what I thought of the phenomenon. Of course I didn’t have the truthful courage to tell her that I thought it was poppycock, so I nodded and said, “There just may be something to it…” and words to that effect. This was many years ago, and I’d forgotten all about it, until, a few weeks ago, I had a vivid dream and awakened with the poem, below, forming in my head, about three-quarters finished. When I was fully awake, I went to the computer and wrote it out.

I realize that the product of a dream is not exactly the same thing as what is meant by automatic writing (“the writer’s hand forms the message, with the person being unaware of what will be written”), but I’ve never experienced anything like it before.

I’m no poet, and I do not offer this as such. But I find it tremendously amusing. I woke up laughing, and I laugh every time I read it. (Note: In reality, Jeff is my friend and brother-in-law, who has a hearing loss which dictates which place at a table will be most advantageous for him – I must be working out some hidden resentment here. The other characters are fictional – and came with the dream.)

For Jeff: A Dream

Because of his “hearing loss,”
Jeff needed to be seated
at the middle of the table
between Daphne and the sparkling Lisette.
The only chair left for me was
at the end, across from
Hrulff, the silent.
(Silent except
for the unintelligible story
about his colon.)
Midway through the interminable meal
I glanced up. Lisette’s eyes were shining,
Daphne’s head thrown back in laughter.
They weren’t looking at me.

Next time I’ll play maitre’ d:
“Ahh, Lisette, you sit here;
Daphne – here.
Good evening, Hrulff,
this will be your place –
Jeff will be here soon, you’ll
have to tell him that amusing
story about the clinic….
Ah, here he is now. Jeff, you sit…
No, not there! That’s my….”

1 comment:

Jeep said...

There just may be something to it.