To depict what flowers in the cavern of a dream
requires powers you profoundly lack. Yours turn to steam
when they attempt the least verisimilitude – the barest stab
at calling up what really ‘was’. Faintly recollecting
ferris wheels and women’s faces and a little child’s open mouth
exhorts you to dig clumsily to search not for the dream itself
but for whatever cheap availing tricks might crowd
that dusty shelf marked “Inspirational Rhetorical Extremities.”
To riffle through this piffle means to weigh the merits
of a spooky movie’s tactics and the colors of the day-glo
bubblegum conundrum that comprise the cliché pellets of what
few details you constipatedly can call up from your childhood.
Rhetorical Extremities, these be indeed.
But nothing with a feeling that remotely moves you.
And yet (you block the facile rhyme that it behooves you):
you tell yourself to do it anyway: write and draw these
cumbersome contraptions with the only theory you think enjoys
the prospect of a certainty. Which is: you’re dreaming now,
and what you’re trying to describe in what you call your
waking hours, you have powers to depict.
(Even to depict the fact you can’t depict.) How?
Decant Miss Dickinson: “Tell all the truth
but tell it slant.” This sneaky law that governs
poetry and dreams and life is very strict.