Showing posts with label Dreamery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dreamery. Show all posts

Thursday, July 29, 2021

our mother would hate this poem

I dreamed I was listening to my
parents' fight from decades ago 
when they were fighting always
and always passive-aggressively

my father sounding patient
my mother sounding smart

neither of them listening to each other...
from our room: my sister and I listened,
grading them--not on how right or wrong 
they were, but how not mean they were.

our mother lost our ratings
for our father lost the fights

afterwards, he wouldn't talk to her for days...
every time she happened to be in the room,
he'd be whistling or humming something 
to show how he didn't care and didn't hurt--

like at all--not even a little bit
even we kids didn't buy it

Monday, June 14, 2021


Had a welcome breakthrough on a work project and managed to meet a proposal deadline one whole day ahead of deadline.

Took a nap. Woke up because of a horrifying moment in a post-apocalyptic-style dream (someone had tumbled down some stairs because I bumped them and when I went to check on them, I was captured and they started pulling on my clothes... also, my dad was supposed to help me keep watch, but he fell asleep and didn't hear me when I was shouting for help).

I'd planned a "Summer Celebration" to celebrate the end of Nu's 8th grade year.... it literally got rained on after we set the picnic table. 

Ah well, watermelon tastes almost as good indoors too. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


I'm stopped at the traffic light at on my way home and it turns into a wait for the slowest train in the world to pass.

There's a rap on the window and At's face beaming down at me. I unlock the doors, he pops in, I hug him so hard. He takes off his mask; I tell him to keep it on; he's all "but we're vaccinated;" and I'm all "you haven't had the second shot yet." Then he's referencing something about Bill Gates and vaccines--maybe this? 

I begin laughing because it's so random--and as I told him, in a couple of days I'm going to think I dreamt this whole sequence of things.

And I'm laughing because I'm so relieved to see and hold him on yet another day when to be the mother of a brown-skinned man is a day for a slow simmering fear.

Friday, January 22, 2021


In your lapse--there's only air, 

while I keep walking 


Silence sings here, shame too--

like a mosquito hymn 

in my ear.

Perhaps I'm a savant of fracture

on an enraptured 

exiled page--

perhaps I've siphoned my love

into stories just a little

or too late.

Friday, January 08, 2021


Waking in a labyrinth

with the outline of a lie

around us the dark blossoms

clinging like skin 

hidden in sight like the dark

set aside like a dementing task

hurrying to meet our dark 

corners of darkness--passion-

perversion--spill into you and me

returning to the dead lamp

you are furious as a rakshasa 

engorged, incoherent as sirens 

I'm as possessed as a pisasu

who possesses only you, and 

can die for it. Or live. Or shriek.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Within Without

Please hold my head as gently 

as a bomb labeled 'headache'

knowing the earth is waiting

feeding time under the loam

who is it who knocked on the door (we didn't hear)

who is it who wants to come in (we can't really see)

howling into the cusp, dreams away from disaster

learning the circuitry of sadness, the lineage of loss

For in a different world 

I lost many months ago

my tongue a tombstone

fingers clawing worms

Friday, October 09, 2020

Hank and Huck

This morning when I woke, we had new puppy Hank--all sweet chubby puppy face and wobbly puppy legs. But... I couldn't find Huckie. Then I remembered that we'd "exchanged" Huckie for Hank. And then I was grief-stricken for Huckie, wondering if she was wondering where the heck we were and when we were coming to bring her back. Then I woke up properly and realized none of this had really happened. 

*Extra Huckie hugs*

I told my dream to Nu and we marched up to Big A and informed him that we needed a third puppy.

(I love how my brain braids things--I wonder if "Hank" is because I spent time with JL's "Henry" last weekend and "Hank" is a form of "Henry" but sounds a bit like "Huck?")

Friday, July 24, 2020

24/7 Panic Snapshots

Gratuitous cute-goofy picture
I woke in panic several times last night:

Once because my mind was singing the chorus to MISSIO's "Wolves" and it was terrifying in the dark.

Once because I was imploring Mai and the macaque to run, run, run (just finished Ocean Vuong's beautiful and brutal On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous).

Once because I dreamed I had taken At and Nu clothes shopping and they were breathed on and almost touched accidentally a few times by other shoppers. (How extra stupid would this unease have been a year ago?!)

And finally, because of the reasonable, rational, familiar dread of the school year approaching and all the preparation that needs to be accomplished in the weeks that remain. It's here--July 24th... 24/7. In exactly one month we'll be welcoming students back to campus.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

I'm awake in the dream

praying silently, receiving silence
these are drugs, my thoughts drag
reciting pretty pretty pretty atrocities

something about zombie limbs
climbing, blooming
gift-wrapped in colorful skin


he surprised me when
he said his daughter
was an angel

I was really surprised she
wasn't as dead as
I imagined her


I'm dying to ask everyone
how is a six-year-old an angel?
what has been done to her?

Friday, November 01, 2019


tickles start in my palm, aim for my pits
catch in my throat: I am open, I let
my shame (shame) show

here are bugs leaking from my breath
like starry maps from blind eyes. O
I have lost my fingerprints

I must just be falling asleep I must be
falling falling falling into depths
or deaths. I don't

know the presidents who visit in my
dreams on boats shaped like me,
wooden as my smile. I fight

I find my freedom with my fists and feet
the slick of water still gets me though
entanglement, undertow


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Meanwhile in real life...

While I was having the dream about losing Nu last night, Big A was at work where he almost lost a teenaged refugee because the dialect her mother spoke was so uncommon that they had to work with someone familiar with a translator from an adjacent language. Her mother gave up on words at one point and just wailed as she rocked her daughter's unconscious body.

There's so much pain in the world, and so much of the time, we're protected from the worst of it. I spent a lot of yesterday finding money to to people--Beto, Abrams, Gillum... while reading about voter disenfranchising and voting machine malfunctions... and then the news of the shooting in the synagogue at Pittsburgh. Today was about the Bolsonaro win in Brazil and a very depressing text exchange with my usually upbeat GOTV champion, At.

Nu and I cobbled some good times despite it all--we went to temple yesterday, UU today, LOLed at Ghostbusters 2016, delivered food to a pregnant friend, made arrangements for kids in Chennai to get Diwali presents and sweets, did tons of laundry, got Nu a new pair of kicks, spent some of Nu's birthday money on (unnecessary) pens and a stuffy, stocked the pantry, did a bunch of baking, and made a couple of comfy dinners.

At some point this weekend we got lost and even that was lovely.

And yet through it all, the knowledge of what lay outside our bubble--inexorable as the real rain, the creeping cold, and our leaky roof.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

It was just me and Nu last night...

The news is full of bombs, so of course there were bombs in my dream.

Bombs were falling from the sky, and I was digging something out of the car, Nu was terrified of the bombs and said she was going to hide with the others (not family--the other war victims/refugees) in the ditches, so I tell her ok, go--I'll come join you in just a second. Except I didn't notice in which direction she headed off. So I keep calling her name on the outskirts of every crowd of people, but don't hear her call back to me. I keep doing this for hours... may be days. Until finally, a poor woman with many children (aren't we all poor by this point?) tells me that she remembers Nu and that even as she ran away from the car, "a bomb took her." It had happened the minute we'd parted and I hadn't known. The woman is telling me that she tried to reach her but couldn't, that she remembers her "large, wide eyes."

I looked at the expiry dates on everyone's passports when I woke up. The kids need to renew next year.

school counselor call + Cesar Sayoc + upcoming travel + Yemen + Gaza + refugees from Honduras + Life + work stress + Adnan Kashoggi + mom and sis traveling to Dubai

Friday, October 26, 2018

In the Machines

The ghosts call me late
most nights, rocking
the cradle of the landline

we never use. I never pick up
but I see their faces vaporize
in my icy breath,

their empty mouths asking
You put away all the leftovers? 
Do you know who we are?

I can see their mouths form it,
feel their curses touch my body
I mumble irritably

and try to solve their hungry
riddle, without magic:
pointing them to the fridge


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Summer Insomnia

the calendar builds
to a crescendo till
the creatures arrive--
airy resurrections in
their bony hearts, eyes
scary, still screeching.

Small, accruing doubt,
all the signals are
yelling the death knell
of cellphone carillons
stones, petals, shells--
night falls, folds over

Big A and I took a nap right around the time Nu gathered the puppies and headed off to bed, but we both woke up to the most godawful wildlife brawl at midnight. Then we stayed up until about 3 am 'chit-chatting' as kindergartner Nu used to call it.

Friday, December 15, 2017


Today is a sabotaged page

on the edges of my brain
the hot animal knees
me, tears me,
sees me in tears

on the undercurrent of loss
in the flooding and
and catching

I can untie words heavy as air
as ephemeral; I am
a lookout, I am
eaten by the sea

(Note: I'm reading Truddi Chase's When Rabbit Howls and took on a new CASA case yesterday)

Thursday, December 07, 2017


It is dawn in a dream and
my body is made of politics

nerves write these goodbyes
language breaks at my joints

water seldom returns to eyes
(though it does get in my nose)

we are afraid to admit it--
our days are ephemeral

insects chide and chatter
stars grind and grumble


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Time to go

Last night, I dreamt that I was looking over grandmother's old house by the sea. I was talking to my aunt and Big A about how it would make sense to get it (buy it?). I think we had decided to go for it until I remembered that the water from the faucets used to stain everything grey and wondered if that still happened and were there loud trains in the backyard?

The night before that, I dreamt of huge temple festival crowds. And among them, I found my mother with her friends. They were in full temple-going mode--vibrant silk saris and gem-studded jewelry and... were taking turns standing on a grate. Mom was so embarrassed to see me, but managed to hug me tight and whisper that I shouldn't tell anyone.

Both dreams were dotted with apocalyptic climate change motifs--rising seas, shimmering heat, crop failures--I blame the eco-criticism-ecofeminism class.

Is This Land is Your Land? 

Environment and Culture in the Anthropocene 

ENG 180/WGS 280


Friday, December 01, 2017


I remember you sleeping
even if I was sleeping too

Same with the puppies
same with the babies

same with begging
mountains to move

same with begging
the earth to open

same with the ice
looking down on me

from the air
and the glass up there

my silence and softness
growing plump like fruit


Wednesday, October 05, 2016


As she dawdled over breakfast (as my kids do err'yday)
she told me that when I had knocked on her window 
to let her know "snooze" time was over
and that she needed to *wake up now*

the knocking had become a part of her dream.
(Someone was showing her a script 
that had the words: "No, No, No"
And as they read it, they thumped the desk.)

This photo is apropos of not much
but I keep it on my desktop
and it makes me smile.


Sunday, February 08, 2015


I've climbed a tree
and I'm talking down

to you.
The moon,

stony-faced, circles the empty basketball net,
is reflected in a crescent of watermelon.