Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Dream

Am I in a dream?

As America's crisis worsens-- moral and financial bankruptcy-- is there any reason to dream about a revived American society, revived culture, revived land?

Hell yes! In crisis comes opportunity-- a chance to give this madhouse of a country a good knock to get it back on track.

A journal sent to my old Philly address by one of the ULA's two major rivals finally caught up to me. I took it from my building mailbox after walking home through darkness, snow, and cold from my current job.

Night, strong northern wind assaulting the window of my room, I flipped through the journal's pages. How depressing! Nearly the entire volume written in word-clotted academia-speak. "N + 1," the thing's title. It stands for "Negativity Plus." Though the editors are the darlings of high literary society-- this culture's alleged best and brightest-- the picture they painted in their pages was one of unrelenting bleakness. No prospects, no hope-- according to them-- for any of us. They represented not the future of literature, but its end. The editors had retreated within a cocoon-like blockhouse surrounded by a moat; put up a white surrender flag and raised the drawbridge.

I was living in rather desperate circumstances in a desperate city, yet I didn't feel nearly as depressed as these fellows. In fact, the toughness I'd faced the last few months-- the last two years, really-- had strengthened my optimism. I was surviving everything thrown at me.

With the wind raging against the shaky window; with conflicting thoughts running through my head, I fell asleep.

I dropped into a happy, sunny day: an optimistic America kind of sunny. We as a nation were starting over at the beginning; given a fresh opportunity.

I saw to the side four young women; four colorfully dressed nerdy quirky girls with glasses. (I may have already seen them on Detroit's streets.)

They were:
-A pale white girl with short black bangs.
-A black chick with jheri curls.
-A blonde, straight hair to shoulders.
-A kinky-haired redhead.

All were skinny and wore short skirts of stripes or polka dots or paisley; aqua and pink; yellow and black; orange and pale blue; purple and green. Their eyeglasses were of equally vibrant colors. A few young men joined them, wearing loud sportjackets, crazy ties, and porkpie hats, colors clashing every which way. Around this group expanded a cool bright glowing city, an eternally clean rushing blue river at the end of a plaza; as dream city's focal point: as life force. Birds, trees, calling voices, freshness-- no, the game wasn't over; not yet! It was beginning.

Since then I've been living inside the dream.

1 comment:

FDW said...

'tis not a dream, King, twas a vision!
A vision like Sitting Bull's before the Battle of Lil' Big Horn.
A vision like Rev. King's (a man whose living memory can warm the true American heart)of the New Jerusalem from the grassroots up, self directed evolution and social revolution!
A vision of William Blake's the saint of independent underground artists and poets of the universe running naked with his wife through the holy garden in the Tyranny induced concentration camps of the Britsh Empire.
But most that of Francoise Villon who in dire poverty and under the hammer of Church and State prison sysytems in 15 th century Paris saw reflected in the eyes of prostitutes, the hungry eyes of destitute university students, the quick witted animal eyes of outlaws and outcasts (and "actors, cardsharps, clowns and the like", the reality of heaven on earth, the streets of the huddled masses aglow.
Crisis and down-turn the people look for sustence and hope in the words and voices of their writers and poets. And recognize them who they we're told were dead and replaced by their executioners long ago in the roar of the collapsing temples! After all here are the four chicks of the Apocalypse and their mounts, the hep-cat neo-Bohemians!
All this and some damn good writing.

as I walked on without heads or/ tails/.....
Let me see a fair city
Blessed with the gift of hope
Even the most wretched of sinners
Gods hates only his perserverence."

Francoise Villon trans. by Galway Kinell.