I have been reading Coleridge on dreams
-in an email to the author from Lisa Gorton)
I dream that the dead are living.
Katharine says soft dreams where the loved dead seem
reciprocal and living are really nightmares to suffer, feel
anguish to awake to the bitter real. If no-theme were dream
I think now I would offer: a Commonplace Book in tatters:
Kurosawa’s fox wedding, Yeats’ quote: in dreams begins
responsibility, or how Confucius laments and exclaims
he has fallen from himself, too long has not seen
in his dreams the Prince of Chang. Not long the foxes sang
for Coleridge on the death-cold Nepean. He explains
in my sleep once more that the dusk reverses the dawn:
that by day the being expresses in words, but unity again
combines that with his night eyes’ yearning vision
fed deep by the body’s random sensations: he would term
‘double-touch’ how the body feels feeling. And a dream
in itself is double-touch, I’m seeing. How tight are the rhymes
in sleep, the subconscious — if you call it that and not a thing
like acetylocholine, when the visual and the emotions
revolve to replace norephinephrine-serotonin neurons:
but the effect as he described it is the same.
Rhymes tighten when
the sleep-brain curls up on itself, as in the womb
or death. I would offer the no-theme stream an explanation
too of Shakespeare’s we are such stuff as dreams
are made of: that it is our function to comprise them,
not their function to be us, and then who does become
the dreamer? Is it as in Bergman’s Shame, when Ullman
alive at the end on the war-exhausted ocean
asks what if the dreamer of all this wakes realising
it was a dream and is ashamed? ‘Living catacombs’
is how Coleridge describes the dream’s comprising.
Lying down, with an opium groan, his fear a leaping
‘great pig’ from sense-data, a frightening woman.
The fox wedding is as formal as the staged imagination,
as if bones are stacked in labels with street signs.
Does this make it sinister, or safer? Sometimes some
unconsciousness overtakes the double-touching,
and despite the nightmare nature of the daring,
the dead can become the living once again.
- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLECOMING SOON with E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones