dream interpreter – Part 1 : 23-28

23.

After the long trek, he passed out.
As he rested, the clouds assembled.
A silent rain fell sideways to relieve
the steppe; his captors slowed down

but did not linger. The land became
a bog in an instant, and the horses
struggled on in spite of the weather.
When he finally came to, he was dry.

24.

The inside of a Yurt is like a home
cut out from the dream of existence.
Alone in the badlands one can feel
the whole planet slowly inching on.

A small woman was looking at him
intently. As he woke up in a haze,
first he saw her eyes. Fierce, quiet
almond-shaped mirrors of the soul.

25.

They sat together in silence a while,
the prisoner wet and despondent,
the nomadic princess sitting erect,
looking through him, seemingly at

peace. Yet she was carrying a dark
pain in her heart, and nothing ever
could relieve her of that ghost, she
believed she had been cursed by evil.

26.

She spoke to reassure him: “Stranger,
our ways would have me cut you open,
our traditions hold that you are a spy,
my father would have had you killed.”

“But my father is no more. He gave me
a name. I killed him, and gave myself
a new name. I am Dream-eater, ruler of
the roaming Saka people of this steppe.”

27.

A yet smaller person came in, of very
fair complexion, with features alike
the princess. She was very short,
moving nimbly and quietly cat-like.

Another figure came in, a very young
man who glanced adoringly at the ruler,
and kept his head down, his muscles
resting, his eyes clear and steady.

28.

“This is my sister, stranger. She knows
about all things, and she may yet find
you interesting. And this is my friend
and advisor, who is here to protect us

from bad weather, bad companions or so.
I trust these as family. Who then, is
your family? Where do you belong? Why
are you here? Why are you so afraid?”

dream interpreter – Part 1 : 16-22

16.

Upon his return to the Castle, the pilgrim
became melancholic, and then addicted
to the drink, and then overwhelmed by
family duties. Clearly he found life quite

unbearable. But wait, more about him later.
Now imagine skipping over the ocean across
many miles to a far-away land, to a steppe.
But first dip in waters in front of the Castle.

17.

Right now, back then, a whole armada is
blockading the harbour. That’s the people
following Memetis, here from across the sea.
Friendly neighbours holding siege to the Castle.

That’s one of the armies assembled here
(there). The fleet belongs to the Sultan of
Beştepe, a commander and a hungry ghost.
Definitions of the latter abound, but let us

18.

settle for “a person with control issues”.
Anyway, the Castle is now surrounded,
the trenches are filthy and deep, and the
horses are unstable (no pun intended).

It has been more than twenty years.
A poet called it “Troy’s rival”, as in
equally fantastical fiction. So that’s
at least double the trouble now, surely.

19.

So leap in the ocean in front of Castle,
dodge the ships, past the sunshine,
skip the clouds, beat the storms – reach
the coast, up above perhaps, toward Ilium

(another myth dear to unravished brides,
and school-children on the West side).
So now: that’s a tale of East and West,
as you rightly have guessed,  dear reader !

20.

So then, in the steppe, a very barren
land, full of dull muds and no hope,
where no thing grows, close to a large
and shallow salt-lake, not close enough!

A traveller, a business-man has lost
his path. He was on his way to Xanadu,
or so he thought. Coming from a city
surrounded by water and lies, he knew

21.

well next to naught. He was so young,
so eager. Find worthy love, hoard riches,
please his never-pleased ma and pa,
and so he journeyed to the steppe.

He lost his way though he had followed
the stars. Suddenly, a prisoner to a great
warrior-princess in a very hot place.
Before all that, there was a lot of travel.

22.

Chiefly across endless heaps of mud,
and no grass. Nothing can be found in
the steppe of Kalmuks: not a living thing,
just miles and miles of unbroken clay.

So the prisoner captured by scouts
had time to reconsider his choices,
to beg for a little water, to ask politely
for an explanation. There came none.

dream interpreter – Part 1 : 10-15

10.

He cautiously went out in the rain.
The apple he had left as an offering
had been bitten. Surely, he assumed,
that must have been the evil spirit.

The purple light was glowing in a burn,
but the shadow, the flash in the window
had gone. He had been touched by God.
He went over what God must have meant.

11.

Surely, the light was a sign from above
meant to signal his induction in a world
of knowledge. Surely, he had come all
this way for a purpose. Surely, the spark

that brightly shone in his room was
witness to his hard journey, testimony
of his efforts, and reward for his literal
enlightenment. Surely, that was that.

12.

He stepped out in the open, fool that
he was, and felt the rain avoiding
his body. In the midst of a terrible
storm, he stood with arms outstretched

and claimed that not a single drop had
touched him. More proof, he thought, that
he had been chosen, that he had beaten
the test, and defeated the mocking shadow.

13.

The vision went on through the night,
and after the rain a great stillness
came over the monastery. The pilgrim
was standing motionless where the rain

had left his skin dry, yet looking over
the courtyard with great equanimity.
The moon was shining potently while all
the statues beneath seemed to breathe.

14.

Persistently he kept his addled mind
in a semi-medititative state, while
booming crickets raised several tones
in the air, and the puddle before him

gave reflections of the moon. The statues
were seemingly pointing at the puddle,
and the moon was knowingly bouncing off
stolen light. He felt robbed at heart.

15.

In the hallowed morning, upon rising
the pilgrim distinctly heard kind voices
of angels like children singing praise
in a foreign language. His next choice

had been set in stone. He would return
to the Castle, and work without rest
toward the purpose he had finally found.
He would now follow the inner instincts.

dream interpreter – Part 1 : 4-9

4.

In trying to understand the dream-symbols
of another person, we fill in the gaps with our
own interpretation, assuming our perceptions
to be comparable. Visions and ill-dreams are

gap-fillers in themselves. What is a dream, a vision?
A message from God, as the ancient Greeks intended?
A message from the unconscious? An electrical
phenomenon to be decoded by a quantum computer?

5.

Slowly, the pilgrim rose from the bed of wood,
he moved toward the door. From the other side
of the room, through the window overlooking
the swamp, there came a strong flash of light.

The light was blinding, and he felt confused.
Suddenly all the room lit up; a strange whirring
sound began to drone, like a machine had started.
A heavy undecipherable scent came and stayed.

6.

What the shadow on the wall wrote is subject
of much debate in his frayed mind. It so appeared
then to him, that the devil or a spirit took form
on the wall opposite to the window’s shining light.

The shadow was mocking him with an incredible
jig in a frenzy. As he looked on in amazement, he
saw the monster’s face distort in disgust. Then it
turned from running to a comedy of his artistry.

7.

At home in the Castle, the pilgrim was reknowned
for being a failed artist, and his folly had brought
him far abroad in mysterious lands to seek the light.
Now the spirit was mocking his efforts and talents.

It was all so very personal, as if in this cursed
night all the threads in his life had come together
in a knot, and the knot was being unravelled
before his eyes. His painting was exhausting.

8.

And the shadow on the wall was proving to
him the utter meaninglessness of his efforts,
and the purple light in the middle of the room
was shining all the brighter, and the sound

of mechanical humming was drilling in his ears,
and the scent of spice and moist dread was
filling his senses to the brim. Somewhere outside,
the damp skies hidden from view saw a lightning.

9.

Then a thunder broke the silence, a hard bell toll.
It was a wake-up call for the little foolish pilgrim
looking at the shadows in his monastery cell.
He believed he was being summoned by God.

He was being tested, or so he thought. All of his
life streamed in front of him, and he followed
the mocking dance of the black shadow on the
stained wall until a sharp rain burst his bubble.

dream interpreter – Part 1 : 1-3

1.

Imagine a city like a moving ship on water
timelessly held afloat by two rivers joined;
peopled by descendants of a broad-faced heifer,
famously seduced by a saffron crocus eater.

She was carried away to an island through
the mists, and in the not too distant future
her progeny has forgotten the myth, now
blinded by the numinous broad-faced moon.

2.

What are the Gods of this place?
What hubris? What kind of people?
What sentiment overwhelms them?
What clear vision, hidden nightmare?

Let us call our city the Castle of the Moat,
or Megalo Kastro. But then, recently
one of the castle dwellers went
on a pilgrimage in a distant land.

3.

So he stayed overnight in a monastery,
a vision came to him, a false premonition.
As he was dozing off around midnight,
Shadows began to falter, and a purple

light seemed to glow, he momentarily
forgot who he was, he thought: this is it.
Thus beginning with a dream, we face a
test and will need a dream interpreter.

 

 

notes on drinking

I look for meaning elsewhere, because I have a deep chasm in my breast. They say, we are defined by what we do. And so, I am a thief. My trade is information. Resentment is poisoning your own well, and hoping your enemy dies. My body of glass is shattered every day as I wander through this or that calle or campo. A spy from Genoa in Venice, the lowest being in this amphibian swamp. I hide in plain sight, petrified inside. My mind fills the gaps in the shadows, and I see shapes. Winter in Venice is an event of silence. Waters lapping, eyes wondering, second-guessing. Dull eyes, glazed eyes, glassy eyes, looks of sorrow, looks of pity, faint sun rays smitten by smoky clouds, solitude as soiled coin. Long walks, black friendly eyes, short burning distances, judging me and you.

I have a safe space, where death or else does not exist. This is a city, an empire, an empty castle surrounded by walls of water. It gives the illusion of freedom, just to snatch it away from you. When you are at the edge of it, you can see the illusion falling apart. I have so many secrets inside of me and I forget so much. I am paranoid that I should forget the details of critical information, or that my corrupt mind should re-write the code of what has happened. Every morning I take stock of how much I have forgotten, and try to retrace what my breaking-through fantasy has been at work creating out of ghost stories.

Just woke up, the voices in the calle down below shout up to my window, the cold air bites my jaw. I feel myself sinking in the depths of the nest. Staring at the ceiling, I follow the steps of the old woman upstairs. Her footsteps helped me to keep sane when I first moved to the dead quiet of this nightmarish city.

Everything is simultaneously true. The faithful chanting in the temple that’s in the way of religion; the dark night of the soul, the mindless songs of butterflies, flicking way, worms in space, and all the backdrops to heavy drinking.

I used to have a sixth sense, a dreamer’s ability to connect to the body of the spirit, but now I have lost my spiritual senses, and the bottleneck has moved up from my heart to my brain, and the blood pumping has made me carrion-walking, material in a world of forgotten spirit, and yet, and still


haunted by ghosts. I can so see the light of spirits, but I am numbed out from their conversations, and only the light of the sun can reawaken me briefly to a world full of music and earth-shattering dreams. That was the real world. This is a shadow world, a grey-blue pantomime, brimming in silence and relentlessly judging.

The tarot cards assemble before my eyes, as the evening turns in. The seasons alternate, but there is a downward trajectory that I cannot escape. I have information for you. The empress is haunting me, sceptre above the pine trees: at dawn I faint see the destiny of my mosaic-broken soul. It has been taken, it has been stolen. Stolen from a thief, a spy in a foreign city, stealing secrets as to trade with corrupt men. A cosmic joke, the thief has been burgled.

As such, I drink to drown out the past, to melt the present, to stave off the future. The walls outside my window on three sides block out the light of day, and only the sunset comes to visit after another day that’s here and gone. The long winter of the soul, starving for attention, for approval. Seeking approval, seeking energy to steal from strangers, seeking contact, seeking mystery, seeking for seeking’s sake. The days slide in and out without me noticing, one constant night, only the light footsteps of my upstairs neighbour to set the tempo. Towards what, I forget what. I have forgotten my purpose here in this timeless city.

The distant memory of Genoa, of other stained alleys, of other cloud-murk skies, and of deep seas. The shallow seas guzzling up this lagoon are similar to the shallow depths of my spirit, invisible and unable to connect, a half sunk sandoleto, waiting for your judgement, sideways in the mud, under a leafless fig tree, toward the cemetery, where there is rest.

the room I am renting

the room I am renting

is being redeveloped into student housing. Look at’em line up. Freshers.

It looks like, from here, that the whole ramshackle building has been torn apart.

Everything I have ever owned has been compacted into a block.

No.

It turns out that all the houses I have ever lived in

Are being joined into a fancy new development, a modern complex.

Cozy scandinavian interiors and all.

Including the big haunted house from my teens, in which I lived again in my mid twenties, after uni.

Those long nights alone in the dark, creeping through the never ending corridors.

But now, please… let me access the room I was renting. It turns out that very room was part of the haunted house.

On certain nights, up until quite recently…

I could still feel the touch of her cold hand. The light was on, and I was not frightened.

Just a touch of the old chill.

It turns out that the room I am renting is now part of a fun scary ride, a theme park.

Only for children, just like back then.

This is the way in: vampires only, please.

After you, sir.

No need to be afraid. It’s just a fun ride.

sketches on gambling

if a half-grown tadpole

and a fully-formed ghoul

went gambling, what would they say, what would they do?

 

I’m half dead already, and I’ve just come out of metamorphosis.

I’m just here for the weed, and my mind is a fog.

 

I want this.

I haven’t had enough.

 

Mine is the luxury of desire.

Mine is the joy of tearing apart half-formed limbs.

 

My mother was a frog once, and my father a ghoul.

Where are they now?

sketches on hubris

he believed he could do anything, be anything

Lorenzo:

“The wind is broken, temporarily held together by circumstance.”

 

narrator:

in his youth, his friend had brought him blessings from the holy man

as a young man he had been mocked for his cocksure attitude. he had wanted to be a soldier. they mocked him for his bent spine.

these days he runs a drug trade in the Eastern Mediterranean.

sailing across the ocean, he feels the wind on his face. he feels invincible.

inwardly, he repeats the drama that had his former best friend killed only a few months back.

 

Lorenzo:

“How dare you question my authority?

Friend, you’ve questioned my trade. You have talked about getting high. But you have not sampled my product, even if I have offered it to you multiple times.

You have flirted with the girl that desires me. She’s mine.

Worse still, you have flirted with my young associate’s girl.

My senior partner, he is the real deal. He is tough, he’s got cancer. I didn’t know how I would cope if he died.

You used to be my friend. Now you say you are depressed.

Drink, I say! It is on the house.”

narrator:

in the distance, a single Turkish ship glides over the still bulk of horizontal blue. Death by water, a ghost had predicted all those years ago. It never happened. Besieged Ardea, now besieged Candia. We’d slip past the blockade.

Lorenzo:

“Alp was a traitor, and so was Beppo. A voice in my ear whispers: ‘Everything you desire.’ I just have to desire something, wish it, visualize it, and then reach out and grasp it because the Gods will grant me all my wishes. It is my due.

My daemon talks to me, he watches me. He is me, when I am not looking.

All I need is to wish for something to happen, and it does.

Now I wish to die, I feel guilty with sorrow and awe. I have too much. Everyone’s watching. No act should be without purpose. I have been arrogant, haughty, accumulated such wealth. All at the expense of addicts. Create a need, and profit from the addiction. There are many who are addicted to sex and love. They can never have enough.

There is no greater pain than the absence of purpose. Or absence of faith. And then there’s hard-boiled eggs.

The body craves sensations, the sea is overwhelmingly quiet and the sun is staring. A faint breeze is dying on my cheek. The night of the soul will be long. For the soul has appetites. Intelligence, they say, has principles. But the night is long, and I jot down the words in pain. I am tormented.

I climbed at the back of the inn, and I turned the key. The pantry was damp and still. I looked at the feature of the door for a moment. The door had the shape of opportunity, like the love for the old country.

I wanted so badly to harness the piecemeal broken unity of my broken garden retreat. The more I retreated in myself, the more I wanted to murder him. Treason is a squall and a wreckage. In all my derelict, powerful humbleness I reached out for the poison vial in the dark and I emptied its contents in his glass.

I was invincible, and broken. I have learnt nothing.

Demon drugs were altering my sense of purpose, but that is no excuse. One should never tobacco oneself with one’s wares. Capital sin number one. ”


narrator:

Demons clash within Lorenzo, fighting for supremacy afore a storm

fight for his soul, hardened, destroyed, shipwrecked, out at sea, with no help from pain.

Lorenzo is haunted. He was a bully, he wanted to be a soldier. He is impulsive, and not very bright. But to endure is part of justice.


Lorenzo:

“The clouds are gathering, I am going to hit a tempest.

Test: I need to separate what is real, and what is imagined.

My mind projects sharks down there. There is no such thing, obviously.

Those dark clouds look real enough.

My fear is the most real thing I know.

‘inebriate of sin I am,

debauchee of oceans,

reeling through endless pain.

I shiver at the rain’s molten blues’

I shall never renounce my dreams, my drams, my ego.

I shall but drink the more!

This sail boat is surrounded by a dream. You cannot kill me with your storm, you false God!”

narrator:

in heavy seas, he falls overboard hanging on at ends of a rope, his boat is rocked by the angry seas.

poison lingers for decades. Lorenzo is drenched to the core, the storm envelops his soul, a habituation of stress, a habituation of pain.

Dulling the senses, there is only expectation of more sorrow, of subjugation to those instincts of dominance and abuse.

‘Create a need, exploit the addiction’

In his mind, random thoughts of survival and anger mix with ideas and dull memories. Are religious feelings a distraction?

Ghosting the noise and the barbaric waves, he braves back onboard. No-one is looking. No-one is waiting to hand him prizes. Only a voice inside, leading him on.

Fiddling while Rome burns #3

The forth day
of the new year: what better day
to journey East, flower-bound?

The Piraeus Lion radiant as Baldr,
believing itself to be invulnerable.

Time is teaching it drawn-out lessons,
soon to take one last bow before the
crowd caught in Loke’s fishing net.

Venetians, washed-up con-artists
botching the art of murder and
rehearsing forgetfulness, way
overboard if seeking validation.

The forth wall prays and weeps:
the perils of ‘true’ friendship,
of golden hypocrisy, of sweet hubris.

Everything is only for a day,
‘member?