Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Mar 2016
Each time I attempt to conclude
this equation,
I arrive at the same intersection of doubt,
as if fate sees me coming.

1) Highway ****** Crash
2) The Evasive Goings-on in The Puppy Court
3) A Picture of Susan Howe in a Man's Grey Overcoat

These sequences of event all appeared to me in dreams. The same dream, repeated, over a succession of winter nights. The first few sober, the last an alert blur, wherein the images seemed to make the most sense.

All I can be assured of is this:
because the police officer in the dream was a police officer
Not a garda síochana or police inspector
the dream was definitely set in one of the Midwest United States
where I've never been, yet oddly interests me more than Canada,
where the same applies. It was definitely  freezing
(perhaps the blanket had been pulled off me in sleep?)
and the police officer definitely spoke English and said
"Highway" Hence: American.

The first night the dream arrived
It was that time of year when the night sky
subtly tricks you into believing that
morning is imminently about to break.

Those nights
A reminder that nature
was the first coy tease of suspended disbelief
the first pay-per-view special that took its time
getting going and then ended all too soon.

Two trucks had split in two a mid-size saloon-
That was the first of the dream's episodes-
But a voice arrived like a roll call of ice before an avalanche
-whispering that it was "a setup"-
which I presumed meant "collusion."
So I had a ******, at hand, in my dream-
speaking to the mustachioed Midwestern police detective afterwards-
as mutually understanding as if we had been in the same all-boys Catholic secondary school.
He had the suspects-so we then presided unto-


Which was-yes, a court whose racial make-up consisted of young Dogs-
(This being a dream ; Dreams which are often the dictionary definition of Surreal and often don't mean anything)
The more I consider it, the Puppies were also most likely Puppets
Acted out by humans who had fists shoved up their *****.
Perhaps this court was a speculative court-it was, most certainly,
A "Kangaroo" court
With no justice being presided over, as such.
Heckles sounded throughout most of the exhibits,
A sternly yapping Yorkshire Terrier banged the gavel to no avail-
He was consistently rudely interrupted by a cocksure Golden Retriever-
who seemed to have as his boyos most of the bench and the jurors.
I never did find out who was responsible
for the horrific collision that spelled the end for the saloon driver,
as at this point I would usually exit the court in disgust
and for some reason found myself reading a poem in front of
an audience of one-
the acclaimed Irish-American L=A=N==G=U=A=G=E (that's how they spell it..) poet Susan Howe.

Yes, she was indeed wearing a Man's gray Overcoat
Resembling herself in the picture I held in my hand
Next to my own text
And as I looked toward her
The room's low lighting seem to reflect
the sparse "Black and White" filter of the photograph
and she was also wearing what looked like
the same Man's gray (Houndstooth maybe?
She Looked ALL filtered through "Black and White")

So the intention seemed to be that I was reading,
or perhaps presenting, maybe even pitching?
to Susan Howe. ("And how!"-might have been the before-or-after gag I might have used to anyone who new how it was going to go or how it happened-what gamey fun, these puns be...)
Susan looked on with penitence, as if prematurely unimpressed...
I look down to the poem I was expecting myself to read, and realised...
why the ******* did I choose that?

It was a poem I had written several years ago (well, if several means seven, lets say six)
Its subject was a young Canadian (possible Motorway Crash Link? Perhaps I misremembered her as midwestern?..) Muslim student whom I had shared a class on Hellenistic philosophy with back in the first or second year of my undergrad in Dublin (oh the hedonistic, sunsplashed, affordable Dublin of those days) and whom I had shared a flirtatious rapport with, innocent enough of course but always backdropped by a underscored leitmotif that instilled the threat of a problematic outcome across religious and possibly less so cultural divides


Nevertheless, she laughed at my jokes and self-deprecation and would squeeze my arm tightly when particularly amused , would hug me enthusiastically at the end of every class and although I never saw the full profile of her under that headscarf her ****** features Vogue beach fashion shoot stunning and after the module ended I never saw her again oh but how rare and strangely puritanical the lust...

Regardless, the poem began as such:

A Stir in Yemen/ must have been the catalyst for the smokey condensation/ in your gaze/ the mocha swirl in your pupils/ and the vex in your smile/ alluding to double meanings/innuendo that treads together like an Ernst canvas/ a blessed triptych/thrillingly

This poem was typed onto a model of Nokia phone which I have been made aware has since gone out of fashion, like it's producer.

Max Ernst-the surrealist painter, of course. A manual in style for most of us.

In response to my reading, Susan Howe merely nodded silently, seemingly all knowingly, as if she had thought the poem written for her or contained an interpretation that I had unintended (or, if asked by the real-life Susan Howe, would pretend to have intended all along.)

And there the Dream Triptych always ended.

As I said at the beginning I dreamt it twice more that same week, once intoxicated. It always followed the same sequence, and I don't read books on dreams so I have no idea what it meant, why it had three distinct parts or whether if most likely it was all a bit of nonsense. But at least it was INTERESTING.

Make the rest up for yourself.
Written by
Westley Barnes
Please log in to view and add comments on poems