It went something like this:
A Dream Within a Dream
This poem will be about a dream. You can take either point of view: 1) An actual dream that you had or 2) A dream as in, an aspiration that you have. Describe this dream vividly.
I decided to write a poem about an actual dream I had while sleeping. Below is the result:
The Wish-Dweller’s Dream
(For my late Uncle Carl, who will remain forever young)
Last night I had a dream,
I was reading a book
And mid-sentence, something
Untamed inside my hand
Began to flip the pages.
I landed on the copyright,
Black and white, face-up
And littered of towns in
Proper names, official streets of
Places my feet have never touched.
The year was 1976
And the sky began to churn,
Spit the stars and drag
The planets a new alignment.
Not the coming of some God,
No stand-byers came to their
Porches to fall upon the sinners’ knees.
Time was only rolling backwards,
Each sunset and nightfall a
Succession of dark and light backdrop
That made me dizzy until
The world finally stopped and
Outside the window, the street was old.
A house that had burned down
Before I was born set erect as the
Titanium rod inside my fathers’ left leg.
And suddenly, before I knew it,
I had descended the stairs, began to
Walk through a neighborhood
Of days full of fake plastic kitchens
In retro colors, making my way in a
Twilight-world grown backward,
Steady strolling toward the shadow-soft
house of my mothers’ mother.
I wanted to ascend her front steps, a big surprise!
To smell the powder of her best chilli recipe,
Taste the onion-spice of her pot-roast potatoes.
I longed to hold the hands of my
Youngest uncle on a day before he knew
His liver would take his life.
I wanted to crumble thirty years of time
Like a fine-cemented colonial pillar,
Sweeping old dust under the rug of memory.
I needed to live inside a time that preceded me,
relish in that spirit-home with the homely
smiling wiles of my ever-sweet people;
Alfred Hitchcock across the antenna-eared TV,
dinner crackling atop the stove like
fire logs in the old, warm homethat accepted me as I am, before I ever was.