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poetry club, the one i dreamt of.

February 26, 2012

Sometimes my dreams are interesting. I don’t know if this is at least partially because I have to take at least one sedative to go to sleep, or if the pills I take have nothing to do with my dreams at all.

I don’t get freakishly weird and surreal dreams like you might see in movies, or might experience if you are awake, but under the influence of some some psychedelic substance you have ingested. I’ve never dropped acid or eaten ‘shrooms or peyote, so have not experienced these fantastical visions firsthand.

My dreams are not “trippy,” like such experiences might be, but are sometimes interesting nonetheless.

I have multiple dreams each night. The ones I am able remember when I wake up.. I seem to have at least 3, that is the main number. Sometimes 2. I don’t remember having four or more in one night, and if I do, it is rare.

I’ve just gotten out of bed, and my typing is a bit off, and I haven’t had breakfast yet, so my writing here on this entry will be a bit weird. I will endeavor to communicate myself effectively as I can.

I stay up late. Can’t help it.. usually get to sleep around 5 am or so. It is 1:27 pm now, and before I got out of bed and sat at this computer, I lay in my bed mostly awake for awhile after I had woken. I tend to do this a lot.. lay in bed after I get up.

Alright then.. the last dream, which was more peaceful than the dream before it.. which I do remember, and might write about, but it is morbid. I don’t remember the first dream well enough to write about it.

The poetry club.

A classroom that is empty. No tables, no chairs, nothing on the counters. Brown paneling, up to waist high, including a few narrow countertops, white walls, white carpet on the floors.

The carpet was fairly comfortable to sit on, and those of us in this first meeting of the group were all sitting on the floor.

I waking life, I don’t sit comfortably on even carpeted floors well, not without a good backrest, like a couch to lean against. In the dream, I sat contentedly enough and without discomfort on the the carpet, without leaning against anything.

I was one of the first people in the room. Walking into the room was not part of my dream. My dreams transition from one to another without any dissolve like a transition from one part to another in a movie, and often with no resolution, like a plot in a book that has reached its end.

This would be jarring in a movie or a book, but quite natural when I dream.

In my dreams, I am always myself, to some degree. With less anxieties and less anxiety symptoms than I have when I wake up.. no over-adrenalized feeling, no tinnitus, so that is good. At least I get a break from these symptoms when I sleep.

But, as in real life, I, in my dreams, almost always feel socially isolated, even if I am sitting in a semi-circle in a room with other people, all sitting cross-legged, with our knees practically against each other.

Even though the room was a fairly large classroom, we did not spread out, but sat close together. Even though at first, I was one of five people in the room.

All of us in the room were white. Before now, I’ve never thought about race and dreaming. I don’t remember ever dreaming of anyone who was not white, even though, back in California, where I lived for most of my life, the city was very multi-racial, and I had friends and acquaintances at school and work who were of every ethnicity. I was even part of an international club at school, and was at times the only white person in the room.

But, I dream of white people. I wonder if black people only dream about black people, hispanics only dream of other hispanics, etc.

Hmmm..

The people I interact with in my dreams are almost never people I have met in the waking world. I wonder if they are people, like me, who exist in the waking world.. I don’t called the world I am in when I am awake the “real” world.” For all I know, the dreaming world is just as real. Perhaps that is a romantic notion, but I am open to the possibility that the world I am part of when I dream might be just as real, just real in a different way?

The people I interact with in these dreams, the people who I have never met, seen or heard of in the waking world, I wonder if they are also people who are asleep and dreaming, and sharing the same dream I am?

I don’t remember the people in the room with me very well. I felt as though, while sitting in this room, I was sleepy, and not so able to pay attention. I was sitting next to a guy, if I remember right. I at first was on one edge of the semi-circle.

There were three people in between me and the teacher, who was leading the club. One was a young blonde woman. I remember her and the teacher both wearing thick sweaters, sort of like fisherman’s sweaters. The blonde woman was young, not particularly cute, but alright-looking. She had hair in odd curls, sort of, a little bit frizzy. She seemed a bit insecure.

The teacher seemed very secure, although not particularly nice. Somewhat of a stern person. She was a brunette.. age.. late 30’s to early 40’s, I suppose. Seemed older than me, even though, in my waking life, I am in this same age group. I don’t know what my age was in my dream. In the waking world, people in authority, or who are far better at something than I am, seem older than they are.

The brunette teacher was not one of these brunettes that I am really attracted to in waking life. I am particularly attracted to blondes and brunettes with light brown eyes. The teacher had dark brown hair, and eyes to match.

She wasn’t mean, but not a friendly soul either, just there, businesslike.

This was the first meeting, and we just sat there, waiting for other people to come in.

We each had to choose the name of a poet for ourselves. We would not be using our real names.

Sometimes, in my waking life, I have not liked the use of different names. The only time I really did like taking on a nickname was when, in 1993, I worked at a Christian conference center, in the childcare center. All the people who worked in the childcare center, where we took care of kids who were infants, toddlers, or pre-schoolers, and all those working in the daycamp, who worked with elementary school kids.. all of us staff had to take on nicknames of characters from tv or movies that kids might be familiar with.

I am tall, and like sesame street, so, after some thinking about this, I chose the name Big Bird. The name fit rather well, I think. The following summer, my last at the conference center, I did not work with children, but still was called Big Bird. I liked that very much.

But other than that, I haven’t much liked people being assigned or having to choose different names.

While in a Zen Buddhist meeting, I felt a bit uncomfortable calling a white guy Enzo. I think that word refers to a Japanese drawing of a circle, of sorts, perhaps one not complete. I just looked up the name, and it turns out it is used by Europeans, a name with both Italian, and Old German roots, but I think it was chosen for its significance to the Japanese. Zen is a Japanese form of Buddhism.

Enzo,, whose real name I am not quite sure of now, since it has been sometime since I last attended that group, and called Enzo.. Enzo.. he went through some sort of ritual or ceremony, after reaching a certain point in his zen training, and was given a “dharma name.” I don’t know how common this is.. maybe it is just part of Americanized Zen Buddhism, and not something done in Japan. Or Vietnam, or China, where the Zen-type of Buddhism is practiced.

Yeah, it felt weird using the name Enzo.

But not nearly as weird as having communication with pagans, or reading about them.

I’ve written about pagans and pagan culture in the past, sometimes favorably, sometimes not so.

One of the things I’ve liked least about pagan culture, is people picking names for themselves.

I don’t always object to this. One witch I was in communication with via email said one reason to use made-up names was for security reasons. In the state where I currently live, most people tend to be both religious, mostly Christian or Mormon. I don’t know how mormons feel about pagans, but Christians certainly feel uneasy about them.. even feel hostile toward pagans. So as to avoid job discrimination, and mistreatment in general, some witches and other pagans use other names, so they won’t be found out.

There are other reasons pagans choose names for themselves. I won’t get into these other reasons though; you can read more on my thoughts on paganism if you want to.. by looking over to the right, where there are words in red. This is the tag cloud. click on a word, and you’ll then find yourself on a page where are listed all my entries thus far on the particular topic you have clicked on.

Pagan names.. some were quite original. I liked these names well enough.

But so many pagans have been horribly unimaginative when choosing names. It’s just awful.

I cannot tell you how many pagan people whose names I’ve seen in various pagan clubs that I’ve found online, or who I have met, who have chosen names with the words “wolf” or “raven” in them.

Astonishing. There have even been people who have called themselves “raven-wolf.” Oh yeah, brilliant.

Another name that bothered me was “lady avalon.” There are probably loads of women out there who go by the name “lady avalon.” Just googled that name. There is an avalon series by Marion Zimmer Bradley, including a book entitled “Lady of Avalon,” and there is on the first google page of listings, at least two people who have chosen to use the name “lady avalon.”

C’mon pagans! Don’t be lazy! Pick cool, original names!

In the poetry club, the one in my dream, I was feeling kind of uncool, because of my choice of names. I was feeling very tired, in this dream, and socially anxious, so picked the first poet name I’d thought of, which was Robert Frost.

Not the most original choice. Nothing wrong with Frost’s poetry. He was absolutely brilliant, of course, but, if there is one poet just about anyone with at least a 6th grade education can think of, it is Robert Frost.

More people came in, gradually.

At the time my dream stopped, and I woke up, there were, I am guessing, 11 people in the room.Something like that.

There were no club activities, or conclusion to the meeting in my dream. As in many dreams, the dream just ends, without any sort of ending.

Some students chose names they had come up with themselves. Cool names. I wish I could remember them.

Some chose names of more obscure poets, but names, that, in my dream, I had heard of, or somehow knew were the names of poets.

One girl, a brunette with long but somewhat unkempt hair, and slightly orange eye-liner, chose a very interesting name with the word ghost in it somewhere. I thought the name was very original, but cannot remember it now, except that it consisted of four words. Or maybe it was someone else, another brunette, who chose that name, and the one with the orange eye-liner chose the name of either Robert Bilman, or Tom Bilman.

I googled both these names. Didn’t find any poet listings for either. Each name led me to an intruiging (hard to spell that word correctly right now), non-poetry related website. The name “Tom Bilman” I found on a “con artist hall of infamy website.” Robert Bilman.. not someone famous, but found his name on a website called WAYN.com WAYN stands for “where are you now?” I looked over that website for just a couple minutes.. looks like a penpal site.. or something like that.. cool. I might just set up a profile. I’d like to have more online friends who are not from the States.

In dreams past, I’ve come up with different words, or people’s names, that I was previously unfamiliar with, have googled these words or names, and learned more. It’s only happened a couple times before this dream..I like when this happens. I’ve written other posts on other dreams..

Back to the poetry club..

As other people walked in, sat down, chose names, I felt worse about myself. I thought of a name I should have chosen, to seem more edgy and cool and interesting. There is a poem I studied back in the spring of ’93, when I was in a poetry class. I was majoring in English, so of course I had to take a poetry class.

The poem is really looking up. It is called “beware : do not read this poem.” That is how the title shows up on the page in my “Norton Anthology of Poetry, Third Edition” book, which was the text for the class. The poem was by Ishmael Reed.

I was thinking to myself, as the other people walked in, that I should have chosen the name Ishmael Reed. People would have said, “who?” and I would have been able to tell them about Reed’s poem, and would have felt rather good about myself.

Interesting that, while dreaming, I was thinking of something, having a thought process, just as I would in the waking world. This is unusual for me. I tend not to have dreams in which I am carefully considering things. Usually I am just interacting with people, not sitting there quietly, thinking of something.

Two younger guys walked in the room. Dudes in their late teens. For some reason, I said to the rest of the group, something like.. “Don’t we already have a Tom Bilman?” Even though I think a girl had chosen the name Robert Bilman, not Tom Bilman.

One of the guys had the name Bilman across the collar of his shirt. Like it was the brand name logo of the shirt he was wearing, and I figured he’d choose that name, since, in my dream, Bilman was a poet.

He chose another name, though.

I am a bit homophobic sometimes, in my waking life, although I have had many gay friends.. gays, lesbians, lots of them I used to hang out with, but not much in the past ten years.

In the dream, I found myself sitting in between two guys. I did not like this. Felt a bit antsy. Wanted to be sitting in between two women.

I thought more to myself about poets’ names, after my uneasiness, after I just accepted I’d be sitting between two guys. My last thought before I woke up was, “this room could really fill up. we don’t have anyone who has chosen the name W.H. Auden, or Emerson, or Emily Dickinson, or Thoreau.. this room could get pretty crowded.” I was thinking we’d have to get more people, since there were a lot of names yet to be chosen.

And then I woke up.

Not an exciting dream, or a troubling one, but that’s alright.

I don’t know why I dream of some things.

Some dreams make sense. It is common for people to dream about something related to what they’ve talked about, read about, or watched on television, shortly before falling asleep.

But my dreams are almost never like that.

I do have a book by W.H. Auden under my bed. Perhaps I glanced at it before going to sleep. I’ve read very little of that book so far, and have not read any poems from it in over a week.

But overall, I have not, in quite a long time, been a poetry enthusiast. I haven’t had any sort of poetry class in over a decade. I haven’t written poetry regularly since the late ’90’s.

I don’t know why I dreamed about being part of a poetry club.

I found the dream interesting enough to write about.. two of the names in the dream led me to two websites I would not have found otherwise. And, while writing about this dream, I was able to write about naming.. the names we choose.

That’s all I have to say about this particular, short dream.

Thanks for reading.

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