Tuesday, February 20, 2007



I’m beginning to dream again of my life among
the ornamental, the vaguely functional,
the doorstops and paperweights, my tenure
in the legion of lawn gnomes, my brotherhood
with novelty decanters, my solidarity
with the generally useless, the inscrutably devised,
the deformed idea, the Elvis clock,
the flea market phantasm, the broken
stapler clicking toothlessly, the pen caddy unpenned,
I am walking towards nowhere,
I am listening to the station
broadcasting the weather,
I am forgetting the weather,
I am shutting my vinyl coat in the car door,
I am leaving it there in the door
like a strange maroon pelt,
I’m dreaming of all the use I could have been
but was not, the clock repairman
lost in the Swiss coils of time,
eyes ruined by the hours
and the hours, the antiquated milkman
leaving frost rimed bottles
on the doorstep of a 1950’s educational film,
that burred boy at the door
terrified by the split atom,
by Sputnik, by his mother’s zombie absolution,
that was not me, no, not so
specific as that, not this morning
which is not the same
morning in my dream, strange
to think now there are two
of them, one in which my name is Paul Guest
and one in which I cannot read
the tag pressed to my chest
or the name on my birth
certificate, nothing in this morning
speaks any language
I know, maybe I have fallen into the mind’s endless
Russia, maybe this dream
has piled against my mind
like snow and the cold
radiates everywhere,
through the windows and the door
it comes like a battering
ram, announcing itself with splinters,
but no dream ever lasts,
not even the terrifying ones,
the ones from which all floors have fled
and everything is gravity
and velocity and at the dream’s end is death.


Matthew Guenette said...

Must be something in the water. I drafted a poem recently with this for a first line:

I’ve been dreaming again...

If I'm thinking Guestian poems, I'll assume I'm on the right track.

You beautiful, beautiful man...

Hannah said...

What a lovely, lonely poem. Very much enjoyed reading and re-reading.

Scoplaw said...

Paul, these and the two prior are awesome. You may be feeling discouraged, but your muse certainly isn't.

More please.