Dream Mugged
 
 
"These Songs are not meant to be understood, you understand.
They are only meant to terrify and comfort."
(#366, Dream Songs, John Berryman)
 
 
yogi mugged
the ole sod clubbed my dream skull                         cracked!               dragged
silk scarves and paper blossoms like a cheap clown                                      'out
my dome
and miniature origami chains turned to soft felt cranes                             took flight
                                              water colors
                                              clone seeds
                                              on the wind
 
shaman standup                            
sacramental wake-up con
spiritual slapstick
Christ him's own spittoon                                                          
                                                                                            Berryman's celestial beard
                                                                                            heavy black-rimmed scowl
                                                                                            hard on the bridge of his
nose
                               3 egos in one
                               blackface            joke:                     only dreams have bones to
fly
 
whacked!                            this time             behind the knees
a slo-mo cudgel swing  so sweet                             so fluid  I missed
                                                                                                                                          it
                                                                                            whacked!
                                                                                                                          thought
                                                                                            whacked!
                                                                                                                          thought
                                                                                            whacked!
                                                                                                                          awake
                                                                            the ole master shook                      
                                                             with laughter
                                              
                                                                                                                                          I
               
breathless
                                                                                                                          I
                                                                                                                          pinned
                                                                                            I
                                                                                            still
dreamt                                               the decrepit monk
                                              danced
                                              bent
                                              baggy fleshed
                                              taut tendoned
                                              brittle boned
                                                             danced
                               hairless and wild
                                                             danced
                                                             a gnarled shrub
                                                                            using the wind
                                                                                                                          for ecstasy
 
               
danced
 
"Mr. Beryman you daid" I drawled                "justadream justadream
justadream"
                                                                            
               
smacked!
                                                                                                                                          my
forehead with
                                                                                                                                          the
butt of his hand
               
smacked!
                                                                                                                                          my
forehead with
                                                                                                                                          the
base of his palm
                                                                             and sunk in      (I gasped)
                                                                            up to                      (I gasped)
                                                                            his elbow             (I sighed)
               
smacked!
                                                                                                                                          my
chest with
                                                                                                                          the butt of
the other hand
               
smacked!
                                                                                                                                          my
chest with
                                                                                                                          the base of
the other palm
                                                                            and sunk in      (I gasped)
                                                                            up to                      (I gasped)
                                                                            his elbow             (I moaned)
               
now then
               
still
               
awake
the wasted yogi                  howled!                               and        screeched!
held tight              
               one hand gripping my spine
held tight
               the other clutching my cerebellum
                                                                                            he leveraged
                                                                                            his feet
                                                                                            into my
                                                                                            pelvis
                                                                                            like                       a turtle
sliding
                                                                                                                          into the sea
                                                                                            settled
                                                                                            all the way
                                                                                            in
                                                                                            only his
                                                                                            veined brown
                                                                                            skull sat
                                                                                            on my
                                                                                            belly
 
the trickster 
licked his 
lips                        I
remembered not
to forget
the shape 
of the mask
before me                                          
                                                                                            eybrow to eyebrow
                                                                                            arc and bulge
                                                                                            perpendicular ridge
                                                                                            prominent cheek knobs
                                                                                            temple dents
                                                                                            dark round sockets
 
                                                                                            into which                I 
                                                             slid                            my
                                                             body 
                                                             sucked
                                                                                                           inexorably drawn
                                                                                                           into                       his
                                                              empty                  gaze
                                                             past                       his
                                                             velvety              blindness