Monday, May 12, 2008

Nightmare, Novel, Allen Ginsberg

I am addicted to em-dashes. I have about half of a novella I was working on before the novel and it is stuffed end to end with those fuckers.

I am (I think) done with a good draft of the novel. Now.

Night before last I had the worst dream of my life. It lasted three days in dream time (though only about 2 hrs in real) and had thousands of scenes. The one scene I most vividly remember I was in a very large building with many floors that only had one glass elevator. Everyone knew something bad was happening to the air. Everyone was acting however they wanted as they thought the world was ending. My girlfriend was several floors up in my room. I knew men were doing things to her. I was trying to get on the elevator to go up and stop them but other people, including friends of mine, were intentionally jamming the controls so that they could keep me away. People all around me were beating the shit out of the walls and each other and breaking shit and taking shits and squealing and the building was huge and flat on the inside. My friends were laughing and sneering and they were waiting for their turn. I knew more of what they were doing but it is too disgusting to repeat.

The world did not end. Near the end of the dream I was given a reparations package containing $30.55 in loose change and a cookie sheet. There was a station outside my new shitty apartment manned by a small black man in a bellhop coat who gave me the paperwork I had to fill out to get the change. He was very polite. There was a small swimming pool right behind him. Then I was told to go pick up my car and they dropped me off in a lot where all the cars in the world had been relocated and I was supposed to find my car in the lot and it was very hot and I had a tricycle to ride. The lot went on forever in all directions, all cars in the light.

I think those are 2 scenes out of several thousands of scenes. I was trapped, and could not wake up and it all felt very real. I felt sick when I did finally wake up, really fully ill.

I swear the door just opened in the room where I am typing and there was no one there.

Adam Robinson is now offering a free copy of EL GREED by David NeSmith to the next 10 people who buy my chapbook from PUBLISHING GENIUS. I am still offering $1.50 toward the $4 price.

I watched I'M NOT THERE last night. I don't like Bob Dylan, but this movie was really good. Epic in a Scorsese way. It had Heath Ledger in it, that seemed somehow weird. Randomly, David Cross appears as Allen Ginsberg. He looks just like him. It made me laugh. I had to rewind it. Allen Ginsberg was the first writer who made me want to write. I am going to go read KADDISH again right now. It's been more than 10 years.

Here's Bill Burroughs and Ginsberg in their pajamas (photo by Patricia Elliott Marvin):

13 comments:

Kathy said...

that picture looks good.

how do you know you were dreaming for two hours?

BLAKE BUTLER said...

well, i slept about 2.5 hrs. i estimate it took about 30 min to get to REM. and i woke up as it was ending. all estimates really. yr right. ;)

Kathy said...

no i wasn't trying to be right about anything, i just wanted to know your tricks.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

:) dream time is hard to measure

looking forward to you in sleepingfish!

KEN BAUMANN said...

my most fucked dream i had every night for two weeks (with slight variation):

i was running along a suburban street. green lawn on both sides. wide avenue. i come to a country club, and round it, to the pool. people are gathered around. i hop the fence.

i tell everyone, "my shoes. get my shoes, they're at the bottom."

nobody moves. an old lady says something, i say what, she says, "i'll get them."

she jumps in the water with her clothes and shoes still on. the pool is at least a hundred feet deep. she comes up holding a exhaust pipe. dives down, comes up with a cat. dives down, comes up with a flower--

flash of light

heat

i black out, open my eyes. sky is orange with mushroom cloud in the distance. something standing over me. thin and white human, wearing pants. it's head fucked with a trunk and snake eyes.

end of dream.

i was terrified of that dream.

Bradley Sands said...

I am sorry that you had the worst dream of your life, Blake. Hopefully it will continue to be the worst dream of your life.

Today I had a very vivid dream. I don't really remember it though. I woke up and thought, "Whoa, that was a vivid dream." I remembered it a little better when I woke up. I woke up thinking it was almost time for work because it seemed like a very long dream. But I looked at my clock and I had only slept for an hour. This made me feel strange.

I don't think the vivid dream was a nightmare, but I think all of my dreams have nightmare-ish qualities. This is why I clench my jaw while I sleep. This is why I am now in a little bit of pain.

I sleep during the day, so I guess I have daymares.

I had one the other day about Tim Sheldon. It pissed me off that his appearance in my dream made it a nightmare. So I wrote a story-thing about him after I woke up and posted it in my blog.

I used to have horrible nightmares a long time ago. They were so horrible that I would force myself to wake up. But then I would be tired and go back to sleep. And they would start again from where I left off after I went back to sleep. It was like my nightmare was a television show and waking consciousness was a commercial. Sometimes it seemed like I woke myself up and went back to sleep hundreds of times a night. I was starting to go insane. Luckily, I don't have these kinds of nightmares anymore.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

ken, haha that is a weird one to have recur. you must have been eating bad food the whole week.

bradley, i saw yr blog it was interesting, you sleep during the day, what do you do for work?

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i need a night job too.

Bradley Sands said...

Gas station.

I aspire to get a night job where I deal with even less people than I do now. I would like to be a security guard in an empty building which is not used for anything and no one ever goes in like the security guard in Mike Leigh's Naked. I would like to be able to sit at a desk instead of having to walk around.

Either that or teach creative writing at a community college.

I couldn't deal with a 9 to 5 job after I had to give up caffeine because of my TMJ. I am a night person. I used to do 9 to 5 shift with the assistance of coffee.

Maybe I can go back to a semi-decent job now because I've discovered this caffeinated tea-yerba mate-that doesn't fuck my shit up.

But I like doing overnights. They let me use a laptop. Still, I wish I wasn't so dependent on technology. I can't really wrote fiction in a notebook. If I did, it would be 90% crossouts.

Although I haven't written fiction in like two or three weeks. I miss it. Have been doing outlining/editing/blogging.

I need to do more outlining tonight on a novella.

It is really nice to go to sleep in the afternoon. To go for walks and hang out in the daylight after work. I feel sorry for 9 to 5 people. They have to go home and unwind in the darkness. That is depressing. It sucks to be indoors and working a meaningless job in the daylight. It is nicer to do this in the darkness.

I am writing really long comments in your blog.

This is my new thing. It will make me feel a little better about not writing fiction/prose.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

yeah 9 to 5 is a killer. i couldnt do it. nor can i write by hand. i like yr long comments.

Bradley Sands said...

Notebooks are only good for jotting down ideas.

Pace said...

The picture of William and Allen in their pjs happens to be mine. I took it and own the copyright. Please communicate with me for permission to use it or take it off.
Thank you Patricia Elliott Marvin
pelliott@sunflower.com

Patricia said...

The picture you display of William and Allen in their pj is my copyrighted photo. Since you have chosen not to communicate with me , please remove it.
patricia