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dispatches from dreamland - constance cooper
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an oncoming train


sister special sister

threadbare summer dress

keens and sighs and fits of laughter

your eyes a riot of tangles

court and spark, sister!

we slept

you followed

 women down 

to where they shed their skins

"the object passed

the die was cast

the truth unmasked

held between one and another"

 one moment luminous in moonlight

the next in front of an oncoming train

my sister

you sang so loud we all could hear

everyone's favorite disguise

nelson's wearing everyone's favorite disguise

he's shinier than the stars we can no longer find

he's a satellite sent aloft without a plan

asleep inside a big canoe

kate just now in the city

never seen anything like this before

"take as much as you need...

don't take too much...

it might be pure..."

andy purses like a lizard

replays his favorite 45

diddles another cool black jesus

the news sites say it's madness 

that everything is scattered

that the world has never seen anything like this before

who knows

there is a time for everything

big jazz drummer

nelson kate andy

and we step in time 

elephant centipede feet hit the floor

stand on one leg don't deviate

higher pheromatics of the mind

we know they're screwed down in damascus

in chicago we've seen lepers shed their faces

fiddle with the treble 

fiddle with the bass

so the children sing

"yeah yeah yeah"

she painted a bloody arrow to the stars


she painted a bloody arrow to the stars
so that we might see them

she drew an arrow in the sand
an arrow made of blood

she pulled an egg out of the earth
the warm earth between her legs

she buried the egg in the air
she danced into the sky

nodding off in the concert hall
the aliens got the best of her

at the top of the stairs
she froze me there

froze me with her eyes
i thought i'd die



wrap your troubles in dreams



a balm. a salve. a miracle elixir.

a drop on the tip of the tongue.


trace the play of the blue day.

live inside that single thought.


a miracle. a balm. a savage elixir.

pushpins into the slow blue sky.


and you thought this would help you trace the play of days?




"do you dream in color?" eyes ask.

i could write the book of eyes. 

the eyelids: rise, fall, feint.



riots of silent idioting.
garish colors splashed across a wall.

a mural by the damned.
pussy pastiche whips a henchman's daughter while i

i and my marigolds lilt on by.




woke up underdressed in a sunflower field
mona lisa tramp stamp on my forearm
grit between my teeth
smarty dust in the air
it felt like christmas
until it didn't




bring us your nervous flowers
your tectonic handshakes
we'd like to shine a light

mirror no mirror
you look divine

dum dums
in coats made of fur
your cities await by the sea
your limbs grew up and long in their streets
ancient city where you lived
alive with birds
rorschachs alighting from trees
framed against an orange sky

their songs your mantra

now grown old


you never forgot

in all songs, a place for mexican trumpets 




love grows on trees
courdoroy has something to say
bats collect in bethlehem
haitian thought police have no jurisdiction here 

our haircuts go on joyrides but never tell us where
trace the source, hobo dan
"don't worry, i've been velvet proofed"
lean into it, billingsly
if you're on the periphery, we've a place for you




and so it came to pass
we built our own shrines to zeros and ones
information cathedrals
these voluntary second skins




changing rooms for changelings
locker rooms for specters
powder rooms for tricksters
devils steal babies and leave stones behind
trolls take children for fun
inside the forest, the bloodletting begins


an ice cream social for the damned
you're the guest of honor
a tea party for the honeymoon killers
we've a seat set aside for you
a bowling league for the soulless
and you're invited
a factory for the senseless
you'll be the foreman 




pull a card from the pile.

dance like truman capote.

neckties and martinis.
who writes his novel from the backseat of a two-tire ford?

mass romantics leap into polluted city rivers. 

and so it goes!




native american mainframes.

gilly and wiggles fried the autodoc.

veronex cyper blacks the sky.

glass cities reflect twin bright suns.

baby flamehead, don't you know?

they say vid feeds steal one's soul.




fell in love with a wisp of a girl

out past the treatment plant

where rivers carry pollution into the estuary 

summer came and went

we asleep in the sun




suicide notes no suicides
barking slot machines
blinking dogs chains unchained
baby's nightmares set to henry mancini scores 
cry baby, cry! 
aloft on stickery fins
coke machines. unanswered questions

maybe my death my answer? maybe love?
cry baby, cry!




you dreamt you were a grim fandango
you dreamt you were a meter maid
you dreamt you were a shadow
you dreamt you were a carnival
you dreamt you were a cranky robot
you dreamt you were a portrait in silk
you dreamt you were a star of hairs
you dreamt you were a bank heist
you dreamt you were cracked asphalt
you dreamt you were a sailor's wedding
you dreamt you were a gunshot
you dreamt you were a pencil factory
you dreamt you were a fender bass
you dreamt you were a game show
you dreamt you were an x
you dreamt you were a zoot suit
you dreamt you were a lazy afternoon
you dreamt you were a tree-lined street
you dreamt you were a cowboy's fugue state
you dreamt you were a fistfight in zero g
you dreamt you were a color
you dreamt you were a religion
you dreamt you were an unnamed comet
you dreamt you were a cartoon shut-in
you dreamt you were a dashboard figurine
you dreamt you were actionable intelligence
you dreamt you were someone else's nostalgia
you dreamt you were a paper route
you dreamt you were a bashful junkyard dog
you dreamt you were a waitress on a smoke break
you dreamt you were a mexicali commando
you dreamt you were an unbroken wedding vow
you dreamt you were a shadow moving across someone's lawn
you dreamt you were that space wherein contradictions live
you dreamt you were a photo album on a divorcee's houseboat
you dreamt you were a plastic saint inside a vending machine
you dreamt you were a dream's dream
you dreamt you were a mad heiress

you're the invention you know best



the future lurches in fitful stops  

the future belongs to non-binary mulattoes with angel-poise lamps


riding with mary (after x)

9:50pm on the dashboard in her car 

rides a sweet powerless figurine

10:10pm new treadmarks scar the road

 fast ballet of brutal metals

casually handed me the crash photos 

she and he splayed, intertwined

last embrace of fall-apart bodies 


radio hula

created with skill

our skin is full of wisdom

what the radio does!

birds slowly growing


fox in the night 

married to the fog

follow her with your one good headlight


when i am gone my vibrations will live on

night vibrations on the roof

my colors growl on the roof!

10,000 volts shot through 

guts spill steam and secrets

my face fixed that silly rictus grin


that next year she bought a new stomach

a liver made in detroit

our faces went dirty and grey




in the midst of time

i did for she

she did for mine


deathbed epiphanies come tumbling out of me

lullabies and sonographs

i think i'll give everything away

poems for imagined women


jaqui has lifeboats in her eyes

peeping out from under dark bangs

jacqui's voice paints the air

like a synthesizer's bright sheen

jacqui looks down at the crowd in the rain from the 11th floor

sips, sighs, says "it's a shame there's no more joy" 


girl in the record store wearing the banana album t-shirt

we locked eyes, my nerve left me

where's my goddamn time machine?


 do it once

do it twice

every single time it's twice as nice


had it in my head we met with a spark

but it's like me to forget

i'm marginally attractive from afar


"eeek!" the girl screamed

"it's love. get me off this train!

it's moving way too fast 

to destinations unknown

powered by a volatile brew 

the passengers are devils and saints

who all look the same

don't have a clue who i'm waking up next to


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