January 17, 2019

She hangs in the shadows of my dreams
And whispers…

Johnny Hollow


January 12, 2019

I dreamed all sorts of funny dreams – dreams with you in them all the time, and terrible ticking clocks, and vampires, and ladies with long arms putting out the light, and intimate black dogs just sitting on us. I love you. I love you more than anybody in the world. I love you for millions and millions of things, clocks and vampires and lovely hair and being dizzy and falling dreams. I want you to be with me; you can teach me to walk in the air and I’ll teach you to make nice noises on the piano without any music; and we shan’t have any money at all and we’ll live on other people’s, which they won’t like a bit. I don’t care. I don’t care for anybody. I only want to tell you all the time and over and over again that I love you.

Dylan Thomas

July 1936 letter to Caitlin Macnamara


the unattainable

January 6, 2019

Dreams, memories, the sacred – they are all alike in that they are beyond our grasp. Once we are even marginally separated from what we can touch, the object is sanctified; it acquires the beauty of the unattainable, the quality of the miraculous. Everything, really, has this quality of sacredness, but we can desecrate it at a touch. How strange man is! His touch defiles and yet he contains the source of miracles.

Yukio Mishima
Spring Snow

knows nothing

November 25, 2018

During the day he knows nothing but dreams. During the day he knows only the lethargy the white,  billowing curtain and the humming fan give him as a kind of comfort.  At night he’s wakeful. At night he knows only the loneliness that lies down beside him in the bed and keeps him awake.

Tomas Espedal
translated by James Anderson

sum of our dreams

September 13, 2018

sky trees and sea

Books are not only the arbitrary sum of our dreams, and our memory. They also give us the model of self-transcendence. Some people think of reading only as a kind of escape: an escape from the “real” everyday world to an imaginary world, the world of books. Books are much more. They are a way of being fully human.

I’m sorry to have to tell you that books are now considered an endangered species. By books, I also mean the conditions of reading that make possible literature and its soul effects. Soon, we are told, we will call up on “bookscreens” any “text” on demand, and will be able to change its appearance, ask questions of it, “interact” with it. When books become “texts” that we “interact” with according to criteria of utility, the written word will have become simply another aspect of our advertising-driven televisual reality. This is the glorious future being created, and promised to us, as something more “democratic.” Of course, it means nothing less than the death of inwardness – and of the book.

Susan Sontag
Letter to Borges

inward dreamings

September 6, 2018

All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other.

H.P. Lovecraft
The Silver Key

Don’t resist, my husband says, Mr. Psychiatrist,
ever the eminent Freudian lacking only a sound practice.
At three a.m. dreams blur into a gray shadow-country
I can’t run from on stumps.
It’s a landscape of images, of dog-heads with eyes burned out
into blackening holes, of flanks splitting open
to an ecstasy of brightening organs
drying out in sun so scalding even asleep I can’t contemplate it.
Dreams aren’t fascinating, the Freudians say, except as doors
to the unexplored psyche. But, sleep-sodden, still I wonder,
Why does age bring flashes of decay, tiny hazed snapshots
of organs going numb, of skin that wraps them like grocery sacks,
loose-fitting and brown? Two worlds I live in now. The dailiness
of Super Saver and searingly white lighting bathing Campbell’s soupcans
The nightmares of violation. Of surgery and sharpening knives.

Terri Brown-Davidson

A sea of ink

July 31, 2018

I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough. But you built me dreams instead.

Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus

A Train

Attack of a Train

Mr Riquemale, the commissioner of police of La Ciotat, dreams on March 13 that a band of Italians are gesticulating in his office. Using their arms as semaphores, the Italians explain to him that the train from Marseilles is in a tunnel near Cassis, and it doesn’t want to come out. Mr Riquemale visits the scene of the problem: indeed, there’s the Marseilles train in the tunnel. “Come out of there!” he says. The train doesn’t answer. The Italians, who have followed him, gesticulate in a way that means he mustn’t provoke the train, or else, like a trapped animal, it will attack. Mr Riquemale doesn’t give a damn what a bunch of Italians who can’t speak French might or might not think. “Are you coming out?” he asks the train. “Or am I coming in to get you?” The train doesn’t answer. “All right,” says Mr Riquemale. “Then I’m going in.” He goes into the tunnel, followed by the Italians who go No, no, with their arms. The train attacks.

Paul La Farge
The Facts of Winter

All humans dream, usually three to five times a night. And every time a man dreams he has an erection; every time a woman dreams, the blood vessels of her vagina become engorged. These changes in our genitalia are apparently unrelated to sexual thoughts before sleep or to sexual content in the dreams themselves. Rather, erections and vaginal engorgement seem to be the result of the state of dreaming itself.

Jerome Groopman
Review of The Mystery of Sleep by Meir Kruger in The New Yorker Magazine, Oct 23, 2017.