Rodger Kamenetz


---for Alice Notley in Paris

I said I'd seen the clouds in her dreams: waterspouts. She said no they had arms. Then two female judges hunched the black shoulders of their robes. Like crows I said. No she said not like. They became crows. Tall crows. Standing on either side of us they pinched our shoulders with thick dark beaks and lifted us into the sky. Gently I said. She screamed they are piercing my heart whose dream is it anyway? Together we entered the grey puree. The many-legged cloud walked to the horizon while bits of us flew in the mouths of birds. They spat us out: bite size words.

The Operation Was A Success. Unfortunately...

There's an operation to remove the dream from your body. Did it just crawl in or grow like a tiny scrotum on the tender wall of the will? Outside the village they found a python with a man-sized lump in its belly. Inside me a man cries-- another man inside me thinks tender needs a woman's touch. The dream surgeon cut with an iridium blade. The villagers hung the python on forked branches and sliced. A human smell boiled off the dark palm oil. Gastric juices had done their duty attacking the skull and eyes. Your dream lies on a bright clean table kicking its legs. They toweled the blood. A pink newborn with fists clenched pushes a mighty cry. Who knew they would do a Caesarean? Life is so unfair to the dream.


You are my last best hope for contact with the will, muttered the dream quietly to herself. She went off to play jacks beside the sliding board. No I'm a bat announced the dream and flew into Little Orphan Annie's hair. That's it the teacher cried. No more dreaming today. Open your math homework. Outside the window it was drizzling fractions ½ ⅓ ¼ ⅕. In my dream the people are speaking algebra. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my dream. The men in the Santa Claus suits are father figures. How many? An army of them marching on Threshold City. Let me know when they get here. Father figures what? Father figures, mother dickers, the groceries landed on Iwo Jima and the Eisenhower mask had no holes for the eyes.

Rodger Kamenetz's eleven books include The Jew in the Lotus and The History of Last Night's Dream. His most recent books of poetry are The Lowercase Jew and To Die Next To You. Lavender Ink will bring out his collection of prose poems, YONDER, in spring 2019