The surrealists' favorite technique, collage, with its weird juxtapositions, sometimes poetic, sometimes creepy, often bewildering, resembles two types of dream: hynogogic images (the vivid, plotless jumbles many people see when falling asleep or waking), and also the disjunctive, bizarre, unsettling REM dreams I call surf-dreams, for they resemble a chaotic surf-zone between our world and the dream-sea. That may sound to many readers like a description of all dreams, but it isn't; experienced dreamworkers often have coherent dreams of other lives, other worlds--as if they've swum out to the sea beyond the surf zone, and found stable islands in that sea: other phenomenal worlds as real as ours. In my own dreamwork (and this site) I focused more on those stabler shamanic dreams than on hypnogogic or surf-dreams. Still, I admit that seething borderzone where worlds collide does have power, especially in opening rigid minds... and now and then, there's splendor in the clash.
RELATED TOPICS: hypnogogic images - dreamwork in general - lucid dreams - transformations - I'm Just Not Myself Today! - weird dream beings - other worlds - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.
What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 3300+ dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.
|AFTER A LONG ILLNESS: by Nicholas Christopher; summer 1990?, a dream poem
After I flew from New York to Hawaii, a surreal dream of a floating man reeled in like a kite...
|AFTER THE FLOOD & THE PIG-EARED BABY ALLIGATOR: by Skiznot; c.1995, an oracular dream
My hometown floods. I swim after some strange fish and find
a scientific community where a scaled baby tells me who I am...
|THE AIR BURUNDI PAINTINGS: by Wayan; 7 illus., 2007/1/20, a dream of art & courage
Weird paintings cover a hill town in Africa, demanding I paint them when I wake.
Paintings on courage, flight... and defying tradition.
|ANIMANGEL: by Wayan, 1983/10/1-2010/7/22! An ink portrait-poem of my clashing guardian angels
My loud, spiky, tailed angel of change and potential,
and my calm, skeptical devil of gradualism, a star-nosed mole...
|BABY, I'LL BLOW YOUR MIND: by Wayan; 1995/3/21, a surreal nightmare
Allied submarines attack the giant Nazi toddler who's hunting us with sonar, occupying my playroom...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE AND GUILT
|BEET: Five Dreams One Night: by Wayan; 2013/10/30, Halloween dreams as minipoems
Parasites, Rambo, huge fetus-beets, an exhibitionist and a living statue advise me on my love life...
|BILLIE: by Billie's Mom; 1945/1/20, a psychic warning dream
My son Billie, his Navy uniform soaking wet, cried "Oh, Mom--it's so terrible!"
and shrank into a baby again as I held him...
|THE BLACK STREAM: by A.W. Fyson Calder; before Aug. 1928, 1931/12/28, & 1938: 3 predictive dreams
I looked into a narrow stream that was quite clear yet inky black. It made no sense at the time...
|BLUE HOLES: Wayan; 1958 or early 59. Visionary sculpture by 4-year-old.
This was my first sculpture. I was around four. The rest of the preschool class made bunnies and snowmen.
But I'd been peeking at Isamu Noguchi and Henry Moore in my mom's art books, so...
|BOSCHTON BEINGS: by Wayan; 11x14" ink drawing, 1983/6/26, surreal nondream tribute to Bosch
This picture does not actually contain any authentic boston beans, just Hieronymus Boschton b...
|BRIDGE, MOON, PROFESSOR, SHOES: by Dorothea Tanning; 2003? Poem of a flying dream
The moon invites me to go flying, but I get tired of magic and just want to go shopping...
|BUGS AND ROOSEVELT: by Wayan; 1982/5/2, a wild predictive dream illustrated as an epic poem
I'm Bugs Bunny. I torment Daffy Duck till I learn that in many time-branches the New
Deal happened late... or never. I decide to prod a reluctant Franklin Delano Roosevelt...
CAUTION: FIRESIDE PETTING, DUCK TORTURE, BAD POLITICS
|CAPRICES: by Wayan; 2006-, a trio of nondream variant Earths:
Land is sea, sea is land: that's a lotta land!
Seas siphoned off by alien chefs. A lotta different land!
High is low, low is high, abysses are land. Surprisingly sparing land...
|CHE FANNO GLI INGLESI?: by William Archer; 1917/7/30, a senseless dream.
To help the King of Italy, I become a baker in Baluchistan--
learning Norwegian, levitating, meeting quaggas, riding landslides...
|CLOWN: by Naguib Mahfouz; early 1995?, a surreal dream.
My town transforms into a circus--trapeze artists, elephants, clowns. At first I loved it, but when I went home...
|CORNER TORSO: by Wayan; 1996? A surreal sculpture.
A surreal statue of a naked body spilling out of the wall as if someone's caught between dimensions...
|CRAG: by Wayan; 1999; foot-high sculpture of a daydream.
Who sculpts landscape? So I tried a crag with a pool in a hollow on its knee, windows like red eyes...
|CRAZY EGG: by a Colorado convalescent; pre-1961, a small predictive dream dismissed as absurd or symbolic
My grandma came in from gathering eggs and showed me one was triple-sized and very long...
|CUTTLEBONE: by Wayan; 1999, sculpture, 7", plaster/acrylic; a nondream improv.
If you can't tell what it is from the thumbnail, cheer up. It's indescribable full-size, too.
|DALI CENTAUR: by Wayan; 1981/12/12; a surrealist nightmare.
I dreamed I saw what looked like an ink sketch by Dali of a horse--but I was dead wrong...
|DAPHNE THINKS: by Wayan, 2007/6/10, a dream warning of (two?) unacknowledged needs
My co-worker Daphne is snappish and stressed. She meditates, seeking the cause, and
becomes a half-newt-half-koi in a giant fishbowl. Up shambles a curious AI...
|DEAD OR ALIVE? by Nancy Price; 1948, a surreal, poetic dream from the borderzone
Troutmet the moon-pigeon, Burtra the blackbird, a talking acacia,
my dead father and my dead gardener all give me afterlife-advice...
|DOG IN A CASSOCK: by Wayan, 1972/2/3, a comically surreal dream-poem
A master criminal is tracked down by a hound in a monk's robe
who's introduced to me as... the President of the United States?
|THE DOUBLE: by Julie Doucet; Nov. 1992, a lucid alter-ego sex dream.
Looking in a mirror, Julie goes lucid. She changes herself into a man
and pulls her mirror-image through the glass...
CAUTION: CARTOON NUDITY
|DREAM OF ABYSSES: by Marie-Claude Girondé, spring 2007, a dream-drawing.
Girondé dreams she's floating through the oceanic abyss...
|DRINK THE DOVE: by Myoe Shonin; c.1202/9/11, a pre-Surrealist surreal dream
The sparrow died in the ashes, but the dove in my hands became a blue cloud.
I drank it, thinking "This will benefit us all"...
|THE ELEVATOR PROPOSAL: by Wayan, 2004/10/15, a bizarre dream baring a subtle longterm pattern
I'm in an elevator with a giant guy with a hotel cart bearing a silver platter.
On it, an erect penis. The guy tries to enlist me in his program to... what?
CAUTION: CARTOON PENIS
|ENLIGHTENMENT: by Brenda Ferrimani; 1999/3/9, painting of a non-apocalyptic dream
A crowd watches from shore as a great glowing meteor descends into the sea. I fear a tsunami, but...
|EVASION: by Marie-Claude Girondé, summer 2008?, a dream painting.
One pays for soaring high with solitude of the soul...
|FACE CROSSING: by Wayan; 1990-91. Nondream but surreal digital painting..
Slightly altered to remove the familiarity, but this is quite real...
|FIGURE DRAWING: NOW HOLD THAT POSE: by Wayan; 1989/11/6 digital sketch of model clowning.
Shasé liked absurd, impossible poses, and she held them heroically...
CAUTION: SILLY NUDITY
|FILM STARS by Nancy Price; 1948, a surreal predictive/diagnostic dream
I'm a film actress, but the producer isnít happy with my legs, so make-up takes them away to be redone...
|FLUID DREAM CONNECTIONS: by Jenny Badger Sultan; 2003/11/8 and 2007/3/14; linked dreams of pods
A pod of whales in the sky and a circle of children dressed like seed-pods both beg me to interpret them...
|FREAKY DREAM, or, HEART IN MY STOMACH: by Ratiries Steelclaw; c. 2004/3/30, a dream comic
I felt like my heart was in my stomach. My friend Lyx opened me up and confirmed it was. She scolded me for eating it...
|FREEDOM THROUGH BOXES: by Wayan; an experiment in art & pain, Jan 2005
I've always loved curves, color, dreams, sex, texture... and planning, too.
So one day I drew 100 black boxes in ink--no color, no curves, no erasure! And then I began to seek...
|FROGWOMAN MARCH: by Wayan; 2000/11/26, poem of a surreal but almost plausible dream.
Two protesters, under the weight of full scuba gear and flippers, waddle toward City
Hall--the first steps of a transcontinental march. Or at least transcontinental waddle...
|GIRL IN THE WATER: by Wayan, 2000/10/7, twin dreams on... dreamwork?|
In a California with no Gold Rush, wild deer carry a girl over the San Fernando hills to a secret dream-pool...
Then in a Japantown hotel lobby, that girl floats meditating in a huge aquarium, as local gossips lie about her...
|GIRL WITH A PROBLEM: by Wayan; 1997/4/12, a surreal dream.
I date a girl with a mysterious syndrome, but soon I become a monkeyfaced con-man. And SHE becomes...
|THE GRALA: by Eugene Jolas, c. 1934, a nightmare written as a surreal prose-poem
I was having dinner with friends when I saw on the wall a huge skullbone
spider. But I lost the word for spider, and my friends seemed not to see it...
|GRAVE: by Wayan; 1999, a poem of everyday life, if this is your everyday life.
So I looked out my window and saw this guy burying a tiny robed woman in a trench in the street...
|GUNNHILDRíS BIRTH DREAM: by Gunnhildr; c. 1150, a surreal predictive dream.
I dreamt I gave birth to a white-hot stone shedding sparks. Most folk would find my son strange...
|HER HAND ON THE MANTEL: by Frederick Greenwood; before 1894; a disowned predictive dream
Greenwood dreams he finds a severed hand on a mantelpiece. The next day
it happens! But he sees no moral, so he dismisses it...
|HIGHER LEVEL: by Wayan; 2011/12/13, an absurd transcendent dream
I paddle through the grim streets of Karachi on my belly, on a skateboard,
with my flipper-hands, until at last I reach the border to a Higher Realm...
|HOLY ZEN MONK: by Wayan; 1978/4/24, a dream of suicide as political protest
I'm a Zen monk riddled with holes from a weird disease the government denies
is real. So as a protest, I stand naked atop a wall and let the air-sharks take me...
CAUTION: SURREAL SUICIDE
|HUGE OVOID SHAPE: by Jenny Badger Sultan, 1999/8/13 Magrittesque surreal sci-fi dream
A huge white ovoid like a tethered cloud hangs over a city street. We enter it and search for the crew...
|IN THE COURSE OF WORK: by Marie-Claude Girondé, spring 2007?, a dream sculpture
Is that a madwoman riding a horse, or a cougar pouncing on a deer,
or are these dream-creatures wildly making love?
|INUIT MEDITATION: by Wayan; 1989/11/16, a surreal dream-comedy.
I'm the first tuna to get a scholarship to Stanford. Naturally I sign up for a course in Inuit Meditation...
|JEAN ARP'S OCTOPUS: by Wayan; 2001/2/26; a surreal dream of my surreal reaction to a surrealist and his... lunch
A library shows me surrealist Jean Arp's sketchbook. One Eschery sketch with repeated focal points is hypnotic.
But they also show me his lunch, and I try to eat it! I fail. Head & gut disagree. Stuck Arp-way...
CAUTION: NEVER EAT 12-YEAR-OLD SUSHI
|JELLY REBELLION: by Wayan; 2008/8/19, a poem of a diagnostic dream, Dreamverse #9
I interview my own metabolism. Trouble in Cellville! I've got strikers and usurpers. But at least no invaders...
|KICK THE PRESIDENT: by Wayan; 1999/6/1, a dream on consequences.
I win a free game of Kick the President. But what if everyone can see your kick-ass Prez but you?
CAUTION: THIS DREAM IS MONITORED BY THE SECRET SERVICE
|KITTY WANTS TO DIE: by Wayan; 1981/11/9, a nightmare baring a side of me ready to DIE to avoid stuff
Kitty, exhausted, stops fighting what's inside her, and lets herself die.
Crystalline alien worms burst out, growing till they loom over the spaceport...
CAUTION: ADDICTION ROOTED IN AVOIDANCE
|KNEADING DOUGH: by Madellyne Waugh; 2009, a punning dream on money-shame
I'm in the kitchen making a mess--kneading pasta dough on the bookcase. If my mom comes in and sees...
|LANDSCAPE FROM A DREAM: by Paul Nash; recurrent dreams 1895-9, painted summer 1937
As a child, Paul Nash dreamt he flew over rural southern England.
As an adult surrealist painter...
|LEATHER BOYS: by Sunshine; 2015/3/17, a Lovecraftian dream
Leather boys flap down from the sky, feeding from giant mustard pots. We fight them with honey & boomerangs.
|LIBERTÉ: by Marie-Claude Girondé, c. 2005?, a dream painting.
"Freedom is a gift you give yourself." But it doesn't always involve seahorses or babycarriages covered in quills...
|LIFE FORCE: by Patagia; 2006/8/9 & 8/31, three career-advice dreamlets
Out of a Campbell's soup can poured life force: someone's last breath...
|THE MAD UNVEILERS: by Marie-Claude Girondé, early 2009, a dream painting.
The dancers, in a frenzy, stripped themselves. Not just their clothes; themselves...
|MARINE GEOLOGY'S NOT IT: by Wayan; 1984/6/2, a dream farce.
After finding marine geologists in my chocolate pudding, I'd rather be a Frenchman and insult my wife...
|MEOPHAM AIR DISASTER: by G.H.M. Holms; 1930/7/18, a surreal predictive dream
Suddenly, out of the clouds, a man came shooting down, head first, at a terrific pace. He landed on his head with a sickening...
|MICMAC TOWERS: by Wayan; 2010/6/12, a quietly predictive surreal dream
I dream squatters build surreal towers in a city of junk. I wake, go to a movie, and see...
|MOOD ELEVATOR: by Wayan; dreamed 1982/5/12, a surreal/comic dream opposing mood enhancers
Dinner with the Lightbulb Heads. When we leave, the Mood Elevators welcome us...
but won't let us out! And in the struggle to escape, heads will roll--and shatter...
CAUTION: HARSH WORDS ON WESTERN MEDICINE
|THE MUSICAL AMOEBA, by Hermester Barrington, spring 1979, a predictive dream on the Incredible String Band
I'm hiking through the Catskills when a gigantic amoeba comes slipping over the hills...
|NO ROOM ON THE MOON!: by Wayan; 2014/7/7; poem of a frustrating surreal dream
I want to catch a crescent moon home--our transit system's been buying up
old moons and running them across town--but tourists reserved all the seats...
|NUCLEUS: by Wayan, 1979/3/18, a surreal psychologically insightful dream of the inside of an atom
I dream my theatre friends are particles dancing inside an atomic nucleus--
particles that reveal their character, motivations and power. And I'm one too...
|OLD HAT: by Wayan; 1988/1/5, a "normal" (i.e. incoherent) dream.
The Goddess gave birth in my workplace. Her fever-dreams become real around us...
CAUTION: BIRTH SCENE, LIBRARIANS' ORGY
|ON THE NIGHT RIDE HOME: by Wayan; 1971/11/8, an early dream-poem on pushing past prejudice
As I bike home at night, strange doings--a rat is sacrificed; gemstones delivered;
an astronaut shows glowing alien objects; a second rat becomes a... firefighter?
|OVERKILL: by Wayan; 1991. Nondream digital picture-poem-poster.
Now the Evil Empire's dead. We're all safe, safe at last. And all the bombs are gone... right?
|OWLOVERS: by Wayan; 1992, digital painting of vivid daydream.
My dreams mix sex with warmth, grief, even silliness, but what's with the owls? Bewildering...
CAUTION: WEIRD ORGY
|PASSIONVILLE: by Wayan; 1982/7/10; a surreal dream written as a poem
We're stuck in an empty town whose streetnames are all emotions. And they change.
Rage becomes Giggle. Tedium, Terror! Devious town...
|PEAK PORTAL: by Wayan; 2014/8/27, a dream-poem on half-conscious shamanic possession
At a strange gate between worlds with high and low sea levels,
a meddling spirit prods me to clear a path for a salt torrent...
|PIANIST: by Wayan; 1985, a nondream ink caprice.
Love that hair, girl. A very seventies bar-monster...
|PIPES AND TIME: by Wayan; 2017/12/21, a dream of the far future that came true next day
A timetraveler shows me a hotspring shrunk to a quarter of its old flow.
Valves? Pipes? Or drought, from climate change? This IS the future.
A day later, a local main breaks, and our water flow shrinks to a quarter of normal...
|THE PLANTER OF SEEDS: by Victoria Goro-Rapoport, 2011, print based on recurring dreams
I often dream I'm lost in a strange city, wandering the unfamiliar streets
in search of something unknown, and possibly unknowable...
|THE PLAY: by Georges Perec; February 1972, a dream with the attention span of a gnat. Dream #108
I'm in a play. Fear, then joyful sex, then ranching, then silly hats, as a man drones on
about class struggle. Weird chairs, pingpong, coffee, impossible double utterances.
At last I tell friends my dream--backwards. Then I write the dream down on slices of cheese...
CAUTION: SEX ONSTAGE
|PLUM CRAZY: by Wayan; fall 1973, an early surreal but nondream poem
Plums float through the autumn air, sending us airmail kisses. If we'll accept delivery...
|POLTERGEIST: by Wayan; 1983/11/17, a comic surreal dream.
A living camera edits us all: the dappled hawk-man, the slutty candidate, the blue businessmen
who give such bad advice when you pull the thorns from their feet. And my sweet sad hell-hound...
|POLYGON DREAMS: by Wayan; 2007/4/23, a 32-page comic on the effects of shapes
What if comics panels and layouts weren't so square? I try triangles,
pentagons, hexagons, circles, spirals--and some serious stuff pops out...
CAUTION: IDEAS, OCCASIONAL NUDITY, MENTIONS ABUSE
|THE RAINBOW SLEEPER: by Wayan; 107K, 2000/9/20, sculpture of a dream ABOUT a sculpture.
In Rainbow Food Co-op, a huge statue of a sleeping woman emerged from the floor, shedding shoppers...
|RUNAWAY MOONS: by Wayan; 2011/4/6, an absurd nightmare poem
New moons appear. I try to mash them into a spare Earth, but botch the orbits.
So now, runaway moons rumble down a steep San Francisco hill...
CAUTION: ALWAYS SET PARKING BRAKE
|SCIENCE IS A BUILDING THAT COMES ONLY HALFWAY TO THE GROUND:
by SAO (Shawn Allen O'Neal); March 2001, a painting of a dream-scene.
In the golden light of a primal Eden, my friends and I flock naked
through emerald glades like wild deer, until the tower approaches...
|SEX FLOWER: by Wayan; 480 x 640, 1996, unfired clay sculpture painted with acrylic, 9" tall.
Robe or petals? Head or lilybud? Face or tongue or clit or slit? An eerie hybrid of person and flower...
CAUTION: SOMETHIN' HAPPENIN' HERE, BUT WHAT IT IS AIN'T EXACTLY CLEAR
|THE SHRINKING POPE: by Sorcha; 2005/4/1, a Jane Bond dream
Iím the only one who can stop the plot to kill the Pope--but if he keeps shrinking like that, will it matter?
CAUTION: RECOVERING CATHOLIC
|SILKY'S INVERSION: by Wayan; dreamed 2014/4/24, a surrealist dream
My anima, a black mare, is upside down, hanging on the ceiling! Rears downward.
And she's changed sex! Not a mare today, a stallion! A gay, humanophilic stallion...
CAUTION: VERY QUEER FLIRTATION
|SKY-THAW; 2012/6/8 by Wayan; a comic, surreal, political dream-poem
While watching two rooftop actors (one a chicken) I noticed the icebergs in the sky were melting at last...
|SLIDES: by Wayan; 2018/1/28, a surreal playful flirtation dream
I cross San Francisco on public transit--a network of children's slides. One leads into...
A wormhole full of aliens, where a goofy-haired reporter interviews a hacker...
|STALLION, NOT MARE: by Wayan; 2018/2/12, a road-rage weirdo provokes an even weirder dream
DAY: a stranger screams "BITCH! Plant a TREE!" Thinks I'm female and wants to fight over an old bumper sticker?
DREAM: I'm a horse detective. In shades, lipstick, & high heels I try to pass as a mare. Absurd! A stallion in drag...
CAUTION: HORSE NUDITY. OH WAIT, THAT'S NORMAL.
|STEAMROLLER: by Richard Wilbur, late 20th Century; an embarrassing dream.
As the steamroller flattened me I became quite a lovely stained-glass window...
|THE SWORDSMEN: by T.A. Williams; late 1930s, a surreal dream.
Dusk. A plain. A troop of swordsmen approach me, draw their weapons...
and toss their spinning, shining swords up to the stars...
|TANGUY: by Wayan; 1963-4, childhood surrealist drawing.|
No, not a guy with a tan. Yves Tanguy was a sailor who became a Surrealist.
When I was nine or ten, his work inspired me to try my first landscape drawings...
|TARTAN ACID SPIDER TORPEDO: by "Thomas Mountain"; 2008/1/31, a cliffhanger dream.
I get speared by Irish warriors, slipped an LSD dose, chased by giant spiders, torpedoed--hey, I'm not bored!
|THEY FEED THEY LION: by Philip Levine; late 1960s; a dream-poem
A workmate said "They feed they lion"; two dreams later, the poem emerged as you see it...
CAUTION: POLITICAL RAGE, SURREALISM
|THREE SEVENS: by George Antheil; summer 1932; a psychic dream in a dreamlike time
I dream I play 7 and win three times at Monte Carlo. I wake and head for the casino with witnesses...
|TOASTING FORK: by Charles Dickens, August 1843, a surreal tragicomic dream.
A gentleman clad but in a sheet notified me that an old friend had died of a terrible disease. What disease? Well...
|TRIBUTE TO JOAN MIRO: by Wayan; 1984/2000. Erasable crayon, 14 x 17", nondream
Nearly abstract but not quite. The snake, the quill pen, the secretary bird, and the rose.
|TROUT BECK by Nancy Price; summer 1933, an aerial comic dream-epic
I'm carried off by a crane to meet birdfish, singing sheep, fell-spirits, mad shopkeepers and devil-bulls...
|TWENTY OF ME: by Robert MacNish; before 1830. A dream of multiplicity.
I possessed ubiquity: twenty of me, and each possessed by my same soul, so I could not say who I inhabited...
|TWISTED!: by Wayan; 2003/6/23, 18 images; a nondream experiment
I twirled pinups into surreal not-quite-abstracts, to see just how twisted sex could get...
CAUTION: NAKED PRETZELS
|THE VEGETABLES OF SHADOW: by Wayan; 1999/10/4. Nondream surrealist art technique.
Make silhouettes of your beloved vegetables; then listen to the spaces between...
CAUTION: LEWD SQUASH
|WINGVOW: by Wayan; 101K, 1994. Digital collage of dream figures
Here's an incantation to induce flying dreams. "Bring me wings NOW, or forever hold your peace..."
|WATER BOOKS: by Marilyn Stablein; 1968, a dream while visiting Nepal... for six years
In a Tibetan monastery on an ancient lakebed, I swim through a vast sunken library.
Books open like sea anemones, letters float to the surface like kelp...
|THE WORLD NEWS: by Nathaniel Hawthorne; 1843; a dream-job (and career advice?)
I dreamt the world itself hired me, at a generous salary, to report its great affairs exactly as they happen...
|YOUR TURN: by Julian Green; 1933/10/18, a surreal but fair-minded dream.
I was nineteen again, riding my horse down a bad road in Virginia. After three hours, my horse spoke up...
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