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Like Notre Dame

Dreamed early April? 1953 by Jack Kerouac

photo of writer Jack Kerouac

LIKE NOTRE DAME in Montreal is the Cathedral, the church that the train of some sort is pulling into and I'm with Bull [William Burroughs]----a giant dog runs alongside in the aisle, by pews, it's the "Hound of the Baskervilles"----Suddenly he takes off impatiently into the air, becoming a giant black bird, and flies over the altar and descends at the vestry doors where hurrying theological students pay no attention to him & he lands upright on his feet like a man----& humped with wings walks to a vestry door looking like Satan, black, sad, but also like a humble vestry janitor---

Later I'm with Bull and some youths, I say to one of them "I look like a hoodlum too when I'm dressed sharp" He doesnt believe it, looks at me, an older jerk talking crap----I feel silly---

Ah so our bird is tripping into a vestry door----behind altars----

I woke up, looked in the mirror with disgust at my fattening oldish face----the giant bird limped----the kid who looked at me with suspicion was Don, was blond----(Don Johnson I met in Mex City)----

That limpish Angel Gabriel sooty bird----

--Jack Kerouac


I posted this dream for its odd imagery. I expect a lot of things in a Kerouac dreams--trains, hipsters, drugs, sex, mom, cops, and endless scene changes (restless guy!)--but I do not expect the Hound of the Baskervilles flying in a cathedral. Yeah, Jack soon slips back into his usual box: hanging with hipsters, worrying he's not young, edgy, cool enough. But now and then all dreamers stray out of their behavioral box. That may, after all, be the whole point of dreaming. To get you out of your box.

Wish he'd trailed the hound.

--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: p.85 of Book of Dreams by Jack Kerouac, expanded (2001) edition, City Lights Books.
Date: estimated from sequence. May be some weeks off.
Title: Kerouac always capitalized a dream's first phrase as a working title, even if it didn't fit the dream as a whole.

LISTS AND LINKS: church - hounds - flying - transformation - birds - priests - Christianity - religion in general - class & status - blush! - more Kerouac

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