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Dreamed 2009/5/29 by Chris Wayan; Dreamverse 45
for Guy Maddin and his neo-silent films
I work on Abyssia, an alternate world I'm building with a simple formula:
I've made a relief globe and finished a world map; tonight I start the first close-up page describing a landmass: Filipinia, a mountainous mini-continent. Rough in a page or two of text and a couple of altitude maps.
- remove Earth's water
- make every height a depth, every depth a height, turning Earth's geography inside out or upside down...
- pour the water back on, and...
- see what the world looks like!
But it's slow work extracting gold from recalcitrant ore...
When I scream, no one can hear.
I'm trapped in an early Hollywood film,
all silence and smoky sepia glare.
I'm brown. I live in a mining town,
in stone-age Sonora or Baja, below
saguaros totem-tall. We mine
a living, squirming, howling ore.
It lets us fly, when pure.
As I tug an ore-cart up the hill
on wood rails under smokewood shade
to be smelted into purest yell,
pirates speck the sky. A raid!
Rickety sepia gliders,
as if built by pulque-drunk riders
to worship Pterodactyl.
And that's exactly who they are:
for this is silent Hollywood! Each
raider dangles claws on lines
trawling our desert floor to snatch
our howling nuggets. Or miners, us!
Yet it's absurd--these rough-
stitched fliers couldn't waft us off:
even their crab-claws weigh too much.
But this is silent Hollywood.
Film, archeology, flight, all
infant disciplines. Rubes won't care
or even know. Abysmal, their
ignorance leaves producers free
to film feverdreams! Like Doyle's
Lost World, or King Kong. So I'll
soon be carried off by pre-
historic air-pirates. Ore-pirates. By
my producer's obsession led.
Logic? Just a Vulcan dream
twelve thousand years ahead.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
- We mine a living, howling ore we smelt to give us flight: the dream echoes Blake's visionary poem The Mental Traveller, about our spiritual lifecycles. I think the image means cartooning dreams and writing them up as poems, as I'm doing.
- Absurd flimsy pirates: Scott Baldauf of the Christian Science Monitor interviewed Somali pirates. They're naïve boys! The real pirates: bribe-taking officials and warlords in Punt, and overseas investors who fund the raids. Sea-pirates'll fester til the land has a rule of law. Or at least jobs. A second article says that won't be soon: Somalia's most extreme Islamist leader said he'd work with moderates, then waged all-out war. Wants to rule.
- The Lost World: I recently saw this Hollywood silent. Bizarre! A major film of its era, yet the plot, images, science & logic are feverishly wrong--a demented home movie. Histrionic acting; wobbly stop-motion dinosaurs; one chimp, one Piltdown Man and a thousand dinos all live on a mesa in Guyana; volcanoes destroy it all after 60 million years of stability, seconds after our heroes escape; they bring back a brontosaur who promptly rampages through London. Mother of Kong!
- Pterodactyl cult: 1: pterodactyls on strings in The Lost World. 2: the human tribe worshiping King Kong? 3: Lois McMaster Bujold's novel Horizon. Its psychic Rangers didn't bother me--I've experienced similar ESP. But when pterodactylish bat-people lift human adults like hawks snatching mice, but then can't quiiite hoist them over a ridge... well, I balked. Fly by physics or magic--but Lois, don't mess with Mr. In Between!
- Baja or Sonora: Similar latitude and climate to the northern part of Filipinia, the mini-continent I built today on Abyssia. The dream helpfully points out a geographic analogy I overlooked in favor of Chile and Northern Australia.
- Fever-dreams: I woke up with a mild fever. This was a literal fever-dream! One that had the guts to declare itself openly: "I'm a feeeever dream, I don't need no steenkin' logic!"
- ACTION: Under my lurid taste for magic, I've been a rationalist all along. My motto's "Dreams make sense if we'll just listen." But when they howl "No I don't! Our director's insane, this plot is stupid!"... what then?
LISTS AND LINKS:
thieves and pirates -
deserts and oases -
dreams about dreaming -
dream humor -
natural laws -
dream poems -
the Dreamverse project - the next Dreamverse:
Joe Cool in Financial Hell - two more dreams of Baja/Sonora:
Man with the Snake and
The Desert's Purpose
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