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Vaguely in a Sick Dream

Dreamed late Nov. 1953 by Jack Kerouac

writer Jack Kerouac sleeping, 1958; photo by Robert Frank

VAGUELY IN A SICK DREAM a bunch of us guys are in an open space surrounded by watching crowds, a giant act of teamship and fellow-suffering duty is being enacted as each of us (tho casually and in the midst of continuing almost gay conversations) takes his turn in the center to receive the downward huge tho soft enough shock of some parachute of the sky, some battering ram of mentality and guilt but real, material, so as I take my turn just at the last second someone of my buddies saying 'Jack Jack" I stand there and down it comes, white, big, flappy, and shivers my skull a moment in cottony recognition and frizzles my dream and having done its appointed slow ram of Eternity it rises up, bounces up high and far again, to almost out of sight, where it begins again the descent to earth (which it must never touch), where WE'LL be to receive it on our sacrificial skulls---Watchers say nothing, we talk and pass the time and even the stick, laughing, comradely, crazy together like a troupe of hot rod racers in heaven---

--Jack Kerouac


A startling dream image of co-operation, shared pain, heroes who suffer, shielding the world from... what exactly?

--Chris Wayan

Source: page 196 of Book of Dreams by Jack Kerouac, expanded (2001) edition, City Lights Books.
Date: estimated from sequence.
Title: Kerouac always capitalized a dream's first phrase as a working title, even if it failed to fit the dream as a whole. I'd have called this Cloudfist. Or Piledriver. Or Heaven's Bonk.

LISTS AND LINKS: heads up! - violence - pain in dreams - bravery - weird dream jobs - co-operation & community - weird dream beings - more troublesome clouds in Stompers, Who Ate My Lettuce?, and Cloud of Glory - more Kerouac

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