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It's Nelly's World

Dream State

alec vanderboom

On Route 17, past Salamanca, a small sign by the side of the road: "Natural Area." As opposed to what? Beyond it, a scene that spreads to the vanishing point, land, houses, trees, empty warehouses, soil.

How bad can anything truly be? I have running water -- in the house. No need to go outdoors at dark-thirty, break the ice lying heavy on the surface of the trough. In the house.

I dream my computer has been stolen, and my laptop, and the external hard drive, everything, everything gone. My work, my life, my connection to things outside me, my toil of a year and a half. Gone, too, is the antique desk it stood upon. This is a desk that never existed in reality, unlike the computers. But it is taken anyway. The room is empty, echoing now. It is a room I never had, but would have liked if I did. The person who should have cared in my dream does not care at all: "Oh, why are you complaining?" And so I learn to stop.

Sudden Poem

Those early evening stars,
alight in a washed blue sky
(Repeat after me: "Ciel");

there for me
as I turned the car along a curve on the Berme Road
--and there are many Berme Roads here, none of which meet, so beware!--
but then, you
might have an epiphany, getting lost, cursing yourself,
at twilight in this part of the world where you often go out and
look for a very

Blessings often wear funny disguises--the earrings you unwrap, and think: Eewww; I don't like these at all. And then, over time, they transform into the pair you reach for every time you go out. They make you feel wonderful. Or, say, the funny fleece shawl/sweater thing, with no arms, your mother gives you one Christmas: When am I ever going to wear this? The short answer, it turns out, is every single chilly night, now; it alone permits you to sit up and read in bed. And so it is with so many gifts. Those tricky things.

Dreams carry with them the residue of the past, and a bit of the future. They are the bridge between night and day. Your fears, and your hopes. The year past and the one to come in one strange, half-known package. Pull the ribbon. See. See.