Dream Mattresses

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Poetry

Submitted: March 23, 2018

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Submitted: March 23, 2018

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DREAM, MATTRESSES

By A Guinevere Kern

 

I

Think of beds, legions

Of swaying, undulant

Water beds: Queen-sized, King-sized

Sleep slabs. Japanese futons, 

Army bunks, Boy Scout sleeping bags,

Quietly taking hostage

All our dreams, night visions, 

Like demonic poultices.

Drawing out our subliminals

And seeping them deep

To the ticking 

And the stuffing

While we sleep.

II

Blithely we lie to our lives

But our mattresses, never.

They harness

Our raging palomino thoughts

And covet shadows

Of gentle musings. Complacent

Stage Two cows, ruminating our

Day's experiences, rumbling them

Through the four stomachs

Of unconsciousness.

Each evening as I recline

Some elemental trigger erupts

Last night's chambered dreams

In a fertile surplus, like a young

Man coming. Fleet and sweet I remember

What I dreamt the previous eve.

My mattress shares its archives.

III

What occurs as mattresses 

Swell to surfeit with our

Sleeptime reveries?

Does my child's energetic bed-bouncing

Radiate dream-pieces, arcs of illusion?

Or reassembled jigsaw cries

Of coupling lovers, amalgams of sex talk?

Do our dreams elbow-jab and bargain

For their space, like sale-table

Shrews at Macy's? How vast must be

These storehouses of Mind!

VI

Old mattresses rot and defleece

In compost heaps, landfills, local dumps:

Incineration food. I'll bet our old dreams

Surge up and whistle forth (like souls

Fleeing the dead) as the mattress burns.

Except the flashback dreams of war survivors.

These cycle the skull and stay 

Forever. To what Heaven do the expelled take flight?

Perhaps our combusted thoughts release energy

As stored batteries do, to drive

Some universal god and keep it Dreaming.

V

Bedspreads were fashioned to tamp down 

Dreams, a cotton faceplate concealing

The owner's occult emotions, guardians

Of convention.

The Mad never seem to dream

Or dream excessively, their mad beds

Rock with insurrections

of misfiring neurons.

Imagine the dizzying flux

Of images unrelated - purple pumas

Doing the Watusi with Garnet Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

Pillows: surreal Walkmans, directing

What steps to dance, dance, dance

In the bicameral disco.

VI

Now I am transferred to California.

My mattress

Must be sold to strangers. What will

They think of my eccentric movies

Possessing their bedy-bye heads

With squatter's rights,

That my bed will preach as earnestly

As a soap opera prophet,

In nightly installments - their snores

And tossings the only interruption?

Anguish! Let them know anguish!

The dreams of a poet

Are worse than those of the damned 

Or the unsound.

VII

They'll say it's bacteria

Lodged in their skulls.

They'll hot-wash the sheets. Yea!

Verily, clorox the sheets! Plead

With the sleep sheep to hook them

Graciously over the white fences in to slumber.

To no avail. All along

It was my mattress:

Caretaker, sentinel, black-veiled 

Widow of the artist,

Tending the bent flame of genius

Devotedly.

Scouring them with night sweats,

Uncommon visions.

The mattress did it.

~Copyright '98


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