Interpretations of dreams
Dreams are corrosive agents. Although dreams are usually imagined as expressions of unconscious desires or fears, it’s their form that’s most important: a fluid attack on the least secure parts of the psyche’s structures. That this happens while a person is sleeping doesn’t qualify this action but amplifies it. Dream imagery and narrative are secondary to their flow through trembles and tremors.
I want a poetry that’s as corrosive as dreams. I want a poetry that finds vulnerable spots in the facades, and that seeps around or beneath what it can’t confront directly. Poetry is to presumption as sappers are to a castle, as love is to need. Its content is for each constituency to decide; what gets shared is its yearning for freedom.
Dreams have a morality in which no one is right. Their logic comes after the fact. They seek to discover the hidden, without ever finding anything except their own fierce and tender movements. This makes them impervious to categories though not to interpretation. A dream can never be paranoid, but neither does it heal. Like a poem it’s always in between.
Alan Gilbert is the author of the poetry collections The Treatment of Monuments (2012) and Late in the Antenna Fields (2011). He has earned praise for his ability to move between personal, national, and global scales and experiences in his wide-ranging, politically and ethically astute poetry. He is the author...