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Antlers on my Head, Silene in my Teeth

February 11, 2008

chumash rock art

In the dream

I ride the boy’s bike home up hill much steeper
odd hills parks where roads might be. I think
this is the town of my grandfather.
I pass friends on grass with beers they wave.

Streets that should be easy turn into stairs.
I go toward town: narrow roads some dark tall
buildings canyons I go down to go up.
Cars people shout I turn unintended ways.


I must attend a friend’s ritual performance
suicide with my deer antlers on.
Carry bike up fire escape: handlebars
antlers catch in trees– woven with silene
tough wiry stems cling tight from when I found them

My grandmother hated this silene:
the way you couldn’t get rid of it
the way you’d pull and pull and just get
handfuls of leaves, stem still planted firmly
the way it climbs and strangles what it can.

silene on antlers catches trees pulls
yanks my head so hard some silene left
behind, some silene I carry more
to burden to restore redeem the antlers.

Through window I go lay boy’s bike down see
friend display case sprawled. We range in
office museum store
classroom top floor high above town

a place for condors and preserving them.
Charles runs it teaches sells books puppets stuff;
phone rings. My friend lays on case wrapped in
condor skin red flesh of face on his face

hooked bill oily black ruff great wing feathers
one extends under him the other close.
Hi my friend says head lifts he grins blinks. Glad
you could make it. He is joyous not ironic. I am sweaty.

Out of breath. Late. He doesn’t care. I am
there. I smile back lean with bike on warm wall.
Charles gets off the phone and in that great room
red yellow black cream Chumash rock art hangs

cases full of the precious the rare
dark raw walnut trims huge paned windows
draws light inside hues of evening sky
with us gathered there: He begins again.

based on notes from a dream 2/17/07 when nila northSun was visiting

images and info

jump on the train!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2008 3:40 pm

    This is wonderful. Great narration. I loved the journey you took me through.

    broken lines

  2. February 11, 2008 3:40 pm

    BTW, the title is simply marvellous.

  3. February 11, 2008 10:52 pm

    I can see myself dreaming about this, seeing everything as it could be in a dream!

  4. February 11, 2008 11:37 pm

    what details! odd journey but full of imaginary

  5. February 11, 2008 11:46 pm

    glad you like d the title–i was thinking it was tooo odd!

    but that’s what dreams are like, eh?

  6. February 12, 2008 1:01 am

    Loved this part:


    I must attend a friend’s ritual performance
    suicide with my deer antlers on.
    Carry bike up fire escape: handlebars
    antlers catch in trees– woven with silene’

    That perfectly captures the logic of dreams. And I love the antlers/handlebars image.

  7. February 12, 2008 9:14 pm

    Very trippy…
    Odd, imaginative, EXCELLENT!

  8. February 20, 2008 4:08 pm

    What does this dream mean to you? Who is Nila NorthSun? Was there a significant connection?

    Mysterious and grotesque…I look forward to reading your blog more often.

  9. February 20, 2008 4:55 pm

    i could do a whole post on what the dream might mean…i read a first draft to charles that morning when he happened to drop by and it was interesting to hear his interp of it too.

    but essentially how the challenges come from the path and how the path is influenced by friends and family–and no matter how challenging, we can gather, support each other and begin again…like the restoration and recovery of the condor…and we can look beyond our family of origin to other traditions and rituals. the chumash lived here for many generations longer than my family (and my family’s been here for over 100 years).

    nila north sun is a wonderful shoshone chippewa poet and dear sister-friend. she has a new book out, love at gunpoint, and was reading at UCSB and visiting.

  10. February 21, 2008 4:01 am

    Beautiful…the path…seems we talk about that a great deal at our house, too. Thanks for sharing.

    I will look up love at gunpoint…hoping to learn a bit more on nila north sun.

    We are enjoying the eclipse here in the northern US…the moon is a beautiful orange right now.


  11. March 18, 2008 1:26 am

    totally Psychedelic an Trippy dude, it reminded me of this

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