michael klein





Last night’s dream opened with me and Andrew lying in an inflatable boat on some body of water somewhere in summer. A plane was slowly falling out of the sky and heading right towards us. I remember thinking in the dream (when thinking feels like you’re pulling the length of a telescope further out) that I’d seen this before: a plane falling, floating almost, towards these two men in this boat. Then it stopped and Andrew instinctively knew nothing was going to happen to us.

Later that same day or year of the dream, I am in a house with a lot of people hanging around—all age groups; a house with a porch in the country and the air is very still. It’s night and a young man is reading me a poem he wrote and asks me what I think of it and I secretly hate it but of course I don’t tell him that. I tell him it feels like the beginning of a poem. I tell him there’s no ghost poem and that every poem has a ghost poem—which upon waking, is an idea I don’t know whether is true or not. I’m reading a book by Charles Baxter about subtext and the ghost idea, I’m sure, came out of that book.

Suddenly, in the night of the dream the sky starts this incredible light show—kaleidoscopic, slightly frightening—all about reminding the town enthralled below that the sky is a screen for the world without a projector. It tells us what it wants to tell us. And then someone else reads a poem again, which is a better poem than the first poem.

* * *

We’re at the beach. Everybody is at the beach. It’s summer, in the beginning. And Jean is there and me and Andrew and a slew of beautiful boys—beautiful the way they were at the beginning of liberation when all the queers looked like hippies.

And there’s a car (there’s always a car) and the guy I’m with (there’s always a guy), is driving it the other way—actually sitting the other way—looking at where we were instead of where we’re going. Miraculously, we get there—the part of the dream that feels goal oriented. But I don’t know what we’re there for exactly, unless it’s for sex which, in a lot of dreams—my dreams anyway—it is.

There’s a carnival on the dream beach. In the rooms that border the beach women are painting floors and making flags and nobody (suddenly in the middle of the dream) is there that I know and I’m thinking that Andrew will do everything he can to find me or at least take me somewhere where I can get another phone. But where we are, where I am in my dream, makes it very clear that even though there are houses and the natural world at the intersection of so many people talking and being in so much summer there is nothing like money or goods. There is as there always has been what we have made and what we brought with us.

I’m doing a reading that night and so is Jean but in different places and I don’t know how to reach her or Andrew or the vague choir of boys swimming in my mind or why I even need to reach the vague choir (except for another fix of beauty). And I’m suddenly thinking mundanely (the way a schedule feels mundane and sharp in a dream), who will I have dinner with?

And so I just start walking, broken sneaker in hand, down a street of trees, trees, the first trees all day, their first appearance in the dream. And I see a woman dressed up for a performance of some kind because she is carrying a trumpet in a leather case and is dressed in that way musicians who play classical music get dressed—between inspired and formal, black usually with sneakers—and I say, I know you and she says, I know you and then she says, Lisa Epstein, Music and Art and I say, that’s right, and then I say, Michael Klein.