On Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 I had a dream. When I woke up, I was in a strange, half awake state. I reached for my notebook and pen. I often listen to music when I write, so I also grabbed my headphones and my iPhone. I was hoping to listen to Ryan Adams’ cover of “Wonderwall” as I wrote, but it wasn’t on my phone (yeah I know, #firstworldproblems). Going downstairs to retrieve my iPod or my laptop would have further burst the bubble of the dream-like headspace I was in, so I opened the youtube app on my phone to see if anyone had uploaded it. I kept finding only live versions of Adams’ cover but I really wanted to hear all the reverb and ambient sounds of the studio version.
I ended up finding this version, a cover of a cover, if you will, by KMK.
While the recording is very rugged, his performance is solid, and the reverb, oh Lord the reverb! Some of the commenters said the effect was too much but for me, I couldn’t have asked for a better soundtrack. It sounded even more dream-like than Ryan Adams’ arrangement. I played the song over and over again as I wrote, trying hard to strike a balance between being awake enough to write but asleep enough to remember the dream until I finished the first draft.
It has been edited since then. Yesterday I drove to Providence for the free poetry workshop at AS220, facilitated by the very talented Astrid Drew. As usual, it was fun and informative and I got a lot of feedback and criticism from everyone.
I am usually wary about posting unfinished drafts on blogs, but I felt I couldn’t share this story without sharing the poem as well. Have a look at it and let me know what you think.
This is the dream I had:
TRANSCRIPT OF A DREAM (draft 7/23/12)
by Kris Weinrich
It’s a cool July and I’m 12 years old,
running down the dirt path
and through tall green weeds
to her cabin by the lake.
She steps onto the porch
in a light blue hooded sweatshirt,
smiling and waving, holding two popsicles.
She throws me one and we sit down next to each other.
We talk until dusk becomes blue, then a purple twilight.
I slide myself off the edge of the porch to the ground.
“I have to go, it’ll be dark soon, and I forgot to bring a flashlight”.
She says, “The trick is, if the stars are out,
you can close your eyes tight for a while, keep them in total dark,
and when you open them again, they’re more sensitive to light.
You can sort of see your hands in front of your face
or reach out to someone else’s.”
She comes down off the porch and reaches out,
She holds both my hands.
The sky is darker, but star woven.
“Now look down and close your eyes.”
For a while all is quiet but our breath.
My thumb caresses her hand,
drawing small circles.
She gently pulls me towards her, I move in,
our foreheads touch, and we kiss lightly,
A second kiss, deeper, a third kiss, longer,
until we break for air.
“Now look up.”
Everything is brighter. I can see
her face, her eyes, her smile.
The headlights of my family’s car come over the hill,
the pale white cutting through our blue.
“I gotta go. Can I see you tomorrow?”
She nods, smiling.
I run to the car, but keep looking back.
I want to push against practical,
away from the arms of my parents,
lamp glow and warm blankets.
I want to run risk, move through near dark
with eyes full of stolen light
and reach for her hands again.
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photo by Kris Weinrich