Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Friday, 30 March 2012

I Dream to Honor Our Greek-Jewish Ancestors

It was a dream of mine to share the unique heritage of Jewish-Greek culture in my city. I saw a great opportunity when the film "My Sweet Canary" began their North America tour. An event which links the history with our very own Greek Rembetika band, The Rembetika Hipsters

After extensive correspondence with Roy Sher, filmmaker of "My Sweet Canary" and the Greek Community and Hellenic Society of Calgary, I finally contacted the Rembetika Hipsters band, our local Rembetika music.

Here's what bandleader Allan Baekeland had to say:

"This is a fantastic idea...I'm not sure you're going to get a lot of help from the Greek community. There is a degree of ambivalence and even hostility towards rembetiko music amongst the local Greeks...unsavoury lyrics about drugs and criminal behavior, its Turkish origins, etc...I think we can get a good size audience for such an event in the fall."

I am sitting around a table at the Kehila Kedosha Greek Synagogue in Lower East Side Manhattan. This is the last remnants of Greek Jewish culture in the area. I am with my extended Greek Jewish family, dining upon some traditional delights. There is some argument at play. My grandfather stands out among the crowd, somehow dissatisfied. In my reflection, I see the argument revolves around the ancestral name. Did our name change upon immigration? In order to find the answer I travel outside of the synagogue, outside of the city limits to a small hut, in which an American hermit, living out in nature in a small, ramshackle hut often recurs as a returning dream-character. When I arrive to his hut, he greets me graciously. I ask about how to attain filtered water without a filter, after which he points me in the direction of a stream. Unaware, I lead the way and find that his once-densely forested nature hermitage is now interspersed with half-destroyed concrete buildings and functioning industrial office rooms. I enter one of the offices to let people know we are here to understand how to filter water without a filter, they look at me ignorantly and distractedly brush me off. The hermit then leads me to a stream, where the water is rushing clear as a cloudless sky through a gorgeous array of stones. I feel I’ve found what I’ve been after, but there is more, now faded into the forgetfulness of day.  


fire light  
widening, the open mountain 
crevasse of grandfather's memory
"God's country west" 
Mt. Rainier
Washington is there 
"is he in you?"

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Pasolini Dreams of Oedipus Rex


“That is the thing that inspired Pasolini the most in Sophocles, the contrast between total innocence and the quest for knowledge.


“It isn’t so much the cruelty that produces crimes but the fact that crimes are committed because people don’t understand history, life or reality…if Oedipus had not been so fatally innocent and unconscious, if he had been an intellectual and had first sought out the truth, he might have been able to alter reality. The only hope is a cultural one, to be an intellectual.”


“Pasolini wanted the central part, which is the main part of the film, to resemble a dream. This explains the settings and the choice of costumes, and in a sense, the general rhythm of the film.” 


Immediately, I fall into a field, transformed into a beast with qualities of a saber-toothed tiger, a large prehistoric dog and massive reptile. I fly, as with vestigial wings, across the golden, low-lying field on foot, beside me are other beasts of similar quality. Above us, a helicopter hovers menacingly. We race towards a cliff side and plummet off its edge.

In mid-air, we become human, though prehistoric humans. We wear rough animal hides. The others become topless women with faces resembling famous actresses and a friendly girl who used to live on the same property as me in the Western Massachusetts countryside. She had spiky dreadlocks and was an inveterate marijuana user, yet a tough spirit at heart. I watch as she glides effortlessly down the daring tree trunks, only just evading a branch with spikes sharp enough to impale straight through the bone. We finally reach the bottom, and this reality transforms to me running with my golden retriever through the paved neighborhoods in the suburban coastal woodlands of modern day Massachusetts.

I enter the woods. My dog has since left my side. I find my way onto the property of another identical suburban home as the rest. I find a choice between a kayak and a canoe to flee down a nearby stream. At first I choose the canoe, and then return for the kayak for greater stability and smaller, lighter body. I begin to flow down the stream, and suddenly it turns into a great river. I am on this river, which I call Shaganappi River. I feel safe, as this is a great and mighty river, and it will lead me along its course for days through the gorgeous riverine banks of forest, cliff-side and freshwater island scenery. This river slightly resembles the St. Lawrence, where I once kayaked solo for hours under a deafening thunder of sky and empty spiritual witnessing.

As soon as I sense that I am beyond the sights and feelers of my past, I enter a mucky, narrow zone that I am unable to penetrate through. I feel someone has followed me here, and I am at risk of being sent back to my former life in paved neighborhoods. Yet, I manage to sneak past this murky undergrowth violating the surface of the river with vegetable muck and mire and continue on unnoticed.

I continue on the river as before, for days and nights, sleeping under the floating watery stars, as my subjective eye pierces the veil of Earth’s atmosphere with a unity of being in tune with the flow of the great being below my nightly watercraft and bed. Ultimately, I find a small stand, perched against the unsteady shore. Inside is an on old friend from Calgary, who has since fled this city eagerly for the brilliance of Brazil. She is friendly an offers me a cold drink and an ice slush, which she is selling to passersby. I look ahead and see the river mysteriously turned into highway, a crooked bend of road packed with cars in rush hour. I tell her that I think I will turn back and go upstream against the flow of the great river, back where I came rather than face this void impasse of humanity ahead. She agrees, however she brings up that it would be easier for my friend, an ultra-marathon runner than I, however she wishes me good luck and offers me her plutonic friendship, which, for me, is the greatest gift from her.

I begin upstream, although it may seem difficulty, I see no challenge, and simply row along swiftly until the beginning road. My dream cycle fades, and next I am rising up in an elevator. I meet a local Greek restaurant owner who I’ve been trying to contact and he offers me the funding to organize an event for Greek Heritage and Culture, highlighting the music of Roza Eskenazi. I am delighted. There is a man there who’s working for my betterment, on my behalf, he resembles Poet Tree and I am glad to know his physical dream presence as he is kind and encouraging in life.

I descend in the elevator and next find myself waiting for my wife outside a cinema. The movie house lobby is packed with kids who appear to be nearing the end of their high school, they are a beat group. One walks up to me, noticing me from a music venue, and begins talking to me about how he rides waterfalls. He literally uses a board or foot-born craft of some kind and traverses the verticality of some of the world’s most formidable waterfalls. It is a death-defying sport, yet he is keen to show me.

I walk along a damp dirt pathway. This is Athabaska territory. We are at the largest waterfall in the region. I feel the presence of snakes and other venomous creatures about. They say there is a snake who dwells here that is especially aggressive. As we near the edge of the waterfall cliff where the man dips down into the abyss beyond, I see one of these snakes challenging one guy in our party. The guy is playful, trying to disarm the snake with his experience, however he is bitten, which in my mind is fatal, however no one is panicking. Afraid, I dart back, tracing my steps along the path, meeting many snakes along the way, I manage to avoid their wicked advances. Coming to an outcrop, I look out and see this new extreme sportsman riding the waterfall with prowess. It is a sight to behold.    


Man towards Mule

ghost of the stalking whispers of human division blind my inside vision as I stir with personal betrayal over the family history in spirit, the moment's occurrence on this very land, quiet peacemaking, mobility tightly screws the factions of an embittered mind each hour, dying to the painful alcoholic grimace of glum infamy

our brewed, wide, drunken grave stammers, laughing to the holy fix and we are reduced to a liar, crying on man towards a mule

- Calgary Winter 09’

Monday, 26 March 2012

A Long Sleep in Fellini's Most Vivid Dream

"I can't come down.
I can't land.
It's your fault.
It's up to you."

"A long sleep."

- From the penultimate scene of Fellini's "Juliet of the Spirits" when the main character receives a barrage of visions and the spirits haunt her as no other time in her life, consequences of the "long sleep"

In my experience, a longer, fuller sleep induces more vivid, more frequent and more discernible dream narratives. What the penultimate scene from "Juliet of the Spirits" and indeed the entire film points to, in my mind, is the idea that Juliet, the protagonist, has been submerged in subconscious urges and preoccupations for too long, that their inescapable manifestations begin to peek out into her waking consciousness as in the stupor of sleep. The gorge and slew of both inanimate and living tempests swarm about, as a march of assailants in the form of multiple kinds of attractions and diversions. Has she simply been subject to her own delusions for too long? Or has she been too unable to realize that her very surroundings are incontrovertibly diluted by the anxiety of an unremembered dream or a lingering past, whose burden weighs on her as a traumatic background in her now semi-formed consciousness.

[Dr. Ernst] Bernhard’s focus on Jungian depth psychology proved to be the single greatest influence on Fellini’s mature style and marked the turning point in his work from neorealism to filmmaking that was “primarily oneiric”.[31] As a consequence, Jung's seminal ideas on the anima and the animus, the role of archetypes and the collective unconscious directly influenced such films as 8½ (1963),Juliet of the Spirits (1965), Satyricon (1969), Casanova (1976), and City of Women (1980).[32]

31 - Kezich, Fellini: His Life and Work, 227

32 - Bondanella, Cinema of Federico Fellini, 151-54

- from Wikipedia 


A frenetic blur of imagery sparks like lightning through an overcast sky in my subconscious as I travel through unknown whereabouts and experience fragments of lived time with indiscernible rhythms and consensual mysteries evacuating from my internal realizations as soon as they are actualized. Upon waking, there is an absolute fading of dream memory at once overcome through cleansing the doorways to my dreaming with pristine internal perception inspired by listening to John McLaughlin’s composition “Lotus Feet.”

I walk through the volatile lighting of an American department store. Above, through the radio speakers latched against the top of the high-rise shelving reaching to the visible reinforcements in the ceiling, a couple having passionate sex is emitted very audibly throughout the air of the building. As I pass by the cash register, I notice people are mostly trying to ignore this obvious audio incursion. Looking through an entrance to the back warehouse behind the cash register, I see a half-naked woman and her lover. I continue on, ever more rapidly in pace to the back of the department store, which then is suddenly converted into a movie house.

I am seated with my wife and a woman who very much resembles an acquaintance I made in Cairo. She was a nice young lady and very tall, who used to give me rides in her dilapidated Volkswagen bug through the atrociously busy streets of Cairo, driving with an ease and confidence unlike even the most seasoned taxi cab drivers. Here she was sitting next to me and my wife. I could tell we were watching an experimental video installation by the artist John Cage. All of the monitors are three different sizes, placed in different areas of the room, with exchanging audio frequencies, but mostly silent. Two of the monitors screen the same video, while the one behind us is a totally different screening. This experimental cinema is fascinating, however I am distracted by the two women beside me, one who is coaxing me to stay, trying to seduce me, the other is leading me away, trying to get me out of this confrontational presence. My wife soon leaves, and the Cairene lady sits in the theatre ever welcoming, however I soon exit.    

The street is cold, it is night and your breath exhales as thick as a cream-based soup out into the freezing air. The weather is dry, and so the breath evaporates and disperses as quickly as my wife’s gone and disappeared. I cross through the low-lying wintry brush of a coastal woodland environment. I can feel the salt of the sea on my skin and on the felled trunks and trees. At a clearing, I stop, inhale the glorious freshness of the seaside air and lean against a massive horizontal tree, lying upon the ground with its majestic, silvery gray icing.

I find my way into a house resembling a wood-floored home of my upbringing. I am at a computer, as I used to sit at one when I first began to use a computer. I feel an intense anxiety. My mother walks in the room with my tropical biology professor from Peru. This is an odd sight however I am completely pre-occupied with an overwhelming nervousness, as I feel that I have missed my final exams to complete high school. I become extremely angry and frustrated with disbelief at having to continue on into my pre-mature schooling. I wake relieved.   

she exits

diminished to bodiless spirit 
or soul wordslip 

at the door

he crumbles 

grandfather cookie 
a humility that knows only human end 


after the show 
before coffee

- excerpt from "Soul Wordslip"

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Changing the Subtle Body of Dreams

“Visualization is like a language that you can use to talk to your subconscious. Your subconscious is the part of your brain that’s in charge of a lot of things, but one of the things it’s in charge of is your body’s unconscious processes. How much oxygen you need is not a conscious thought…how much your heart beats is unconscious…We’re being run by a brain that we can’t talk to, but what I’ve realized is visualization is like a language that you can use to talk to your unconscious…Visualization is the universal, or symbols, is the universal language for people that don’t speak your language, your body doesn’t speak your language…look at the picture…look through it, let your subconscious absorb it for just thirty seconds, and then close your eyes…and you do it when your mind is calm and powerful and relaxed, your subconscious understands…”

- Jon Gabriel, Author and Weight Loss Expert

“The #1 best way to digest stress hormones is sleep, and deep sleep will metabolize excess cortizol and epinephrine [stress hormones] better than anything else…sleep as long as you need to and whenever you can.”

- Dr. Christiane Northrup, Best-Selling Women’s Health Author


"Rest During the Day, So You Can Sleep Well" - Shirazian Proverb

I am at the dinner table of my grandmothers in Upstate New York, it is a large table where all the extended family eats for holiday celebrations. I am sitting next to my Father, who is curiously interrogative as to why I am not eating. I begin to tell him about vegetarianism. I say to him that since I can’t eat what’s on the table, which appears to be a meat-based, carnivore’s delight as usual, I am not only handicapped that I can’t eat, but as a vegetarian I must eat more frequently than meat-eaters. This puts me at an increasing disadvantage for when there are solidified times when eating becomes an event and there is not much to eat, so not only am I extra famished because I haven’t eaten, but because I need to eat at a different frequency. I go on to add conversational topics on the experience of being vegetarian. After which I am shown to a mouse cage. The cage is covered in glass walls, almost resembling a reptile or spider pet’s home. All at the table seem to be watching, as I reach into the mouse cage, though there is no mouse, I am reaching for something to close the cage, though as I do, the cage gets bigger and I become smaller. As soon as I am aware, I am in the cage, lying over the pine shavings.  

in a relationship that hovers above
our felt dreaming 
days that drift perfectly
to reflect the pain that grows in scams
of conversed soliloquy heights,

and merging, thoughtless to a secondary grin
she mumbles across the thin lips

a fan of starved off love 
in the dry heat of shocked suburbia 
20 rooms

holding the fact of disassociated family praise
and social malaise
ruining the worst trial
into a gross and thick tide
sucking back the curling emotional stupidity

- excerpt from "Lotus Feed

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Dreaming is a Choice between Fear and Love

By Walt Whitman
Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with, take warning, I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this façade, this smooth and tolerant manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man?
Have you no thought, O dreamer, that it may be all maya, illusion? 


I am in a dimly lit college dormitory. Occupying a strange room with my new wife, I await an old acquaintance. I’m being enticed to be a part of an international marijuana trade. The benefits will by high and the peer pressure mounts however I turn my back on the offers and listen to the silent wishes of my new wife, whose dear presence reminds me that trafficking only leads to indirect violence, and all the filth that follows in the wake of easy money. We stand in the smoked out room, where dusty, creaking lights sway as above a reptile’s glass cage. The old life of chronic marijuana use wafts in my subconscious as a strong, deep inhalation, and I clear the smoke of self-conscious perception through a mind and body purified by love. 


Is there love without music? 
And why does music spark love?

Music provides the innocent
backdrop for the play to unfold,
and become sweet
as the spring in a mid-winter sun
fading against the whisky iris of my lover’s cat
scratching the butchered skin of L.A.

deranged toxicity, madness of memory
from beyond the grips of fatigue
and into the failure to be,
true and awake, light with the speed of thought,
a slight wink on the riverside blue,
and what's new from another lazy, sick waiting?

she sits transfixed
and I ignore the heart
that beats quicker inside
with every finger drop
word flatness

I rinse myself blindly in an alcoholic fight
through perfect humanity,
knowing the loveless embrace of non-feeling,
and her lust
and her lust again,

a secretive tear at the loss of an eyelid
dimming in the thick listening
of night fallen
with shared melancholic delight…

March 01. 217am 2010
Butler mansion. (N.W. Calgary). My love sleeps smiling, I sober up, listening to music of nostalgic kisses

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Icicle Melts in the Warm Heart of a Loving Dream

It came to her in a Dream…


There is a recurring dream-character. She is reminiscent of a Maya girl who I once gifted a jade ring to in her home village in southeastern Mexico, however this dream-character also has very French features and darker, thicker hair braided in a massive pony tail fatter than her spine, looking like it’s exploded with sparks of static electric strands of finer hair in the shadow-cast light. I can’t completely see her face.

There is a great distance between us as she is always cast in shadow. The scene is one of an arranged marriage, however my wife is beside, and who as I reflect now, is to become my second wife in dream! During the night of the marriage, however, I renew feelings of love for my first wife, who is my dream-woman in real life, and abandon the younger girl who is arranged to be married to me on this day.

As my parents leave the scene to run an errand for the wedding services, they tell me about their recent news, where they’ve become billionaires and are buying homes in Newport, RI, which will be sure to benefit me and my new married life. I respond with ghastly sarcasm and they leave indifferent in their swamped lives of money and possessions. I take a car for my wife and I, and we head down the road. We are in a place similar to Connecticut, resembling the industrial surroundings on the highway to New York City.

Next, I find myself singing, as the foreman of a folk band. With guitar in hand, we perform songs on stage in front of a lively sit-down crowd in the dim light of a downtown music venue. This music follows me into the living room of my father’s house.

My stepmother is there alone, cleaning the house by herself. I am in the center of the room, practicing my singing. As she nears, I begin to belt out ever-higher falsetto notes, as my heartbeat intensified and began to shake my whole being in loneliness and stark presence against the mundane vacuity of house-making before me.

As soon as I stopped, she raced a remote control car out into the hall, as I shrunk into one of the rooms, which to my surprise was still made for a small child. I wrapped myself in an undersized knit blanket and while still dreaming, thought that her actions symbolized not growing out of child rearing and only participating in people’s lives through objectified play, an inverted disconnected electronics. 

(The end of the dream juxtaposes with the electronic music reference above, where electronic creativity is central to making intimate connections. The Buddha resides in all things, even your computer!)

Interestingly, my wife’s dream this same night had me also marrying another woman. On the night before we were to be married, the entire family and even she slept together with us in a living room on the floor space. She could hear me arguing with my wife-to-be about. “This is not how it should be, this is not how people love one another,” I would say. She felt the same strong emotions that I felt in my dream in the same night, of longing for true experience with one’s love and feeling a sense of loss at having to watch them become distant. 

Choose Art

Art is a choice, between perception and dreaming, when both are combined in active creativity.

The residue of dreaming infused with an enlightened consciousness on the positive qualities of becoming increasingly aware of and interacting with dreams as an essential aspect of life, sometimes expresses itself in life as the perception of art as "dreams" within reality.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Dreams from an Iran Brutalized until Unconscious…Still Speaking


“For more than two years now, the Iranian state has tried to crush the dreams of freedom which arose in June in 2009. Dreams, such as those which others in the Middle East have seen come true this year.”

Pahvan Fahimi – spokeswoman for grieving mothers

“He was a child of 19, preparing to go to university. He hadn’t fulfilled any of his dreams. Who killed him? On whose orders? Why? I ask all of you. What was he asking of this country? Only peace and freedom of thought.”


“Bahar is a student and a rapper. Like most young people, in 2009, she dreams of a different Iran.”

Bahar – student and rapper

“Like an enchanted castle crumbling it took just 6 or 7 hours to erase hope. And all those who voted for Moussavi realized it was just a dream.

The Islamic Republic has always been a nightmare for me.

…they’ve done all they can to try to take that hope from us... It will go on and on, until you scream your deepest feelings, you see freedom, and you’re no longer afraid to speak your mind. And that’s the day your hope will become reality.”

From “Letters from Iran” an Al-Jazeera Documentary

This week, from March 20-23, it is Persian New Year, or Nowruz.

New Years

Happy New Years!
Persian, Hebrew, Roman, Chinese
Many in One.

May the New Year live up to its Name.

I am outside of the concrete square homes that the Maya people of Xmaben, Campeche in Mexico construct as a symbol of prestige beside their grass huts, however they don’t live in them. They used to hang my hammock from wall to wall, but before sleep each night, I was visited by a local girl. A small, petite young lady with unmistakably Maya features, she used to send me sweet smiles and laughter from outside, beckoning me to join her in the night. I wanted to marry her. I gave her a jade ring and consummated our innocent feelings. In my dream, I feel as if we are married. After I leave the village, I find myself in a furnished bedroom in a Mexican city. In it, I await my other love, a Spanish woman, a few years older than I, with a gorgeous wit. It seems we have married as well. Our life, however, becomes overly domestic and soon I wait for her, to find only our empty abode. 

As the dream cycle continues, I attend a high school reunion. I am excited and confident to see my old friends from the days of superficial cliques and institutionalized learning. I tell people I married twice in Mexico. They don’t find this surprising from me, and go on to talk in their circles of indiscernible chatter. I later return home to my mother’s house in this same town. My stepfather and her watch television as usual. The television portrays ghastly scenes of war. Children, it seems of Southeast Asia, are being run over mercilessly by tanks, their bodies scarred with burn marks and ash. I react, abhorred and deeply offended by the mindless atrocities that we are witnessing via television, and my mother cries, but my stepfather watches without emotion. I leave. 

Dreaming, Composing Poetry, Meditating

I pass my days
Contemplating the dead students of Tiananmen
And the Green Wave
Childless mothers silenced
Full of blood

A body
Language of resistance
Firm as the vicious fluid of life
Soft as the flesh
Emaciated with the steel of tank tracks
Or torn open in a single kill shot

Or E. Mehtari
Whose stern face became lip-bitingly serious
Upon mentioning the “trouza”
In English, rape

How he holds back tears
A fight against self-pity
The death of the ego
Asking, “where is God if not in you”
Yet, when asking you fall headlong
Into your deathless presence
Where you cease to be this body of crime

Ponder yourself
As the total equation of here
In the moment
At one
With the ground of all being

We humans
Why do some attain self-realization?
Only upon being split in half?
Sundered in shreds by our fellow man?

When did this arcane spiritual responsibility bestow devils of such wonderful emergence?
The Ahriman is certainly turning in its cemetery
Sheathed in female coverings and riot police uniforms

In these pain-ridden lands
Whose story immediately translates into our one story?

Throughout human history
In reclaiming that story
Allowing the truth to resurface naturally
As a feather, thrown with a handful of stones
Over an open lake
Thick with the opacity of crude oil

Hardening urges of those who sleep,
Still, sitting
Upright I petition the burning skin of my Love
To recede into her inmost self-forgiving

Be healed
With the same immediacy that one may feel oncoming death
Approaching with futile procession
Toward the white of their eyes

With equal subtlety
Plunging their ethereal hand
In the porous open of their now entered body

A mere passage
For the voice of all truths

For the Peaceful Youth Protestors Around the World

Friday, 16 March 2012


"Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts yycARTS CoLAB is a free program that provides an opportunity for the public and artists of different disciplines to collaborate in real-time and be inspired to interact and explore in a welcoming and inclusive environment, embarking on a journey of artistic discovery."


As Vi An Diep artist facilitator of the event, writes:

"the action, the movement, the expression, the animation of thoughts and feelings, the conversation, the interaction, sharing, common need to continue thriving and dreaming!!!"

More Media: Calgary Herald & Avenue Magazine & Lonesome Cosmonaut

In the starkly lit, opaque backdrop of darkness behind the closed curtains at Jack Singer Concert Hall, I sit at a piano bench with a local classical percussionist in Calgary named Malcolm Lim. He offers me tickets for free for my wife and me to see an upcoming show. When I return home, my wife tells me she can’t make it that day, so I leave the tickets with my parents. Curiously, I am in my mother’s house, where, with my stepfather, they endeavor to take the tickets and see the show. That night, at my childhood home alone, I am visited by Allen Ginsberg. I am exceedingly enthusiastic to receive him in my presence. He tells me that he is in some kind of rush, though we speak about my writing only in passing and continues on about his needs, he seems as a spiritual vagabond of wandering ghosts. He sits at a computer, where he tells me to fish out some of my writings. Excited as ever, I return back down, where he is in the exact same position. I give him my writings and proceed to tell him that William Burroughs appeared to me in a dream not too long ago. Ginsberg emits a refreshing glow as he announces quietly that he must leave. With flighty humor, he asks me for twenty dollars. I am so distracted by the fact that he is reading my work that I can't seem to get his joke, referring to a recent Egyptian official I had to deal with in New York for my immigration to Canada. Without a word more, he saunters off into the edgeless yonder. A few moments later, my parents return. I let them know the true origin of the tickets, at which time they seem exhausted, and apologetic.   


Community Arts Manifesto
écrit par anonyMO’us

All People of the One, and Only Earth:

Clear your names in the sky!

Listen to others. Hear dreams in the subtle nuance of each letter voiced by our fellow artists, visionaries and seers of creation. Come to know the role of the artist. They hold many keys to our creational origin and our final undoing. In brotherhood and sisterhood, through respectful listening to our fellow artists, we may understand the cyclical flow of sacred continuity and the mysteries of Life.

- Opening Paragraph of "Community Arts Manifesto", the first contribution to "IT'S AHHH-SCRIBED" an Impromptu Weekly Community Arts Literary Journal (to later appear on online in full)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Requiem for an End to the War in Afghanistan

Hakim – Coordinator for Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers

“…if the fundamental military strategy in Afghanistan does not change, it may lead to further killing sprees like this, and may even lead to other September11ths

Kathy Kelly – peace activist, two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee

“I think that the United States and military officials would like to characterize the massacre as exceptional, sort of one bad apple. But I think it actually encapsulates what the United States presence in Afghanistan is all about.”

From Democracy Now! 

World War Two is ending. I am a Jew, barely surviving the tight noose of the final solution in Europe. In the cold forests of northeastern Europe, I and a female friend or relative (a sister or cousin) are caught in our hiding place. Alone and scrawny with a mind filed away by a flood of unspoken atrocity, a thick-mustached German soldier enters. His damaged and sick outlook feeds off our vulnerable state as he begins taunting and undressing my friend. We fight back, as he wants us alone in his depressed desperation at hearing the end of the Third Reich nears. I am only just barely able to escape out of a basement window as he pulls angrily at my clothes, my friend wrapped tightly in his unforgiving seizure. I tear a small, tea-stained map from the corner of a dusty book. As I slip away into the cold rush of the oncoming night, alone I wander with map deeply embedded in my memory, which at the moment is only able to recall with short-term accuracy, deeply inflicted with trauma. I pass through an underground warehouse department. Small newspaper vendors stand under intensely unnatural fluorescent lighting. Barefoot, I stammer through unnoticed, my clothes torn in rags. In my mind, the map of northeastern Europe pans out into an image of the terrain northeast of Germany. There is a German-named port that I head to without mind to distance.

At the port town, I feel at maximum potential. My muscles are torn in rags, cut deeper than my tattered and frayed clothes. My tongue lolls conspicuously. People begin to empathize as I flush past townspeople and open markets. The sea is stormy, but the salt fills my blood with a renewed heat of yearning. Ever closer to the seaside, I find a ship departing for America. I board as one would glide through the unconscious fading of dream. I am instilled with unknown glory. A blooming of compassion empties my weighted heart with the immense figure of creaking wood and sail. I eagerly march aboard. I am let on without question. The massive ship endeavors out of the port into the wide, light gray fish broth of a cloud-covered fog horizon. A petite elderly Chinese lady appears at the port’s edge just before the ship splits the first wave in the open sea. Inside the ship, warm faces reflect the surrounding gray mass of shape-shifting wet form. Suddenly, I see my sister. Her face and mine glow with golden recognition. A new smile forms upon our lips, as we’ve never tasted.

Across the sea, I spend spring in the solace of a city park. The daily ground breathes with comforting life, relieving. Drifting slowly with a confident gait, my first lover enjoys the fresh air, approaching. She smiles at me, looking older, more mature and at ease. This fills my heart with unending joy. Beside me, my brother’s musician friends who we’ve known since we were children play their instruments flat on the ground like a slide veena. Their music is serene and magically rejuvenating.    


Requiem for the 16

"A soldier
Before the end of night
16 bodies
Turn to light"

There are many reasons why I left
Now Ex-Patriot
Now divorced from birthplace

My shores?
My flag?
My history?

I extinguish all landlocked loyalty

"A soldier
Before the end of night
16 bodies
Turn to light"

Now, I have 16 more reasons
Silently, I have countless more

Where did I flee to?
Another country with a poppy war!

I'm from anywhere
Where this requiem hits home

"A soldier
Before the end of night
16 bodies
Turn to light"

Sunday, March 11 2012
The night after hearing 16 Afghan civilians (mostly women and children) are massacred by a U.S. soldier. What kind of troops are we supporting? 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Reading Predators on a Street of Arabic

“Reading, something most of us take for granted, can help unlock remarkable powers. Reading builds new connections in the brain, which in turn allow us to use written words as stepping stones to understand other people’s worlds. A good book literally has the power to change you."

Origins of Reading

"Our ability to use our visual areas to immediately know whether that object is prey or predator is actually being recycled for us in order to be automatically recognizing symbols."

Using Nouns as Verbs

"'s like an evolutionary tool, that's to say it raises levels of attention, it primes the mind for difficulty, and the chances are, that it may be that it leads on to the mind being ready to take different pathways from the obvious one"

Creative Reading

"...I think that reading is a creative act in itself, as writing is, because you are creating something while you're reading it, you are bringing in your own experiences...when you can get into the minds of other characters and see what they're experiencing, it makes you better at empathizing...fiction has made me see things from other people's points of view”

Literacy and Empathy

"So, when we think of reading as purely about literacy, there's obviously another dimension to it, which is empathy."

From BBC Documentary “Why Reading Matters” documentary

Kasr al-Aini Street in Cairo, Egypt is primarily a street for government bureaucracy centers and large and lucrative local banks and other big businesses, however there are a good many small juice stands and cafes tucked away, one is called cafe Vienna. 

I find I am living on this street in a quaint little house, feeling something like the way how in Calgary there are random character homes sparsely interwoven in the city core. The insides and the outer wear reminds me of a ramshackle country house. The first time I exit the home, I am immediately met by a shady individual, a rotund young white male, who offers me money in exchange for delivering a package just around the corner at the gas station. Curiously, I take the package and run inside, asking my wife what to do! She vigorously reminds me that I am being foolish so I return the package to the exceptionally inexpressive young man. He takes the package back without question and rounds the bend, after which police storm immediately. 

In the next instance, we are at the house when a roommate is moving in. He is a man with dark complexion not unlike the local Egyptian man, however he seems more American in his mannerisms. He later tells me he is from Hawaii. He is a nice man. One day he helps us receive two amphibians and a fish. I am not sure why we have these creatures, however another smaller man, a caretaker of such amphibians, helps us all to cut them out of a stomach lining packaging. He says to be careful of the one as it spits mini-bullets. I take the creatures, beautiful and exotic to a pet shop, leaving them there. I return to the house only to find my wife is missing, I look all over our property in the dimly polluted urban backyard for any sign of her, staying awake in a candlelit room all night contemplating her loss. I don't feel she is dead, only that I may be in the wrong place. I am without any impetus to look. I simply wait, despite the presence of our Hawaiian roommate who offers to help.


My fingers press into each letter
with a singular stroke
My head figures weightless across shoulder and palm 
holding up my brain box, short-circuiting

“What actually happened?”

“Conversations of new words
led to the experimental consciousness
of language
as a human creation.”

“What else?” 

- excerpt from "What Else?"

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Through a Subterranean REM Dreamachine Train

Are the effects of REM similar to that of a film reel, where the mind develops a way to conceive thoughts with equal momentum and speed as one would perceive, in simultaneous function with the the faculties of memory to create images, sound and other sensory phenomena experienced in dream as in memory? 

Is REM the Dreamachine in the flesh?


In this Dream Series, I ask what about the recurring and unusual instances of action in dreams which remind me of the function of metaphors in myth and poetry. For example, the train seems to be a passageway, or link between worlds, memories and times. Next, there is the “emptying of the fridge” in Venezuela when the Christian world is coming down, and the frozen, armless hand of an enamored singer vying for my attention at the final dream cycle.

The dreaming begins with my wife and me traveling to the East Village of Manhattan to see a friend. This friend allowed us a place to stay and offered his peer support as a successful musician to my wife, who is also a successful musician. In the dream, however, instead of a musician peer to my wife, the individual who we are staying with is a friend of mine, a fellow writer, who engages with me in very healthy ways to support our common goals as writers. When we meet this man, we find that he is extremely effeminate. He wakes from his unkempt bedroom and greets us warmly, however bedraggled and immediately throws on a pink, fishnet, sleeveless shirt and walks out the door, we don’t see him again, but he offers us his place.

Later, I find I am late to pick up my parents at the airport, as they are arriving to visit with us during our time in Manhattan. I am very late, and we have missed dinner, as the time reads after 10, however they are relieved to see me.

As I am returning to the East Village, I find myself in what looks like it may be Bedford-Stuyvesant, where I once walked through, with intimidating hooded men standing motionless in small groups on street corners. I feel out of place to say the least. I band of small Latino kids face me and jeer and bat at my clothing as I try to walk away unseen. I offer them money and they simply reject my idea that they are Mexican or somewhere in some poor country in Latin America and need my money. They don’t take beggar’s money, they say. Finally, I meet my wife somewhere in the city and we board a subway train. The train pulls off at what seems like we are now in Venezuela! There is a choral group busking beside the benches in this very outskirts subway stop. I flip them a coin behind my back so as not to let my wife see, as she dismisses them. As we walk from the underground train platform, we walk into a realm of pitch black darkness. There is no way to go, so we head back to the subway. The choral group is gone and the platform is completely empty. I try to find my coin, but find nothing.


“The Pride of Bedford-Stuyvesant”

Interview with Randy Weston on Democracy Now!

"I grew up in a very powerful, spiritual, cultural area in Brooklyn, what they call Bedford-Stuyvesant...Everybody had to take art, you had to take piano, or trumpet or violin or dance, that was in the neighborhood, and economically everybody didn't have money, but culturally it was so wonderful.

[Marcus Garvey's] philosophy of Africa, is our ancestral home. We were taken away, those of us who were taken away, we have to give back, we have to rebuild our motherland, which is Africa, and all of humanity comes out of Africa anyhow, so he was way ahead of his time. 

Your history, your ancestry is your foundation."

When we exit the train at the next stop, we are still in Venezuela, only there is a field of sparkling light before us. Within the field, my father and step-mother’s house lies empty. In the field, a highly religious ceremony is taking place. They are enacting the end of the Christian world, the last Christian rite it seems! As the high-rising organs sparkle with incandescent crystals as one would believe heaven to appear, everyone present forms a mass around a ceremonial hearth of heavenly glow. My wife and I dive inside the house, wishing to escape such highfalutin religious activity, and begin emptying their fridge, cleaning their expired foods out from their dusty and neglected icebox. All the while, we see on television, the center of the Roman Catholic world crumbling away, as the central image appears, where the great Jesus statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil falls down the mountain like Saddam Hussein’s statue in Bagdhad.

Then, out from the ceremonial mass, as its Christian imagery begins to fade into an archaic celebration in precious stone, naturally encrusted over a celestial mountain of pipe organ, I am somehow called out into the midst of the open field, and led into a palace of sorts. There seems to be royal intrigue about, a changing of the guard causes slight anxiety in those present. One lady, however, turns to me and begins chanting and singing lightly to calm us. She gives me her hand, which freezes in the grasp of my palm with effortless burden. She then turns, leaving her hand in mine while singing to everyone present, calming the vibration of the palace, near-crumbling at the end of days with her strong, human voice. She comes back to me, though leaving her hand in mine, her palm is now mangled, fingerless and bloody, though she is calm and so are we.  


in the livid pull of train wreck desire
the followers’ sneering crimes become awake
to the rush of the wading horror
that thrives innocently on beer and hate
while our nonplussed singing escapes into the cruel, driven spines of the wicked slink of fame
that shines like hosts in a steaming ballroom of creative play
and shaved rasping throats blunder over towers of hypocrisy
engraved mores of hunger and celebration link together within insane, aesthetic duality
to please the entranced few 

in a skinny pathway across ever-shrinking pores of history
wearing narcotic bracelets and shaming our alien tours with priceless need
in the random chores of spurious fornication
on bedside hordes that tame the blue African skies to dried jungles
that feel free with deserted lies 
in the political waves of a corporate, shark-ruled tribe
swearing and leaning into the hounds of biblical law

- excerpt from "When No Stars Appear"


Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Lucid Bansuri: Remembering Dreams from Cairo to Khartoum

- Create Space & Reflect -

Listen to Bansuri Music 
This is a Key 
To Remember Dream

- Reflect & Create Space -

“Our ability to transcend grief and trauma that affects our every waking moment, our relationships, our ability to connect with anyone and everyone, becomes a symbol of how this can be done culturally and globally. Down under the blanket of denial runs a river of grief so despairing that our pain is but a thread…”


Embedded deep in my subconscious, a dream was invoked which actively combined elements of my imagination mixed with reality, as it were wholly over-arched with the peculiar logic of dream. 

I traveled to Sudan with the Sudanese friend & mentor I met while in Cairo. Together we left for Khartoum from Egypt. When we arrived, I found myself called to visit an ecological park. The city infrastructure and the park itself is strongly reminiscent of Puebla, Mexico where I recently visited. Also, the park reminds me of a painting I used in The New West of Dreams, however with features of Calgary's eastern outskirts in midsummer, with straw grass, lit beige along the side of railroad tracks unto an open field horizon. This is important, as entering through this imagery leads me into a labyrinth network of my psyche set in a past residence. In this case my Zamalek dormitories are transformed to receive me, with special emphasis on their washrooms, out of which I meet an unusually forward acquaintance who begins to accompany me and assist me throughout the city. This friend is someone who I studied with in Canada and met again in Cairo, asking him to volunteer as a part of a research project. In this dream, he takes another name as we've since fallen out of contact.

The substance of the dream lies in me going into the city of Khartoum. As I've never been there in a waking state, I create the city out of sketches of video I have from a research project I collaborated with there in June 2010. I often return to the ecological park, however my friend from Sudan resides in the city. He is the principal character in this narrative. Over tea, he emphasizes to me the fundamental error of my research, which if on the subject of refugees should not be "why are there refugees?" but instead "how do we get these people out?" One should not undermine or exploit an act of exile, as exile is often the most decisively conscious choice of all.

Now, the trick to remembering the content and substance, i.e. narrative structure and significance of the dream, as practiced in this example is that after forgetting the dream, after its sleep cycle had ended, I dreamed lucidly, where I told the story of what I went through in Sudan to close friends and family in intimate settings, and it brought me right back into the substance of the previous dream. Upon waking, the only discrepancy between dream memory and waking memory is the fact that I never traveled to Sudan, though the content of the dream itself was wholly based in waking memory.

When one is able to manipulate their psyche with regard to memory and consciousness, one finds that upon waking, the substance of reality becomes more and more resonant with principles of dreaming.


and what do our ramshackle hearts smell?
close to a savage waste
as overwhelming and without choice
as drowning in the rice stew magic
of a motherless animal
eaten raw, over a lover’s fattened tummy
now screwed into all intoxication
and psychic bewilderment,
until the stare blows rhythms of ancient minds

- excerpt from "Cave Home"

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Take the Leap into a Song of Dream

Hindu, Jew, African, American, Buddhist, Native American

Can you guess who said what? 

"We are not different, that is African, that is...No, we are all brothers"

"You can have millions of styles all aiming at the same direction"

"We are flowers, in one garden."

"He gave us everybody"

"It's never said there is only one path, it's almost, any path which is based on compassion"

"As long as I know I love myself I'm okay."

Does it matter? 

"You have to develop your own one-on-one relationship with the Mystery, with the Divine."

My father sends me an email about a writer that I should send something to. The writer is a spoken word artist, a fiery and impassioned sort. Her name is long, and seems to be of Polish origin. I send her a poem that I’m not sure I wrote, but I can read it in the vision of my dream, it looks like something I would have written, entitled, “Through Palestine” beginning like this:

I am
a me.
an am
at me

And then on to describe some scene I must have witnessed or been privy to about Palestine and the militant infrastructure in place. It is a cry for social justice as many of my pieces about the Middle East. I receive a reply from this writer. The entire message is converted colors, opposite and it seems to have been written on the paint program, with letters and images sprawled out in a unique balance of chaos and harmony, all originally crafted by the archaic computer program. She writes long messages, including script-like poetics and communal dialectics amongst poets of our kind that she, with all heart and intention wishes to consummate through collaboration. She says, with my writing skills and her spoken voice skills, we can be a good duo. 

I wake wondering if I should indeed embark on such a path towards collaborative efforts with poets who have experience, talent and motivation for spoken performance. 


"a woman is dreaming
to hear the pledge 
to the frozen smiles of wide-eyed crowded fields
that grow and decay 
to the orbit of a lunar catastrophe
occurring every oceanic spawning," 

"that ephemeral beauty
we all know to arrive, one day
breathless and raised with red flames of miraculous fatigue
on the shores of the way"

- excerpt from, "Yes, don't fear"

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Tara Sadhana for the Anthropomorphic Newborn

Three Bodhisattvas Witness World Compassion Harmonizing by Vi An Diep

Praising Tara by her divine actions of dispelling conflicts and bad dreams

Homage to you who are honoured by the kings of the hosts of gods,
And the gods and the kinnaras.
Through all your joyful and shining pervasive armour
All conflicts and bad dreams are dispelled.

Last stanza from “Offering the Mandala” 

Thus, O Sublime object of refuge,
Please quickly protect all living beings
From fears such as sickness, spirits, obstacles,
Untimely death, bad dreams, and ill omens.

Colophon: This sadhana has been compiled from traditional sources by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche in response to requests made by students of Tara Centre, and translated under his compassionate guidance. September 1989.

Excerpts from Great Compassionate Mother. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. Tharpa Publications. 1990, 1993. 

It's a very ordinary day. It feels like afternoon to early evening. I feel the constant presence of an animal. My albino rabbit, named Salt in life, visited me. His head is in my hands. I pet him. I let him out in the yard. It was snowing heavily, and he, white as the snow, only appears through his beady, red eyes. Then, I notice a child running through the snow. The child came into the house and laid its head next to my lap, and proceeded to nudge into my hand to pet him. It's a boy, a mute boy. He looks at me with colorless eyes. I figured, how wonderful Salt shape-shifted into a young boy. Salt, now a boy, would hop out into the snow around the trees just like a rabbit. Immediately, he shifts back to a rabbit who hops out of my vision. 

A very silvery, glowing white cat with stripes. Upon recognizing the face of this cat, it was evident that it was my deceased cat. All the features of my cat were displayed. His charm and energy radiates. My hands are warm as I pet him. Suddenly, I cradle him in my arms, looking behind my shoulder, I see my husband smiling and laughing. I am speaking to Max, now as a child. He is an infant with the same eyes as a cat, but with the face of a child, staring back at me with such love and affirmation. I speak in English and say, "I want you to learn Chinese because I am your mother. I would like you to preserve my lineage through learning Chinese." My husband, the love of my life, is laughing in the background. In synchronicity my husband and young son speak in English. My husband says laughingly, "he already knows how to speak Chinese." The child says, "Mother, I already know how to speak Chinese." In my surprise I notice my cat turned child changed to four to six months old. Beyond a brick stone ledge, dawn approaches as a beautiful golden sunrise. His dirty blonde hair glistens. His eyes, expressing inquisitive curiosity and a loving recognition, are deep emerald green and brown. Sitting on that ledge, I taught him to say, "eyes (gnan)" in Cantonese. He stuttered, but was able to repeat, the word for eyes in Cantonese. "Gnan" he says. My husband smiles as if to say, why are you trying to teach him what he already intrinsically knows from you, his mother. The child chuckles and says, "eyes, ears, mouth and nose (gnan, yee, hoaw, bae)" I was shocked with such gladness and immense pure unconditional love for this being before me. "Ma" he would exclaim. I already know. He became a toddler and hopped off the sandstone ledge. His head rested next to my thigh as I stroked his beautiful dirty blonde hair, glistening in such glorious light. 

He, in another dream, the third of the sequence, shifts back to a silvery glowing, white, very happy cat. 


as her son climbs the dismembered mountain,
trembling with rocks of tragic failure
rolling down to kill my boulder of trash
damming the flood of human night

- excerpt from "My New Bride"

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Arts Mediocrity in a World of Change

Muse on Pegasus by Odilon Redon
"Rejoice in this: Seeds of futurity require the darkness within soil to dream."

Source: Nation of Change

She attends a Sikh dance ceremony. Ladies in elaborate jewelry and glorious headdresses dance to an electro-pop Banghra. Three ladies stick out, as they wear differentiating clothing. One is fully covered, from head to toe in black, another appears only through the eyes, and yet another wears a colorful headscarf. This is unusual, as the Sikh women would not be known to wear Islamic hijab or burka coverings. To her, they seem as transformer figures.  

I am in a field that at once changes into a warehouse meant for music rehearsals. Standing across from a legendary local musician, a classical percussionist and kit drummer, he asks me to play drums. “Every American kid must have banged on a drumset, eh?” he asks. To which I respond, “Actually, my brother used to play all day long, I’d only listen. Now he’s graduated from Berklee!” “How do you think he did there” again, he interrogates softly. My mother appears as from nowhere, “He was kind of depressed, so he didn’t do as well as he wished.” My shape-shifting surroundings turn from warehouse to field, as I sit to a small drumset of snare, high-hat and ride, only when I sit down, the snare inches away, and the two cymbals spread far apart. I look down, and all I have for sticks are pieces of asparagus and cilantro, and thin pieces of balsa wood. I try to use this delicate craft wood and these flimsy vegetables, and the musician and teacher begins walking away. He looks at me, trying to navigate this moving drumset in an open field and simply tells me a story of decadence in New York, about a lesbian soiree that he once hosted at his house after a celebrity gig of some kind. 
with a most subtle whisper
behind a fantastic passion
eager to express unity
with perfect awe in a world that dreams

Up, a new way to be
for the moment
and its own living mystery,

“what is before?”

- excerpt from "all rivers have one source"

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Forest Flying Beyond Levitation

The Immaculate Conception of the Venerable Ones by Bartolome Esteban Murillo
Have you ever heard allusions to dream in your waking life that did not quite settle in your mind during moments of introspection and reflection on the actual experience of dreaming? 

When you hear such statements as, "In my ideal, dream world…” from executive management at high-end corporations or successful enterprises and organizations speaking to "subjects" of lesser value, what is your gut reaction? Why have we committed this double-speak on the importance and reality of dream? Or, have you ever asked a self-proclaimed starving artist or general creative type about their process of creation, to which they reply, “I don’t know…it’s like a dream”? Where does language become insufficient and mere impasse before honest reflection on dreaming? For dream is an involuntary force, which with mirror-like accuracy reflects onto the dreamer their deepest, darkest withdrawing from the eye light of each their own unique path to self-knowledge. 

My wife lays to rest in the apartment building where she had first arrived from Vietnam to Canada. In her early childhood, she was a babysitter for many immigrant children in this Chinatown block, when the city was much different, more spacious, green and communal. In her dream, small children levitate above her, they take her hand but she does not levitate with them, she flies. Transcending the bounds of her childhood brick home, she soars out over the pine forests beyond the city limits.

Levitation Interpretation

To dream of levitating means that you are holding on to far-fetched and outlandish ideas. You need to be more realistic. You are feeling helpless and disconnected with those around you. To dream of someone levitating means your desire to be helpful and supportive to others.

Flying Interpretation

If you notice green trees and vegetation below you in flying, you will suffer temporary embarrassment, but will have a flood of prosperity upon you.

“To dream of flying means being able to control your dreams and project yourself astrally.” Posted in response to the dictionary interpretation by chmee

On Monday’s staked rage, we drain and drain the followings of divinity
throughout pulses of grain and sweat
in the final drink

Before deciding, cross the impassioned switch
into non-being with our lifted sky

Come thunderous!
in the eyes and ears of a late transmigration
into a head of wires and a spotted flame that rises,
breaking in a silence of loss
and drown!
in the oxygen gush of utter perfection

excerpt from "Hawk over a Farmer's Field"