Archives for posts with tag: surreal


While browsing at the library recently, I ran across Book of Dreams, Jack Kerouac‘s dream diary originally published by City Lights Books in 1961 and reissued in 2001. This was my first encounter with Book of Dreams, and it’s Kerouac at his most Kerouacian (or is it Kero-Wacky-an?) — which is a good thing. Whatever he writes, Kerouac’s deep, utter charm and sincerity shine through.

In the book’s preface, Kerouac writes: “The reader should know that this is just a collection of dreams that I scribbled after I woke up from my sleep — They were all written spontaneously, nonstop, just like dreams happen, sometimes written before I was even wide awake — The characters that I’ve written about in my novels reappear in these dreams in weird new dream situations…and they continue the same story which is the one story that I always write about. The heroes of On the Road, The Subterraneans, etc., reappear here doing further strange things for no other particular reason than that the mind goes on, the brain ripples, the moon sinks, and everybody hides their heads under pillows with sleepingcaps. Good. And good because the fact that everybody in the world dreams every night ties all mankind together shall we say in one unspoken Union and also proves that the world is really transcendental…”

Book of Dreams also includes a “Table of Characters” where Kerouac lists how the dream players correspond with characters in his novels. For example, Cody Pomeray in JK’s dreams is Dean Moriarity in On the Road.

Here’s an excerpt from a “silver” dream in the book: “I goof, discovering a long paper bar of silver worth a fortune but tore it up and shortened it and didn’t care and now my sister’s fixing it, to get the money, so now I want the money too — She’s pasting it on the wall, in her shorts, it’s Sarah Avenue — it’s a long paper tape of ‘silver paper’ found and reaped in the mines…” 

As of this writing (9/23/12),  a 1961 first edition is available through Amazon for just 97 cents (plus $3.99 shipping) — find the link here.


Lola Alvarez Bravo: El Sueño del ahogado, c.1945

Poem by Gerald Locklin

Ambiguities haunt our languages
Of dream, desire, figuration.
Are there little quince princesses
Posing upon the river, fallen branches,
Rocks, and diving-board pilings—
The inhabitants of the slumbered Head
Of the decapitated, recapitulated Orpheus,
Or is he the handsome cynosure
Of their collective virginal lust?
Do we meet our Incubi and Succubi
In the colorless weather of the night?
Are we allowed to remember
Our silver seductions
In monochromatic flashbacks,
Or do they only remain as muscle memory?
My wet dreams are getting drier,
But awake I can shoot down every aircraft.
How damp are a woman’s humid dreams? 

Illustration: El Sueño del ahogado, c.1945, photograph by Lola Alvarez Bravo. According to, “Lola Alvarez Bravo is widely recognized as Mexico’s first woman photographer and a pioneer of modern photography…[her work spans] six decades…images include street photographs, images documenting indigenous people and traditional culture in Mexico, portraits, and Surrealist-inspired photomontages.”


Note: Gerald Locklin wrote the above poem after visiting the “Women and Surrealism” exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the spring of 2012. The poem and several others inspired by visual art at the exhibition appear in Issue #5 of  The Más Tequila Review, available at The 130-page issue, edited by poet Richard Vargas, includes 66 poems from 37 poets. This is an amazing collection in a beautiful large format edition that includes Richard Vargas‘s homage to one of L.A.’s finest entitled “salvation…for Ray Bradbury.” Highly recommended — and a bargain at just $7.00! 

The Más Tequila Review is now accepting submissions for its Winter 2013 issue. Details here.