About the Poems
by Lee Ann Roripaugh
How strange it is to try and find one’s way back into that catalytic jumble, those weird nests, that are our dreams. And how mysterious it is to remain, at least in our waking hours, sealed off from our own dreams and the selves that live within those dreams. The barrier between wakefulness and dream is at times more transparent, and at other times more opaque, but it still always seems to me like an impenetrable border — the difference between here and there, self and other. Sometimes I think that to wake is a kind of loss — what seemed like such a vivid intensity of action and emotion turns out to be slippery illusion/delusion. We puzzle together shards of image, ill-fitting snippets of narrative, in an attempt to find our way back into those fantastic and liberating — even if terrifying — spaces. Maybe a poem is a kind of waking dream, and maybe a dream poem is a kind of poeming dream. I’ve been collecting lingering dreams for awhile — unsure of what to do with them, but unable to let them go, until I discovered a translation of Japanese writer Natsume Soseki's quirky little book of fiction, Ten Nights’ Dreams. This series of prose poems is an homage to Soseki’s book. No Tell readers, will you dream with me for ten nights? Tell me what my dreams mean to you in the comments? And will you tell me what you’ve been dreaming, too?