How To Sneeze In Peace

By Joanne Burns

the burden of dreaming, the bed a huge net dragging the monster octopus of story that lunges through the head at night: the corpulence of the drowning psyche. who, what, are these people, these shades, these feelings, places, likenesses, that tangle one up like a bad load of washing. this shamozzle of the long night.

tentacles shoot out new episodes, plots and subplots in the hours before dawn. who is the octopus – the dreamer or the dream. grubby stories, leviathan lore, cheap little anecdotes. you turn in the bed, and its creak documents another story. the glare, the smirks of strangers, familiar places, rearranged by the psyche’s cruel interior designer. you know the loci by name but they look different. as if you are awakening from an anaesthetic.

in dreams irony does not exist, even suspicion, perspicuity is a struggle, you suffer physical pain if you try to break out of the dream. the dream and its fleshy, multifarious burdens insists you remain naïve, compliant, committed.

but for those who have been blessed with dust allergies there is a way out. if you find yourself near dusty spots in one of your dreamings try to get as close as you can to these sprinklings or mites. within breaths you will feel it coming. a huge sequence of sneezing that will blast you from your deepest slumbering, with a shower of clear ink, writing invisible gratitudes across the lightness of air.

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