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Déjà Rêvé

April 2023, no. 452

Déjà Rêvé

April 2023, no. 452

This is not your life said the sushi train,

but this is what happened, illusion and voyaging,

all of it episodic-like, muted, a dantological trajectory,


advancing as a nebula of mental life.

Your guide appearing as a figure

from a pack of dreams, a guy who looked like Brecht,


and who only ever does what he wants,

munching a cigar, telling the clouds how to process.

But he was gentle, worried about you.


because you were adrift. So he led you down

through your story, your souvenir, its sandy tracks

and banks of everlastings, its barren ledges of intention


past the muttering of screened crowds. You missed

the entrance, distracted as usual, that eternal sense

of hiding things from yourself. He said just follow me,


don’t take any notice of that witchery of sound.

There are endless meanings in this geography,

lives streaked with occasions and things they didn’t invite.


Anyway everyone has sundowner issues.

Or a brow ache, or memories that are an obstruction.

It’s an armselig path this kind of travel,


but look at those bright red kangaroo paws,

think about what you might be able to offer.

The limit of your experience isn’t a limit, it’s mutable,


happily for you this is just a juncture. An induced waypoint,

which is not to say you’ll forget. For me, I’m not sure.

But get to know the intimacy of the alphabet, I think of it


as microdosing knowledge, googling corrections. And look around,

there’s a lot of value in distortions and damage, they can go with you.

I can help you with form, and with the visualisation bit.


I’ll see you in the marshy reed beds when you’re free, or freer,

on your way out. I’ve got an Airstream near there

where I hang out the rest of the time.


Philip Mead’s most recent collection is Zanzibar Light (Vagabond Press, 2018).

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