Bad Dreams and Black Floaters

by angeliska on February 22, 2004

Black ghosts in my peripheral
elusive shadows my vision tracks
across glinting coronas,
streetlights and sundogs.
Optical ghosts born by scars
in the cornea- floaters, they say.
A parade can be dangerous.
Aside from getting shot, of course,
one has to protect one’s eyeballs
from flying objects hurled from
elaborately gilded satirical floats.
I’ll go again tomorrow, though-
just to listen to the marching bands
play below the underpass all flash
and bright brass, big drums that
make your back shake and the
dancing girls with batons awhirl..

I am beseeching the Heavenly Benefactress of Carnivale
to withold her tempests on Mardi Gras Day.
Please oh please no rain, okay?

And now I will attempt to relate a horrible dream I had.
If you possess an overly sensitive nature,
or would find yourself disturbed
by an excess of information-


I am flying in a small, silent biplane
over gray grassy hills, over silver dales
dotted with creaky farmhouses and leafless orchards.

I am in a swimming pool with a gaggle
of middle-aged asian women.
They are offering me the same golden beetle-green
eyepaint that tantalized me when I was eight.
My cat is underwater, with a plastic bucket tied
to his leg to keep him afloat.
I dive under and grab him,
and resucitate him until he coughs up
a small amount of water.
I am very upset by all of this.

I am in the back of a station wagon.
I am a pre-teen avatar of the virgin
for a cult religion headed by my father.
Apparently, it’s some sort of Heaven’s Gate
Angel Moroni Holy Baptist Branch Davidian Moonie Church.
I think that’s the name of it.
Anyway, they tell me apocalypse is nigh
and that if I don’t bear children by my father,
our royal holy family line will disappear for all eternity.
So, I’m probably fifteen or thereabouts
and it’s cold and raining
and I’m in the back of this Datsun station wagon
with my dad, the cult leader, who is crying
and handing me a palmful of holy seed,
which I’m supposed to insert into my sacred virgin vessel.
I’m concentrating intently on the world reflected
upside down in the droplets on the windshield now.
Feeling horrible and sick and afraid,
I go into the nastiest gas-station bathroom ever.
Inside, there are two manky toilets,
one of which is being used by a scary junkie girl.
She is scooping up pinkish-beige chunks
of foamy vomit out of the toilet and eating it.
This is incredibly disgusting, and I tell her as much-
but she responds by informing me that what she is eating
is chock-full of expensive tranquilizers,
which she can’t afford to waste.

I go back to the station wagon
and wait for my dad, the cult leader,
to come back from buying slim jims
and boston baked beans.
A frightening apparition of a little girl
appears in the backseat.
She has long white hair
and circles under her eyes.
She looks like the poltergeist child,
but I know her name and who sent her.
Her name is Ataxia, and she was sent by my brother.
I am screaming for my father to step on the gas
and just drive, drive- but he can’t see that
she’s a ghost and wants to give her a ride
since she’s just a kid.
I kick her in her demon-face and she evaporates.

I am in a high school where paranormal activity
has been reported. Some students have been given
my brother’s notebooks, intentionally,
in hopes that they will wreak havoc
with their black magic.
People are becoming possessed by demons
right and left, and I feel like I can trust no one.
I look at the spells he gave them-
black tornadoes and spirals of words
in black warrior pencil on notebook paper.

I am winding and winding the gold chain
on the cameo locket my sister gave me.
It has her picture, and a lock of her hair inside.
The gold chain turns into a long piece of his hair,
bright red and sinister, but I can’t stop winding it
around and around the locket,
even though it doesn’t belong inside.

I am sitting outside a library,
the day is sunny and warm
and I’m watching the light bounce off of
the complicated metal brace worn by
a woman painfully making her way
up the stairs. She looks like
a robot, or some sort of J.G Ballard fantasy
as she grunts in pain and hefts her silver.
Finally, I go over to help her
and see that it is Magenta, the Maori woman
who sings low and deep in the square.
She has been through radical surgery
and is and showing me her scarred body,
like the brown twisted hull of an old boat,
and shaking her head
telling me what bad things
she’s been through.

This thing went on all night. I’d wake myself up from it,
hoping to escape into something more pleasant, to no avail.
I think it may be the worst one I’ve ever had.
It just got under my skin, and stayed there for a few days.
I never got the chance to tell it to anyone yet.
I didn’t really intend to post it here,
but I had to write it down, exorcise it.
I usually appreciate my nightmares more,
if I ever have them, which is rare.
I can’t imagine what it would be like
not to dream.


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