Resentful Dreams

Funny how dreams lag behind events. Folk wisdom says that dreams predict the future, but my experience is that they predict the past. Over the last couple of nights I have dreamed, just before waking, about crappy things my colleagues have done to me. The events in the dreams are fictional, but related to things that have actually happened to me. The dreams allowed me to be outraged -- in one I punched a former dean in the nose. The best part was that I punched him in the nose after telling him I was going to punch him in the nose. In the other dream I was slighted by another administrator & I gave him a thorough (& public) tongue-lashing. Very satisfying. The weird thing is that I've been feeling fairly good about my teaching life lately, though a couple of months ago I went through a period of resentment. Each dream worked like a little poem: specific details carrying a strong emotion. Also, a process of encapsulation: giving the feeling a form results in an ability to control the emotion. There is another sort of dream (& another sort of poem) that break open new realms of feeling & those are much more dangerous & more beautiful.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

7 thoughts on “Resentful Dreams”

  1. I happened upon your blog through other po-blogs…very thoughtful writing. Are you the same Joseph Duemer who was at the U.W. back in the Nelson Bentley days?

  2. Ironically, I guess, I awoke this morning with a nose bleed. I attributed it to allergy medication — at the time.

  3. T. Clear: I’m still in touch with Jim Cervantes & Laura Jensen from those days, but not many others — I went off to Iowa in 78, then back to Seattle for a year, then taught in Bellingham & San Diego before moving to northern NY to take a job teaching. Been here for 20 years. I’ve not been good at keeping up with old friends, which I regret.

  4. most interesting account of anger.
    i have worried about my own inner rages.
    even walking along i realize what’s happening by the pace of my movement and clenching of the right fist.
    often in dreams or the less deep reveries i will awake with shame at some slight or offense i recall.
    now i wonder if i can’t see them in a more positive light and datamine them in more than merely a jungian or freudian manner.
    you are very open, joseph. my dreamrages have been kept in the closet of my mind. ed

  5. I’m close to Sean Bentley and his family, and Seattle is still overflowing with poets. I think possibly you were friends with my late husband (maybe not) — Mark Anderson? In any case, cheers!
    I’m putting you on my blogroll.

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