(......12aug5) The Poet Defends His Integrity In A Dream
I'm at a high school,
or more likely the
and I'm part of the community,
though whether as teacher
or artist-in-residence or hanger-on
isn't made clear in the dream.
One day as I'm standing
out in a large field,
I see a delegation
of three professors from the English Department
on their way to talk to me. One
is a woman who mentored me once,
and I feel some closeness toward her.
They wear smiles,
but it's clear from the get-go
that their purpose is to ask me
to tone down my behavior and writing.
Before they've even finished asking,
I'm aware that they're so out of line
that the only way to 'speak truth to power'
in this case is to totally refuse
to even dignify their request
with any logical response.
In a minute I'm down on the ground
in just my underpants in front of them,
pounding my fists as a crowd gathers,
shouting, 'Don't take away
my poems! I need my poems! '
like a child having a tantrum.
In the next scene, I'm in the school office,
sober with notebook in hand,
the clowning at an end,
having established its point,
an existential statement
celebrating freedom of expression,
consciously enacted for the students
for whom I know I'm a role model.
I wake from the dream as energized
as if I'd won the Pulitzer Prize.