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Three Poems

oh hell

there are still the bad dreams I have to say
a dram in the thought of a bad bad night
a bad potion potent with impotence
& pain that dream in which you say I
am ruined with you I am no more &
the taxi leaves me standing in the street
& the streetlamp goes out there is this sort
of dream that leaves me without a heart or
more like with a hole in my selfheart
heartself that hellhole of a dream
oh hole oh hell the inside of my mind
damning me with bad portents & potions
you said to come I came & you killed me
this kind of killing that kills me again


in the next dream there are four cats or three
& now the three cats lap milk from a dish
while the fourth cat swells large & on his nose
spots pop out he's a wildcat he steps through
a window onto a roof & the sash
drops on the mount of his tail & lops it
I say that's my mom she's leaving us she
wants to be a man she's a manxman but
a long time later I know it's him he
was my catpal among the catpals &
then he catapulted me into wild
catland where the spots were in my eyes
oh catpot of milk I was kittened in
& my mom was sashaying somewhere else


here's my squirrel that's now become a rat
or become two rats or there may be more
in a glass cupboard turning round & round
in a quarrel a quarrel of squirrels
showing their teeth I feel queasy & sick
the rat with the head of a squirrel or
the tail of a squirrel I don't know which
did I mention that they're all white pure white
the cupboard lying flat and the white cups
falling off the cuphooks as they scramble
I'm afraid that if I open the glass door
they will enter me & become me or
isn't it true that they already are
I made them in my dream with all their teeth

Sarah Arvio

night thoughts: 70 dream poems & notes from an analysis
Alfred A. Knopf

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