The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2022

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SEPT 2022 Issue
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In My Dream

In my dream a fellow artist was hugging me and then I saw a member of my family wandering the street in a dress sewn from army surplus leather bags. It was sunny.

In my dream the beloved children's story: hedgehogs, green beans, soft caramels and a little girl who arrived in a sack.

In my dream crème anglaise in a baby pink spot.

In my dream shreds and a ball.

In my dream she follows the instructions, screams “WHAT ... ARE...YOU?” at god.

In my dream M's skin is smooth and radiates more heat than I expected. X keeps shifting behind us and Y, who is seated on the floor, twists his hand into the junction of our hips. Much later it's paychecks and talk of security in the new office.

In my dream “I’m Instantagore from pizza14.”

In my dream the decorative washline stretches to student housing, ending with a vintage boiler suit, tagged with a joke about endocrinology that is meant to be transphobic. I attempt to photograph it, thinking “Even here”.

In my dream the other keys were in my other jeans at the other apartment where I had stayed the other night.

In my dream I am crying at having lost some art for a show and an older man mutters “C'mon now, be a man.”

“Why? Why do I have to be a man?”

“I have no fucking idea.” And he starts to quietly laugh, relieved.

In my dream a blocked off street in Soho has reverted to meadow and some one has been laying snares: a rat's skin with fur flaps in the wind while another fights to escape. When a gull is caught, it thrashes so close to me that I almost wrap my ankle in the wire.

In my dream the internal heat of a piece of horse shit is enough to turn it into a glowing coal that burns behind the studios.

In my dream the window sign keeps shifting to Bisexual Pancake Cafe.

In my dream a perfect adopted dog who nearly turns herself upside down as she wriggles herself into my lap.

In my dream there was something that was wonderful and specific and gone.

In my dream I chuck the rat over the snow and down a culvert.

In my dream I am naked and packing. Again.

In my dream Angie is an alligator and I am in the tank with her.

In my dream P and then R are back from death out of a soccer game. There's tender hangouts, with reminiscing about San Francisco. R has invented a contraction: Being A Rich Asshole becomes BRICHASS. I ask him how we met, pat P's head and my love for them is almost unbearable.

In my dream she asks how long have you had this loft and I look around and say you know either I'm borrowing it or this is a dream because this is the sort of loft I am always looking for when I am dreaming. We are at an impasse.

In my dream the murmurs around me are called thaumaturgy. The entrance to the building circles down and down as they come out to be killed.

In my dream the male future possessor of my female body expresses surprise that I am wearing satin. He never has. “Well, maybe once you move in I can change your mind,” I say, flying over rooftops and enjoying the texture even as I feel a trace of annoyance at the gender cliché.

In my dream teaching Brecht-Weil songs to each other, we three women adjust our shifts.

In my dream I pick the “gifts for all” option on the screen and so: gifts for all.

In my dream, exhalation.

In my dream P and I are in hell which works like this: a series of simple rooms where everything is a little off: not quite rectangular pieces of paper stick to the table before you can lift them, anything printed is missing letters, you can't pronounce words and forget names.

In my dream I conceive a perfect pocket sculpture: a disc of cast iron the size of a half dollar and two inches thick, smoothly enameled in red with the raised letters CO on one side and IN on the other. I dwell on its heft and  slick surface through the rest of my adventures.

In my dream huge silverfish and insect corpses in the cup cabinet. I think “This is what Jack Smith meant by roachcrust.”

In my dream I want to petition to change the national anthem to “Dreamweaver.” I argue "Like the other one, people only really know the chorus.”

In my dream my/her feet make the frost on the grass crackle. This will draw his attention to her/me, so I/she duck/s further into the midday woods, trying to be silent and invisible. I am inside/outside.


Nayland Blake

Nayland Blake calls themself an artist. That should be enough.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2022

All Issues