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Stuff for the Teen Age

Writers Club Part 2: Dreams vs Reality or Am I Dreaming?


During the first part of the Writers' Club meeting on August 2, the question of reality and dreaming came up. Someone spoke about the feeling of waking up — perhaps coming out of a dream and having that disoriented feeling of not knowing quite where you are or where you were, or dreaming that you woke up from a dream only to be still dreaming. Reality can be complicated and so can dreaming, so here are some dreamy poems about what is real and what is not.

Are you still beating?
And am I still imagining?
The sound of this glorified muscle
Thumping a hollow-tip chest
Accustomed to rhythm
Mind in a trance
She’s been pretending
Warping her recollections
Of days and nights
Peering through
The bottom of a broken prism
Light detracting from clarity
She’s been pretending
Echoing soliloquies against a cavern
Of psychotic mantras
“Go mind go”
“Stop mind stop”
“Run heart run”
“Leave soul leave”
There’s a break in the dark
A little whole dug out
Through mental erosion
Leaking into
A subconscious sun
Redeeming every notion
That there is an
Now my feet are gone
And the floor with them
I’m falling
— Jocelyn Ellis
Scraped my hands
Felt the biting rocks within them
A burning knee
A sour lip
Lifting my head
The gates and grounds spinning
I spent the moment with the world
Turning around me
But hoped to feel the world
Turn below me
Slowly regaining my sight
I struggled, fought to
Keep my balance
While crawling on the ground
Kicks, fists
Violence from above
It didn’t stop
I yelled
“Enough, enough!”
What do you know?
I had fallen off my bed.
— Poem and photo by Lenny Collado


My dream’s so vivid, my memories blur
Am I on Earth? Or in the further?
Further… not meaning heaven or hell?
But where I dwell and how I can tell?
Maybe I am crazy or maybe insane
Because I died yesterday, but here I am a-gain
Now I know, now I’m sure
My confusion with reality has no cure
— Poem by Thandiwe McMillan; photo by Crystal Odame

                                    Today, a drive in a car
                                    Became a place
                                      Where we ate sun
                                  And had many
                                 Bananas and made
                                 Piles of bags and
                                 Whole fruit. And
                                If you drive long enough
                                The whole road becomes
                               A grey spit color and the
                               Wheels of your car turn into the
                               Spinning wheels of hamsters,
                               And you hear the click of
                                     Their hungry stomachs
                                    As you pass an Eighteen-wheeler
                                    With the windows
                                 Open. When you wake up
                                Everyone’s smiling
                                Because we made it, while
                              You were dreaming about
                              Hamsters and spit.
— Marshall Ellis

Feet move
Then they talk or smell
Like flowers
Round the table
Round yesterday
Like at PS 110
And my 1st grade teacher
Mrs. Brown
cold eyed under glasses
not friendly
Or tall
Or pretty
Is this how school is?
Seeing feet powdery
Walking down
A road
Hot summer
Looking down
rocks on dirt road
big small
& little  
— Rodger Taylor