* dreaming with miroslav holub

* rules were meant to break your head *
* rules were meant to break your head *

The above image is in reference to Fleming’s right-hand rule, a term used in talking about electromagnetism.

The term appears in this week’s poem, “Dreams” by Miroslav Holub. When writing a dream poem and/or about dreams, I try to always be conscious of the why behind each dream detail. Each detail should feel necessary rather than just shocking or “dream”- like.

The details that surprise me most in Holub’s poem are those that are closest to everyday reality. The short lyric travels from the outlandish to the concrete, and ends on “Just grass” as if defying the expectations of a poem about dreams. Even the reference to the right-hand rule, which was outside of my immediate understanding, is handled as an everyday detail. Holub was a scientist; if dreams are made up in part of the details of everyday life, Holub’s lyric stays true to its revelatory impulse all the way through while remaining consistent to the poet’s life.


Dreams – Miroslav Holub

They sap man’s substance
as moon the dew.
A rope grows erect
from the crown of the head.
A black swan hatches
from a pebble.
And a flock of angels in the sky
is taking an evening class
on the skid pan.

I dream, so I dream.
I dream
that three times three is nine,
that the right-hand
rule applies;
and when the circus leaves
the trampled ground will
once more overgrow with grass.

Yes, grass.
Unequivocal grass.
Just grass.


Happy grassing!


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