Exiled Lit Cafe 9th January 2017

Hypnos is the God of Sleep and Morpheus, the God of Dreams. Beds are the theatres in which the nightly drama of our dreams plays out and so they can be a place of danger.

Despite the tube strike and unrelenting rain, our guests, Adnan Al Sayegh, Stephen Watts, Amir Darwish and Mona Dash, made it to the Betsey Trotwood although the audience was much smaller than usual. It was fascinating to hear multiple interpretations of the Dream Room and its exterior and Freud and his Interpretation of Dreams did not even get a mention! For Adnan Al-Sayegh, whose poetry in English was first published in chap book form by Exiled Writers Ink, the dream was the past, the imagined life of Iraq, yet one of the lines of his poetry referred to the boredom of memory. His first large collection in English Pages from the Biography of an Exile has just been published by Arc and it is a dual collection of poetry that I am looking forward to reading.

In the break, sitting round candle-lit tables, we all got creative and wrote a long collaborative poem:

Life is a dream and life is not a dream!
What else can we say! Life is a dream
Small red room full of words
Empty rooms, shadows with no faces
The rain enveloped the world in sheets
Do you hear it
The music of the skies lost within the world?
Last night I dreamt of a crowd of white feathers, so many they were lost in the dust, brown and dirty, I found the one, clean feather,
planted it in a pot, like a flower. Today, as in a child’s dream, I see a white feather in the street like a sign from an invisible angel.
Where is the boundary, how is that delicate surface of living, the meniscus of existence churned into a world of shadows, shadows with substance tangible, believable, essential?
If we are still waiting for dreams, are we just dreaming? At least with dreams we are not alone.
A thick line of blue murmuring
Standing by the shore of a dream
In the mist, in confusion
I can’t think how it may feel if I go out of it!
Save me from the storm as I am captured by bad thoughts and dreams, promise me to be my side.
For better or worse, poetry is a rose.Illusion or delusion, which is it that
I’m envisioning and dreaming about
Standing by the pier that is sunk
in the waters – please Almighty
let me wake up, let me come to the surface
from the deep darkness of the oceans.

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