Jerome Rothenberg

1931 / New York City, New York

Dreamwork Three

a trembling old man dreams of a chinese garden
a comical old man dreams of newspapers under his rabbi's hat

a simple tavernkeeper dreams of icicles & fisheyes
a sinister tavernkeeper dreams of puddles with an angel of the law in every drop

the furrier's plump daughter is dreaming of a patch of old vanilla
the furrier's foreign daughter is dreaming of a hat from which a marten hangs

the proud accountant dreams of a trolleycar over the frozen river
the reluctant accountant dreams of his feet sleep in a fresh pair of red socks

the silly uncle dreams of a history written by a team of Spanish doctors
the uncle in the next apartment dreams of the cost of Katmandu

the retired gangster dreams of a right turn into a field of sacred lemons
the dancing gangster dreams of a carriage, a donkey, & a hand that holds the ace of spades

the grim man with a proposition dreams of his fingers entering a pair of gloves
the excited man with a proposition dreams of the letter E torn from the title of his poem

the remarkable elevator operator dreams of the marriage of karl marx
the easy elevator operator dreams of a seashell at the entry to the thirteenth floor

the candid photographer dreams of a wooden synagogue inside his brother's camera
the secret photographer dreams of a school of golden herrings drifting out to sea

the yiddish dadaist dreams of rare steaks & platonic pleasures
the rosy dadaist dreams that a honeycomb is being squashed against his face

the mysterious stranger dreams of a white tablecloth on which black threads are falling
the stranger whom no one sees dreams of his sister holding up a string of pearls

the asthmatic tax collector dreams of a row of sacred numbers
the rebellious tax collector dreams of a bathhouse set among old trees

the robust timber merchant dreams of a wind that blows inside the blacksmith's bellows
the sobbing timber merchant dreams that his hands have pressed the buttocks of his dreaming bride

the man with a fish between his teeth dreams of a famine for forty-five days
the man dressed in white dreams of a potato

the savage gentile dreams of a dancer with flashy lightbulbs on her shoes
the repentant gentile dreams of her fingers bringing honey to his lips

the fancy barber dreams that his hands massage the captain's neck
the silent barber dreams of a rooster with a thread tied to one leg

the salty bridegroom dreams of horses galloping they swirl around the bridegroom's house
the genuflecting bridegroom dreams of what his bride slides through her fingers he sees it white & trembling in the early sabbath light

the fat man in the derby dreams that it is spring that his seed soon will be falling through an empty sky
the ecstatic man in the derby dreams that if he dreams it his words will turn into flowers
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