Willie Smith


       Struggle to write down the dream. The lines are moving, by which I don’t mean emotional. The notebook is spiral, and I don’t mean Andromeda.
       The pen butterfingers to the floor. Stoop to retrieve the Bic. Under the desk, half-remember, half-glimpse, a damsel chained naked to a rock on the beach.
       The spiral floats back into view. The scrawl of last week’s dreams crowds the page. Page ahead. Hunt for the blank beheld before the pen slipped.
       I am flying. Spiral arms to hold the hover. Peer down over my toes at the barely-legal chained to a boulder, surf smooching her ankles.
       If to a virgin page I could just tumble…
       Here’s Tuesday: I hang upsidedown, the rope starts popping apart, the net I thought in place now nowhere between the crown of my skull and the arena floor, the crowd with horror roars… here the following night my scrotum slips down into the arch of my left foot, am scratching my sole (again hanging upsidedown) to orgasm, when dawns I better figure out how to work those balls back up where they belong…
       Thursday I’m practicing suicide. Throw myself out the window. Race downstairs. Dart out the door. Catch myself in the nick of dream. Trudge back up. Try it again…
       Seems I squeeze in another report Wednesday – remembered later – penned out of sequence after Thursday’s dream: An old salt tells how the waves part, and he finds himself standing on the bottom, walls of water thirty-feet high on all sides, and he wonders will this be his end, drowned like a kitten? when a last-ditch leap combined with the anti-suck of the waves closing back up buoy him at the tail of his breath to the surface, and he gasps and retches to shore – lone survivor of Pharoah’s pursuit…
       See myself unable to conceive how to land, Perseus stuck up, a whale closing on the frail, the sperm opening hangar-huge maw, revealing instead of baleine twin .50-caliber’s mounted on a ball turret.
       A burst blasts the babe free. Broken links litter the littoral. Slugs kick up sand at her balls and toes, as she sprints, then dives into a pearl-armored snail. Aware the shielding will not long endure the hail of uranium-tipped lead, I spiral downstairs to the blank that finally stares up, begging me to ink her tale…
       Awake with a jerk, realizing, splitsecs later, that that jerk, lying in bed, winnowing dream from real, is I. Notebook unopened on a desk in the next room. Andromeda a galaxy over two million years out of (not-the-kitchen) synch. None of these vignettes ever before just now dreamed.
       Scratch the bottom of my foot. Feel my Andromeda sharper than Redon’s topaz haze; for that matter, than the star-spangled spiral the Hubble exposes.
       Itch to word sensation under a nail in a welt. Write it from the balls.

Willie Smith's story collection NOTHING DOING is available on Amazon.
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