Jules Gibbs

DURING SLEEP THE MIND IS OBLIGED TO RECEIVE AND BE AFFECTED BY IMPRESSIONS OF STIMULI FROM PARTS OF THE BODY AND FROM CHANGES IN THE BODY OF WHICH IT KNOWS NOTHING WHEN AWAKE

 

bacteria scribble the chest. infection scars.

 

scarabs. from the right side —

 

the righteous — skin pulls away

 

in soft clumps. vaginal, the gash it leaves. did you know,

 

says the dream-speak, ancient Greeks would lay

 

the dreamer on the stretched skin

 

of a sacrificed ram, rub her

 

in oils, frankincense, and myrrh, make her quodesh,

 

mostly holy, and watch over until she dreamt

 

her own cure?   what’s missing here are

 

mystics who know how to translate

 

all this cryptic: bumps on the skin, a missive

 

of entrails. how alone we are in flesh’s

 

excess, every dreamer

 

her own oracle and oiler.

 

 

IN WHICH THE DAWN OF AWAKENING STEALS OVER THE MASS OF SLEEPING CELLS IN THE CEREBRAL CORTEX

 

blood fur dream or is it snow chatter

 

waking won’t wake dream chew

 

fat icing dream matter

 

what’s the fatter? the dream is the walk

 

the flesh chunks pillow should say the wake

 

is the dreaming but you are the dream

 

and the dream woman who comes in

 

rattling a metal tray a scalpel scalps to lay

 

the teeth on the pillow the woman here

 

with bone teeth and comes

 

and scalpels and while I sleep and dream

 

and not and do I wake to slice the fat

 

from the dream fragment but no still snow

 

in my mouth

 

 

 

 


Jules Gibbs‘s first book, Bliss Crisis, was published by The Sheep Meadow Press, and poems have appeared in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, The Antioch Review, Forklift Ohio, Plume Poetry, Salt Hill Journal, Gulf Coast, Better Magazine, Comstock Review, Margie, Spoon River Poetry Review, Barrow Street, H_NGM_N, and other places. Gibbs is the poetry editor for The Progressive Magazine, and for Corresponding Voices, a magazine of cross-cultural poetics based at Syracuse University (where Gibbs also teaches literature and creative writing).