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Surrealist Dreams
by Michael Estabrook







I’m cold I never get cold

don’t believe in pajamas

don’t eat fruit either

who says that? I don’t eat fruit

like they’re proud of it!


So I went into Todd’s foyer

to put away the bag of beans

I was carrying around

and of course the old woman

in the next apartment came down

at that exact moment

with her two

young daughters and I said

excuse me and while Todd

waited outside I hid

the bag of beans beneath the stairs.


Thick fog tonight returning home

from Hudson

their new home is perfect, roomy

clean, bright, white and shiny

but it was like they

were starting all over again

like newlyweds and he’s over 70!


Not a bad thing really

just felt weird, depressing and odd

I feel funny saying it

because it is nice having a big

new house I’m not denying them that

it just seems it should be more

a young person’s domain

and what was all that

with me hiding the bag of beans

and being cold

I never get cold.



a line, (a short blue one)




I’m new in the shop

where they manufacture

metal parts and fixtures

end of the day time to go

I make sure the back door is locked

check some windows

flip switches to turn out the lights

but one switch closes only halfway

and suddenly fire bursts out

in the far corner

of the back basement the flames leaping

and clawing at the air

but there is no smoke just flames.

I quickly close the switch all the way

but the fire rages on

but only in that one corner

no wood burning or people getting hurt

I pull the alarm

co-workers appear immediately

seemingly popping out of the walls

concerned, more annoyed, not panicked

frowning in my direction

the new guy fucking-up as usual

everyone staring at the fire

from the edge of the basement

until a woman officer shows up

tall, short hair, sharply dressed

removes something from a cabinet

descends the stairs

to go put out the fire

and she’s frowning at me too



a line, (a short blue one)




I’m over at Patti’s house visiting her

we’re not married yet

it’s crowded and crazy there

lots of people especially children everywhere

I can’t even spend time with her or talk to her

so as the sun begins to set I decide to leave

to sneak away on my bicycle so her mom won’t see

and get insulted or annoyed or something

I think she’s in the kitchen

so I don’t leave through the back yard

but instead in the front

down the driveway into the street

but there are flowers everywhere I didn’t

notice them before everywhere is thick with flowers

red blue yellow the lawn the driveway

even the street I can barely ride my bike

through them they’re so tall and thick

I make it to the street

but there she is Pat’s mom on the sidewalk

pruning some purple flowers on a fence

I try to turn back but too late

she sees me waves I wave back and smile

park my bike go back inside

there’s no one there not even Pat

it’s all so quiet now and I’m all alone waiting

but I’m unsure for what

look out the window it’s still dusk

but all the flowers are gone and so is Patti’s mom.



a line, (a short blue one)




On the beach with Pat, sun shining bright

she’s close-by in a blue beach chair (she hates blue)

there’s a lifeguard close-by too (in a yellow chair)

the waves are small, calm

when suddenly I see fins or something

sticking up out of the water

maybe 20 or so and they are moving slowly

into shore

I turn to the lifeguard, what are those?

he shrugs, Pat is reading a book

looking so cute in her floppy hat and sunglasses

I sneak closer to the water

turns out the fins are turtles! turtle legs actually

they are all floating calmly into shore

and they’re on their backs! big turtles

snappers and sliders, not normal sea turtles

with their feet sticking up

out of the water

I’m amazed that they are on their backs

lifeguard says their rough carapaces

deal better with the sandy, rocky bottom

they’re fine, healthy, happy

I squat down in the surf touch one of them

such beautiful gentle creatures

Pat looks at me and smiles.



a line, (a short blue one)




In the dark we slink

down the hallway

pass Freedman in his bed

he wakens grabs his flashlight

What is this?

Who are you?

we dash for it

Come back here you damnit!

at the far end

I exit through the back door

trying to be quiet

circle around back

enter the house again through

the screened-in porch into

a small room try

to lock the screen door

but can’t and then Freedman

is there flashing his light

in my face and yelling

struggling with the door

to get in but finally

I lock the damn thing

and he can’t get in

becomes quiet

then he’s gone

time for me to make my get-away

out through the garage

find my bike hop on

ride off into the night



a line, (a short blue one)




for a conference

in a dorm of some sort

she’s with roommates on the second floor

I’m with roommates on the third

even though we only just met

we’ve planned to meet

later in the night after everyone else

is asleep


I’m anxious, pacing, watching

down in the stairwell

like I’m waiting for her to show up

when a herd of guys, 5 or 6 of them

come in to party in her room

so I realize our plan

for the evening has been dashed


next morning everyone’s leaving

I’ll never get the chance

to see her again

but leave my room, and the building find her

in a car filled with coats

a clutter of coats

I open the door, she’s so sad

I sit in beside her

take her pretty face by the chin

“you all right? I missed you last night”

she motions with her eyes

towards the back seat

and there in the corner huddled beneath

a pile of coats is Philip O.

an old work buddy

staring at me through his thick glasses


“OK well I’ll talk to you later

have a safe trip home”

I say to her

and slide back out of the car

watch from a window in the building

as the car drives off

and I never see her again



a line, (a blue one)


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