Last night I dreamed of a poetry reading.
I was not reading, but I was in attendance.
I do not recall the reading itself, just the chaos afterwards, as I
scrambled to get books signed by the various readers.
I recall the faces but not the names of the contributing poets as I
picked them off one by one, adding signatures to my growing
autographed anthology collection.
My friend Jill's recent acceptance of my invitation to join me at the
New School on September 25 for the annual Best American Poetry reading
may have subconsciously triggered the dream.
Most memorable was the last autograph. I inexplicably had a
photography book that featured pictures of poets and famous actors.
The last poet I was seeking was chatting with someone when I
approached, and it turned out to be none other than Tom Cruise!
I knew he was in the book and asked him to inscribe it. He was
enthusiastic and very nice. Only afterwards did I realize I had made a
grave error. The book he had inscribed to me belonged to my friend
Brian, in Toronto. I was crestfallen, knowing that Brian would want
his book back, despite the inscription from Cruise to me. I don't
recall the inscription, just that it had a lot of exclamation points.
So what does this all mean? Not much, I expect, other than book
signings have been much on my mind lately, as the Fall in New York is
always thick with author events. I could easily, in theory, go to an
event every day of the week and still miss out. Case in point, the
night of the Best American Poetry launch, the great Polish poet Adam
Zagajewski is reading at NYU.
Brian and I have been emailing back and forth as I rub it in his face
that New York is far better than Toronto at gangbuster literary
events. The New Yorker festival schedule is out and Haruki Murakami
is doing a signing
with Alice Munro. That's like a Pearl Jam - Green Day concert, from a
literary sense. Insane.
As for Tom Cruise, I have no idea why he would infiltrate this dream.
I have not been thinking of him, but I recall going through several
pictures in the book with him, deciding which would be the best for
him to sign. We share a birthday, July 3, and I just realized, I
neglected to tell him that in the dream.
What was I thinking?
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