Dream Journal: Travels with Chuck D.

15 Aug


Jack Kerouac kept a dream journal. This log of nightly dreams was later published by City Lights Press in 1960 as Book of Dreams. Even before it was published, though, Kerouac encouraged others to pay attention to their dreams. He told Allen Ginsberg to infuse his poetry with his dream life.

When I was a high school student, my psychology teacher assigned us the task of keeping a dream journal. Isn’t that the most fantastic homework assignment you can think of?! According to psychology, we dream every night, but only some nights we remember our dreams. Keeping a dream journal was supposed to help us better remember our dreams. I know some people who hardly ever dream, but I have wild dreams—especially after eating pizza!

This past Friday night I had a doozy of a literary dream! I dreamt that I was writing a book entitled Travels with Charlie, which was a riff on John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley. Steinbeck’s book is a chronicle (it was purported to be nonfiction but it’s since come out that portions of it were made up) of the American road trip he took with his standard-sized poodle. My book, however, was about Charles Darwin’s travels. Incidentally, in real, waking life I once edited a reissue of his travelogue The Voyage of the Beagle. I didn’t make the connection in the dream, but perhaps there was some connection between Steinbeck’s poodle and Darwin’s Beagle. In the dream, I was retracing Darwin’s footsteps for a book about his “road trip.” I kept referring to Charles Darwin as Chuck D. or Chuckie D.—like the rapper!

I definitely need to start a dream journal!

Do you keep a dream journal? What is the wildest dream that you’ve had lately?


6 Responses to “Dream Journal: Travels with Chuck D.”

  1. Orlando August 15, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    I love it!!!

  2. Orlando August 15, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    I love this post Stephanie. It actually coaxed me into transcribing one of my dreams into a poem!

  3. Orlando August 15, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    Here is the poem:

    Born Again

    Moonlight bathes the grassy hill top

    I wander, I walk, I feel the grass beneath
    my feet

    The summer evening fills me with glee

    My friend the moon allows me a companion,
    my shadow never leaves my side

    I find myself amongst unfinished houses
    draped in white linen

    Houses without walls, houses drenched in
    moonlight within

    From house to house I roamed, till panic
    drove like a nail into my heart

    A foundling emerges cuddled in
    my arms

    I hasten in horror and quicken my gait
    to protect the child from harm

    The cloaked ones are coming,hateful and black
    filled with unimaginable evil

    To kill the child is their lustful state
    and I see no other people

    Why does this happen ? I ask
    of me lost for comprehension

    A hedgerow found in dull moonlight
    I pressed with apprehension

    Spiteful thorns rip into me but I must bite my tongue

    Don’t cry dear lad I thought to me, and with
    firmness to it I clung

    The cloaked ones wailed in their hateful lust for the babe
    they could not see

    I smiled in pain looked at the child and noticed it was me.

    © orlando clemente. All rights reserved,

    • Stephanie Nikolopoulos August 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your poetry, Orlando! I’m looking forward to reading more of it.

  4. Orlando August 15, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Here is a link to the poem above http://allpoetry.com/poem/10882279-Born_Again-by-orlando_clemente


  1. Writing Wednesday: 10 Reasons Memoirists Should Make Time to Keep a Diary | Stephanie Nikolopoulos - August 28, 2013

    […] wrote recently about how Jack Kerouac kept a dream journal and have been blogging a lot about social media. In a recent Salon article, Michele Filgate wonders […]

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