Last night I dreamt I opened my fanny pack to find a note someone had slipped me the night before. It was written on the back of a friend’s utility bill. The note contained a list of everything I had done wrong the night before. It said that I had monopolized the evening’s conversation, and that I had read poetry for too long, boring everyone with my mediocrity. The note also said I will never be taken seriously because I published my own chapbook, and serious poets don’t do this.

This morning my wife told me I was screaming in my sleep, thrashing about through the night.

I don’t believe the accusations set forth in my dream note. But I don’t think this dream was operating on the level of belief, rather it was detailing a set of aliefs. An alief is a primitive, unconscious belief-like attitude, particularly one that is in tension with our explicit beliefs. So while I believe self-publishing in no way speaks to the value of the work being published, that many of my favorite poets have self-published, that self- publishing has a stigma unfairly attached to it, that I think fuck anyone who says otherwise, I  hold the alief that my work is not as good because I’ve self-published it.

How do I change my aliefs? I wonder if cognitive behavioral therapy would work. Maybe just examining and talking about them would help.

Many people have told me I’m too quiet. I’m always self-conscious about how much I speak; sometimes thinking that whoever speaks the loudest has the least to say. I never want to be a blowhard. Know that if you meet me and I seem quiet, it’s because I’m more interested in what you have to say than I am in speaking.

The strange heat of the body excites upon hearing its name.

Often I’m too deep inside myself to talk. Right now I’m wondering how aliefs relate to dreams and writing. I don’t believe that waking and dreaming are diametrically opposed. This is to say waking can also be dreaming. And although I don’t believe this realm is of a higher ordered significance in comparison to the dream, I function under the alief that it is. How do I change that? My friend Avery suggested to me that people hold dream meet-ups as a way to establish a shared landscape, which could then be maintained continuously by shifts of dreamers.

My wife says I could use to break my head open more. This is how I know she loves me.

I wonder what it was like to be the first sentient being, waiting for
others to join them here. I think about this when I’m writing a poem, and then reading it for people. Who’s willing to join me in these bubbles of consciousness? I also try not to think about this too much when writing, because I want the bubble to stay a bubble. I feel like the more signposts I put in a poem, the less it’s a poem, the less it’s another place.

My daughter likes tricks. I pull my thumb apart. I roll a sheet of paper into a tube and tell her to look through it with one eye. Then I move her hand, palm facing her, next to the tube. There’s a hole in her hand.

I wonder what you came here looking for. Both into this world and where you are right now, reading these words. Do you want to learn something new? Do you want to read something that makes you think Yes! I too have felt these things. Or do you want to come into my bubble? How much disbelief can you meet with suspension? How strong are your aliefs?

Tonight I will dream the consciousness of water for you

An epoch long slither

Digging new canyons through the mesa

Remember me there

In heather light

I met a group of people who organized DMT meet-ups. Each of us would take DMT at the same time once a week and try to find each other in the DMT place. The best time of day to smoke DMT is the lavender hour, with shades half drawn. I’d exhale and watch everything dissolve into the smoke. I try to live that way. To be that smoke adrift, a sail cut through time.

I’m trying to cut through alief.

I grew up near a waterfall. I remember an afternoon in the grass of a hill looking down on it. My mother taught me how to whistle on a leaf. I’m still there, a permanent sunshine smiling upon us.

What have learned without learning? What are you willing to leave where you are?

Are you looking for a trick? You are a question asking itself in reverse. A hole through all of it.

In small pulls I am slowly unknowing myself. I will prove to you that nothing is always an answer to someone’s question.


About Adam Tedesco

Adam Tedesco is a founding editor of REALITY BEACH, a journal of new poetics. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Laurel Review, Gramma Weekly, Prelude, Pouch Powderkeg, Fanzine, Fence, and elsewhere. He is the author of several chapbooks, most recently HEART SUTRA, and ABLAZA (Lithic Press), and the forthcoming collection Mary Oliver (Lithic Press, 2019). View all posts by Adam Tedesco

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