Author Archives: Adam Tedesco

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).

Dream Weaver 4.8


Our emotions are nothing but politics.

Every thought is a dream.

We have control over all of these.

Your mind is a machine. You don’t dream of what you haven’t fueled the engine with. This is more complex than it seems and also much simpler. You build your own internal culture. This is not to say we can’t dream of things that don’t exist; we create the non-existent through thought.

There is tongue in the desert avenging your guilt in the shadows of birds.

What are you building?

Contentment seems a goal, but what does it mean to be content now?

There is a boy circling a lemon tree, and when I say lemon I mean boy.

What I’m asking is: Are you content with the brutality that surrounds you?

I think contentment is a lazy dream. Often, when you tell someone that you’re not living a wonderful life, they’ll confront you with your options. This is a good as it gets. It’s either this, or North Korea. It’s either this or Liberia. All of this is a lack of dreams.

You must refuse to accept the possibilities offered to you by the world’s current configuration. You must feed your dreams with this refusal until new possibilities are born. This is how we heal.

Freud wrote about the rewards of neuroses, but you don’t need to read Freud to see how society rewards a lack of imagination, a lack of dreams. It is the dreamer’s duty to refuse this, to shit on contentment.

I am a lion, feeding myself the meat of a dream.

Our emotions are nothing but politics. So are our dreams.

This dream can be anything, and this is part of what the waking means. We practice in one dream for another. None of this needs to make us miserable, either.

It’s hard to be happy while refusing to accept the atrocities of capitalism, or states, of power. But maybe this too stems from a lack of imagination, of dreaming. Happiness and contentment are not the same things. You can allow yourself love in a time of war.

I allow you this vast and silent now.

Religions teach about heaven and hell, but maybe each moment has an afterlife. Maybe each moment of thought is a state of heaven or hell, or anything in between, anything we can dream.



My son told my wife that he had a dream I was selling my genitals for gold. There’s a lot of Freudian bullshit to unpack there, but I won’t here. Instead I’ll tell you that if I could exchange my genitals for gold, I would. Not because I want gold, but because I don’t want my genitals.

I hate being an animal. This is to say that I hate both not having control and wanting to have control. This is to say that genitals are a trap in the same way logic is a trap.

We dress our sexuality much like we dress our logic, in the saccharine nonsense of anthropocentrism; human sexuality is beautiful and complicated and our logic is the pinnacle of the evolution of mind. Sexuality is stupid, and in this I mean you stand no chance against a waterfall. The amount of hubris required to see two pieces of mechanized meat squirting their juices into each other as advanced, or nuanced, is staggering. Likewise, for all our golden logic, how are we doing, as a species?

If your glass is half full, I’ll assume your into asphalt and strip malls.

Continue reading



In my friend Tony’s dream I am driving him and his wife to a party in a small automobile. By the time they get where they’re going, he may be possessed. Not in the way we’re all already possessed by the ideology permeating the superstructure containing us, but in a more sinister way; things less obvious always seem more sinister.

Ten years ago today I was staring at a photograph of children playing soccer in GCPR era China. Under the photo there was a caption explaining that no one kept score because the game was about fun, not competition.

Tell me all the ways you’re better than your neighbor.

Do you love what you are?

So many dreams I have are about all the reasons I have to hate myself. I’m learning to break into the dream through a door in the sky and shout It’s all right!

Continue reading




A friend wrote to tell me they had a dream in which both of our families were attending an outdoor event and we had a chance to enjoy each other’s company.

This has been a hard week for many people, and if you’re like me you’re finding it difficult to enjoy anything right now. But my friend’s dream is helping me shake this feeling.

There is still goodness in the world. Now more than ever, we need to remind ourselves and our friends of this. Not to normalize, too much has been normalized, but to fuel us.

Struggle, until you’re near its end, so often feels like defeat. We need to be reminded constantly of the good things left worth fighting for.

Continue reading




Yesterday I was driving into the city with friends when the stereo in my car did the weird thing the stereo in my car does where the bluetooth cuts out and it shuts itself off at random. When I turned it back on NPR was broadcasting audio of people yelling “Shame on you! Shame on you!”

“Oh, they recorded my dream” I joked. We all laughed. It’s funny because it’s true. We all feel a pointing inward. We all feel that echo of shame.

A week ago I was smoking a joint, driving into the city with a friend, when the stereo did another weird thing the stereo in my car does where a one second slice of the bluetooth audio stream repeats indefinitely and I can’t adjust the volume, which was at maximum, or turn the stereo off. I pulled into the closest rest stop and powered off the car.

Seldom do I wake free from the hold a shameful memory, some days thicker than others with the fog of mistakes made throughout the last forty years of this dream.


The time I pushed a boy off a footbridge at summer camp.

The time I shot my neighbor’s house with an AK47.

The time I injected myself with trenbolone.

The times I walked through the bar, karate chopping strangers in their necks.

The time I drew all over another boy’s school uniform. Continue reading



Happy Halloween

Today is about nightmares. We live in a nightmare.

I have long suffered from sleep paralysis. Upon settling into sleep I feel the presence of someone approaching, standing over me. When I try to move I can’t. Why I try to scream I can’t. Sometimes I wake myself up attempting to scream. Sometimes I spend what seems like hours trapped in this state, only to wake the next morning with a sore throat, exhausted.

For a long period of time I struggled with a substance abuse problem, in part because I wanted control over my consciousness, my sleep.

I feel like I’ve been trying to scream my whole life. Something isn’t right. Power is crushing us from all directions.

What is power?

Do you believe in the power of nightmares?

Do you accept the necessity of a state apparatus?

What you ever seen one person killing another? This is power. This is an attempt at statehood.

A state is an organized body of coercion, convincing its subordinates that they need it. To the state you trade your freewill for protection. To the state you grant a monopoly of force. You pay the state to kill children. You love the state.

You are a vessel for state thought. You are so full up with it that you can’t imagine another way of being. You only dream state dreams. You only speak state language. You only love state love. You only think state thought.

The state is standing over you. Try to scream.

Try to stop paying the state what it demands.

There are people with guns walking around outside, looking for trouble, killing people. The state has sent them.

There are people killing people everywhere for the state. This is freedom. Freedom to work. Freedom to buy. Freedom to drink yourself unconscious.

You cannot transcend the state through spirit. There is no spirit outside of state sanctioned spirit.
Accept this world to find peace in the next: This is state thought.

You cannot break your deal with the state. You are owned.

The state owns you. The state owns your dream.

Welcome to my nightmare.



A friend writes:

Dear Weaver of Dreamz–

I have three different recurring dreams, and I wonder if they are connected somehow.

In one, I am in Paris. I have always loved that city, have lived there before, visited it numerous times since I first went there as a child. It is very much a second home to me. However, over the last ten years or so, after several terrifying experiences with storms and turbulence, I’ve become much more nervous about flying, particularly for more than a few hours at a time. So the idea of being on a plane for ten hours from the west coast to Europe seems like a daunting prospect, and is something I have not done since 2008. In the dream, I am always already in Paris, and surprised to find myself there. I never actually dream about the flight itself, but once in Paris I always seem to recall that the flight was not really a big deal, though it still gives me shivers of anxiety thinking about it.

The second is a reconciliation dream. I am with someone, a friend or an ex that I have not seen in a long while, with whom there has been some tension or falling out, and we end up laughing or kissing or collaborating, and becoming closer than we ever were before. Like most dreams that involve unexpected intimacy, I wake up with a genuine feeling of connection to that person, and whatever was between us has been healed. Some of these dreams repeat multiple times with the same person. Others are one and done. Continue reading




Someone dreamt their eyes were pooling with blood. I had a dream I found a bottle of cologne with one of my friend’s name on the label, under which was printed Architect and Philosopher. A friend of mine is making a maps to the landscapes in her dreams. Last night I dreamt about a party with too many staircases. This was after the destruction of Chicago, a new canyon dredged to fill with ruins.

As I write this there is a square glass filled with writing implements on my desk, situated eight inches diagonally from my right hand. This glass was a Christmas gift given by a boss when I worked in an office four floors above where I now sit. This glass was a way of saying I know I’m supposed to buy you a gift, but fuck you. Sometimes waking from a dream I feel the world is telling me the same thing.

Inside the glass there’s twenty or so pens and pencils and markers that came from other dreams: a Micron 08 I once sketched my son’s face with, a Staples Hype highlighter that I colored in the squares representing my vacation weeks with, a BP Zebra F-301 mechanical pencil that I used to complete problem sets for Technical Mathematics 215, a black ballpoint pen with my deceased grandfather’s name emblazoned on it that I rescued from his 1990 Lincoln Town Car after the transmission went and I almost drove it into my house then decided wasn’t worth the cost of repair.

These are all dreams. None of them exist, but I can vividly recall them. Memories are the superstition we build our lives on. We all know America was never great. If you don’t then why the fuck are you reading this? None of your memories are more valid than that great lie.

There’s a lot of superstition surrounding dreams as well: you can’t die in a dream, there’s a right way to interpret them, that we can understand.

This isn’t an attempt to trick you. Surety is.

We’ve all had dreams we didn’t want to wake from. Many of us have had dreams we return to. A smaller group of us have learned to navigate those dreams, have become conscious of the dreaming within the dream. Spiritual teachers tell us this is a way of training for becoming conscious of the dreaming within this dream. There are many volumes dedicated accounts of those who’ve done this, been able to accomplish fantastic feats because they’ve fully integrated this awakening. Last night my daughter asked me what I would do if I could do anything. Anything, I replied.

The grief of death is the refusal to accept the beauty of the dead cat’s smile. The grief of death is the lie of memory, and your attachment to it.

How much of who you are is a lie? How much of who you are today is the remembrance of yourself congealing in the bathroom mirror? How hard is it to forget all the times you’ve been hurt? When was the last time you forgot who you were?

Be someone else tomorrow. Be conscious of the remembering. Interdict possibility before the approach of memory. Write yourself a note so you don’t have to remember this.



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.

The Inventory – Like Stee, Moanin Ludlow


We love this poem by Alli Warren.

We love these poems by M. Forajter.

We love Katy Mongeau writing about The Dream House.

We love Mina Loy.

We love this story by Erin Taylor.

We love these poems by Sampson Starkweather.

We love this video poem by Elle Nash.

We love these poems by Danez Smith.

We love this poem by Peter Gizzi.

We love this poem by Sommer Browning.

We love this poem by Shane McCrae.

We love you.