| The Dream
written in 1979 for radio. Each of the four works were recorded and set
to sound and music. They were aired on National
Public Radio's "Voices
in the Wind" on June 24, 1979. About these works, Keith Talbot, Program
Director and Producer at Large for National Public Radio, said
"Miss Thorington's work is, to my knowledge,
unique. I know of no one working as she does, combining original stories
and original music. I cannot overstate the importance of such new
and exciting performances
to Public Radio."
The Dream Sequence
were chosen by
Black Box, the cassette
magazine, to be a part of a 1980 NEA funded series of 26 poetry radio
Dream Sequence was
also selected by the National Federation of Community Broadcasters as
one of the top ten radio programs of 1979.
DREAM SEQUENCE 1
DREAM SEQUENCE 2
I fall asleep. When I
wake I'm walking in a pine woods. The day is hot and the air heavy and
oppressive. Suddenly I'm flying. My feet only inches above the earth
I follow the wind and am delivered without asking into the cooler shadows
of a woods clearing. There is a shack in the clearing. I enter and sit
fanning myself by the window, dressed in my old rust and blue snow-suit.
There is a rustling in the air. The door blows open and a hundred
milkweed pods explode into the room.
fall asleep. When I wake it's raining. A small trickle of water
oozes in under the door. It becomes a tide and floods the room, driving
small boats with broken masts against the monumental solidity of my
boots. An old cow floating belly up in the brown current winks at me.
go to sleep and when I wake the air is cold and dark clouds are
skimming the empty clearing. I go out and play at the wood's edge. I
hide myself in the shadows of the tall trees. Dust devils seek me out.
They lift and twirl me in the sunless air, then drop me
down again in a brilliant patch of light.
calls to me from the woods. I break away and leaping from
branch to branch follow it to its nest in a tall pine.
I laugh myself to sleep.
drop down through the wet branches.I sleep and in a dream I see them
pale. While they are still pink and damp I take a deep breath and dive
headlong into their midst. I sink until I am covered with mud and mulch.
evening I return to the shack. I am caked with mud and flop clumsily
about my empty room. I sleep and wake and sleep again.
I drift on warm river currents. Sometimes, sensing the
presence of an enemy I settle on the river bottom and close my eyes.
I do not want to be seen.
of death come. They gnaw holes in my darkness and I wake. It is winter
and the window by my side is broken; snow is blowing in. (TOP)
I fall asleep and dream that I am confined
in a very small room. There is the hiss like the hiss of escaping gas
in the room. As the sound intensifies, the walls and floor begin to
vibrate. I wake with the bed shaking underneath me.
I fall asleep
and in my sleep I am a tiny white balloon bobbing on the end of a hospital
bed. Slowly I work my string free and carried on a leisurely current
drift upward toward the ceiling. There is a window in the far upper
corner of the room. I lie in bed and watch myself bounce across the
ceiling and out the window.
I am missing. An investigation
by the police and hospital staff
proves fruitless. No one has seen me. An indifferent investigator
tells me that hundreds of such disappearances occur every year and that
few of the missing are ever found. I am frightened. I wake
and find myself in a very small room. (TOP)
I fall asleep and in my sleep I enter a world
of twisting gray shadows and dark stationery things that shoot beams
of black light out across the morning sky.
Sitting cross-legged on an old woolen blanket I study the light. With
my pocket computer I count the beams; with my Mickey watch I time the
intervals between. I write my findings on the back of a Wheeties box
top. 36-24-36, I write.
I hear a whistle, the distant beat of a drum, the thunder of horses'
hooves. Looking up I see a hundred mounted men bearing down on me. Each
man is armed with a baseball bat and ball.
I lift my crayon. A great wind comes out of it. It lifts and transports
me upward in a puff of sand and dust.
in an enormous white pot. Above me a striped balloon billows in the
near cloudless sky. Below I can see the green earth spinning, and with
my binoculars, a tiny army of men gathered on its western side. The
men are stuffing the barrels of an anti-aircraft gun with baseballs.
I'm hit! I
hear the explosion and in the same instant see my shadow double up and
fall away, plunging downward toward the earth.
I follow quickly, guiding my clumsy craft down over the mountain peaks
and into a country field.
My shadow is waiting. As I step from my pot, it trips me and runs off
I run in pursuit.
I chase it over hills and through fields. I sing and do tiny dances
at the river's edge to attract it to me. But it does not come.
The seasons change. It rains.
I am cold and drenched and unhappy. By night I build my campfire well
within the shelter of the woods and huddle close for its warmth. But
I am growing smaller, I can feel it. By morning I am several inches
shorter than I was...
Cold mists rise from the river and sweep up over the brown fields.
A wintry chill settles in. I take refuge from its bitterness in a long
abandoned house. I have been there before. I recognize the crowded rooms,
the old furniture. But I can no longer remember anything about them.
In the attic I find a child's toys: a dozen tin soldiers, an old drum,
a baseball and broken bat
That night my shadow comes to me, and we lie together in the same bed.
I'm hiding in the shrubbery on a side street
in an unknown town. A fleet of police children on bicycles are looking
for me. They want to question me about Annie's disappearance. I hug
the branches of a mulberry bush. It is a cold and frosty morning.
Snow begins to fall. I hurry down the unfamiliar street. Senja is lying
on the sidewalk at the end of the street. She is wearing a black mask
and a raccoon coat. "You'll never believe it today," she whispers
as I pass, "but spring will soon be here."
I hurry on. At the first traffic light I stop. I don't know which way
to go. Looking down I see one leg turn right and hurry away while the
other hops off in the opposite direction.
I enter a theatre in the downtown area.
A troop of howler monkeys
is on stage. They're throwing peanuts at the audience.
"Where's Annie?" someone asks.
The monkeys clap in rhythm.
Where is Annie?
The spotlight fixes on me. 1 lean quickly over the podium and whisper
at the audience. "She's relieving herself," I hear myself
I'm running. I have Senja by the hand;
we're both running. We run up one street and down another. We hide in
doorways. We backtrack. We write phony directions on the pavement.
The police children follow us. They pursue us on bicycles. Their eyes
flash with an eerie red light. Howler monkeys sit on their handlebars.
"Where is Annie?" they shriek. "Where is Annie?"
At the city limits Senja and I turn and face our pursuers. What happens
The police children pale. They become faint colorless lines and float
The scene changes. Senja and
I are on a country road. A soft drizzle hangs in the air. In the distance
we can see Annie. She is squatting in a wet field. Around her the birds