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Sandy Coomer


Dream Whisperer


I tell the dream interpreter about tornados and my father.

            He says meaning is in the mind of the dreamer.

I say images flicker like filmstrips. 

            He says they tumble through sleep’s narrow tunnel 

            and land at the base of the soul.

The talking horse from the TV commercial winks, talks about violence. 

I remember his teeth, biting the words like the bikini model 

chomps the jalapeno double bacon burger,

sauce dripping down her chin. I think about symbolism.

            You must think less, see more, he says.

The tornados keep coming, dressed in burgeoning black clouds,

wide as the swirling chasm to Hades, loud as a lion’s roar. 

There is glass on the floor that cuts my feet. I walk in letters.

            You must walk over the words you want to say.

My father stands in front of the window, the wind pressing 

a violent hand. The broken glass forms eyes, lots of eyes – 

my father’s and the storm’s as the house shuts itself tight against seeing.

            Did anyone die? the dream-man asks.

I answer, not yet.






My son shows me 

the burnt side of a potato chip

that clearly depicts the face

of Jesus in the dark edges.

I’ve heard of God 

spreading the love 

in pancakes and quesadillas,

popping a grin among flour

and oil, but a high calorie

junk food snack doesn’t seem

the best venue for a savior.

I’d rather see Jesus

in the dimpled marble 

of a labyrinth, replica 

of the one in Chartres, eleven

rings of meditation and mirth,

or hear him in the clear soprano

of a boys choir, the voices

not yet tuned with the longing

of manhood. I want my Jesus

to be pure, with no

hydrogenated oils, caramel color

or yeast extract. 


But this potato chip Jesus

seems shockingly genuine. I don’t eat it.

I lay it on the counter

and wait for it to speak wisdom – 

like the orange that, when split,

confides the crucifixion, like the pierogi

that sold on Ebay for a thousand bucks

with a face that only half spoke

of sacrifice and flavor.

I want authentic religion – my heart

is that big. I want the truth 

and the cross and the foundation 

and the rock. My heart, so giant, 

I want everything – 

the orange, the pierogi,

the bass, the tenor, the path

through the labyrinth and out again,

the bread, and the anointing oil, 

the burnt smile and the eyes

so hollow, so shaded, so broken, 

I might mistake them 

for my own. 




Most of All


You come home and tell me

In your testing-the-waters voice

That it doesn’t matter 


But I want to tell you that it does


The little words that seem so unimportant

And transient, that will be gone tomorrow

And never thought of again


Those might be the most important words you ever say


I won’t go on about history and how

All the essential things are discovered 

When we look back at them, I won’t tell you now


That the secret gates are the ones


You’ve passed though over and over

And didn’t recognize at the time how the ivy

Hung waist level and roses crept up


The trellis of the dream you’ve been chasing


And the moment you say it doesn’t matter

Is the moment you are less than what you deserve

To be. What I am telling you is 


Yes it matters, yes. All the hours and the pale


Morning faces and the “mights” and the “supposes”
They all matter. And the “I am’s” and what you put

After that and everything you fear to put


After that, it matters and the day 


You put it all down, lay it out in the grass

And watch it weave together in the last light

Of dusk, matters most of all.



dream whisperer
most of all
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