weekly blah, blah, #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8.





today (a nice breezy-people-on-bikes kinda day) after dropping off the dream I continued down saint laurent and came upon the scene of an automobile accident: ambulances with the doors open, an attendant unfolding a stretcher, fire trucks, a fireman prying open the front door of a totally crushed car, a pick-up truck rammed head-on into the side of a building, police cars, flashing lights, people standing around in small groups talking in hushed voices. felt surreal– to be strolling along oblivious to what lays ahead, and then to walk right into it and feel the cold rush of how uncertain and precarious life really is.

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some dreams I don’t want to hold. I dream some pretty nasty dreams and I am left wondering how these evil characters come into existence in my dream world. also, I am wondering if it is important to hold these dreams too, to be able to speak them, to make a place where we can speak them. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I know those dreams would be harder to hold.

4 Responses to “little blah, blah #7.”

  1. peterandthehare Says:
    April 20th, 2007 at 10:02 pm editI couldn’t do what you do. Nobody wants to know about me getting kidnapped and taken advantage of by the artist formally known as Prince.
  2. dreamlistener Says:
    April 23rd, 2007 at 7:15 pm editah! peter the hare…you have a good strategy. mixing humor with pathos. i like that.
  3. urbanmkr Says:
    May 2nd, 2007 at 1:12 pm editYou can hold them just the time it takes to make them safe and then let them go.
    I remember nightmares I don’t write down far longer than those I do.
  4. dream listener Says:
    May 2nd, 2007 at 2:53 pm editurbanmkr,
    thank you. that is an interesting truth you tell. a different way of looking at what it means to say things or not to say things. something i need to do in other areas of life too…

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March 24th, 2007 by dreamlistener

as I was standing with the dream on sainte catherine street a group of teenage girls went by. one of the girls skipped over to me and stopped. I thought she was reading the dream, then I noticed she had a five dollar bill she was holding out to me. I have no way to take money, my hands are occupied holding the cardboard, and I have no hat or cup on the ground in front of me– this makes for an awkward situation when someone wants to offer me money because they have to let me know of their intention in a very direct way. I smiled at the girl and shook my head saying, “no, that’s not what I am doing.” and before I had a chance to say, “but thank you anyways,” she was gone.

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March 19th, 2007 by dreamlistener

marker details: at first I wrote the dreams with permanent markers like “sharpies” but they were too toxic, too small and took too long to write words where each letter is about 3 1/2 inches high. plus I was going through too many. so my son introduced me to a store that specializes in graffiti paraphernalia called “sub-v”. I bought a big marker where the nib is 0.6 inches and the ink is refillable. so now I am totally cool with an official “tag” marker.

cardboard details: not all cardboards are created equal. some are thicker, some absorb ink more, some are yellow-brown, some orange-brown. I like finding big cardboard boxes on the street, once I snagged a bike box… very durable. the longer poems get thicker cardboard.

process: I drag the cardboard home, write the dream, then fold up the cardboard, (a very transportable medium) and head out to the street. I find a spot to unfold the cardboard and hold out the dream. sometimes I will hold the dream for fifteen minutes then move on. sometimes I will stay in one spot for half an hour or more. Sometimes I will choose to stop in one place, then another, then another. to date this process of stopping and holding continues for about two hours, then I search for a place to leave the dream behind. I like to find places that resonate with the dream.

8 Responses to “weekly blah, blah #5”

  1. endlesslyredonoursnow Says:
    March 21st, 2007 at 1:45 am eIs this a document you’re going to use in other media? I can just imagine a live show based on the material from your blog, would be incredible, have you considered something like that? There’s something so poignant about the cardboard pictures with the writing and I’m just imagining a show with you reading out the dreams, showing slides of the images and doing asides from the blog entries. There’s a lot of political and social comment in this blog too that would make a theatre piece interesting.Sorry if I’m being nosey, I’m terrible for unwanted suggestions.endlessly
  2. snowchamp Says:
    March 22nd, 2007 at 3:39 pm eSorry, it took me a while to write. I’m new to this blogging thing as well and under the impression using one’s real name is a no-no. Took me while to come up with one that meant at least something (to me at least). I’m not 100% happy with it, might change if another idea strikes me as better, but at least this one gets me started. The beginning of this story really has to do with cement chickens someone left lying around the Plateau a few years go. Then I read Lance Blomgren. Some of his work was part of the Dare-Dare exhibit in 2004. I visit Dare-Dare’s site and somehow I find myself here. I’m actually interested in how people relate to completely non-commercial messages in public spaces – things people might deem totally unproductive, non-commodified. It’s actually good for you to note down in your blog the types of reactions you get from passerbyers. It encourages me to do the same with my kids. I did a project on postering non-edited messages scribbled on paper with them at their school. Most of the kids were uneasy with the idea of leaving messages in public spaces (let along private) – as if it was vandalism or that it would be viewed as polluting. The teachers didn’t like the fact that the messages were not edited (ie. censored I suppose). Any advise? Do you mind if I try your cardboard idea as well? I like the fact that discarded cardboard is given a new life for a purpose that was previously unintended. I’ll look out for you messages as well.
  3. dreamlistener Says:
    March 22nd, 2007 at 5:45 pm eendlessly,
    i read your reply on my birthday! a nice birthday present. thank you.
    i am not sure what will become of this experience in terms of how to communicate it. i like the idea that we can allow things to disappear, that it is o.k. to let things fade away. so this blog may be the whole document of the process. but it is true i am taking photos and writing words and that does undermine any kind of desire for the ephemeral. i find myself at a contradictory impulse. i like the idea of spoken word or theater because this does disappear in the unfolding as well. and i did give a small presentation here in montreal very close to your idea of reading dreams and then taking material from the blog. for me at that point it was satisfying because i think i was holding on to too much sadness from the street and not feeling like there was anywhere to put all this sadness. the street is the refuge of so much deep despair and to know of this suffering on an intimate level really makes me question what it means to be human, this ability we (i include myself in this we) have to walk on by. and i mean this both literally and symbolically. i still have so many questions.
    i really, really appreciate your involvement in this blog, i find you ask good questions and bring me to different threads and ways of seeing things. also i am glad other people can read your thoughts here.
    thank you
  4. dreamlistener Says:
    March 22nd, 2007 at 6:06 pm esnowchamp huh?
    i like to use dream listener instead of my given name because i think it gives the blog an openness, that allows anyone to picture who they want as the dream listener and to see themselves as a potential dream listener. listening to dreams is certainly not an owned concept.
    i am excited about the potential of your postering project with the kids at school. and i agree, it is very easy for us to edit ourselves in regard to taking up public space without official permission. i.e. without this sanction it is vandalism or pollution. and yet, it seems we are o.k. with advertising taking over metro stations, bus shelters, billboards, signage. this means public space is actually not public, it is bought and sold to whomever can afford to pay for it. i think it is important to give the idea to kids (and everyone) that their voice is just as valid as any other voice. it is not a crime to express something in public. however, while saying this as an ideology i too find it very hard to hold a sign in public and to deposit it somewhere. i, like the kids, aslo feel the prescription against this. however, when chris comes with me i am so much more at ease. it is as if we legitimize each other.
    i think with the kids it depends on how old they are in relation to how to express the project with them. also, it is important that the teachers understand and value what you are doing as well. if not, the kids will probably feel a loyalty issue –you versus the teacher.
    and yes, the cardboard idea is free!
  5. endlesslyredonoursnow Says:
    March 23rd, 2007 at 4:46 pm eHappy Birthday dreamlistener -) .Was it fun? Did you have a party? Gifts?Well, theatre has been compared with dreaming, there are many parallels, and you could draw attention to them.It’s odd that the place you do this, the streets as you say, and their inhabitants, almost become part of your dream landscape, or sort of inbetween that and the rest of your life. There’s something quite poignant about that and the parallels in the rescuing that happens in your dreams. It could be a really powerful show – unsettling and compassionate, rather than just yelling political stuff at them, you drawing the audience through the veils of your worlds could actually make the streetlife you write about seem more real to them, if that makes sense? Because to people with homes, jobs etc, poverty does look like a dream, and we ignore our dreams mostly, but you are showing people they don’t have to ignore their dreams, or the other aspects of reality we ignore like life on the streets. At least, that’s the effect your blog seems to have on me. It makes dreams seem realer and it makes marginalised parts of this world seem realer too.endlessly
  6. dream listener Says:
    March 23rd, 2007 at 10:06 pm eendlessly,
    you make me smile, inside and out.
    it would be amazing to take this experience into a different kind of reality…like theater as you mention. just the image of “drawing the audience through the veils of your worlds” is already so poetic and at the same time so visible.
    thank you
  7. snowchamp Says:
    March 24th, 2007 at 3:07 am eIt’s snowchamp again (I really have to find a new name (
    The discovery of your blog has already starting having an impact. For some strange reason I decided to send a letter to an old friend that I haven’t spoken to or heard from in 22 years. It feels like one of those bad school reunions where you have a bunch of things you want to say but it’s impossible to get them organized in your head, let alone on paper. I sent it off anyways – let’s see what happens….
    Happy birthday! I wish I could have left you a gift somewhere. Have you read Annie Dillard’s “Pilgrim on Tinker Creek”?
    I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to write over the weekend – so I’ll wish you a good one just in case I only check back here next week.
    Bye for now
  8. dreamlistener Says:
    March 27th, 2007 at 3:26 pm ehi snowchamp!
    don’t be sad about your name. it makes for an intriguing image full of questions.
    i am glad reading this blog is having an impact for you…but i am quite sure it has more to do with you and where you are now, than the actual blog. and it takes guts to reach out to another, especially when we fear rejection. so, i hope you writing to your old friend was empowering for you.
    and thanks for the birthday wish. and no, i haven’t read annie dillard’s “pilgram on tinker creek…” i’m currently reading huckleberry fin… go figure!
    and i often go for days without checking into the blog, i know some bloggers are really consistent with writing something everyday and it is always nice to visit their blogs and see what has been going on. me…i’m more of a three times a week blogger. but i suspect it can get more and more interesting when people actually start engaging…like you and i are doing now, or like endlessly who’s blog i go to regularly for my poetry. it’s nice to follow someone’s progression and thought process, and to have something to look forward to reading. i recommend peter the hare’s blog too. he has a great sense of the absurd.
    also…you too can have a blog and write what your thinking and feeling. wordpress is a nice host because they don’t advertise on your blog, and the formatting and all is pretty simple. hey…if i can do it i would say you can too!

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march 11, 2007

sometimes when I am holding the dream a person will stop and read the words out loud. they might smile and say, “have a nice day,” then they walk away. today a young girl did this. but after she had finished reading the dream we looked right into each other’s eyes, both of us smiling. this looking was so incredibly intimate, and for less than a second, for just a flash, “something” incredibly soft opened, and then just as fast, this “something” closed again. I felt intensely touched. this — whatever this “something” is, feels profoundly sustaining for me. for this I am grateful.


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march 4, 2007
on the 20th of february the “24 heures” front page photo showed a bunch of bags of garbage with the headline “objectif propreté” (objective cleanliness.) on page 3 we find “tolérance zero envers les citoyens et commerçants” (zero tolerance towards citizens and businesses.) in effect a law is being legislated that makes every citizen and business responsible for the cleanliness of their facade, their stairs, the sidewalk and the first sixty centimeters of the street in front of their door. the fine for not keeping one’s allocated space “clean” varies between $125 and $2000 for a first offense. it is also forbidden to distribute fliers to passers-by or to put fliers behind the windshield wipers of cars. as well each business is responsible for eliminating graffiti from their building. it reads like this legislation applies only to the downtown core… I guess so the downtown looks nice and inviting for tourists, with all the unwanted “garbage” being pushed to the suburbs. paris and its riots of 2005 doesn’t seem to have taught us anything here.

so much for public space. I suspect this new law will be used to eliminate unwanted “people” who create garbage –the homeless and their cardboards for sleeping on for example. and now it will be the businesses who police public space for fear of being fined. lovely, just lovely.

  1. endlesslyredonoursnow Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 4:07 am eI saw this mattress and bedding next to some building once with a note on it telling the owner it was going to be removed if he didn’t take it. Kinda sad.What were the riots like?
  2. dreamlistener Says:
    March 7th, 2007 at 6:26 pm eendless,
    the feeling of having no place. it is quite amazing how much i need to have some place that i can say is mine. on the street every place, every inch of the sidewalk, is potentially someone else’s place, and i don’t know this until i try to occupy it. and i am just as territorial as the guy who left the note. although i like to imagine myself as having more compassion. for a period of my life i had the feeling of having no place. i felt the contours of my identity frazzle and slip away. a walking ghost.maybe this is why the word “hold” is so loaded for me.the riots in paris in 2005 were surreal. paris ignored them to the best of their ability. france became a place where curfews were policed and people were held without bail or due process. it was frightening because i could identify with the need for violence, the feel of anger at having no voice. poverty and racism suck big time.

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february 26, 2007

I’ve been thinking about how to name what it is I am doing. cuz again today people asked me what I am doing. I tend to get tongue-tied and draw a blank at this question and usually end up saying, “holding a dream.” then they say, “yes, but why?” and I usually say, “I don’t really know, …but…,” and then afterwards I get all wrapped up in trying to figure out what it is I am doing. awhile back someone asked me if it was an art performance. I said, “yes, kinda.” but it seemed odd, or off somehow. because for me, when I am holding the cardboard with the dream, this act is totally real. I really am doing what I am doing. standing on the street with a dream. and to say it is a performance somehow diminishes in my mind the honesty of the action. strange huh? I would have thought to say it was a performance would feel more honest, but it doesn’t, or didn’t. so then I tried to think of other things I have done and how I have named them for myself, and I don’t know if my difficulty is I have lost a kind of professional screen that I used to have, or if this project somehow fits so closely with where I am now that I can’t distinguish between the me and the action. afterwards, like now when I am at home and not on the street I feel more of a divide, and I can frame it more honestly as a performative action. but really, when I am on the street holding the dream, any kind of differentiation between myself and what I am doing is gone. it’s as if no framework can hold me and so I end up saying, and feeling the really unintelligent “I don’t know.” yeah, those beautifully inarticulate words.

endlesslyredonoursnow Says:
March 1st, 2007 at 2:19 am e

Dreams are like performances: they only happen when they happen, then they are gone. You are changing one kind of dream into another; there is no dishonesty in that. Why are you doing it? For honesty maybe, maybe to give life to a form of experience that dies forgotten, a waste experience that is seldom honoured with memory. I don’t think it’s exhibitionism exactly, I think you feel compassion for your dreams, as if they are people. I think you are representing them.

it’s right here:

“holding a dream.”

As if you are holding a child. And this is beautiful.

Hope you don’t mind my musings.


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february 17, 2007

o.k., so I am starting to figure this blog process out and so I decided to try to give little blurbs about something once a week. kinda like an informative sharing such as: to date, (since november 22, 2006,) I have “left” 38 dreams around montreal. 12 have been presented through the french language, 8 through the spanish language, and 18 have been in english. so why spanish?(because being a world savvy person you know montreal is in quebec and quebec’s first language is french, …that rating being only if we don’t take into account the first nation population…,) so spanish dreams are quite simply because the area of montreal where I have been holding the dreams has a large spanish population. voila, tres simple n’est pas?

also, for those far away in nice warm climates, it has been cold here, like minus 24 C or more (this takes into account the wind-chill factor) so I haven’t been loitering for long periods of time outside with the dream. nope, it’s kinda been like find a place to leave the dream and then head somewhere warm. also it is windy…even before I unfold the cardboard, just walking around with it tucked under my arm, it wants to take off. (you know mary poppins and her umbrella…)

and I’m not really up for occupying “private property” like malls or metros. ever since the incidence in chicoutimi with the police I have been rather shy.


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