“Again it’s an issue of direction…. The road curves and ahead a mountain looms….”
In keeping with our “Maps & Legends” seasonal theme, BROAD STREET presents the next dreamy collaboration between poet Judith Serin and artist Masami Inoue. Serin’s actual dreams point to reality in some uncharted territory that Inoue’s watercolors begin to map.
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by Judith Serin, illustrated by Masami Inoue
Again it’s an issue of direction. My friend Sue is driving me in dream San Diego, where in waking life I’ve been only once. She turns right and I tell her, “No, no, you need to turn left.” Now we’re going east, not west back to our hotel; I check on a map and see we are about to cross a river and hit the freeway heading inland. But Sue continues despite my protests. The landscape turns rural, dry, then hilly. The road curves and ahead a mountain looms. Mount Whitney! It’s Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower forty-eight; I’ve always wanted to see it. “Thank you, Sue!” I shout.
And on another night this dream: We’re a young man and woman sitting right up front on a bus. It’s evening, quickly cooling, and we’re traveling north to cold country, perhaps Alaska. But we decide to open the window in front of us until nightfall because we can’t see through it when it’s closed, and we want the view as long as possible. The road winds through dense forest. Then a curve and an opening. The three daylight colors of my childhood Augusts in New Hampshire: against deep green trees and brilliant blue sky, instead of the actual clouds of my waking landscapes, an enormous mountain topped with snow.
The Legend of the Series and Its Creators
The “Dream Geographies” series began in summer 2016 and is now reprising in winter 2017–a collaboration between poet Judith Serin and visual artist Masami Inoue, who together are charting the vast unknowns toward which our unconscious dreaming point us. Further installments will come weekly through February.
** Read an interview with Judith and Masami about the collaborative process by clicking here: “Illustrating the Poem that Records the Dream.”
Judith Serin is the author of the poetry collection Hiding in the World, and her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The Ohio Journal, Writer’s Forum, Nebraska Review, Colorado State Review, Proposing on the Brooklyn Bridge, and When Last on the Mountain. She presents these pieces with gratitude to Betsy Davids.
Masami Inoue, who also works under the name Masa, is a Japanese-American artist who has lived on both coasts of the United States. Most recently she moved from the Bay Area, where she and Serin began their collaboration, back to the East Coast. She creates both digitally and traditionally, focusing on watercolor as her medium. One of her paintings was featured in print in the “Maps & Legends” issue of Broad Street.