“The images shift, sometimes designs embossed on the sphere, sometimes a movie. The moon keeps on telling its shifting stories, image after image, throughout the night …”
Herewith, BROAD STREET presents the sixth and final installment of this spring’s “Dream Geographies” series, showcasing the dreams of poet Judith Serin and artist Masami Inoue … Follow the links below for more of this remarkable collaboration.
I’m leaving a school, a student, not a teacher, as I am in waking life and usually in dreams. Like most teachers, I periodically have bad dreams set in dream-architecture combinations of schools where I have studied or taught: I’m in the wrong room or have the wrong notebooks and rowdy students or none. Here I rummage for my big red dream purse. Did I leave it under my desk? A bright afternoon light glances off the low building that resembles my actual New Jersey high school. I struggle down a rickety wooden contraption so illogical it could exist only in a dream. A brown-haired girl of nine or ten reaches to steady me when a section tips forward, nearly tumbling me off. At the bottom it’s night and her mother and smaller brother are training binoculars on the eastern sky. I stop to see what they are watching, and dark three-dimensional figures appear on the moon, three Asian dragons curled across the outer edges. “How did that happen?” I ask. The mother laughs. “You want to know all my secrets.” The images shift, sometimes designs embossed on the sphere, sometimes a movie: I remember one of a rotund teapot pouring by itself into a cup. Now we’re facing west to a terraced hill where villagers admire the scenes. I drop an earring I was holding in my hand, check in my big red purse, which has reappeared, and see the other is missing too. When I bend to search under the slats of a wooden bridge, I find piles of jewelry—necklaces, bracelets, pins–enamel on silver-colored metal, rusted and scratched off in spots. “Oh, So-and-So brought them from Italy,” the mother explains. The moon keeps on telling its shifting stories, image after image, throughout the night.
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. This is the final installment of their second series, which began in February. You can explore Dream Geographies from 2016 by following the link to their interview.
** 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.