Dream Architecture: Outside/In

Part 4 of the Dream Geographies collaboration between poet Judith Serin and visual artist Masami Inoue.       



Herbert and I are in a large room, sleeping in separate beds. A weed with prickly leaves and purple yarrow-like flowers grows next to the foot of mine. I’m afraid the prickles will irritate my hands, so complain to Herbert and he promises to pull it. I wander around the room, set a table in the middle with purple dishes and napkins. I’m holding three pink roses without stems (perhaps I have deadheaded a bush) and decide I’ll put them in a vase on the table rather than compost them right away. I find a dream lamp, a bowl on a stand with small purple flowers growing around the edge. I should place it near the table; in this season its flowers match the dishes perfectly and it will look designed. I continue to arrange the room, noticing the large empty space in front. I center a semi-circular rug by the door, then decide to sweep first. But as I do, more and more debris piles up and falls out of my dustpan. Now the floor in the front is a hill of sand-colored boulders. Herbert and I lie there, camping out. An elderly male lion walks by, turns his low-hanging head as if he’s about to rub Herbert. I’m slightly alarmed. A female lion appears from behind a rock. Their keeper—a young athletic-looking woman with short brown hair and bare muscular arms—assures me they’re friendly, just as owners of large dogs do on my walks when I’m awake.




Judith Serin is the author of the poetry collection  Hiding in the Worldand her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, includingThe 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 has been studying and working in the Bay Area, where she and Serin began their collaboration.  She creates both digitally and traditionally, focusing on watercolor as her medium.



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About the Series

Judith Serin is a dreamer—a very vivid dreamer—and when we at Broad Street read her work, it sparked a lively conversation.  We’re a nonfiction magazine, but who’s to say that dreams, with their jumble of memories and images and things we’ve never seen, aren’t a kind of reality in a world for which we don’t yet have a map?

To say the least, we were intrigued, and we had to think of a way to bring the debate to our readers.  What follows is the first installment of what will be a weekly series called Dream Geographies, a collaboration between Serin and artist Masami Inoue.  The two came from different backgrounds to meet at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco’s Bay Area, and the project reflects some of their shared landscape.

So here, in anticipation of our print issue “Maps & Legends” (available in May 2016), is “Dream Architecture: New Views,” by Judith Serin and Masami Inoue.  See “Map of Dreams,” “Dream of San Francisco,” and “Dream Architecture: New Views” on our website. Further pieces will appear each Thursday this month.