“Here I am with a group of people trying to find a man for a young woman….”

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.


A Sense of Direction

Here I am with a group of people trying to find a man for a young woman.  We’re gathered at the foot of a hill looking across a valley to more hills with a sliver of lake tucked high in the distance.  I have a good sense of direction in waking life and apparently in dreams too, because when there’s some question of where we are, I assert that we are definitely facing east: Look, the hills behind us are green, those in front brown; it’s drier on the east side of the coastal range.  And that water must be the Lafayette reservoir … Once I wake, the dry landscape reminds me of those dreams in which I travel by car for days through mountainous deserts–in dream geography, it’s the Southwest, which I haven’t much explored in waking life.  The dream desert blends with the high rocky ledges, stunted pines, and basins of bubbling sulfur of northern California, central Oregon, and Yellowstone Park … In this dream, I don’t remark upon what now strikes me as the curious wooly appearance of both sets of hills, as though the vegetation is curly sheep’s fur.  I sing a song, making it up as I go, about how good it will be to find a man for the woman.


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.”

Follow up with winter’s “Dream Geography: Dog Walking” and “Dream Mountains and Water.”

Judith Serin is the author of the poetry collection  Hiding in the Worldand 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.