Writing the Apocalypse: When Dreams are Nightmares and Nightmares are Dreams

Big Mike reads at sunset | Photo by Puma Perl

 

“Writing the Apocalypse” is a weekly series featuring the poems, essays, and recollections of Puma Perl, with subject matter influenced by her experiences as a NYC resident during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Dreams are Nightmares and Nightmares are Dreams | By Puma Perl

In a year,

or two,

or three,

when we come back

from this nightmare

as if waking

from fevered dreams,

I will read my datebook

notations

like a poem.

 

Walked with Diva, Yoga

Plank

Joff live Fine Fare

Meditation White Russians

Talked to Jack

Volunteers of America

Zoom Dennis died

People Have the Power

Joe’s brother Bob

Yoga Zoom Diva

Heroes

Yoga Plank

Chinese food Steak

Yoga Plank

Rooftops

 

I wrote down

every single thing

I did

to prove to myself

I was alive

 

I will compare

the “before”

and “after” photos

Pollution

created beautiful

sunrises

The air cleared

and the colors

faded

 

I rarely

took selfies

and was never

alone

in the “before,”

but in the “after”

I have no sunrise

photos

Just the river

and the empty highway,

the smiling dog,

protesters,

and selfies,

masked

and unmasked

 

Last week

we did poetry

on an Avenue C

rooftop

 

Sunset

and vodka,

masks,

words,

stairs,

people,

voices,

laughter,

poems

 

Finally,

my datebook

reflects

a memory

of a happening

in my life

and yours,

off the screen

and into the sky.

 

© puma perl, 07/22/20

Puma Perl is a poet and writer, with five solo collections in print. The most recent is Birthdays Before and After (Beyond Baroque Books, 2019.) She is the producer/creator of Puma’s Pandemonium, which brings spoken word together with rock and roll, and she performs regularly with her band Puma Perl and Friends. She’s received three New York Press Association awards in recognition of her journalism, and is the recipient of the 2016 Acker Award in the category of writing. Her most recent books can be found by clicking here.

Puma Perl on rooftop. | Photo by Jennifer Juneau

 

 

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