The dreams never stop so the dreamsplaining must continue. Dreamsplaining has become my calling.
Next up is Matthew Hittinger, author of The Erotic Postulate and Skin Shift both from Sibling Rivalry Press. Matthew won the Hopwood Award at the University of Michigan and in 2012 Poets & Writers Magazine named him a Debut Poet. He lives and works in New York City.
Let me delve into my latest misunderstood soul’s psyche and explain himself to himself, or should I say him to him? Or him to himself? I’m sure there’s a grammar nerd out there chopping at the bit for such a public opportunity to grammarsplain it. Tread lightly, the collective psyche is a powder keg as of late and Matthew’s dream offers us one glimpse into it:
Michael and I open a cafe in my neighborhood, that feels like Astoria but looks like someplace else. I deliver a monologue to a patron who complains about the lack of locally sourced organic ingredients, citing the high cost and how it would drive up the prices, but how yes, healthy food should be affordable to all, not just those who can pay high prices, that fast food should cost more than vegetables, but I also need to keep the food affordable to the working class people of the neighborhood despite their shrinking numbers due to the slow creep of gentrification. Exhausted, I retreat to the basement of the cafe where I discover a three-foot long hornet’s nest in a rafter by the stairs. It catches fire from my angry gaze and my sister lectures me about emotional control and power. I fear the fire will burn the place down. Michael points out there’s a hose hung over a rafter beam and I move it with my mind, position it to spray and extinguish the burning hive. Later I send food from the cafe to the front lines of the Feminist Freedom Fighters. I facetime with the general as she surveys her front lines, where bombs are stored in rows of baby carriages.
If Queen Mob’s Teahouse is about anything, it’s about cafes and social justice. But what are cafes? They’re social places. Some writers spend a great deal time writing at them. I wonder if Matt likes to write in cafes? Is this about his social life? His writing life? Both?
Let’s go with both. Matthew has reasons for why things aren’t the way they should be. Sure, locally sourced organic ingredients are preferable, but there’s a high cost to that. It appears that Matthew is accepting something less than desirable in his life because of the cost. He knows how something should be, but there’s a lot he has to consider (the working class, the gentrification) to strike a workable balance. It’s exhausting poor Matthew. He’s only one poet!
When he retreats down into his unconscious–ouch, hornet’s nest. Hornets are dangerous and indicate anger. A powerful sting. In the Bible, God used them to drive people out of places. This is what’s nesting right below the surface.
What does Matthew do when confronted with the nest? He burns it with his eyes. Anger is responded with by more anger. Then Michael, his partner, steps in and points out the water hose — time to calm himself before he burns his brain down.
After Matthew cools off he send sustenance to the Feminist Freedom Fighters and puts in his “face time” with the fierce, commanding feminine energy in charge of that. He wants to be recognized and acknowledged as working towards justice. But justice can be a deadly fight — those innocent looking baby carriages can blow at any time.
Now I’m not one of those people who considers anger to be bad. Anger is necessary for any social change to happen. If we never get angry, there’s nothing pushing the status quo to change. But if anger goes unchecked or gets out-of-control, it can also be the impetus for something that causes more harm than good. I think the dream is showing Matthew what a fine line he’s walking right now. There’s that hornet’ nest that’s not so deep in his unconscious and the fight above ground can be deceiving in its appearance.
Matthew should keep his “inner” Michael and the water hose close by.