For the ‘Dream’ Story Teller

For the Would Be ‘Dream’ Story Teller

blood of a poet

GRIMES: “Your own dreams don’t quite tell you how to bring forth their images and visual ‘phrases’ in an unusual, dramatic manner?

Try watching some or all of the following, almost essential films.

Any of the aforesaid old monster films, at their most delirious moments, but especially the highly bizarre Mesa of Lost Women (1953), and the fevered Attack of the Killer Shrews (1959) (when the characters aren’t knocking back another cocktail). Parts of the dream-based(?) Daughter of Horror (1955) if you turn down the bogus narration.

blood   girl on ceiling

Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali’s truly classic The Andalusian Dog (1929). [Jean] Cocteau’s The Blood of a Poet (1932), especially its four keyhole peeks into each of four rooms … Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon (1943).

For further little subtleties of oddly ‘off -the-norm’ dialogue and mismatching situations, more Bunuel–The Phantom of Liberty (1974), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972). And for a semiotic, get-in-the-moood image, his ‘cow on a bed’ from L’Age d’Or (1930).

Eraserhead  dogs nursing

The hermetic and nearly inimitable Eraserhead (1977). And add Gozu (2003).

If a body can’t learn from these, to let the imagery inlay the almost logical, then it may as well go back to sleep.” — RG (May 19, 2009).


Further Advice for Would-Be (All Others Turn Away)

Killer Shrews

“A bit too skimpy, as advice goes? Here’s some even skimpier: a) write down your dreams; b) pick one with some nice contrast of oddity or distortion to ordinariness of setting or personae; q) stick to the story, Gertrude, and present it as it was, as much as poss; z) rinse and repeat.

If you have some favorite character you’re trying to ‘promote’, it’s okay to shift some things around a bit. Or make additions. Recasting it if need be, those ill-defined peripheral ‘phantom figures’ you’ve, on waking, and reflection, realized you don’t know any details of whatsoever.

If you’re as prone to excesses of this sort as I am, you can wind up with something rather too dense & cluttered. But, that’s your own judgement call as to when to back off the weird ‘overdo’ and use ordinary peeps instead.


At the least, you’ll wind up with something, if not just dreamy poo, in itself, then different.

{Note that random others will most certainly take the results as proof that you are quite incapable of telling a story at all–that is, in the standard manner still(??) taught in schools. Only you may know otherwise. Perhaps, the dream story made is confusing, peculiar, banal, and flat. But, true. Or true-ish. In any case, you should learn how to tell ‘normal’ stories, too}.

As you get more and more used to doing it, some waking stories, after awhile, will almost generate themselves in a similar manner to dreaming. ‘Nail it down’ someplace while it’s fresh, is my advice, tho I don’t always take it.


You will learn what ‘works’ and what doesn’t, within certain sorts of dreams. And, sometimes, how you can even combine different parts of the same or more than one night’s dreams to make chapters, or a better single ‘tale’.

If you’re only so good at drawing, try limiting yourself to writing. Experiment with how much you can leave out and still be true to the dream and make the right non/sense out of it.

Some have been known to even attempt wringing >gasp< poetry out of theirs.

Animals and machines and social situations are good areas to keep an eye out for.

phantom of liberty
Strange architecture. Quirky turns. Even eccentric bathroom fixtures.

Unwieldy names overpacked with puns and personal ‘meaning’ (or not), can either
be good for overall ‘color’; or may threaten to sink the whole enterprise with jibber jabbery, off putting wind. You didn’t need friends, anyway.

The main thing is to always go back to what the dream was telling you about yourself, as it was.
Always go back to that if you lose your way.

And as the do-it-yourselfers say, ‘Don’t forget to have fun.’

Angelo in 'Daughter of Horror'

Worse comes to worst, there’s ‘always’ the next night to come up with something better.” — RG  5/21/’015


< Grimey Recommendations


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