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I Dream of Circus Characters By Judy wells

Friday December 30, 2005

For months I’ve dreamed 

of circus characters, 

and I ask my friend Betsey, 

“Do you think I’d have 

these same characters 

in my dreams 

if I didn’t live in Berkeley?” 

She says no. 


Who are they, these strange 

denizens of the night? 

Jojo La Plume who makes puppets 

to perform for pint-sized children, 

Looks like she lives in her car 

then renews herself hiking 

the John Muir Trail 



Homeless black men living in vast barns 

who tell me it’s O.K. to stay there— 

The landlord doesn’t care. 

My boyfriend Dale, 

sleeping on a shelf 

alongside an underground escalator 

leading to a poetry reading. 

Houses of strange people  

in turquoise pants and wild hair 

showing surrealist movies in their kitchens 

and myself in a bed 

struggling with a beatnik. 


I wish there were beautiful 

wild chestnut horses in my dreams 

even blue ones, red ones 

instead of my parade 

of misfits, beatniks, and 


homeless, houseless 

underground men and women. 


Is that where the vein  

of ore lies 

The Mother Lode 

The Fat Lady?