Como and 23rd Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN, under the railroad bridge.
Can a place that is dreamt also be a place that exists?
Perhaps part of the reason I wanted to do a project which grounds poetry in place, is because place is recurringly invoked and ungrounded in my subconscious and my art. Since I was a child, I dreamt of my parents’ house and my grandparents’ house frequently, with the same secret passageways and monsters, even if the events in those dream-houses varied from delightful to nightmarish. Completely fictional places also recurred in my dreams- a tiny apartment in Chicago without heat where I lived with a fictional lover, a beach at night where I walked upon the sea. My poetry has explored wintry Minneapolis, the small town that I grew up in (bordered on three sides by freight trains), and natural disaster in Istanbul.
One night, I slept in a house not far from where I’ve set this poem, not far from these train tracks. The familiar rumbling of the trains amplified by proximity, stirred the dreams that inspired this poem- very little, if any of this is “factual”. I maintain, however, that this is where the poem is set- on a sweltering summer night, in my train shaken dreams. Join me there by visiting 23rd and Como and calling 612 223-POEM.