"When I open the tap, what comes out of my pipes is pure fire." I make up this line at a literary gathering in a big city where a woman writer has asked everyone to come up with a new line on the spur of the moment. While others have clearly prepared or are quoting something already written, my line is fresh and unexpected. It generates a stir of almost sexual excitement in the room.
The only person who does not seem turned on is a cerebral man sitting to my right. He's a regular in this group, and seems to feel threatened by my presence and performance. He tries to improvise from my lead, but this falls flat. As the game moves on, he mutters something about needing to head off colds, or the cold. I realize he has a pretty bad cold as he dabs his nose and mouth with a wad of tissues.
This is a scene from my dreams overnight. I woke cheerful and confident at 4:00 a.m, ready to go back to work on my new book.
Reality check: in the current cold spell, the pipes in my house are more at risk of ending in ice than fire. But I don't think the dream is about that. Yes, I know Freudians would have a field day with this dream, especially if I included a pendant scene in which I am kissing a beautiful young woman in a department store. There is certainly a sexual charge to the dream, but then creativity and real magic ride on sexual energy.
I'll be speaking to new groups this year with readings for my new collection of poems and stories, Here, Everything Is Dreaming and it is certainly possible I'll run into someone like the man with the cold, and I'll try to make sure that people like this - in the world or inside me - don't dampen my creative fire!
I love improv, and winging it. I lead many games like the one we are playing in the group in this dream, and often I'll have everyone sing a song that has become our hymn to spontaneity: "Make It Up as You Go Along".
My bumper sticker (also my action plan): Open the tap and let it all out!
"When I open the tap" drawings (c) Robert Moss