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    The Fourth Factor

    The Returning Haddock

    by , 08-04-2021 at 11:27 PM (162 Views)
    I’m in a classroom – it’s unclear at what level – seated at a desk in a group of at least four desks pushed together, two rows facing each other. I’m writing a poem. It isn’t for the class, though: class doesn’t seem to be in session at the moment, and there isn’t a teacher around.

    I’ve just finished the poem – the first draft, at least. All I can remember about its contents now is that it was entitled something like “The Return” or “The Returning,” and the first line was “Something has happened.” The guy sitting diagonal from me, who seems to be somebody I know, wants to see it. I tell him that first I have to make sure it’s legible for people other than me, and after a minute of looking it over and making some lines clearer and darker, I hand it to him. (The other people in the group of desks seem to be paying attention, but in a passive way.)

    He reads it and says something to me that implies that he sees the “something” that happened as some negative event that hangs over the rest of the poem. I tell him that that reading works – but the poem is (sort of) about the Olympics. It’s not actually in the text, but it’s not too deeply buried. He’s having trouble seeing it, so I tell him to imagine that I’ve titled it something like “The Olympic Games” instead.

    He reads, and then, seemingly struck by some idea, he takes out a pen (I wrote with a pencil) and writes something on the paper. He thinks I ought to call it “Das Entspannen” instead. He (correctly and unnecessarily) translates this as “The Relaxing” but then also claims (and this bit is pure dream logic) that it’s also a subtle reference to haddock, whose migration routes recall the original title’s idea of returning.

    Our attention is then drawn to other events taking place in the room, and I wake up shortly afterwards.

    7.28.21

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