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Dream People – 2008

The Dream People is one of those online anomalies that is simply laugh-out-loud funny and it knows it. Not that this is a bad thing. The apex of this journal’s mission is to perplex, astound and cause general hilarity at the antics that take place in its various fantastical fictional narratives, novel excerpts, creative nonfiction, nonfiction, micro-criticism, reviews, flash interviews and even artwork. In this satirical and ghostly world, what is real is dressed up in metaphorical and allegorical costumes sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious, for the readers to deconstruct and find whatever meaning that they are searching for.

The Dream People is one of those online anomalies that is simply laugh-out-loud funny and it knows it. Not that this is a bad thing. The apex of this journal’s mission is to perplex, astound and cause general hilarity at the antics that take place in its various fantastical fictional narratives, novel excerpts, creative nonfiction, nonfiction, micro-criticism, reviews, flash interviews and even artwork. In this satirical and ghostly world, what is real is dressed up in metaphorical and allegorical costumes sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious, for the readers to deconstruct and find whatever meaning that they are searching for.

In “Beet-Red Lingams Are Legion” by Andrew Wayne Adams, human-like cockroaches wear Sigmund Freud masks and attend therapy sessions conducted by his father, a psychiatrist.

“Look,” my cockroach-father says, “I know it’s hard, your father being your psychoanalyst. But you must be straight with me if you wish to overcome this trouble with your genitals.” He pauses to light a cigar. The cigar is five feet long, two feet in diameter. “Now,” he says, blowing smoke through the mouth-hole of his Freud mask. “Tell me about your father.”

When the father/psychiatrist blows the smoke in his son’s face and asks him about himself, the author seems to be depicting the precarious relationships that fathers often have with their sons, especially in conjunction with their adolescent and/or sexual development.

In the novel excerpt, “Scratch,” from Sheeps & Wolves by Jeremy C. Shipp, a couple humorously, and in this passage seriously, faces the notion of the candle going out on their sexual attraction to one another, not due to lack of interest or love, but as a result of the erosions of the body and its physical abilities and attractiveness over time. “But instead, she steps closer. She can’t help herself. Not because of gravity or magnetism or even attraction. It’s because every night after she falls asleep, I sit beside her, and read to her from my notebook with the kitten on the cover.” Even though the male main character tells the female in this story the truth, she still stays because of the closeness they have shared over such a long period in their lives. But, do not be fooled into passivity at the apparent innocuousness of this passage, for it only can whet your appetites for the strange or inexplicable happenings to come.

The nonfiction piece, “Now the Moral of This Story: Don’t Swim in the Company’s Pool with Your Manuscript,” excerpted from Horror Isn’t a 4-Letter Word: Essays on Writing & Appreciating the Genre, utilizes humor as a device to educate the reader that horror writers, just like all other writers, come from a diverse background and life that does not necessarily center around their writing of horror pieces:

Besides the realization that horror writers aren’t actually crosseyed psychopathic nethercreatures with horns, the thing that amazes non-writers the most is that the majority of us hold down day jobs. Yes, alas, the days when we authors (and now I’m referring to all of us, not just horror writers) relaxed in plush firelit dens with our quills to dash off a few lines of dialogue before adjourning to the boudoir for intimate conversation, brandy, and pipes lit with $100 bills, are long gone.

Here, the author, like in many other pieces in this journal, uses stereotypes of the genre he is discussing to bring it credibility and import.

So despite the subtext insisting on the bizarre nature of this journal’s contents, the dreams, fantasies, and delusions that its characters or subjects tackle are inherently earthbound and immediately accessible to the reader. Here, satire is used adeptly to express and comment on complex human situations, emotions, and is a means to explain away stigmas or stereotypes in the literary world that have to be overcome for progress to be made. Read further and you will see people dreaming, and the haze you will temporarily inhabit when bouncing from one unique piece to the next one will leave you in a permanent state of intoxication.
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