1. A very large black spider looming menacingly on the ceiling, riiiight over where I have to stand to brush my teeth.

2. Unpleasant even while clothed: dreaming about giant spiders looming overhead, lurking in corners, lunging to attack.

3. A blank white space the next morning where the spider had been. Where is it lurking now???

4. While naked, dripping wet, with shampoo in hair, and vision-impaired due to lack of glasses, to suddenly behold a black spot on shower curtain the exact circumference of the shelob. Goddamn shower curtain buttons!

In totally unrelated news, I was recently woken up by a phone call from a relative to whom my Dad had sent a link to my poem Nine Views of the Oracle. He was completely baffled and wanted me to explain what it meant.

"Uhhhh," said the poet intelligently. "It has a lot of mythological references. I assume not everyone's going to get them all."

"But what does it mean? What does the whole thing mean?"

I often get asked this question, not referring to my own work, by students. Nine times out of ten, if I say, "What do think it means?" they promptly reply with a good explanation. Sadly, being half-asleep, I didn't think to turn the question around.

"I guess it's about what it would be like to know everything all at once?" I hazarded.

"Huh. I'll go read it again." He hung up.

I hauled myself out of bed. If I had gone back to sleep, no doubt I would have awoken sure I'd dreamed the entire conversation.
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