Waking Finnegan

“We are such stuff as dreams are made of, and our whole life is rounded with a sleep” ~ Shakespeare

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Location: zurich, Switzerland

Monday, November 14, 2005

Retablo Dream

On my way from one part of a dream to another. Stooped in a car lot somewhere in the Dordogne "reading" a discarded sheet of International Tribune. The page is littered with misshapen, bulging text. I'm wondering about early type setters and if this rickety display isn't some print media ploy to hold onto its readership.

The car lot is filled with a humpy relief of old 50's Chevy rooftops---a low slung sea of dark, hydraulically suspended rides. Perched up high nearby is a glorious graffiti sign with Celt-ish knotted script that screams "Jumping Beaners---The Original Whittier Low Riders" painted in lurid day-glo colors. The sign is being given its finishing touch of shellac by a Mexican trio advertising themselves on their XL bowling shirts as "The Chino Masters" . They are a joyful work crew, cajoling one another into wilder phantasmagoric heights of graphic prowess while dripping paint, sipping cans of Dos Equis and listening to a crazy mariachi boom box tune punctuated with cartoonish laugh tracks. Rocking the jade-colored grid of bamboo scaffolding is a wily midget who's clearly the Master. He's gyrating and hip-pumping with an array of spray cans in his pouch and at the ready. He's a Norteño buckaroo jester---his golden necklaces all festooned with cell phones like amulets. He is EL JEFE.

I'm carefully wending my way through the lot to check out the amazing cruisers on display. Each one has a lustrous surface built up from dozens of dark layers that look like Japanese Lacquer boxes. Up close I can see between the layers a microscopic motion of glitter like fluttering showgirl eyes. And at the edges, near the chrome, the lacquer is subtly sanded down to expose a chronology like tree rings.

Mirrored off the hood is the upside-down image of the midget checking out my reactions. When I look up he's a humpin', grindin' paintin' fool without a care. He's grinning big---gesturing at his nose and indicating that I should "smell, smell!" So I bend down to get a whiff of a down-home aroma of freshly baked bread and vinegar. And now he's jumping up and down like a monkey waiting for my verdict, doing backflips and pointing to his mouth, "taste taste!" I start licking the hood, which is soft and salty under the hot sun. And now he's making facial signs with his
teeth and lips to "eat eat!" So I buck out my uppers and press down into the tacky licorice. I get stuck and the heat of the base metal conducts through my head, but a slow turn and I surface with elongated streamers of black taffy glued to my enlarged, bucky chompers and start into braying like a donkey---for laughs---the three are hooting it up in slapstick ecstasy at my antics. But behind my jestering I am overwhelmed with awe at these subtle masterpieces of edible folk art which rivals anything in a any museum, anywhere.

Later, after another dream excursion through old neighborhood haunts, I'm back at the sign. It's bigger than before; rotating like a Vegas marquee. The flip side of the Celt-ish ad has a cartoon image of "Pachuco Pep Boys" who are the same three lacquerers from before. It is now crystal clear that these three are the original Angelino artists whose masterworks were long ago usurped by Manny, Moe and Jack.

And in the upper right corner of the big marquee is a retablo-like painting of a boiling pot with Earl Scheib's grinning mug levitating on a cloud of steam.


Blogger Patry Francis said...

"On the way from one part of a dream to another." Interesting phrase, and something we all know, but how are we transported? I like your image of the grinning mug levitating on a cloud of steam.

5:16 AM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

Holy God, I have just stepped into Andre Breton's dream. This is very cool. El Jefe--awesome.

5:33 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

However we're transported, I'm only hoping it isn't fossil fueled. I've got enough gas as it is.

enemy of the republic
Andre Breton? I've always been a "Man Ray man" (ooh, a cool new phrase I've coined). He's from my home town like John Cage, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and a whole host of other terrific odd-balls.

Thanks for your visit, Madam Enemy.

8:17 AM  
Blogger RuKsaK said...

Before finding myself in my current profession I was a painter and decorator for 7 years. Since most of my work was conducted in magnolia and white I felt intense jealousy at the lurid, furious colours of your dream. Cracking stuff as always.

12:36 PM  
Blogger sCruuw said...

What a cool dream..minus the midget..I might write about my midget dream(sick).

Midgets, mexicans in bowling shirts, pep boys, cars, edible paint jobs and licorice wow waht a combo!

The midget in my dream did some effed up hip girating.

12:50 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Although I nowadays lean towards an ascetically muted minimalism, there's no escaping my roots. Growing up in the catholic (small c) psychedelia of Hollywood left me with a certain "taste" for salaciousness. A gang of design outlaws led by the Lurid brothers (Garish and Gaudy) were my playmates then---they've been following me in my sleep ever since, making certain that I pay my dues...cha-ching.

While I was writing up this effed up dream I couldn't help thinking of Tom Waits, who also hails from L.A. I put on "Blue Valentine", which links in many ways to this. Thanks for stopping by.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anil said...

woah! what a motley bunch of characters!! this is more to my taste...notwithstanding the biting into the liqourice hood part...and to think all of this took place in France...the least unlikely setting for such surreal scenes....

4:23 PM  
Blogger floots said...

i must get the polish out
i wanna see more of those fluttering showgirl eyes
this one was so vivid
hope it's there when i hit the zzzzzs tonight
(thank for the visit - ristretto?)

cqnkfq - coitus with a foreign chef

7:45 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

there's a lot of levitating in your dreams. between the midget and the donkey metamorphosis-- what a rich twisted carnival there is in your head. and tasty language to top.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

another clinkety clack, rickety track whistle blowing hallucination. Vivid as Johhny Rottens underpants and as garishly wonderful and odd as Doc at the Radar Station.
From the crazy mariachi drum box beating out its tattoo of noise to the Norteno buckaroo Jester clad in trinkets of mobile phones (c'mon guys I'm a Brit -cell phones Nah!)
As for that Donkey making you eat the liqourice hood (OK I concede on hood) personally I would shoot the bastard.
Whenever I read your fantastic dream recounts I have to pinch myself afterwards to make sure I'm not part of the dream and as far as I can see the bloke next to me with the flashing neon name is having the same problem.

"Excuse me mate but which is the way out of this dream then huh?"


LOUD whats. kinda like me really.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

You get two part dreams that is so not fair finn, and the colors..love the thoughts of color this provoked in my mind.

11:30 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

wondered where you've been. good to see you're still curious. i know some of my dream posts have turned off a few earlier readers. they actually wrote me emails saying as much. i guess it's better than indifference.

i'm not certain if the dream really took place in france. i mean, i had indications that that was where i was, but then all the rest morphed into a purely Los Angeles (circa 1965) state of mind.

ristretto definition: A short espresso pull. The amount of espresso is smaller than a usual shot but it is more concentrated and some consider the flavour to be better.

an espresso expression for tinting flooted trees over vaguely zen vistas on the isle of skye. or ristretto could mean the restraint in japanning practice when biting into vehicles.

the levitating is actually a come-down from the constant flying i used to experience regularly. as i'm not as active as i once was (i used to be a distance runner) the flying has degenerated into mere levitation. but what the fuck; it's only a damned dream.

cocaine jesus
Ok Baby Jesus, you Brits can have your damned "mobile phones", even though it was Alexander Graham "Cracker" Southern Belle who called it a t.e.l.e.p.h.o.n.e. I'll agree to calling it a phone. "Mobile" sounds too "Alabama-ish"
And as for me eating a friggin "bonnet" or "boot"...I'm sorry mate, but that's a bit of a stretch. But then again, what should I expect from someone who shifts his knob with his left and drives his hot rod on the wrong side of the road? Jesus, you are a laugh riot. It's no wonder so many consider you a savior. Please return here after saving lost blog souls. And don't forget the tuna sandwiches and beer.

alice:in wonderland or not
The two parts of the dream straddled the end of the first year of this blog and this new one. I can't fathom what a year means any more.

SLVFFCA Slow-fucker's wife.

12:27 AM  
Blogger transience said...

i took a train riding this dream. and your taste for salaciousness leaves me a buffet. i used to fly a lot in my dreams but i never really knew how to descend gently. it was always a brick wall for me.

10:42 AM  
Blogger rhein said...

on MY way from one part of dream to another, i'm usually awake! conversing, eating, running, watering the plants, etc. such an unfamiliar place to be:).

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anil said...

nah, I wasn't turned off by your earlier posts...I rarely am...I just didn't have anything new to add to what the others had already remarked/commented upon...and again I've been keeping a low profile these days for various reasons not the least of which is I'm concentrating more on photography than writing of late.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Pincushion said...

Dear god..i'm being a bit of a voyeur here, coz all i can drool on right now are the images of lickin the hood and the tacky licorice all rolled into one giant lollipop! hmmmm..must be low on sugar ;)
am flying high on it.lol

7:26 PM  
Blogger Zataod said...


I'm impressed by your dream's use of widely varied cultural influences.

11:01 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

My Salacious Express took you for a ride? Was it in the caboose? I'll have to ask Anil.

I can certainly understand not descending gently after flying like that.

This dream was a genetic splicing of Perigord, East Lost Angeles and Chihuahua. Go figure.

anil "Low profile" is an inadvertant pun I'm sure. In East Los Angeles lowrider parlance it refers to the tires or the cars themselves: http://www.journalism.sfsu.edu/www/pubs/prism/nov97/P2.lowrider.html

Photos? I guess I'll have to put a link in my Blogarithm...hmm, what's wrong with that sentence?

Voyeur, drool, licking giant lollipop hoods...now that sounds salacious! Erm, candy like this is not hard to come by.

The dream's cultural mixes are just a byproduct of my upbringing. Lowrider cars were like dream objects, especially at night.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

I love the concept of travelling from one dream to another, but didn't your mum warn you not to even dream about eating candy given by strangers, or look at their puppies, I think thats what mine said, or was it never eat puppies or look sweet?

7:09 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

sue hardy-dawson
My mom said never lick strangers who eat puppies. I think you've had too many sweets sue.
lick this

8:39 PM  
Blogger Queen Neetee said...

First of all I must compliment you on your expertly designed blog roll.

I read your dreams aloud. They are a challenge to keep up with - voice inflection, fluctuation, and tempo. The unique exercise that I receive is a sort of mind juggling. The pleasure of your word choice (right brain toss up), Comprehension (left brain toss up, drop, start over), Visualization (right brain toss up), and on it goes until I then just read the comments to see what everybody else is thinking. You keep us hopping....happily so. Thank you.

5:25 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...


Your comments are always astute and great food for thought. I do appreciated them---you surely must know!

Often denser than what I put down in text, the dreams themselves have a convoluted life of their own.
Anyone who has ever woken up wondering "what the hell was that?" knows the ooky feeling. It's just
that most don't exercise the brain and memory to focus on the visions more intimately. It's "Oh, what do I
have to do today?" or "What's that funny smell in the sheets?" Rarely: "Let's rewind and take a closer look
at that." I find it amazing that more people don't mine the territory of their dreams.

I often get the strange feeling that dreams are real signals, and that it is possible for us to experience
one another's dreams. Nuts I know, but that's my intuition. Experiences with visitation has made me a believer.

It's a grinder when I sit down to decipher my notes---put them into something English-able and yet retain
the bewildering "thread" of events and oscillating states of mind.

Your brain-juggling analogy had me chuckling to myself. I just hope it doesn't one day leave me in a padded
room drooling on a Winnie the Pooh bib.

GAMAE What Mae West drank.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous http://letstalk2.rediffblogs.com said...

am Back after a loooong time....and still wonder how would Freud have interpreted your dreams ...?

1:41 PM  
Blogger . : A : . said...

Love the way this begins,

"On my way from one part of a dream to another."

2:02 AM  
Blogger karma said...

they sound like the 3 wise men to me, finn :))

3:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this one is great. something about the lurid pelvic gyrations and the involvement of sight/smell/taste gives this an even creepier flavor. the midget and the pep boys go together well, manny larry and moe always seemed kind of carnival freakshow to me already.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Perfect Virgo said...

Edible 'rolling iron' with the small matter of a midget thrown in for creepy good measure. Finn, if I ate my Ford it would taste of rust but my Yamaha is succulent velvety chocolate.

This separation by a common language gives me endless entertainment! (living in Cell Phone Alabama!)

7:16 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Let's Talk
Funny how your URL is posted in the name block. I'm wondering why it didn't feed automatically.
Thanks for stopping by and posting your same long-ago question. The answer echoes the original.

Glad you like the beginning. Maybe I should have stopped half-way.

Do they? I used to confuse them with The Three Stooges actually. It's all in the perspective I guess.

Funny how you automatically identified the Pep Boys as "Manny Moe and Larry" instead of "Manny Moe and Jack".
But I take it that the midget and the Pep Boys can freak out together too. Thanks for the gyrating comments.

Perfect Virgo

Should we dub your purring pussycat racer a Yummyha?; a tasty way to get from one part of Alabama to another while wearing a bonnet, a boot, a wing and a prayer. This makes me tyred. Don't tread on Me.b

9:45 PM  
Blogger Perfect Virgo said...

Good one! No wonder driving in America makes me feel dithery, sidewalk, pavement, blacktop, highway are all merging into one as I long for the familiarity of a four lane English roundabout with no quarter given or asked!!

9:59 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Right you are about the magic roundabout, P.V.! It's one of the niceties of driving in Europe. I particularly enjoy their usefulness when sightseeing. By simply making a merry-go-round maneuver until faster traffic has cleared, I'm able to carry on without a worry in the world, whistling while not working. Here's a very interesting site about British roads.

Naturally I wondered if there actually were any modern roundabouts in the U.S., and was surprised at what I discovered.

Hmm, interesting how my dream has morphed into a minor treatise on roundabouts.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous El Loco said...

This is amazing insane in the membrain! What are you smoking hombre...can I have some, loco? Dang!

12:04 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

el loco
Well, loco esse, whassappening?
Good to hear from you mang!

6:08 AM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

and of course there is then London driving whereby I the nice gentleman turns into a Grand Prix maniac who does U turns and dodgy maneuvers and all at three miles a bloody hour due to the vast amounts of traffic (even with congestion charging)

THJIN (thin with a speach impediment?)

12:24 PM  
Blogger doriandra said...

classic! having been here, you know the lurid scent of L.A. in the sticky summer with the fruit trucks and the mariachi music pumping about while little girls in white dresses drip butter and lime juice from the steaming ears of corn obtained form the friendly man who speaks no english with the graffiti covered pushcart. i'm grinning on this end!

6:03 PM  
Blogger Pecos Blue said...

crazy dream or more like an awake dream. Are you sure you are not pregnant? Dreams are more intense and real feeling.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Extempore said...

For some reason, this one happened in slow motion for me - the sort that happens when a tape warps or when you are about go under...?

I absolutely loved the colours:

Up close I can see between the layers a microscopic motion of glitter like fluttering showgirl eyes. And at the edges, near the chrome, the lacquer is subtly sanded down to expose a chronology like tree rings.

Really wish this dream had gone on longer :-)

9:17 PM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

sadly, i'm not allowed back into the usa so i won't be able find out how accurate doriandra's wonderfuly descriptive 'travelog' is. sounds fantastic though. damn how i wish i could find somewhere that sells corn on the cob dripping with butter but London in the winter? nah!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Oooble ooble ooble, sorry about that my mouth was full of sweets

7:20 PM  
Blogger RuKsaK said...

C'mon - dream - dream and post!

Anyway, if you're not dreaming and have the woken time spare, would love your thoughts on my couple of latest. Jeez - I hate begging!

2:19 PM  
Blogger Daedalus said...

The roundabouts in DC are some of the worst in the world. Washington traffic crawls because of them. Plus it takes too damn long to even cross them on foot.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

Er, I don't know about you Ruk but I think the old bugger has dozed off!
Maybe not.
Maybe he's teaching those students about his home town where he used to hob nob with Frank and Don.
Who knows?
Sure is quiet around here though.
A cupboard
I wonder what is in there?
Lets take a gander.

12:37 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

cocaine jesus
Dodgy maneuvers can give you the Benz. But I imagine it's the only way to Ford traffic.

L.A. has some of the most astonishing folk art traditions of any place on earth, with the Mexican
community being the most dominant. The food, music, language and visual art is like a cultural hallucination.

pecos blue
Pregnant? Er, ah...no. At least I hope not.

Oh it's great to hear when someone wants for tthe dream to go on longer. Alas, I can only serve up what my mental
delivery truck drops off. There was more to it, but I couldn't manage to English it.

cocaine jesus
Do your movie houses server up popcorn with butter? That might merit consideration, don't you think?

sue hardy-dawson
You sound like a turkey there. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in England too? (You pilgrim guys started it all don't you know)

I've been dreaming nightly as always, but nothing inspiring enough to tap out; not with my psychotic work schedule these days.
I've got dream notes sitting on my desktop---I'll see what I can smith this weekend.

You should pass this on to Perfect Virgo.

Captain Zappa's All Beef Heart Franks in a can.

HUNGZMX Well-endowed to ze max

10:01 PM  
Anonymous rusty said...

Hey ! at least that proves that I stick to what I said....( Actually I dont even remember that I did say this before !!) and kudos to you for invoking the same response from me!!! and remembering my earlier one !! You are never an elephant in your dreams btw ?!!

3:56 PM  
Blogger stella said...

the three amigos come to life.
only you fin can make that happen. :)

2:37 AM  
Blogger Pincushion said...

Now..where's the Lord of Dreams disappeared to?!! Come back..come back!

6:35 PM  
Blogger Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

Too far betwen dreams.

4:52 AM  
Blogger rhein said...


wake up, tell something NOT a dream...

1:00 PM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

No I just read far too much Far away Tree

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are you Finnegan? I hope you come back! Miss your unique sensibility and writing style!

9:20 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

not up to figuring out where what came from. the elephant in me has got lost lately.

3 amigos thrice puts them on a cloud nine of steam.

just coming back to life. i've been swamped by oceans of mental nothingness.
(actually my excuse is more mundane. I owe I owe, so it's off to work I go).

i've had a bunch since last posting here, but just no time to record. Hope to assemble this weekend.

nope. this is a strictly dreams weblog rhein. anything other will be found in a future weblog.

sue hardy-dawson

anon, a mouse
I'm here, I'm here. Check back near the end of the weekend. Thanks.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anil said...

I too had been wondering into which dream you had disappeared!!

2:22 PM  
Blogger stella said...

you inpsired me to look up at the stars again. btw, i hope you're having some really good dreams over there. ;)

6:47 AM  
Blogger Queen Neetee said...

finn, it's time to head on over to my page now. SKYMUVEO is waiting.

7:00 AM  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

My goodness you dreamer! Was the midget in the hood your reflection being scrunched? I hope the paint was tastey. You took me on a wild ride.

3:43 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

the dream into which i disappeared is the same one i'll emerge from.

the stars are a good place from which to fathom. your name evokes twinkling, glints and milky dreams from above.

I am cranking my motor; heading over to see what you have

Interesting that, for it was possible to read the warp and woof of his face as though it were my own.

7:09 PM  
Blogger floots said...

hope you soon get this worky stuff outa the way (makes me glad i'm idle)
i need to read

10:32 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

I hope I do too---else it's going to get me out of the way.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Bouls said...

You could be a writer for Spongebob Squarepants with this dream, only it would be under water. Surreal and great writing as usual. Bouls

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with Bouls and others here. Very very impressive and completely unique.

9:51 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

I pray at the altar of Spongebob Squarepants. Future archaeologists will figure him to have been a "twilight of the gods" idol no doubt.

Hey thanks for stopping by P. You should start a blog too.

11:57 AM  

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