Radix and the novels that followed found their way to the page because, on Tuesday 27 April 1976, I dreamed I was dead. The wind snapping at my hair, I lay in a metallic coffin propped upright. I could see the open lid with a body length mirror affixed on the inside, presumably to reflect my ghost back into the coffin when the lid closed, keeping my wraith from wandering. In the dream, it reflected my naked, traumatized body covered with wounds, red medallions, and numerous iridescent bruises like shadows of a distant crowd gathering behind the veil of my skin. Fear like a ventriloquist moved cold hands along my back as I watched the people I know approach, climbing a steep tumulus under a sky of vivid blue and hurrying clouds. One at a time, they viewed my corpse, kissed my brow and squeezed my hand, wishing me well on my exit through the final doorway. This dream haunted me with fathomless patience, days and then weeks, saturating me with its soulful science until I ended my academic studies, dropped out of the doctoral program in literature I adored, and began writing my gnomic novels. These are two poems I composed to memorialize the dream that changed my life:


Last Vision

When you find yourself
Silent in a coffin of silver
And like the thunder you begin
Too late to remember
The light
When you find yourself
Dressed in amulets of blood
And the blue legions turn
To salute you
Do not look
For me
The mirrors will have closed.

View from a Coffin

I stand
In a doorway
Counting those who have known me
As they herd up
Their invisible mountain.
Clouds scour
The far wall.
I cannot fall
Awake. I bathe
In the blue paint
And offer what no one
Can resist. I am kissed,
I am kissed.
From my hand
A keyhole drops
Into each pocket.