Involuntary Vision
(after Akira Kurosawa's Dreams)
ed. Michael Cross
114 pages
ISBN 0-939691-12-4


"It is not surprising to find poets interested in Akira Kurosawa's Dreams. It is a magical film full of symbolism and fantastic milieus, full of formal and measured dances. When Kurosawa said that 'man is a genius when he is dreaming,' he knew what poets also know: that some ideas can only become clear and luminous if articulated in complicated symbolic languages. In Involuntary Vision, eleven Bay Area poets write out of and about Akira Kurosawa's Dreams. The poems they write explore with Kurosawa relationships, childhood terrors, the seductive nature of death, nuclear annihilation, and environmental pollution. As they do this they maintain an allegiance to the formal and measured dance of thought and word. This is a moving collection that celebrates poetry as an art that is both social and intellectual.

--Juliana Spahr

"If this book tells us there will be 'no dancing while the world is ending,' at least there will be poetry. These poets make of Kurosawa's apocalyptic film a world beyond it. Their revelatory subject dreams inside the monstrous present as they uncover the sound behind the image, the image behind the frame."

--Peter Gizzi


Ryan Barlett
Julia Bloch
Tanya Brolaski
Trevor Calvert
Michael Cross
Eli Drabman
Geoffrey Dyer
James Meetze
Stephen Ratcliffe
Cynthia Sailers
Elizabeth Willis