February 7, 2014

Poet offers dream delivery service


Let's just hope Svalina doesn't get any ideas from this guy.

Let’s just hope Svalina doesn’t get any ideas from this guy.

The poet Mathias Svalina is offering an unusual take on the subscription service model. Throughout the month of June, he will write and deliver dreams to everyone that subscribes to his Dream Delivery Service. For those that live within a three-mile radius of his home in Denver, Colorado, he will deliver these dreams by hand on a daily basis; anyone outside of this radius will receive their dreams in the post.

Svalina, the author of the poetry collections Destruction Myth and I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur, makes it clear on his website that although these dreams will belong to each subscriber, they will not be the subscriber’s dreams: “I will write the dreams, without consultation with the dreamer… Each dream is unique to the dreamer/subscriber.”

Svalina has chosen this creative mode because he wants “to develop a new rhetorical mode for a reader to encounter an extended writing work.” While other writing subscription services, such as Miranda July’s We Think Alone, which delivered a collection of emails from famous names into subscribers’ personal inboxes every week, were relatively intrusive, Svalina’s goes elsewhere, gesturing towards the psychologically invasive, or at least presumptuous. Thinking of breaking up with the love of your life? What if you encounter such an action in your daily dream; will it be a sign? What happens if you start dreaming about a job your didn’t know you wanted? Should you change profession? Retrain to be a dentist? And how come you keep dreaming about your teeth falling out anyway? Worse still, what if things get Freudian and you start dreaming about having sex with your mother?

The Dream Delivery Service’s website is vague on these particulars.

However, it’s not a service you have to experience alone. Additional options include “Subscribe to Another’s Dreams”, which demands that the dreamer signs a release form which frees their dreams for another’s use, and an option for the “The Dream-Needy”. Know someone who could use a few more dreams?; then this is the perfect gift for them.

Svalina is prepared to offer this service to 100 subscribers, with the price starting at $40. While some might speculate whether Svalina is acting out the premise of his poetry collection I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur, you also have to wonder how a poet can write 100 poems a day and then walk around town delivering them like some kind of visionary, Blakean postman. But in his reasons for taking on the challenge, Svalina explains:

I thought it would be nice for people to receive their dreams delivered to them every day.

This is my ideal job.

I want to write 100 poems a day.

Zeljka Marosevic is the former managing director of Melville House UK.