lay, baby, lay





lay, baby, lay

By philosopher and translator Angelica Stathopoulos

May 2023

Commissioned and published by Bureau for Listening

as part of the  A Place to Lay Down and Listening project

ISBN 978-87-974029-3-1 (Online Publication)

lay, baby, lay

dreaming together ought not be a task, but a trial. as we lay down in inappropriate environments, we may begin to reappropriate our subconscious from the goal-directedness of wakeful life. no to-do list, not even a not-to-do list. this mattress may be an opening


to think without a program, to dream without waking. Maurice Blanchot taught that wakeful oneirism describes a way of being in the world where intention is turned on its head. the wakeful subject tries to control the world and its objects, subjects. but in hypnagogic consciousness, it is the objects that act upon the subject, and the i is forced to rely on their mercy.


imagine what the world feels like, looks like, when the head is not the center of every interaction. allow yourself to sleep like a rock, or more porously — Ursula K. Le Guin style — like a loose pile of mud. what is relationality beyond agency?


lay, baby, lay. embrace the passive imperative and let yourself be transformed. this tense is an offering more than an order. dreams restructure relational bonds as well as grammatical ones. what is the syntax of your reveries? what mood are your dreams communicated in? the potential optative? the hortatory subjunctive? or in some even more ancient mood that modernity has effaced, or in some even more modern modality known only to your future dreamscapes…


my dreams, baby, are aphorisms.

• if you lay down with books under your pillow, their content will be absorbed by your
spirit as you sleep.

• for your nocturnal perusals, you may wish to choose texts that speak in hypnagogic
languages. these may be the same ones that you find impossible to read when awake
(strange poetry, paradoxical fragments, obscure letters or zines, dubious scrivenings
[which may originate from your own pen]…).

• for orthopedic reasons, you may prefer thin collections.

• if you lay down with others you will come to share the same dreams.

• you need to listen extra hard to diminutive speech. or perhaps extra soft.

• if listening was aggressive, everyone would be doing it.

• since us bottoms regularly intimate the collective, utopian potential in subspace, you
may ask our advice. we would be thrilled for an opportunity to facilitate your
submission. this might (not) be counter-intuitive.

• if everyone was to lay down at the same moment in time, the world might never be the
same. so stay, baby, stay


Καλό δρόμο.




lay, bay, lay pdf-version corresponding to the Angelica’s text set-up.

Reading of the text by the writer: