Ron F. Morrison

Associate Professor

Ron Morrison

RL's Dream by Walter Mosley

RL's Dream is a powerful, poetic novel that chronicles the last days of Atwater "Soupspoon" Wise, a cancer-ridden blues guitarist whose living memories of Mississippi Delta blues avert any peace in dying. The story opens with Soupspoon lying hopelessly and in great pain on a dark, cold sidewalk after being evicted from his apartment in lower Manhattan. He is found by Kiki Waters, a young white woman returning from the hospital after being stabbed herself. Kiki compassionately moves Soupspoon into her apartment before he can be returned to a homeless shelter and the two of them search for redemption as lost souls supporting each other at the end of life. Soupspoon's deteriorating health is overshadowed by his frustrations of not being able to achieve the musical acclaim of his friend Robert Leroy (RL) Johnson, the mythical bluesman who allegedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for unsurpassed talent. Like Johnson, Soupspoon was Delta blue from the bottom of his soul, a fact that is beautifully conveyed through artful storytelling and masterful prose by the American novelists Walter Mosely. This hard and sad epic is about friendship and forgiveness and the yearning to live the blues like no other. Although nearly twelve years have past since first reading RL's Dream, it still touches my soul.