Blank Light, Wooded Light (ELECTRIC DELIRIUM 1.7)

by Jamie Grefe

I follow the dimming shadow of Rosaline down a night-canal, tripping and roving. A mess. Ships tumble, cars crash, horns gulp water, bombs burst up from the ground in a halo of screams. Yes, she is that stunningly, majestically, and speechlessly beautifully minded. Nuclear mind. She derails reality, receives the messes I throw to her. Her zeal is a strong cup of earth in the midst of an asteroid storm. We speak in verse of the pink light, each word, a glimpse of the death-dwelling life we share. We choose a word, strip it of meaning like the way Rosea tackles, slaps Rose on the bedroom floor, the floor littered with Rosaline's apple scraps. Remnants. Fragrances, scents of sweat and uncooked meat.

To be mediocre, she says. We repeat until the word mediocre becomes nothing but the raw sound, a me-di-ochre occurrence in the mouth, a way out of the dry trap of talk. (To what end?) Another sip. She's done it, spilled open the Void, my inevitable morning, shot through with another ruined word. (Is this a kind of game, a kind of play?) This time, role, and she defines it. But, I remember the text, and the text says a definition is a virus, a cornerstone, a foundation; once implanted, the definition grows unstoppable through the way it is used. A virus for the nonce. But, Rosalind drives my heart to the desert. I was not aware our city had deserts, but she sends me there, because, as she says, she wants us to start living the main life, the main line. We build heat packs together in the snow. It's bleak. No more dreams. No more. From now on, we are already there, in the futural-now, the future self of who we wanted to be in the past: who we conjured ourselves to be from that past to that imagined future. She has defined it. She is it.

I brush flakes of skin from my collar and the traces of other people slide skinny. There are always other people, she says. We are composed of those particular others. To speak of what is spoken of is to share a mind, to share a culture with all of the understandable others. They are one and the same. If you speak only of what only you understand, you would be utterly insane. No one would follow. There would be nothing to follow. Rosea does not realize I'm taking those precautions now. (But, how much of those others are swirling within me?) It matters not. What matters, she tells me, is to what ends you are using them in the unfolding of your life. Ends. We die alone. She is always obsessed with ends and consequences. (Use them?) Not in that way. She considers the margin to be a bulbous hip. I think of coconuts and butter, but it's been years and she sighs something about woodcocks. (What about poetry?) There is Nothing in poetry, therefore it is the most beautiful tragedy of all.

Please, I plead, take me to the figurative sea. It's comical in a beautiful way, she moans. Beauty and nothingness are her two favorite subjects, apart from all this scrubbing. Another meticulous sip and the light is bright, my cup emptier, but she has filled this cup full with more light than is necessary. She calls it Shinjuku or childhood revelry or the mill or the river or China. We crave to be perpetually disgusted, she whispers in my ear, her tongue, a tunnel to my brain, licking, licks, licks it raw to the soaked wrist, to the curling toe. Thank you, Rosea. There is already so much of her inside of me. It's a desert light of the mind. My mind is gone. Asteroids crash through the moonbeams. Pale. The cabin is on fire. More women arrive. A wooded light. It's nothing. (Where did all this snow come from? Where does it all go?) They enter. It hurts.