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The Devil Line is a Violin (ELECTRIC DELIRIUM 1.1)


by Jamie Grefe


Enter the players: Rosey, Rosea, Rosalind, and Rose. Rosaline, are you a dashing blush of Rosemary's learned wit?

An endearing flash before the show, Rosea bows, recites a lecture to those of us gathered in groups like groundlings, mad, hunched over barrels of hate, heat sunken in barrel dirt. The lesson: one's mind flaps thought-wounds, quivering links. It molds. It unfolds, bungling loose: an ocean, a web. A proper example: prone to languor, Sunday strolls, the napes, necks, skitters of verbal folds on the sofa, how this muse crawls around on the slit tongues of other people's words, sneaking an utterance to speak, to mind, to language, to breathe, yes, to mind.

A wink to signal. Delicious flutters of sound unmaking and destroying symbols. An unmasking sign. Stripped, the back door shuts. Pucker open, sister chance, for sister choice has been rehearsing interpretations. Kiss futural palms, peck lips. Your shuddering mask, a cackled mask is falling. A failed kiss is still a failure. In the ephemeral, it's a flick, such dust to calm minds back to brood mental hygiene.

Perpetually caught in rumination, the skull of the many wilts the juice of your wet dreams as a sewn yarn unraveled, undone, sloppy, uncooked. Conversant waves, streams to regret or rejoice having been. Even though, anti-seamlessness prevails for the majority of these people of half-barreled hopes (the cast). Come clean, Rose says. Visualize a Tokyo-esque dread of red alleys, black boxes. Our thoughts hinge on such capacities for making it so.

So: posed outside a nightclub, a converted detergent factory, to be exact, in a hunched trance, Rosea plays a bohemian plainsong for the cosmonauts among us, while her fuzzy apple hips spit glitter, spin strobes: pink shades of pantyline flicker; lip-licked neon hues scrape strings in B sharp, a gloomy clue. On cue, Rosey violins candy cane ecstasy to commuters on platforms at transfer stations, to abandoned zoos and strip malls. She's wet with the street. Blue tones swell to bubble the sea.

The world as individually interpretable is a lie. She thinks of it as an arcane mind-riddle. The known world, tellable, tropical, a blemished slice and she chops holes in the collective possible, lands skewered, built up by piles of voiced breath, verbal drips, utters. She mumbles, why or what if we lose these imaginary links, the large bales in which we harvest our life? We falter in the doing. So many questions envelop her along the way, each question, an exploration. Or, consider the oceanic veil of thought as a curtain yanked like billowing sidewalks, the city's piss-soaked tunnel. For, as Rosalind thinks, so she points her fiery strings, bowed and bent over the bed, the dresser, the tabletop or at five a.m. on polished wooden floors made of clouds, so she lives and is: stray, far away from reason. (Shall we stick the mess back together?) She does the unreasonable world into being. Rosaline is caught in a damp becoming. Those thoughts, Rose, think you off to sleep on trails. We have a choice to make.

(Do you still midnight strut in mini-skirt, alone to the train station, onward, down the line to our bed-town getaway, and enwrap skyscraper-bedspreads over thighs, slipped dream-pop pajama rubs on the futon?) I would like to think so. The act of thought, Rosea, plays out your trajectory to the end. (But, to what extent is your character or our conception of self bubbling through fissures of habitual act or intentional misalignment, my long lost partner?) Others observe you, interpret you to their own unpredictable ends.

When, spread on the last train, violin stroking the man next to you, in that instant of hand-to-mouth combat, how he fails to forget, fails in every way to explode, but this, and this is the key to purposeful living: if Rosemary and poetry were one, then cauterize my heart to the sticking-point of personhood, for I'll hyperventilate mind-juice in drenched overfill, drenched stuttering once more and reach hands inside my womb-painted birthday box and bare this mask of too limited self called life. It's in the collective interpretation. We animate these ancient flames, Rosalind, so onward in our limitations. You're on the air, this beautiful air, in five, four, three, two.
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