On Psychedelia

by Clifton Gachagua

‘An illuminated dust blows across the vista in the distance, like merriment and
confetti at the beginning of a big festival, the beginning of a masquerade, the sick
remains of all those lovely childhood dreams, the black river so shinny its light is still
travelling back, not nostalgia, no, but tangible light, the green luminescence of
rosaries, the all-knowing liquid black in a newborn’s eyes. If only you could touch and
inhale this dust, it would transform your lungs into synthetic silk. From you there
would rise music that you know but for which you cannot place a time and date. And
the question of silence in the middle of all the fury, all the Sun Ra music, all caged
canaries. The silence that has come to fill up all the vacant rooms in this house –
Zephyrion. Silence and emptiness. It is a brief silence after the dust settles, a silence
of enjambment, a silence achieved also by indents and the white space on a page. It
lasts long enough to fill up the ever expanding, ever hungry void.’
‘Everything falls back into place once again, is what you’re saying, Marlboro.’
‘And the history of madness in your family, the histories you’re happy to
ignore, your fear of abandonment, your predilection to addiction, your fear of mirrors,
the killing of all those pet pigeons you so loved, the red of their blood on your cold
cold tongue?’
‘It is the place before place, where I begin from, the few seconds before my
feet land on solid ground and make the first step in the journey of a thousand steps.
Basho on a journey through the wild interiors of the country. It is rife with the sighs of
plates moving under us, transposing a body from here to there as if in an electric
vehicle from the future, fibreglass and imagination, shaking the very kernel of the
body’s belief in forward motion. It is also a great question: would I rather stay here or
move forward, follow the course of those who came before me? Here is a place
where a single thought is pleasure, inextinguishable, uncensored, with an etymology
dating back to when we learnt how to grieve for our dead, when that grief took on
expression in ritual, and when ritual became more important than the grief. The dust
is a Chinese dragon in an endless dance called blue sky. It inverts the locus of pain
that I have become so used to and introduces me to a blue music dream, scurries
through my body and leaves in mid-air, without a home. It becomes a religion without
dogma, a move towards what is not written, a kneeling down to the unsaid and

unspoken thoughts of patron saints, and when said, thoughts lost in translation. It is
as wide as darkness, but also so small it can fit into a scapula around my neck,
engraved on the body of a grain of rice. There is a thud thud thud in the Byzantine
courses of my blood, the charging of a black rhinoceros, the lightness of silt at the
Nile delta. A dust so light it is made of nothingness and the sighs of the dead.’
‘The fragrant adulations and singing of androgynous nymphs with tender
hands, sating my desires of coming in from the front and going out through the back
and vice versa. A revealing dust of dawn, a premonition of those thoughts your
harbour in your soul. QLD.’
‘My body rearranges into parlours, like a room in an M. S. Escher’s, and QLD
fills me up with watercolours and my voice is like from a band that plays underwater.
It fills me up with a long river of semen and the frustrations of a flightless bird.’
‘Light steps leaving puddles behind. Swimming amphibian. Half tadpole, half-
human. Homunculus.’
‘There is no one at the train station. You walk to the end of the platform and
back. The person you have been waiting for does not show up. At the Railway
Museum you read the history of the railroad as if it is the beginning of the history of a

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