Purple Marshmallows

Ramsey Janini

I close my eyes as I lie on my back, gripping earth and grass. A field of burnt orange coalesces behind my eyelids, now coral, now gold. Light through skin becomes internal vision. Shimmering colour fields tessellate. A glimmering knot forms in a centre, a point, now seed. Geometric figures flower into being. Gilded triangles turn one way, then the other, then back again, then abruptly stop. Stillness. Mosaic. Gold. I stare for a moment at frozen flux. Anxiety bubbles up, opening my eyes. Divine beauty. Infinite grace. No art surpasses the clouds. A silhouetted pair of swifts, so high above, trace vanishing lines across a canvas of cumuli. Sunbeams arrow through silver-edged infinities.

 

- -

 

How lush the nettles. How green the grass. But where was I moments ago? I close my eyes. The colour fields return in ochre, honey and cinnamon. The pirouetting figures emerge again, spinning faster this time. Complexity increases. Two-dimensional planes fold into depth, forming a hexagonal chamber with yellowed waxy walls. A cell in a hive. A membrane surrounds me, so close to my eyes. Claustrophobic. Again the vision stops developing, but it's living. Breathing. I’m somewhere. Awareness in an absent hollow. Silence. A dream awaiting a dreamer. What should I do? What can I do? An insectoid intelligence is not present. Doors are not present. I’m hemmed in. Too tightly. I don’t belong here. I open my eyes.

 

- -

 

Later I close my eyes. I curl up. A rose mist. A white void. Thin veins of soot smoulder in slow-curling wisps of strawberry cream. Purple Marshmallows. Hanging in air. Hanging on the sound of ‘purple marshmallows’, mouthing it, chewing it. Purple. Marshmallows. It’s a feeling. I’m a purple witness, a marshmallow fantasist sinking into overripe persimmon, sickly-soft fetid decay. Burgundy-bruised strawberries. Greying avocados. Blackened bananas. Something feasting, devouring death. Perhaps purifying. 

 

- -

 

Catacombs of tumbling shadows. Walls of skulls and layered stones, now femurs, ribs and pelvic bones. Alcoves and white wheels. A pained and painted face with voids for eyes. A crimson ocean. Viscera. Intestines steeped in clotting blood. Churning. Grinding. Flesh. The visions aren’t frightening, but somewhere to the side and behind a feminine presence is near, a divine presence, watching me, the watcher, with a knowing, ominous curiosity. A latent threat. Palpable. A mouse to a sated cat. A warrior. A curving blade. Rings and bracelets. Layered necklaces. Beetle-black armour. I don’t look back.

 

- -

 

The feeling is of an open wound, unguarded and vulnerable. The feeling is of the original pain, pristine, exposed. A cyst brought too quickly to a weeping head. My chest torn open. My riddled heart offered to ancient gods. Whose pain is it, so familiar, so infantile? I’m a hurt child, forever. Who is there to heal me, to save me? (so NOW you ask) Jesus? Not now. Now it’s pitch black. A lurking arachnid potential with a cold carapace shell, obsidian limbs and jagged protrusions. Malevolence. A sudden lurch of scribbled horror. I open my eyes and the illusion shatters. The sun shines so beautifully. But when I close my eyes it doesn’t matter if they’re open or closed.

- -

I’m below below, in a temple corridor with walls but no floor or ceiling. A sanctified ivoried space. A lily-petalled perfumed shrine. The air is thick with incense. I float up the side of an enormous tusked being, a trunked behemoth adorned with silk, gold leaf, rubies, emeralds and white sashes. I’m too close to comprehend its totality. I think of Ganesh, of great claps of red, white and saffron clouds, of mace, flour and turmeric. I feel entirely unnoticed. A gnat on an elephant. It might be possible to communicate, but it doesn’t cross my mind to try.

 

- -

 

I peer into a room through a door frame, unaware of where I am. I can’t see the entirety of the room, but it seems to be a conservatory or greenhouse. Colonial peeling paint clutter. It feels tropical, with an abundance of creeping vines, ferns and leafy plants covering every surface. They hang from the ceiling, crawl over the walls and curtains, and grow from ceramic pots. It’s overgrown but not abandoned. Flourishing yet flowerless. Opposite me is a window frame, obscured by foliage and fabrics. I have a sense of an unearthly landscape beyond in yellows and limes. If there is furniture, it is antique. Woods and wicker. Somewhere cared for but seldom visited. A place of lost repose.

 

- -

 

Time? Nobody asks for the time anymore. Once upon a time that used to happen, but times pass. Everything passes.

 

- -

 

Black and green stems entwine upwards in sinuous, serpentine helixes, curling and coiling in jewelled patterns. It faces me. Flower fangs unfurl from black-trimmed buds. White petals birth venefic berries, impossibly dark. A temptation to ecstatic death. Lust and orgasm. A coiled belladonna. Life has this beauty. People have this beauty. It strikes and swallows me. A wormhole lined with rows upon rows of open eyes. Rippling neon ribbons of blues, purples and pinks, flickering and flowing, octopuses and cuttlefish, gleaming and glowing, jellyfish and fireflies. Chameleon. I’m constantly at an angle, never looking directly through the tunnel, never seeing another side, but always eying eyed walls always eying me.

 

- -

 

Bubbling planes of plasma stretch out forever beneath and above me. I hover in strata between the two. Fluorescent cyan, pink and yellow globules of lava or wax or molten glass bubble up, down and out of denser layers, drifting aimlessly. Hills and dales rise and collapse, sputtering and spitting and spilling. Stalactites drip purple into frothy pools of magma. Oozings. Effluences. Separations and mergers. Mechanical. Uncompelling and alienating. Conspicuously hollow. I sense I’ve overstayed my welcome, and in that dejection I feel compelled to write (what you've read). I open my eyes and pour myself a whisky, then write (what you've read).

 

- -

 

Later a feeling of love, of gushing love, of cleansing fire, of stampeding elephants, of divine beauty, of infinite grace. No art surpasses the clouds. There is nothing but love. Then it shifts.