2017 | Briana Coleman

Potential

 

It was the witching hour you know
I know when there are signs
I don’t know when I started looking for them
I know there are signs
Look, there, can you see them?


I felt like I shouldn’t move 
I felt that we should sit

and wait

with them
They sat

in wait

with us 


I knew it was a sign when he turned and crossed the threshold
Without looking

both ways
It was bold but he was sure
Things I learned from the deer gods
That wait in the street
My heel clacked to advance and he simultaneously stepped

back
But he was not afraid


Sit on the sidewalk at 4 am with them and listen to what they have to say 


What do the signs say?

What do the signs say?

What do the signs say? 


Hold cheek up to warm breast
Tender consolation 
Temporary absolution of thought 


I covered my eyes because the red haze was unnatural 

 

I found solace in the temporary absence of light
I'll paint arrows on my thumbs 


To point the right direction


I watch the sunrise through a triptych 


I slide into your existence 
You slide into mine
He slides into her existence

Time
Temporal
Temporality

The absence of thought is what I strive for

The footsteps of sleepless girls are what I’ll surround myself in 
We’ll dream of coconuts 
and our lost selves


find them again in those archives


pick them up
pick them up

I shed millennial tears

Where do we store our regret?

I'll collect the teeth I ground down in fine jars 
So that you can see the diamond bits 
In soft powdery reflections

When did the hollowfication occur 
How much poured from the vessel 

You watch those sleeping bodies at night


Breathe in 
Breathe out


When will they wake

 up?

Dip your fingers in the water
Purification 
Remember the rituals
You sat with eyes open but mind blank


Who was Adam
Who was Eve
You saw them both looking at you in the mirror
You felt the serpent writhe in your belly
They’ll tell you
You’re wrong

What did entropy feel like to you in those days?

Sit in your house 
Dark is usually best 
Crawl under the sheets
You will have soaked your body in water that burns your flesh, leaving it riddled with blossoming red patches; light some incense. Direct the stream so smoke so that it runs from the top of your head to the tips of your toes in little rivulets like the water. Be sure to inhale frequently. Think hard of sulfur and sweetness. Invoke your cat if necessary, or other familiar (familiars needn't be living; a sentimental rock or similar insentient object of high personal regard will do just as well. Replicate their essence. Observe your collection of precious objects. Replicate their essence as well. Reflect on object furriness/scaliness/mummification/crispness/smoothness/ fragility/fragrance/hardness/fluidity. And how these traits may make you a better, stronger, more beautiful person. Repeat your findings in your mind until you’re sure you won’t forget. The ritual is complete. To be performed at least two to three times a week. Although daily sessions performed with a regular rotation of freshly scavenged objects that invoke strong emotions (joy/calm/peace/sorrow/wonder/nostalgia/excitement/fear/wistfulness/determination) are ideal. Continue until you feel you have achieved absolute harmony within your galaxies.

 

And mastery over them. 

Did you ever listen to the stars
They told me it was silly
I believed them 
How wide my eyes became 
When I kept their maps  
Under my lids at nights

I break my toes
To stand up high 
In front of a mirror 
That splits me in three planes 
My back is heavy 
My mind is awake
To make it silent 
Quiet sleep death 
Whose constant outcome 
Is reawakening 


The abalone shells
Hold poison in them
But the crab claw is meant to protect
If introduced slowly 
One builds resilience 
So tend to pestilence sweetly 
In search of greater strength 
Joints ache
With the pockets of sickness

Burn mirrors 
And collect their shards
Collect them atop your breasts 
Some will be offended
Your ears will have already been stuffed
Stalactites growing outward 
Shoulders strong from carrying the burden 

What does it mean to cover my eyes
I'm tired of seeing my face
Walk on reflection instead 
In search of greater wisdom
How can I harmonize my mind 
With yours

I grew my hair long
I cut my hair short
I lay in the snow
I looked at the screens but they didn’t give me the information that I

needed 
I still tried desperately for hours

I forgot what time meant
It was not relevant to my outer vessel
At some point, I stopped growing
But the me that is the coral beneath my eyelids 
Was always the same size
I tried to replicate my likeness
In objects

I rolled in opulent fabrics
I dreamt myself a queen
Bedazzled myself with jewels 
And oils in my bath 
I sit in the dark
Paint chips drift into the water
Inhale them
Soak the water up with lace 
And wear it as a gown 
Break fluorescent lightbulbs 
And leave them on the sill 

Paint the ceiling pthalo blue 
And sugar coat the blinds
Coat the floor in sea weed 
I started living in mirrors
And photos on the wall
 Drown it out in chillhop

Imitate the trees 
Replicate their limbs

Try to keep the poison down
Burp twice 


Grind grind grind


Repetition in faces
Coat your shoulders in furs
That way you can stay warm when the day snows repeat

week after week 

Time loops repeating time and time again 
Cat sentinels stand guard 
They know when things are amiss

I spread my legs in dismay
What could come from my loins 
Soft cries 

Grind grind grind grind grind

Stand on top of skyscrapers
Look down
Standing sideways
What color are they

Broken mirrors on the side of the street
You know that it's a sign
Carry it around 
Reverse the curse
Pay attention 
They’re waiting for you
Lying in the street
Pay attention 
When do we learn to see 
When do we forget

When do you learn to be scared? 

Things that are characteristic of a broken house & vessel:
The realization that, no matter how hard you try, you keep finding yourself ultimately, inevitably, alone.
The realization that, no matter how hard you try, you don’t really know what the definition of ‘better’ is
The realization that, no matter how hard you try, the outcome, despite its outer appearance, is often the same
The realization that, 
How do you escape from these time loops? 
A scientific investigation 


Do you think yourself special
How many
Fish 
Are swimming in the sea

Imaginings of worlds without people
The perception of loneliness is palpable

 
Real


How could you possibly understand that
When the population threatens to overcome the planet
And yet it is real
What is truth 

You left
When inwardly 
I screamed for you to stay
At what frequency does that occur
How much can we expect of others
How much can we expect of ourselves


Texts:
Dying 
Breathing 
Die 
Lit
Time 
Useless
Fine
Okay 
Not good
That's good
Awake
Good
Night
The link
Sometimes, usually
Midnight
Before noon
Now I’m scared

To arc ones body
In correspondence with the vibrations of others
Imagined how bent my spine would be 
As I bowed to the dominion of the world 
When do you get tired 
of dealing 

If you sit in a house
With the music loud
It almost sounds
Like a million people
Are standing there around you 
Even when 
You’re totally alone 

You better beware
Sometimes it's just those men in the speakers 
That speak to me
At night

Briana Coleman, 2017 

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