Divya Victor: Color: A Sequence of Unbearable Happenings

Color: A Sequence of Unbearable Happenings

“The story reveals the meaning of what otherwise would remain an unbearable sequence of sheer happenings” — Hannah Arendt, Men in Dark Times


It was a nice try. It was a nice move that made the black move to white. A nice move that turned most things away from what they were looking at. Sometimes the way they moved suggested something other than the color of the objects that they looked at. Sometimes these colors turned to ash and then to dust and then they walked away from those colors. In a nice way the walk away had a melody closer to silence than anything else. More than anything it possessed a kind of slow and somber hum. White and blanched like poached eggs in a cream bowl. Slumbering fetal pups overcome by a bitch’s thick milk. So much of your eyes are waiting to sup on the right teat. So much of color is waiting. So much of color is in the wait to be seen. One thing radiating points to the other that is not lit.


One thing radiating is in the middle of shade. The shade of the light is uniform and issued to the newly fleshed. To take issue with the midriff of a shade is to force air into a similar stillness. A surplus of inexpensive sky. An expanse of twill which mentions the hands. A flesh of color is the willful opening to some other gesture before a body walks up to you in a warm alley. It is the surface to which the name arrives in the eye. The eye in question is at a wake. A flesh is a survey of other black objects coated with lacquer, daubed with plaster, plumped by upholstery, hoisted plum in a sulking roasted sow’s mouth. This color is a sullied mutton or a beef with someone who owns another name blurred by matted voices calling it into recognition. This is something walking up to you with a face of apology or greeting or wearing or dying in a borrowed trench.


As specific as something appearing in a borrowed trench sits longer unobserved at a wake. A length of invisibility turns into a bruise the closer it gets to a fist. Indivisible into parts yet invited to take part, a waiting body is a puddle forming inside a coat. Swollen like knuckles like red but not red-orange or dark red or plummy blood pudding which are shades of a similar livid lineage. The lineage forms in someone’s drowsy wait near bystanders when the dark will break in two. It breaks into indefinite distances of abrupt brightness we call mornings. This body’s color is a startling sleep hung on a hammock between two points: one known and the other less known. There is an occurrence of pigment and it suggests a history growing in sand or a method of preparing lakes or the pliant application of arms to a row. This body faces you with a knot of a face made of alum or lye and wet with linseed oils folding a glance into a fist sized thing to be pocketed by the bystander. Collecting the toe, collecting the finger nail, the hanging thing cooling, by the by. Walking away from this means something about solving water into fog. To be waded in and not whetted by. To see color is to apply yourself to a stone like a barber’s blade. With a certain lilt of the neck. A pile of tools and all the lashes in a lather at this wake for someone’s body. A bloom of raspberries wilting in a tureen once used for serving offal soup.


A bloom of raspberries made an example when for instance a stick touches a hand, when for instance the water turns to a boil and the boil turns back to the water with a questioning glance. Some examples of instances that are taken when something is not self evident, like a hanging thing cooling, or a rhubarb pie huddling into the corner of a meshed cupboard. This body’s color is an instance of an example where for instance the act of bringing the witness to the witness stand where the witness sits instead. This is confusing proposition of verbs fat with a pleasant symmetry at court. A court takes as evidence the small flush of violet that grows transparent after the second stoning when blood ribbons away from the body. Where the blood pools the body blushes fuchsia then dusky plum draining from an eggy ochre. Its sleep a growing bruise in the ground. In moderation the cause of color is a disagreement between two similarities. In its basic form the cause of color is the tooth left behind at the curb. Fusing someone and something color emerges as a better forgery of resemblance, limp and livid at once. Someone is always begging you not to confound small bits of egg whites with other white bodies swilling back and forth like irascible pebbles at the bottom of any water.


Someone is always begging you not to shelve this thing at the helm of being named. On the verge it is something flagged on a pole and striped with strips of flesh waving or hanging or a pair of feet not touching the ground when it ought not to do otherwise. Flagged as otherwise color is a swarm of desire formed while waiting too long in a crowd. Wading far enough in the shallow of pigment as if a wavelet of a person has its eventual place against a rock or a shore or a dock of an assembly. An assembly is also a gathering that can carry a body through its due process to an end. To carry a body to its becoming as carrion by suspending the weight of a person as strange fruit for the crows to pluck. To carry on as if color is an area of skin hoisted by a glance or carried like a chip on the shoulder of mutton. To carry on as if this does not drown you in weals and welts or turn your chest into a whistle or a willowy hollow blowing whisht whist whist go away.


Divya Victor is an American poet who has lived in India and Singapore. She is author of Partial Derivative of the Unnamable (Troll Thread), PUNCH, Goodbye John! On John Baldessari (both from Gauss PDF), Hellocasts by Charles Reznikoff by Divya Victor by Vanessa Place (Ood press), and SUTURES (Little Red Leaves). Her books Things to Do With Your Mouth (Les Figues) and UNSUB (Insert/Blanc) are to be released in 2013.