Scherezade Siobhan

Bezoar


ISSUE 81 | BUILDINGS | DEC 2017

This is a sequence that rose from my battle with suicidal ideation during a year-long turn of depressive cycles & finding some unnameable benediction in Andrew Newey’s photographs of members of Nepal’s Gurung tribe, who have been engaging in the ancient and dangerous ritual of collecting psychotropic Himalayan honey. Bezoar in itself means a blockage—particularly in the stomach or intestinal area—and it can also mean a universal antidote against poison. I have been piecing together notes from therapy where I have handled clients/patients suffering from depression as a clinician and juxtaposing those against my own battle with PTSD-MDD or major depressive disorder. Eschewing a definitive linearity, this sequence is an emergent glitch and signifies a sort of "dot..dot..dot" path that my mind charts during the worst periods of depression.

 

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Ardent, the brood parasite—a drone in Her obtunding junctures. Her nectar tracts so well cored, Her solstice fractioned in coffinhives—light & rock in a hermeneutic feud, each of Her wings so perfumed to wither. By way of Her, I have been kiting oracles for a month or over, studying the sainted vines of their schizophrenia, the oratory deciphered as god’s wintering desunt. Hers is the hiss in its unsparing sinuosity—it’s perfumed night of rhododendron pollen, its prayer scarves blasted to Her reluctant khamsin. Dear Virginia, this could have been the almsgiver, the route of stones no longer shunted to the linen pocket. A flutter in the shadow of this mulish man of a mountain who chapters the scene of Her guerrilla bloom. The air around Her shivering confetti of headlamp golds, dust in its amber of glowworm motes, the crushed cinnabar of Scheherezade, Her wax scales, Her drawn combs, Her blind harvest; the dirtgreen grace of Her limbs so thick with insect-blood. The first blade of Her hallucinatory bouhali. The final thread of Her savage nocturne.

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In the guava orchard, a pair of bulbuls simpering with the sun’s blurred strophes as it plants new coos in each of their tender throats. Their other name is “leaflove” & I have the memory of this minutiae scrawled on a napkin. Because I steer each smallness in my world, even its “richest passivity” (Lispector, catharsis)—its every faze & marvel—towards his saber-toothed gulfs. Because at 19:45, the mangroves in all their intoxications of harlequin & fawn—that long green cleaving—were the storm’s echoing veil & to say wishyouwerehere is stale when you can just say—leaflove.

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It takes 7 days to reverse the damage of each migraine. The antidepressants in their waning increase the urge to fling shoelaces across the fan and dangle like the opal pendant in my grandmother’s neck. Sometimes the dream to shatter into sleep. The child who disappeared little by little with each shaking of a head, each slackening of an arm. The demands for proof depleted me. A week I vomited every night, reminded of how he wanted to articulate his fists against my flesh. Meet me in that basement, in that stagnant moment when I was apostrophe’d on the floor. Hold my hand & travel back 20 years into this anachronism. Sit with me inside that closet, feverish, hungry, scared. Scared no longer of the dark but of light because light meant opening, opening meant he was coming for me. There are no revisions and the marigolds are always softening in the window. Fear in its darkest rudiment has no sound, has no center—just the ground-swell. Just mass & movement. This low earth spits out its fecundity by will. That is the rigor mortis on Time.

& despite & perhaps—