portion of the artwork for Ali Eteraz's poetry

A Dream: America 2060
Ali Eteraz

It was a liquid blackboard 20 by 20. I dusted it with my wrist. I placed my hand in the center. Three blue lights came on. Soft lasers emitted; they coalesced into one. A trinity turning tawhidic. It leapt up to my forehead and became a blue bindya (think India). There was in my skull a pressure so small. Like a thumb pressing a stamp. It became a buzzing tedium (Pessoan). With a small flicker the contents of my thoughts were projected onto the screen. There were thin slices of images, pared like poundcakes, then repared. I closed my eyes and focused. I gained a sense of the contours of my thoughts. I entered the inky ether. The one inside myself. That Scythian sewer, that well of shame and suffocation that feeds art, which gave the world the ballads of Tzara and Calgary’s vulgar bard Bok. In this congealed muck, this moist blackness, akin to the way a straight man thinks a gay man imagines a vagina, which is dark as nihilism, a bin full of squeaking beetles, a shadowsnake vomiting its twin, its thrin, I had my first sighting. Of it. A polygonal dot Mo called Gabriel, a thrum of revelation, Sartrean secretion of Nothingness, producing a Nietzschean inversion once called God. “What do you seek to signify?” said the spot. “What should I describe in the lie that is language?” And without ado (and a don’t), the uncreated component of my soul (the Asharite), it began speaking, and the phonemes that were produced turned into speech coming out of the mouth of the version of me that can be considered created (the Mutazilite). And the description became something tangible, something rendered physical, a dancing ballerina on the surface of the board. It was not like having a dream. It was something other. Ilham, the multiplicity of dreams. Let’s call it Ilhamination. And I could see suddenly the whole world around me. The Caliph’s face turning ugly; the Pope’s electrical crucifixion (evocative of Bacon) during some tumult in the Vatican; a terrorist named Don Nocturno holding hostage beleaguered presidents in a territory with no name. Or maybe the name was Terrortories. And there were fields of green littered with a race of men called The Other. And they were all dead because of some forced resettlement. It wasn’t Ohio but Ohellno. It wasn’t Illinois but Killingnoise. It wasn’t America. No, it was.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 34 | Fall 2011