Chromaritual, or What I did during the Holy Days: an Intervention

Donald J Trump State Park 2

Ibarakou mollumba Elegguá ibaco moyumba ibaco moyumba

 I light the first candle.

Ibarakou mollumba omole ko ibarakou mollumba omole ko

 I light the pipe. I take a deep green breath. I exhale the dank smoke over the skull, its concrete spattered with dripped candle wax, the memory of rum, my blood, my semen. Irises of blu-tac recessed deep back in the sockets, with which I pin my sigils to the wall.




Immolator. Mutilator. Yemayá Oggute, virile, violent.

 I light the second candle.

Attaramawa, arrogant and proud.

 White candle. Blue candle. Lit from the red. Light passed on by the Opener of Ways. Light leaping the gap between candle and wick. One flame turned three. Firebreeding.

Olokun, the ocean maid, whose lovers dance in veils and painted masks.

 The candle held before me like a sword, raised and brought down to my eyeline in a warrior’s salute.

Your true face seen only in dreams.

 The tip of the blue candle points at my heart. A poor petitioner, beknighted.

Dream for me, with me, through me.

 I light the blue candle. Inhale and exhale.


strange fall


I pull the book and stickers from the void beneath my bed. Spreading the sheet of blank rectangles out on a comic-book anthology of conspiracy theories I open Jarman’s Chroma to the chapter called ‘White Lies’. I read. I pull the thin adhesive border from the sheet of stickers, smudge it with smoke from the pipe. First breath of life.

‘When God made the first clay model of a human being, he painted in the eyes, then the mouth, then the sex.’ Greenaway, not Jarman.

I open the book to the chapter headed ‘Black Arts’. The hairpin N of the Palace chimney, Coco dancing, the wonderful long quote from Ovid, luck came at a price for the climbing boys. I read again, and then begin to draw.

It begins as a double-headed arrow, bending in the middle so both arrowheads point down. Then, from the left of the lowest of the arrows, curves all the way to the right of the point, then extends another, larger, longer curve which turns into a third, bigger arrowhead, pointing up, and finds its way back again to the base of the second. Like a flower, like a beast. Within the space created by the first curve, a circle is made, filled with a lowercase t like a single malevolent eye.

I add a date and three words from a radical poem, drawn in my best attempt at pixacao, a Brazillian graffiti style. Then I light the pipe and smudge the sheet a second time with smoke.


I reopen the book, to the chapter called ‘Into the Blue’. Jarman writes of refugees and AIDS wards, tower blocks on fire. Plane crashes. A man who looks like Jean-Luc Godard. A pilgrim with a drip. A wink and the slyest of smiles.

The passage read, I take the felt-tip pen and fill the space around the creature’s eye a deep and haughty blue. Blue the priciest of dyes, the blood we’ll have to spill. Plunge the mind beneath the blue and when the circle’s filled, you smoke, you smudge.


Open the book once again. ‘Seeing Red.’ Marches and Sparta, the red of the square is the root. Red Cardinals betray. Burn the blue out of Britain! Italian business, the way the Brits slip through a bill. With the first act of arson the child realises transgression is not always punished. Cytomegalovirus. Fill the space within the second, turning curve which changes to an arrow reverb red, reverb red, in the red room of the head.

Reverb red in the red room

Reverb red in the red room

In the red room in the red room

Reverb red in the red room


In the red room

In the red room

In the red rum

In the red



Reverb red in the red room

Reverb red

Reverb red

Reaver bread

Reaver bread


Reverb red in the red room

Reverb red in the red room

In the red room in the red room

In the red room of the head


Reaver bread

Reaver bread

Reverb red

Reverb red

Reverb red in the read room of the head

Trespasses anew

Smudge, smoke, allow the Orishas to skinride if there’s time.  Repeat the oral incantations, blow the candles out with chronic breath, install the stickers on the altar, tip the ash into the bottle labelled with a cartoon devil. Take a moment. Take a breath. And rise.

Rise like a lion.



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