Winter White by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge


Now memory widens its focus.

An experience is not one experience.

I go over it again and again, as it assimilates in me.

Repeating becomes more like an associative process.

I can’t depend on an event so thinking of it, it’s instantly categorized, as if by a student.

I follow as it slips beyond the border of my recall, where repeating becomes progressive.

And memory doesn’t end where my skin ends, but diffuses into my surroundings, leaving fragments of itself I may notice as “red rock,” “friable cliff,” reminding me.


Looking into sky and so backward in time depends on my belief in origins and on the effects of my attention.

There, a butterfly is a live portion of earth flying, deer a portion of its leafy surface.

Forgetting loses indeterminance as it fills out the plane of immanence, like the universe in infinity.

My so-called memory of my experience is an index, in which self comes into being at the same time as the butterfly.

That’s why environment can’t be identified by a consciousness that’s coextensive with it.

More and more an experience becomes a contingent particle.

Recognizing and observing combine into a relation or inference fueled by emotion as by low tones of his voice, a limit or association based on partiality– my interest, my mother, family, certain writers, western light–as when I look at his image in a magazine, I think of Richard who isn’t here.

Then I look for the invisible wires of this passage.


Between any experiences, memories, objects are silent rhythms and intervals.

I go over an event as it develops beyond anxiety at whether a blank is in my mind and red rock in the world or whether transparency is landscape.

Sunlight, night, despair and gems or solitude, reef, star dissolving into names make eventless the poet’s experience.

Your face before me is an epiphany for distance and crossing.

It’s not a dialectic of self-other, like threads of pink light through mist or pink veins of a petal on my desk.

Mist and petal together form their own pathway, percepts threading back and forth as if through live wires in air.

Hue accumulates around my intense desire to recall.

My mood changes with slices of color into reality I categorize as afternoon sky; pink disintegrating in the petal is a transparent vein.

Its form represents materialized accumulated energies moving toward me, when I tried to express the amnesia, immanence leading me from a photograph to recast light onto experience, until identification, sameness became the atmosphere.


A white out of wintry weather:  I did not think feeling proceeded from anything like this.

Details of landscape is how a person losing her memory visualizes the panoply of experience.

Recalling a face is only part of the visual; there’s turbulence between light reflecting from your face into my brain and my emotion as one-to-one recollection from an ideal vantage point.

Light itself is forming darkness and spectrums exist outside light’s laws.

Spaces in my living room between objects or spaces between stars are only symbols; blankness is filled with experience.

A collective unconscious of all experience underlies events along an electron’s path, because space is a psychological property.

I don’t pinpoint your location like a chair and bureau on a dreamed floor.

I see light around a corner, combinations of others’ memories adjacent to mine and polyvalent.

Instead of blankness, fear takes the form of an argument in the family or a series of frightful dreams.

An event can weave through these manifestations, dissipating itself along with my own borders.

Illness turns into such a nightmare, but self maintains, operating as a wave.

Different species communicate and energies of environment and inhabitants merge.

My memory travels into the memory of another with increasing energy, and an event clarifies as “winter,” for example.

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