Imagination is fluid. It rains metaphors. It is the current that swells, twists into python, hangs in the rainforest in a pact of scale and skin. The imagination is fugal, not frugal. Its luxuries are hands, the clay of our making, the steam and warmth of our existence. The auras of Vermeer. The golden browns of Rembrandt. I can feel language begin to stand in its meat and give me wings. Can you pull the rain out of a garden hose? There is tungsten in a tongue when the imagined world coheres in thunder, when the urge of a nerve creates a sound like morning. It is the force that shapes the air, puts a fire in the eyes, uproots an idea from the archeology of a moment and gives it acceleration and hats, fables of sand from an alphabet of blood.
We always think of the imagination as the faculty that forms images. On the contrary, it deforms what we perceive; it is, above all, the faculty that frees us from immediate images and changes them. If there is no charge, or unexpected fusion of images, there is no imagination; there is no imaginative act. If the image that is present does not make us think of one that is absent, if an image does not determine an abundance - an explosion - of unusual images, then there is no imagination. - Gaston Bachelard, “Imagination and Mobility”
Imagination is the snake we hallucinate in our pajamas. It is walking in wonder. It is a language that grows on the spin of an escalator. It is a brain that strains to lift a forge of molten emotion into dripping conjugation. It is sticky with perspective. It is a vapor tattooed with moonlight jerking a signal through the house of jelly that is the human eyeball. It is neither cynical nor scornful but ravenous for steel. It is the clarity we hold over a crumbling cod. It is a tree full of birds and what it does on a knife. It is the smell of confusion. It answers parliament with a kiss. It urges conference with the world. It deepens the universe with bubbly transformation. It flows through a dream flickering with synonyms. It worries an eye toward the transcendence of ink.
Perspective is the angel of sense that we flex into wax. It is sister to the imagination. If an old harmonica fills with music there is a balloon that tugs at the end of a string. The story sizzles if it burns through a premise and makes reality bigger. Hamlet drops a skull and runs. There is exhilaration in pumping a bicycle to the top of a hill and gliding down like a prophet in black feathers.
The imagination awakes and unbinds the bitter heart from its cage of bone. It is a midnight cab in Glasgow. It is the trigger of a gun, the warmth of a lung, the juice of a plum.
It is the light of the desert on a ring of Sonora gum.