The Dark and the Lightless

Casimir Laird-Berrard
1 min readDec 26, 2020

They say there is no true black

Without light—for black is the substractive,

The without, the anti-light, the lack

And not merely a solid tint, a matter, an objective

And strange species of camouflaged darkness;

No, the darkest black is that which retains a subjective

Lighter vantage point—the sheen of enamel or bitumen, to harness

The darkness of the backdrop, to dominate the reflective

The darkest of all blacks is not slick, or smooth, it is rough;

But the truest black is not the purest black; the purest is celestial,

That of a curtained night or of closed eyelids on days, cold enough,

Where my breath is a cloud obscuring all orbits and referentials

Of satellites, of stars, of planets, only those of my eyes remain

And no light gets to me—and yet I radiate, like an eclipse,

When all other light is obscured by time’s amnesia a more humane

Surrogate lights up my new moon’s nights—it is eigenlicht, the ellipse

Of my retina diffuses a grayish glow

The purest black is the least seductive

And when my days are not splattered with the ruins of when the moon was low

And the sun was high, when memories of the comparative

Do not remind me of the darkness beneath

The black, though as pure as ever

Is lightless, and so much lighter, a sheath

That embalms me but does not sever

The uneventful, the unwoed present

I cry when the stars remind me of the moon’s descent



Casimir Laird-Berrard

admirer of well-styled texts, Zhuangzi, the Imagists, and Eno. inquiries and inquests at