Laura Mullen

SONG SMOOTHS IT OUT

For some for the rest
Of us it’s still bloody
Hell does that say
Death of a chicken or
What if Jesus Christ was
Reincarnated with

Automatic weapons

I’d like to talk to you
But because you never
There wasn’t time stupid
Now it’s that strapped-on
Sawed-off under the toga
Look sure locked eyes

Shine all right with

Some kind of “cray-cray”
As we light on the possible
Rules and roles victim hero
Videographer hey what’s it
Too late to show the white
Feather before they begin

Calling it an incident

I wish I’d known you
I wish I’d known you
Before you started
Wanting to be famous
And not caring
For what

(AUTOBIO.) DISLOCATED [“CAGE OF WORDS”]

Cage of words hurt body still wall of won’t say against which spill. No one home and no one home. Inflection affliction licked action, or why go forward when you can wait and wait and wait. Hit hard again against the same same of wanted to say and have said it. And not. Was only the bad puppet of a bunch of narcissists: jerk. Was only a collection of positions all in print. Was only “only” with its weight of lugubrious or a big chrome tear something from the 70s, used as to keep the stack of (unfinished) pages in place. Then was “was” and have done with it. Some relief. Hurt body back at the task and panicked. Pack or unpack? Cut out cut off cut but caught lifted clear or dear or near enough to hear them say, repeatedly, they didn’t like it. Any of, well what about what about and another breathy effort to explain or elaborate dying out. Count on it could be much better than that. They told you what they’d been told what they told themselves now how does that help? Failures of affection laid across generations like one long black sticky skid mark and then a figure of speech filthy bent to the glow of the blank

MECHANISM / COLLATERAL

1)
In the blah
In the blah blah blah
Lost it there broke it broke
It first and lost it
There

In that grayish space
The middle
Greyish something other not
There enough blah
Blah blah

And bad at it
Really really bad just
Making that dull ticking sound
When you turn it

2)

Went around it “as if feeling blindly,” as if the eyes had to be lost or vision surrendered in order to really touch. Torch. Began to believe it was meant. The edges blackened by an effort (whose?) to deny it. Snatched from flames by which I meant disaster: snatched from the jaws of disaster by which I mean flames. They lick.

3)
Star as in stark
Star as in starkers as in
Marked remarked
As in now           suffering

A framework of
Distanced under-
                                              Standing
Offstage
                                              And physical
                                              Slump
Framework (groan) hadn’t

                                              (the word itself
Sound of a                        seemed to dissolve

                And “disaster” or catastrophe
                Or fed into the and
                Or fed into the

                Part of                                and partial
Groan
                (refused)
                                                              and became
                                                              “most sorrowful”

                               scaffolding scaffold fold
                               as in knowing
                                                              to steer by
                                                              to wish on
                                                              so

4)
bent by the edge of
                               it was “justifiable”

and the interstices adjusted by which I
mean                                                   expand

there was room (grease) to elbow and bow

there was blah blah blah land and another
                land we spoke how we spoke so how we
                what we let each other know

                I (newer) at it
                Everything I hadn’t meant to

And then
                               By the blow

And what seemed like a [wordless] howl
And that noise
And that what like
And how

                               I mean               explo

Laura Mullen is the author of seven books: her most recent publication is Enduring Freedom (Otis Books / Seimicity Editions, 2012). She teaches at Louisiana State University.