Hell (Opens Like)

BOMB Magazine - - LAURA MULLEN -

Two fig­ures: one lingers “on the thresh­old” and be­comes The Per­former, or Poet ( You de­cide?); the other? Ap­proaches and dis­ap­pears.

Al­to­gether there should be three aper­tures or door­ways, seen as ex­its ( be­cause we are trapped be­cause we think we are trapped) but pos­si­ble to imag­ine— from another point of view— as en­trances. En­try wounds. Mis- spelled as woulds. The dark, etc. ( Whose woulds these are / I think I… No.) Ev­ery­thing should be seen as be­ing able to be seen (even if it isn’t seen) from at least two sides.

A cer­tain hol­low­ness made res­o­nant by ci­ta­tion: “The past catches up to him!” (Al­most.)

Forced to re­peat not the glance it­self but the in­stant be­fore and the slow turn: drop­ping one shoul­der, shift­ing the weight onto that foot and so forth, stretch­ing out the open hand to…

Then the slow col­lapse as if shot. Sub­tle. Sub­ti­tle: These ac­tions are too nar­ra­tive! I’m out of here! ( The slow process of be­ing “re­duced from a ‘whole’ per­son to a ‘tainted’ and dis­cred­ited one.”) A scream.

Just the edge— we won’t go any far­ther. There isn’t any… I pic­ture… I pic­ture the edge of hell as thick with shad­ows, shapes of bod­ies, shades, in­dis­tinct and al­ways mov­ing, dense over­lap­ping rest­less crowd, noth­ing but the sound of pa­per on pa­per.

Be­fore that each move­ment echoed by another, as if con­nected by strings— or story.

“The dreamer must ac­cept his dream” (sub­ti­tle / trans­la­tion / un­der the ac­tion:


One shoul­der drops and the neck length­ens and the eyes, they “cut” in that di­rec­tion, quickly. Freeze (fame). What­ever looks back… (O, re­ally?)

Re­cedes fad­ing slowly van­ish­ing. “A lo­gis­ti­cal night­mare,” any­way.

Un­fixed shim­mer of the walls They make these days I swear Ev­ery­thing’s go­ing to…

The walls

I hadn’t re­al­ized how in­fected it was. The Poet Ooz­ing away. He es­capes (alone to tell thee) from

The slurred un­steady edges of the walls, walls, walls: The “throb­bing” and the “sob­bing” of the… And “The Past Al­most Catches Up!” ap­pears: A fright­en­ing head­Line. VoiceOver: A bit­ter dream. He’s another per­son now or he’s some­one who makes that claim. “It opens like a wound.” En­trances. With a re­port. Lips lift­ing in the smile. Started think­ing (“not think­ing,” we say— of this sort of mis­take) that since they were pretty much out of there any­way it was safe…

I can see it / her I re­mem­ber it / her I ( hit her) “As if shit were yesterday”

It’s time to file and sort this ma­te­rial of course let’s What do I want That’s what I’m ask­ing Why didn’t you ask me I’m ask­ing Why didn’t you Be­cause you


“I hear a melody,” the artist said, drag­ging his part­ner off the dance floor. ( In­deed: this is too re­al­is­tic. Shoot me.)

There are all these forms To sign.

Time ver­sus times:

and count­ing…

“I need a way to think about in­ti­macy.” Then his whole body (“dis­cred­ited”) turn­ing

I pic­ture the edge of hell as thick with fig­ures— A shift­ing un­cer­tain space: I am a guest and the cause of some un­hap­pi­ness.

She “melts into the crowd” Now, there’s a phrase…

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