Laura Mullen
April 2010


The age demanded a garage band, Rampage, or The Industrial Average, some plugged-in sounding out of that sudden blankness at the end of attending a message which seemed to begin and end with its postage; the rest an eerie muted rush of sheer (hear) (here) verbiage. Or alternatively action (breakage, spillage), if the too tricky lyrics, like a higher dosage, fail to assuage. Ass wage. If expected sense takes hearing hostage, sabotage betrays a cleavage, where to make one’s way through is also to adhere to. Spoils shared among the entourage (personage, ash-bleached visage; personage, hooded suspect led back to a cage): spoilage. The return on a long-ago tutelage or just because “because,” like an afterimage, the reappearing shadow of our equipage: Wait, someone left a package.... Barrage of debris and then, off-stage, a brief blockage in the—channeled for repeated leakage—reportage. And back to the frottage: What did it feel like? Two, at least, stages: personage weeping and the disparaged “savage” whose emotions (if envisaged at all) seem merely a seepage, a sort of mortgage constantly readjusted by memory’s triage, replacing the blackened bandage around a body electrified by its condition or function (bondage...). We were informed—halfway down the passage—that we should go back, return to our offices. “We,” ghost assemblage, trapped in the symbolic, which collapses, sifting memoranda out over the city: page after page after page dropping outdated “to do” lists soundless down on the safe in their gated Ice Age. Alternatively fees payable for (anchorage...). Numbly mumbling, “carnage,” and “chunks of fuselage,” a would-be sage seeks some kind of parage, decides the question’s money (in his dotage). Leverage as leverage! What percentage? So salvage an advantage and then garbage it takes time to haul away, isolating each ravaged fragment in the effort to identify usage. Is that your luggage? How manage this hemorrhage of montage, visual sewage, flowing past in pieces but always seen from a single vantage under anger’s voltage? Voyage; alienage. Word in another language meaning varnish or glaze and also private viewing (opening), a slippage suggesting action and condition make a marriage. How to engage? Here’s a suffrage, courage—as versus isolated rage. Put the decoupage of iconic images presaging those sudden slowed still unbelievable collapses—fireball corsages, clouds of black yardage—in storage: refuse the corkage for the ullage in that ever more undrinkable vintage, rebooted or rebottled, as per the adage. No more village espionage to rummage a meaning under the coverage: scarcely camouflaged in coinage find the lineage of our enlightenment romanced into deregulated wattage. Cry amperage and arbitrage: the bricolage of the brokerage. Who’s totaling the outage? “The damage is to the other building,” someone announced, “you can go back now.” Showing his age, our Orpheus returns to an orphanage. On the homepage this elegy for wordage: song singing its agents, right down to the last syllable of recorded wreckage.



First appeared in Ping-Pong (Literary Journal of the Henry Miller Library), 2007: 48-49