Laura Mullen
April 2010

Sound Barrier

Should move the performance forward
resisting arrest best

Ringtone ever “should—
it’s where shall hits the wall”

West of the west

Should inform the forward
commander moved to call off a pre-test

Should move (blank space
on the page to indicate gated

Everything a little blurry “well your
eyes are tired” just

Give it a rest

Should perform pro forma “should
it’s like ‘shelved’ and ‘could’ shoved
together” Shoulda been there

Yo bro yr tazer (line breaks
to indicate failing infrastructure)

“In a blender”
that’s the breaks breaks
off in the middle of a call should

Perform the movement
backward (prose to index) (roof buckled porch covered with rather neat and thoughtful language okay graffiti in green pen. “Bottom Life” and the verb “Free” in front of various names: “Tyrone,” “Jeff,” “Lee,” “Chris”…)

“You can’t be sure what kind of people….”
code for the cold certainty of the speaker’s

Should’ve reformed should’ve been a reformer
fast forward to assist the quest

Blinking rapidly (title to indicate lack) look

Leaping around the room to make the cracked glass
in the windows tick and the warped floor shudder

Had been standing too long too near
the speakers a churning senseless
war in our ears


Said coulda been coulda you yeah you
with the cell held like a shell to your

Everything as if under water

Hello whoever you shill for tell them
by the time you get here I’ll be a number


First appeared in Upstairs at Duroc # 11 (Spring 2010)