i was left wondering
if the sunlight would ever make it
through the keyhole
if i would ever hear voices again
– from “sundown over shadowlands”
We all have a narrator. Some of us hear the voices of everyone they’ve ever met. Some, hear only their own. Some drown from within their own negativity. Some will always or only or unfortunately, hear the terrible words and the voices from whom they came. Narration is essential, but sometimes the voices we need come from those we need to love us the most.
Paul Robert Mullen’s Disintegration (Animal Heart Press) is a study in communication. It’s a look at the power of words – even when they fail you. It’s the idea that maybe if one could be anything other than a poet – like maybe a bird – they should still be a poet. It’s the notebook of words you can’t remember or won’t dare to write down. This chap is full of what mother says, and the words of those who “have no poetry”. This is a reminder that “people who / tell lies never prosper,” until you’re taught that “truth / amounts to nothing / but pain.”
Mullen just wants communication – in a more corporeal sense than they may have already. They just want someone to know that they believe in you “because you believed me / you said when I asked you / why me // I’d never felt so alive.”