Volume 2, Issue 8    |    ISSN: 1941-2908

My Suicide


          Is it universal wisdom? Romantic psychology?
          We shall never know, for the good reason that writing
          is the destruction of every voice, of every point of origin.

                              —Roland Barthes, Death of the Author

          I've just exploded, become an open mouth
          peopled with countless jabbering tongues.
          I'm already in that space where our subject slips away
          here where, ceaselessly, meaning ceaselessly
          posits meaning, here where god hates us because
          our words refuse to obey.

          It's this disobedience that removes me; the hope of its opposite
          is a step back into the trick of memory where we'll stumble
          again and again upon the same page, only to see everything
          has changed. As if reminding you that I once wrote:
          "Let's go to bed," or "This sock has a hole in it," could hope
          to make the words, the letters themselves, any more real.

          Try to understand why I'm doing this: Once I dreamt
          I'd become a voodoo priest and no words mattered.
          I was spirit-jamming with the Loa rider, taken
          so high, my body, tuned breathless, boiled beyond
          the music of my own skin and spilled over, a conduit
          of electric heat spanning earth and sky, us and them
          life and death: I can, I can, I can write and understand
          the words: "These hands of mine have done things
          I have and haven't told them to do."

          Of course there were others before me
          who claim to have felt the same way, some even more
          guilty; they interjected, ejaculated, made things
          abundantly clear: "O, gentle reader." "O, thoughtful reader."
          It was their job to tell you exactly how your heroes
          and heroines had to feel.

          Then along came Mallarme to change the subject
          and put you where I am by suppressing himself
          in our own best interest. Congratulations!
          You've been recruited. This is your poem now.
          See the periods swarm like gnats around the page
          as they begin to form your name.

          . . . meanwhile I'm diminishing, a waving action figurine
          with its plastic hair on fire, an echo, the negative
          imprint of something bright aching into blackness
          on inner screen of your eyelids.
          I no longer even exist once you read this.
          Or is it that I don't exist until this is written?
          Is this me talking to myself? Or to you? Or visa versa?
          I have no idea. Maybe someday we can figure out
          who's responsible for what over a few beers.

          Then, of course, I must admit: "All of this
          has been said and done before."
Did i assume
          to express myself despite my own intentions? How?
          These careful words can only signify infinities:
          all things and no things and each thing.
          My life imitates a book (one that must contain
          this very page) and I tremble at the fact that I am
          just a word which has been spoken and written before.
          Yet I am here, but I am not here
          and I can never claim to have told you
          anything you might believe with certainty.

          More important, though, is what you think.
          Apparently, you don't need to know if I've put
          certain words above
          certain words which are also above
          certain words for aesthetic reasons.
          The simple fact that you've noticed renders this point moot.
          It makes no difference if I wrote these lines
          dopey-lidded late one night, or at the early
          morning's sober table, my wife snoring
          softly in the next room. As we've made clear
          I may not even be unless you read this.

          And who are you, O, thoughtful reader, O, gentle reader?
          You are only space; you are just now born, yet your body
          is already mapped by the shape of these words.
          You are simply someone holding everything together:
          a child with both hands clutching the strings to a sky-full
          of helium balloons—balloons round like O's
          that can never burst or drift away. You are no one
          with no past, no desire, no mind. You are my cause.
          You are my destination. And you are perfectly free
          to tell us both exactly what I mean.

Matt Mullins is diminishing, a waving action figurine with its plastic hair on fire, an echo, the negative imprint of something bright aching into blackness on the inner screen of your eyelids. Despite Roland Barthes, he is currently alive and writing in Kalamazoo, MI. His other attempts at suicide have appeared in Slipstream, subTERRAIN, Descant and elsewhere. He thanks you in advance for reading this bio through to the end as he may not even be until you do.

copyright © 2008, Matt Mullins





      —Mystic Tryst


      —Chimaera Constant

      —The Baby is Safe

      —The Fisherman's Child



      —Faith, Hidden in the Hands of the Blind



      —My Suicide

      —A Comic History of Bullets

      —To Recover from Lightning, Etc.



      —Geographical Curiosities

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