In the Gun Cabinet by Mike Lala
In the Gun Cabinet is a multimedia poem by Mike Lala that blends oppositions with a mastery of language and trouble. The chapbook-length eponymous poem is theatrical in its starkness, pantomiming a danger that has ended and replays on loop. Here, memory is an indictment. Violence and whim walk the long path toward and away from place. Place is home or it is militant. One wears the uniform of birth or else the uniform of a soldier or else the uniform of a body, cock out and sentenced to wreckage.
Here, the gun cabinet rises as a monolith to annunciate a series of cruel family events, becalmed of violence as much as it is complicit with a violence. Embedded in this chapbook are screenshots of static, a dismantling of roles, an appetite for destruction, an interrogation of trauma, and a one-act play of self. Lala writes,
I was born, beauty ended
my appetite for destruction
cock out, tongue fluttering
under the pantry as it emptied
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Promo image by Tom Oristaglio.