Sunday, December 4, 2016

In This House by Charles Campbell

This post is from part of Charles Campbell's performance text In This House, originally published in Issue 9. To read the whole thing, check out our website at

I will be publishing more things that we have previously featured in the magazine to lead up to our deadline and hopefully inspire you all!

As is frequently the case, the formatting is somewhat different on our blog than in the magazine. Yet another reason to check out our website and look at past editions there!


There is no family, but these relations are present and taught.
There is no familiarity, the rooms continually change their functions.
Rooms are gaping holes into which people disappear, and out of which their shadows emerge.
There are walls that serve as conduits for secret communication between strangers.
There are stairs from which people throw themselves in a bid for suicide, or in surprise attacks.
There are light fixtures that serve as gallows and signposts.
There is no welcome mat, the threshold is a barrier and a border.
The doors are barricades, weapons, boundaries and escape hatches.
The people do not live here, they perform a series of shifting occupations.
There are no battle lines, no armies, no command posts, no bullets or bombs.
A human presence is a tactical maneuver in a struggle for space.
It is placid. The newspaper has been read. Sounds of cooking from over there. Television on upstairs. The table has been cleared. Bags are on the floor. Soft footsteps on the stairs. The bed sheets turned. Voices in the street, arguing over a piece of furniture.
Chairs, food, matches, newspaper, a rug, a table, a light bulb, toilet paper, the mail.
Movement across the floor, sounds from the other room, light under the door, tapping at the window, knocking at the door, sitting across the table, hands on a coffee cup, coming in, going out, sitting alone in bed, eating together on the way out the door, looking out the window, peering in the window, watching the walls, talking to the television, cooking for one, sleeping on the couch.
The boundaries between outdoors and inside are unclear, bits of each appear in the other.
The everyday gestures of the home are repeated, but emptied. Their mundane utility replaced with the strategies of the greater world.
Sounds and language float against a heavy silence. The meeting of two individuals is rare, strained, dangerous, and weighted with tactical considerations.

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