the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




WORK
BY CORAL HULL

GOLLUM

"Gollum is very old and very wretched.
Mordor draws all things wicked."

                                     Gandalf The Gray

To endure,
I would not expect you to understand.

I barely remember who I was or
the Hobbit-town I came from.

I do not know of you,
and nor do I expect any recognition
in return.

Simply,
I do believe
that you may carry with you
something that is mine

My preeciousssss ---

The tricksy path has brought us to the mouth
of doom.

It does what it has to --- yyeeessssss.

My gift. My own.

We wants it! We wants it!

No, not yet!
Soon, precious.

You must go this way now, must hurry!
It's a very cruel place, full of enemies.

Oh yes! Behold, the fire mountain,
Follow the withered road to Orodruin!

Understand the consequences.
…If you come any closer,
you will choose to live with this.


*

Good Master! Nice hobbitses!
Be kind to Smeagol!

I do what I have to do.
My path was darker than yours
from the beginning…

A shadow beneath every new leaf
that I turned over.

The sunlight never truly reached
into the ache of my heart,

before it was my turn to surrender
to the wormses and bugs.

Gollum, it said.

You are Gollum.

Wicked! Tricksy! False!

I tried - to be like you.

Frodo.

Ach, gollum, gollum, gollum!

I am sorry. I am ssooo hungry.

I am lost.

My preecioussss.

I am dust
that crawls.

Yes, we all end. My time was darker than yours -
that is all.

*

I kept the preecioussss in my heart.
At first I thought I could be like you,
chose to come and go when I had to.

But finally there seems no way out!!

Exhaustion and weariness
have claimed my senses -
have made me accepting
of this darkness.

How slowly did this happen?
Or how quickly!

My will
has perished.

The dead can see me.

They see Smeagol.
But I slither away
like fishes on rocks.
An old eel slips into
the forbidden pool.
We murders it, yes.

Gollum. Gollum.

I am lost.

There is no push, no reason
to continue, to prosper, to be
more than
I am.

The world has defeated me
like it was always meant to.

I was not assisted. Ach.
There were no friends.

Was this my undoing?
Was this the big plan?

Did I have my part to play?
Was I doomed from the start?

Was it poor judgment, bad luck, my fault?

I was not touched like you, hence my corruption.
I was corrupted, hence nothing touched my heart.

But there was another way, once upon a time.

Oh, yeesss. Indeed there is! Let us show you!
Smeagol is good, yes precious, always helps.

*

Slowly we becomes somebody else.
We makes all thingses complicated.

We frustrates. Oh yes. Oh yes.
Soft and quick as shadowses.
We pass into Cirith Ungol
in our little Elven cloakses.
Nice hobbits! Good hobbits!

Nasty moon, its hurts us. Ach. Gollum!
The hours are longer than days.

*

Sometimes we endure events
from which we never return.

I am not new to suffering.

It is my only gift.

I am quite prepared to
prostitute myself to evil
if I have too. And I've had to.

I have wriggled on my belly
and eaten wriggling things.

Yes, precious. Yeess!

It is my survival. It's what I do.
And I do it well.
I do it justice ----- Frodo.

*

Do you remember when there was once
that burning eye from within, that came
from nowhere and then it observed your
mind like a palantir and once you looked
into it, it sang the most notorious song?

Nice hobbitses. Good hobbitses.
Master(s) of the Ring!

You listened and were changed forever?
Just like Smeagol? Perhaps..

Do you remember? But no! Not yet.

You were lost, preecioussss, yeesss.
But Smeagol he understands…
He will make it better. Always helps.

*

Do you remember ---- those green days?

How they come whispering,

beneath the Misty Mountains in the rain?

Yet now they yowl and snigger.

Do you know what I have lost?
Do you have it still within you?

For I believe there is something
that you have brought me,

yeesss, something very preecioussss....

*

For I am that gift.

you carry to doom

that nightmare of existence.

*

You cannot know the places
I have inhabited. You do not
understand without judgment
unless you have inhabited
those same places yourself.

The only hint is in the glint of my pupil.
My silver tadpole eye that never sleeps.

There you may find that tremor, that
rotten desperation, sick with terror -
but most of all --- it is my desire that

…follows you.

*

Would there be heaven, if none ever fell?

For there will always be losers, Frodo.

Gandalf the Gray wizard was right ----
Gollum. Gollum.

---- forever the failure has a part to play.

You fight that darkness
but you fight yourself,

throughout the nights longer than winters.

Are you prepared for those odd seasons?

For it was already in yooouuu toooo.

It was the greater plan. Even faith
could not shield us from the truth.

For it was already in uuussss both.

*

I was merely the sacrifice, the other side
of the coin, on which
you stand. On which we all must balance.

We endure. Yet perhaps we don't…

This precarious comical predicament.

Good-bye, Master Hobbit.

And so I take back what is mine!!!!

We collide on the edge of oblivion.
But you let go of my gift too soon.
I taste your fingers. I turn to ashes.
This is my most precious moment.