Laura Mullen
VERSION notes Re: Verse
(Tense: tension / Verse: version)                            (page 13)


As I sit down to write this (freeway booming and a bird chirping nearby the sunlight going dim as the overcast thickens) the cat lying in the doorway (door open) to the balcony in order to look out I have a feeling I’m familiar with and sad about (or sad within): a feeling of emptiness, nothing to say, no hope. Not a ghost of a hope. Not a chance. Not a ghost of a chance. Not in a million years. No way. Forget about it. Not in your wildest dreams… And then the writing down of all the phrases I can immediately recall for this state (as of being bound with invisible ropes, “Bound to Fail,” as Bruce Nauman joked)—this feeling of the “no” that is also in the world and is not only a “thou shalt not” but a “shut up” and (worse) “you’re a problem” or even “worthless” (o, worm)…—becomes an end in itself, a little exhibit of phrases and, suddenly, lifts, distanced: ah, so this is what was said. Is said. Is sad. It. So what? Then the ropes writhe: You haven’t a prayer… and so forth, they rise and float there, the phrases, and, seen like that, they lose their force, can be eyed with a certain disgust or distrust. Exposed. These words, seen as words, are mine and not mine (present and yet still just the detritus of a past)—and the feelings they name (I’ve named) lose their power to constrict but not their power to suggest. Nope. Nuh-uh. Not a ghost of a ghost of a ghost…

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