Laura Mullen
VERSION notes Re: Verse
(Tense: tension / Verse: version)                            (page 2)

(Version): D=I=V=O=R=C=E

I had two fathers, three or so mothers, and, along with my one brother, two step-sisters (briefly), and the addresses, up and down the coast of one (never still for a single moment) ocean, morphed. I’ve lived in eight states working a bunch of differing jobs as well as the “same” job at a lot of different Universities. All of this is not unusual for our moment, but it seems necessary to acknowledge the way the effect of these alternate versions undercut the on-going barrage of propaganda insisting that a singular way of being (straight upper middle class nuclear and so forth) is not only still possible (is it? Is it?) but best. “I want the white picket fence,” someone I was in love with said (ah, and I lost track of lovers)—which, I understood, let me out: I could see the child’s drawing with its isolated house and single tree and the little stick figure family holding hands… Meanwhile (wheehew, keep your head down) the so-called “poetry wars,” the noisy clash, that is, of mostly white and entitled factions over questions of representation (and recognition) while a vital performance tradition evolved in a population still mostly “at risk” and “underserved.” Slowly a change, slowly slowly a change insofar as (as Gertrude Stein says) “each generation has something different at which they are all looking.” A colleague, a scientist, works on birdsongs, noting the way they change—over time—to reflect and describe a changed environment. And from here the layered versions of the avant-garde can be seen as catching up denied or side-lined aspects of former impulses: traditions plural, singing post-modern’s just another word for post-colonial. The poetry I write comes out of my experience: what I feel, what I see—fighting its way to arrive through the “no,” struggling with what I’m told I ought to feel or see.

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