Laura Mullen
VERSION notes Re: Verse
(Tense: tension / Verse: version)                            (page 4)


Father / stepfather, Mother / two stepmothers, and then the several girlfriends (of one father) more or less “motherly” (in quotes) and, once, long ago, a couple of stepsisters. Beautiful. There and gone and then news of a death and the end of all contact. One brother, conjugating tenses of, seeking synonyms for, the verb to disappear. And to come back. I was trying to control my image: I was peering into the mirror. There was a lot of booze around (I come from two generations of could-be artists and can-do drinkers) and then there were the drugs. The absent grandfathers: one dead, one dead drunk; the grandmothers, one fair one dark as one version would have it or one fair one unfair. This is not an adequate description but I’m sorry you let me, left me, to write it. And who are you? “Those things you see when you’re stoned, you know…—behind your hand when you move your hand” “Tracers?” “Yeah, those…” Nude descending a…, no, no: in jeans and a flannel shirt coming down a steep road on a skateboard, the scraping drag of the wheels against the increasing speed at the turns and the turns (that rough whush, whush, whush) shortening as the velocity increases until… Pale hand in the air pulling its choppy train of translucent…”What did you call ‘em?” Whatever you were saying when you made the gesture stopped there now—“Did you see those?” Whatever was it you were saying—and what will you…now? A poetics is just like any other gesture: a sort of shell or a series of shells you create and crawl out of, away from, uncertain again and vulnerable.

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