Laura Mullen

"In her eighth poetry collection, which nudges the edge of memoir, Mullen excavates the past in the context of exploring the intricate relationships among experience, memory, and expression. For Mullen, “memory makes us each our own guest/(g)host,” and, in focusing on narratives that resist psychological resolution, she deploys an array of literary techniques to reveal the myriad troubled ways we inhabit our selves."
--Publishers Weekly
“Enduring Freedom [is] a galloping great read, a page-turner, and dazzles with linguistic mischief and wit... I am thrilled by it.”
----Hazel White
Murmur collects an astonishing array of stories into language as a terra incognita occasioning the uncanny and always troubled confluence of the subject, the bodies it inhabits and the linguistic remainder. Mullen animates narrative at the level of its basic semantic pulse. Never since Beckett has the unnamed been so chilling...”

--Steve McCaffery
"Solid and brave and relentlessly inventive."
--Cal Bedient
"A brilliant, utterly original, fully realized work that wickedly out-tropes horror's cliches and devices.... wonderfully immediate, making an exaggerated, rollicking introduction to many of the pre-occupations, rhetorics and methods of experimental poetry."
--Publishers Weekly
"There's a rigor and intensity in Mullen's search for truth that often take her to breathtaking lengths." --C.K. Williams // "Accuracy of spirit and ferocity of intelligence prevail...This is thrilling and exacting work." --Jorie Graham
"Laura Mullen proceeds from near void into a powerful reconstruction of self…After I Was Dead is wildly versatile formally, restlessly roving from verse to prose to epistle and back."—Boston Review

the booklog

Notebook scatter 2009 (May Dec) (mostly Dark Archive notes)

April 14, 2013

This is a book without imagination in it. Or, the only imagination in it involves a certain inventiveness with structures—a gesture toward the failure of other systems of containment (memory, etc): what is invented here marks an absence, functions as an acknowledgement of loss.

Admit failure, I wrote, start from that place…

Dedication: “ to those who, in their time of need, have been renamed” or “have been given nothing—except a sweeter name.”

Is there ANYONE here who hasn’t declared their “commitment to excellence”?! Do it now, get it over with…

The split between the page you read (this page) and my writing (2009) then typing (2013) it—the intervention of time. The secrecy of the process (I think it’s secret). These notebooks, all that time… Days of silence. Lines scrawled on a page. Avoidance and shame and pleasure repeated to dullness and the increasing pressure to “write” which is to produce some evidence of “writing.”

The method is not the subject or is it / it is shaped by

Ways we frame the world determine how we respond to it. Keep breaking the frame in search of the most fluid most present response.

Learning to listen to the quality of the mind itself—to listen for capacities and the resistance of limitations.

To learn to speak—to trust the exposed mind. To trust, and then to worry or fret about what is thrown off scattered given away—oh why not? You must… And yet and yet—what’s given away seems worthless.

(more…)