Marthe Reed

Sustained and heightened

Laura Mullen on 'Complicated Grief'

Note: Laura Mullen’s Complicated Grief was published by Solid Objects in November 2015. Composed of eight sections, these lyrically unsettled and unsettling prose poems take the reader across multiple modalities of romantic/sexual love (or what passes in that guise), prying open the silence and shame of love’s aftermath, or its “complicated grief.” After a preface, “Demonst(e)ration,” Mullen begins in the immediate collapse of a relationship (or several), lovers coming apart, then moves to fairy tale as cultural premise and on to Jane Eyre, archetypal Little Red and Grandma, a harrowing memoir of molestation, the toxic revenge of Ms. Havisham the jilt, and, finally, the virulent grief of another jilt, Terry Barton, who set the Colorado Hayman Fire of 2002 that killed six people and burned 138,000 acres.

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