Effective line break is a cornerstone of poetry in today’s writing classes. Editing plays a simultaneous part and subsequent close second in execution. What Mullen has made practice in Disintegration, is effective removal through the reader’s subconscious completion of the idea. Small pieces of larger ideas come together almost like things caught in glances. These fragments of memories create feelings in very subtle ways that somehow linger long after we have forgotten them.
“I think the title reflects the fragility of life. Things can disintegrate pretty quickly when your life is on a downward spiral – whether that is relationship wise or in general – though disintegration leads to rebirth and a fresh start. I wanted that to be a focus.”
Disintegration is, in definition and as this work’s title, a collection of small fractions of larger ideas. In Watching From The Window, Mullen intertwines this approach with large spacing of specific phrases. This causes a staggering dictation as each line is read, and often pays off because of the actual weight of the word when said. Other notable poems include Days, Barren, and the standout When The Hearts of Two Poets Break. “I’d like to stress that the collection is intended to be just as much a message of hope as exploration of disintegration” states Mullen.
What intrigued me about this work, was the very fine line between memory and the loss of it. Very often I felt as though the poem depicted a moment I was forgetting; frantically trying to remember the details to, as to savor some beautiful moment. In others I felt as though I was slowly remembering vague details, and a larger image was forming in my head from these references. When asked if he was worried that this ambiguity would lose the reader, Mullen responds confidently “I think poetry is the most ambiguous of all forms of literature…I think if you are writing for a readership you are not really exploring the depths of where you want to go. I write what feels natural…I don’t deliberately try to make it difficult for a reader, but I certainly don’t write for a reader either.”
To this, I respectfully agree.
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