plush degrees, said the cow, wrap the fees
Mouthings by Tina Bass
A book of talk.
6" x 9", jacket-hardcover binding, cream interior paper, 60 pages. £8.96 plus £3.50 p&p.
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Mummy: It means that something has a hole all the way through it, like a straw has. Can you think of anything else that is hollow?
Owen: A bunny.
Mummy: A bunny?
Owen: Yes. A bunny that's been shot by a bullet and the bullet has gone all the way through and left a hole.
and developmental origins are left behind in Tina Bass’ fleet set of
scenes cut from conversations with her twin sons covering just over a
year. Speech which seemed to the poet worth archiving becomes art-action, a
journal which opens at the threshold of state schooling and continues
onwards. Coming across these tiny exchanges of power, acquisition,
socialisation and play, I read them in unravelling ways: as pieces from
a sequence of conversation novels which were somewhere splintering and
unifying; as the unsystematic studies or emblems of a parent; as an
investigative diagram of articulation. What is it that’s emplotted here? (editor Edmund Hardy)
Statement from the author:
the 6th September 2006 I wrote down a short conversation that I’d had
with my two young sons. I posted it onto a MySpace blog and two weeks
later recorded another, and then another; until it was suggested that I
gather them into a book.
had been aware for a quite some time that I was doing more than
recording the words of my children. Obviously the records serve as
memorabilia; the preservation of which will demonstrate to Leon and
Owen that their mother was paying attention. Each entry can be viewed
as an item in the memory box, placed alongside the first baby-grows and
the envelopes filled with milk teeth.
a female writer, writing in a way that foregrounds motherhood, I
believe that I have also been articulating something of the unsaid
feminine. I have recently been guided to Mary Kelly’s Postpartum
Document and have been fascinated by her passion for illustrating ‘the
collaged life of women who choose to create and procreate’. That
particular work has been critiqued by many but it is when Mary
describes the Document as ‘the rationalisation of a difficult
experience’ or compensation for giving birth and losing control, that I
find myself smiling and releasing an exuberant ‘Hear, Hear’.
27th September 2006
(Owen has struggled to drop off to sleep since he has started school. Leon rarely takes longer than 1-5 minutes)
Owen: 'Cwab' starts with 'cuh', 'koala' starts with 'cuh', 'starfish' starts
with a 'duh'
Mummy: Owen, it's time to close your eyes and go to sleep now. It's late.
Owen: I can't sleep because I'm thinking.
Leon: Owen. YOU. JUST. CLOSE. YOUR. EYES.
currently lives, works and studies in the Midlands of England. With the
support of Lawrence Upton and Martin Holroyd she has recently had two
poetry chapbooks published: Mechanical Expressions (Writers Forum, 2007), and Fat Man Dancing, (Poetry Monthly Press, 2006).
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