Like Water




McMullin, Sheila

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Like Water is a dedication to women's and feminine experiences--social identifiers that are not always interchangeable. Much of the poetry in this collection focuses on medical trauma, discrimination, products of "health," and effect incurred when over-medicating and under-serving the body. A history of the use of medication and its consequences is a story I am attempting to unfold through a folkloric-style tradition. I work at evoking a sense of history while the reader feels fully aware of the present tense and contemporary surroundings. Similarly, I am interested in creation stories both in content and form. Several poems in the collection concern the expression of beginnings, although slightly twisted. Perhaps best exemplified in "Antumbra," form is constantly created and recreated in real time. The creation stories are physical and malleable. In a "completed" state these pieces will always ask to be recompiled, reminding the reader of the capacity for difference and awareness of alternatives. I do not necessarily believe in the "shared female experience" as some feminist theorists debate, but I do argue issues of commonality. I hope to represent unique experience through variation in voice and form. Female experiences appear to be similar, and yet teeter on the threshold of the socially bizarre. Women bust with multitudes, and often are shunned or quieted for acting as the complex beings we all inherently are. As part of the creation story, we are both evolved and displaced, feeling familiar and distant because of the unique lived experience. Building on writing the complexities of women's experiences within a framework of commonality, this collection also deals with the complexity of the written page. I employ Audre Lordes' use of intersectionality--theory taken from feminist studies--when producing a revolving text highlighting issues of inequality. Through these aesthetic variables, I hope to push the reader to surprising moments, feel them as confusing out-of-body sensations, then return to the text with awareness and understanding of another's lived and marginalized experience.



Poetry, Experimental, Feminism, Audio recordings, Women, Folklore