loving gertrude stein
(winnipeg: turnstone press, 2004)
this collection explores the relationships i have had with major literary mothers mediated through my understanding of my own mother inez miriam pearl. i see and hear myself taking off for my one and only trip to paris in my maturity —in fact the raw sequence for this long poem was composed while i was on a return flight from vancouver to winnipeg—listening to stein and virginia woolf share what might have been a keen and gritty conversation for they lived in that extraordinary modernist century that has taken up residency folds of my own imagination. i adopt them. they adopt me. in the process of making this family for myself, i look for various correspondences in the way alice b. toklas and gertrude stein co-created and loved one another and in the way woolf entered my circulatory systems. i mull over paper weights and words, rifts between mother and daughter, moments of creative connection and discontinuity. sections within the poem frame and reframe how i have loved and carried these mother tongues which intersect and mentor my developing grasp of my own life in language, love, and loss.