The last installment of Anne McMillen’s Mind Static chapbook series has finally arrived, and is well worth the wait! The third volume continues full stride from the onset of its first poem, The Collective Consciousness: “really, it’s just the same old bitch / about how no one / wants to be wrong / or on the receiving end / of the dick. /One less breath I’ll ever / have to take. Nearing the photo finish / there is nothing sadder than acceptance of second place. / a general loss of the will to fight… / but, / but, / don’t fight the tide / you’ll only drown faster.” Mind Static as a whole has been a useful glance into the viewpoint of another and at the same time speaks volumes in respect to quality of life and society. At least, that is one view-point considered by this editor when reading literature and Mind Static has been a curious, artistic and powerful voice in this aspect. Consider the books second poem, The Unnatural Life: “eventually we’ll have / wires to replace the veins / that go old and bad. / Reheat our reheatable food. /Slap the tray in the electronic therapy machine ./ Sit to watch it spin. / Meat made from soybean. / Killing cows is inhumane / but if you live in a country / with valuable resources / your life is expendable. / Exploiting the third world / at the expense of this countries impoverished. / Love and cherish peace / by war waging / in the name of it.” Other notable poems included are “Art is Against Life” in which Anne writes about the state of art, calling for a rebirth at the hands of its destruction, and “Purpose of How I Write,” a lesson in attracting readers: “We could play pictionary / with torrents from a florid vocabulary / but you deserve / the slideshow / sideshow. / Torture in small increments / that propel quickly. / Fast enough / to ignore when you / leave the building. / Miniature black holes / to peak through / at what I am living in / on the other side of our / universe.” $7 + S/H.
Mind Static is a phenomenal, brutal and honest analysis of the life and times of Anne McMillen. It’s gritty, it’s shocking, and hard to put down. The first two in a series of three chapbooks, Mind Static grabs daily life of norms by the head and sends it through a grinder meshing everything into chaos, confusion, and contemplation of sordid images and poetic narratives spoken plainly in easy to understand and cutting language. From childhood on, the first volume examines the earliest years through the development of free thought and independence. This excerpt from the poem Mome is an excretion of poetry about her mother in all its brutal profundity, “Junk stained /in her prime, /she covered herself in steel after having / endured facial cancer’s torture. / How would you like / to have had / gone from prom queen / to missing your cheek bones, upper palate / and having your “teeth” hang from a hook / that was attached to some plastic shit / where your bones / use to be? / I never really knew her, she checked out early / before nursing homes / ever got involved.” The second volume of Mind Static is darker, more cutting, more jarring than the first! Life eviscerated by lost love, dreams and the waking nightmares of coming of age. Take, for example, the poem Our Relationship, “expendable. / isolation bliss. / pain is easier to comprehend even when / it’s faked. / you’re another whore reduced from horror. / we all deserve / a person / who will throw themselves away / in our name. / you can play jesus, / i’ll play the nail. ”
Mind Static is an observation of the self as much as society, these poems slice at it’s fabric. A collection of sobering yet insightful poetic anecdotes and narratives with inserts of wit and mental coital interruption make for a blood thirsty read into the savage landscape that Anne McMillen gives readers in her seminal collection, Mind Static! $7 Each. Watch for the final volume in March! Cover art by Michael Aaron Casares.