Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
the alphabet of deseret

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she floats away from me
a leaf from her tree
if she were a statue
she would be greek

flesh object flesh object
i believed i had formed & unformed her
as she is greek i am latin
as she is epic i am ode

the five children in utah
the five wagons assembled around a fire
the five best letters from the alphabet of deseret
not greek
not latin
not dane
not scot
fixed does not mean immobile:
it is the absolute state of movement
as well as rest
from which all relative speeds
and slowness spring
and nothing but them

there is an oldest girl
sometime nanny
sometime mother
experiment in form

plunging greens into cold water
my ritual of greens
slivering the leaf
away from the stem
chopping the stem and broiling
stirring the leaf into the stem
only for the last ten minutes
the serving of it all
while the oldest girl watches--
it is all in the serving
but especially in the plate
against the wood
and the warming
of the plate before
the food offers itself

a thousand plateaus
five children
mountain children
cult children
the children of my youth
who took my youth
and gave me my youth
and now

i tucked them as tightly as i could
into tiny handcarts before i left
do not go do not go do not go
i wanted to follow the oldest girl
you should not
but i tucked them in and left
and the five are gone--
changed into a four and one

i am a leaf i am a tree i am a thousand branches

Italicized text from A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Gauttari, translation and forward Brian Mussami; University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2000.

Lara Candland’s book Alburnum of the Green and Living Tree was just released from Blaze Vox. Her work has appeared in many journals, and her pamphlet, Tongue Child, was published by the University of South Carolina’s Palanquin/TDM series. She is a founder and the librettist for Seattle Experimental Opera, and a finalist in the Genesis Prizes. Her opera, Sunset with Pink Pastoral, with husband and composer Christian Asplund, was performed by Almeida Opera in London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Candland is the mother of five children and will be sending her second child away to college this fall.

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