Released in fall 2017 from dancing girl press, Double-Mouthed acknowledges the collapse of the self that can accompany motherhood, adding images of construction to birth and motherhood, exploring the body, gender roles, family, writing, creation, destruction, and rebuilding. Double-Mouthed confronts what to do, what to write, when, through motherhood, the (unified, stable) self disappears (or, is discovered to have been a lie all along).
Praise for Double-Mouthed:
Callista Buchen’s chapbook, Double-Mouthed, is a ferocious exploration of maternal embodiment, of female body as self-aware intergenerational conduit, as contested space, as transformational shape-shifter between speaking subject and regenerative life-force, as liminal flux between self and everything/nothing. These strongly chiseled prose poems— where birth is both triumphant creation as well as a physical loss, where gestation is an intricate architecture and construction, and miscarriage a genetic haunting—sing a duet between binaries, and this fierce music will take your breath away.
–Lee Ann Roripaugh, Author of Dandarians
A poem from the collection:
We do the research. We hear the quiet, see the heart slow, vanish. For a while, we are made of words, of embryo, of viable, of wait and see. I am grief. I am double and half. I carry the dead body, which is better than no body. I can be a coffin. That easy. I want to push back the waters, the wave of blood staining the sofa. It floods out. That easy, like someone pulling a cord. Like opening the blinds. Easy. The clots, the bags of blood and tissue. It goes fast, too fast to brace. Too fast to hold. Too fast to find a face. Everywhere, wet. That easy. Hollow now. Pounding at my chest, grasping at my ribs. Rocking, prying. Open this container: Take, I am saying, then, take it all.
(first appeared in Atticus Review)