Author: Christopher Mulrooney
Publisher: Budget Press, 2013
Rating: 4/5 stars
Christopher Mulrooney’s chapbook The Mermaid is as micro of a chapbook as it gets, containing 3 leaves folded in half for a total of 12 mini pages and 5 poems and drawings by Heather Lowe. Each poem includes a complementary drawing that is strongly female oriented towards the traditional siren—until the last poem, where the picture appears to show a merman—unless it’s purposely drawn to be sexually ambiguous (What…it could be a female with short hair and a crown with a somewhat triton object below).
Poems feature line sequences of 5-7-5s with mixed fours and threes in the middle. Others are a random line sequence that include nines, fives, sixes, or threes. They are extremely short with the longest being “voice of the Mermaid” written in nine lines. Narratively speaking, the poems discuss a movement of physicality and imagination, geared in emphasizing traditional views of the siren, that is interesting to read. The illustrations are creative and are well suited for Mulrooney’s words—I only wish that their print quality was a bit clearer.
Published by Budget Press, The Mermaid is a micro chapbook that could be improved in its presentation. Then again, the intention of this publication is for a limited supply…and not all limited supplies are equally created…so what should I expect from a publisher called Budget Press? I am digressing. Overall, it’s a creative read that is best read on an online platform. It should be re-printed (with permission from the publisher, of course) online! I would recommend reading Mulrooney’s poetry if you ever have an extra two minutes of your time and suddenly feel the need to read something fun.
About the Author
Christopher Mulrooney seems like a difficult guy to look up. This is what I found. if anyone has more information, please comment below.
Christopher Mulrooney is a poet, whose poems and translations have appeared in poems and translations in The Pacific Review, Loop, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Combo, Folio, Perihelion, Poetry and Audience, Frank, Poetry Salzburg Review, Quarterly Literary Review of Singapore, Tiger, and Renditions, among others. He is also the author of notebook and sheaves.