portion of the artwork for Sean Patrick Mulroy's poetry
Sean Patrick Mulroy’s Comments

“something I said”
As a critical thinker from the American South (and something of a snob), I’ve been known from time to time to shoot my mouth off pretty casually. Sometimes, gossip gets away from you—a salty joke in the wrong hands can grow and change into something really destructive, and seemingly unstoppable.

This poem started out primarily as an exercise in pastiche; one of my best friends and favorite writers, Rachel McKibbens, has used jealous lovers and sea creatures in a number of poems to make points about the female experience for years; reading those poems of hers inspired me to try and write about the masculine experience; I wanted to see what would happen if I tried to use the same tools to build a slightly different house. McKibbens is a true innovator, one of the best in the field right now, and I can’t tip my hat far enough in her direction, ever.

“warsaw zoo in times of war”
The giraffe in this poem actually walked out of a book called The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman; Cesana’s descriptions of her experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto allowed me the human window I needed to construct (with a nod to Dali) a piece about the surreal horrors of totalitarian rule.

“Hermes opens up”
A friend of mine named James Caroline has been toiling over a manuscript about the myth of Dionysus for a little over half a decade now. It’s depressingly brilliant. I myself grew up on Greek myths, and was really impressed by Caroline’s framing of a mythic figure within a modern romantic context; so I decided to write a little suite about Hermes, who’s always been the closest to my heart and panty drawer. For the record, dating a trickster is never, ever a good idea, even if they’re immortal.

I was at a Christmas party in New York City when word of Brittany Murphy’s death came via text. I’d always been a huge fan—I thought she had an uncommonly vibrant on-screen presence, that she was working a kind of classic Hollywood sex appeal, closer to Lana Turner or Rita Hayworth than Megan Fox or Jessica Alba. When I got home that night, sad and drunk on eggnog, I looked up some clips of Brittany and found this one: Brittany Murphy’s Last Red Carpet Appearance. I was heartbroken—she looked terrible, too thin, blank-faced, halfway incarnated. The two blank sonnets in this piece are based closely on the video; the shift that occurs at the beginning of the second piece begins at :57.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 36 | Spring 2012