About the Poems
by K. Lorraine Graham
Mr. Billings, Ring-Eyed Liege, and Madame de la Rougierre were all budgerigars who passed away well before their time. Birds are incredibly sensitive to environmental changes--a healthy domesticated budgie for example should live to be 8 or even 10 years old. Mr. Billings, Ring-Eyed Liege, and Madame de la Rougierre, who were all so smart, tough, and sweet, were either not genetically healthy or were reacting to something unhealthy in their environment. So I don't live with budgies anymore because they're all born in factory-like conditions into a world that kills them slowly. Once you live with birds, you begin to notice birds everywhere. If the birds are dying, then something is wrong , because the health of bird populations mirrors the health of our environment. I'm ranting, I know. Let me talk about the other parts of these poems. Brecht's alientation effects are in here somewhere, I hope, as well as a hefty dose of suburban horror.
I've been reading and writing fiction, and reading poetry or multigenre work that features "characters"--Kim Rosenfield's Trama and R248 mgs., a panic picnic, by Susan Landers, for example. When I wrote these, my little sisters had just turned 5, and I'd recently been introduced to a friend's daughter, Hero, who is about the same age as my sisters. So Hero is my hero, and she's a composite of herself, my sisters, me, and a character in a Bertold Brecht play. Actually, I have no idea what s/he is--it's all very dubious.