Leaves. A simple opening word that could take the reader in so many directions. But when bookended by a father’s words, “Today you left home as a young man, moving over a threshold and across the country to begin a new life. We will continue to see each other, and I’ll continue to have interests that distract me from your naturally less frequent requests for sharing time. Hopefully, though, I’ll remember that our play days are limited, and to say ‘yes’ for as long as we have us,” the mind goes to how many times you as a parent did not say yes or as child you were told no, not now, later, honey I’m working three jobs, or I’m completely exhausted.
At times intimate and others distant. A walk through memories of regret, pride, pain and growth as a person. A reminiscing on death, a death yesterday and one that will come tomorrow. A life dictated to by plane trips, call sheets, premiere sets and the next character, if there is one. The vague word love is detailed and made clear then fades to a drink on a plane and the relentless scrawl of a pencil. A cowboy hat reflection mirrors a psychedelic blur of red and sky. The vague connectedness of life is depicted through haunting text and images.
Yet there are images of past thoughts from books with shimmering and naked pool photos that seem to appear again for the author. Only this time the image is more complete: an antler shard or perhaps a shell – both of the same meaning – beside a bare foot with a red background. All three appear in one shot versus the prior publication where the three elements were individual distinct yet connected shots.
Images of the youthful exuberance of children have also been a theme in this author’s previous work that is again in this publication. But so too, the images seem more complete, unfolded and understood.
Grey photos of broken sidewalks continue the idea of a life sharding back together. Flip a few more pages to a shot of only a cracked sidewalk – at that moment life was not as broken as at other points in time. A half picked-over carcass furthers feelings of inadequacy and a broken heart. Flip over a few more pages and a conqueror-wanderer silhouette on a mountaintop was a brighter day.
Further than a moody look back on life, or look ahead. Rather deep ingrained memories of tarnished ideas of self are imparted into the reader’s memory. I Forget You Forever felt an emotional look into a person’s image of self – at times distorted and others honest – ending with white out images of unsure exposition juxtaposed next to green, sunlight and forest friends.
The motif of the work seems someone understanding decisions and consequences of life – and not being entirely satisfied with either. Mortensen’s work has matured, and maybe the author seems slightly embarrassed by it. Perhaps the most open and feeling work yet released by Mortensen, I Forget You Forever is a more sophisticated accomplishment than prior works. The words are full with subtext and clarity. The images flow without words. Male strength is unabashedly juxtaposed next to softer male perceptions. Meaningful qualities of life found root in exposition of character.
On The Web:
I Forget You Forever can be purchased from Perceval Press here: http://percevalpress.com/forever.html
Originally published in PCH Press © 2006 All rights reserved worldwide.
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