Saturday, September 3, 2011


Here's something from a poem in novels I'm writing called Eugene, OR. It's in progress, of course. Actually, I just spent the last hour writing it.

The Prose Poem

One night, when the moon was in the sky and the smell of wet grass clinging to the earth like a torn shift on the body of a drowned girl, the prose poem went down to the river. Behold me, said the moonlight! Beheld, said the prose poem irritably; only in truth this answer had less to do with the transcendental qualities of moonlight than with the darkness and uneven earth. We can assume there was a woman in it somewhere: not the drowned girl, we’re not talking about her at this point, but a woman, meaning a consummation. Something devoutly to be wished, as the prose poem described it while dipping its feet into the river’s edge. What do you mean “devoutly”, asked the moonlight? I mean devoutly, like on your knees and with your eyelids droopy, almost asleep. Your remember Sunday mornings? (Of course the moonlight remembered Sunday mornings) Well, there is a certain feeling that one gets, no matter what one’s spiritual orientation. There’s the left side of the sky looking bright and the right side dark beneath a quilt of clouds. Do you follow? Behold, whispered the moonlight, more insistently now (for it was nearly dawn). Behold, behold! But by this point the prose poem was starting to see it. You never washed my dishes, you never cared – or rather, you did these things, but without any of the sexually-suggestive aprons that men secretly expect from a lover. Your complaints became verbose, dead on, to the point that soon I watched you like a man watching his house burn down in the middle of the night. Literally burn, asked the moonlight? But the prose poem shook its head. As usual, he was getting tired of explaining himself. There are stellar bodies – stars, so to speak – and then there is this moon, this hole in the sky. The light drains through it until it’s all gone, at which point god takes the waist and turns, like this. Moonlight: Well, ok, that works, but now you've missed her. Prose poem: But I always miss her. That's what she loves about me. 

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