Tag Archives: prose poem
Thanks to Kathleen Kirk for inviting me to have some work featured in Escape Into Life. I have a poem from When Kerosene’s Involved, and two new flashes. One is about baseball. The other is about words. Does it get any better?
I know most of my Facebook friends don’t read my blog. Heck, most FB friends don’t ever comment on any of my posts (HUGE appreciation to those who have done so and continue to do so.). I’m cool with that. According to my WordPress stats, even less of my Twitter followers read my blog. Okay with that, too. But some of my blog followers regularly check this place out, and have even left a comment. So… because this blog has served as a literary evolution of sorts for me, I want to let you know that my second book (which may come out before my first book) can now be pre-ordered here, here, here, on Amazon. It doesn’t come out until March, but I want to let you know before I do the whole FB, Twitter, tumblr, etc. thing. It’s called When Kerosene’s Involved and it’s a book of prose poems. I wrote most of the poems in the book from fall of 2010 – summer of 2011. Thank you to those who pre-order it, and thank you for your support. I never intended to write a book, but feel quite accomplished and thankful.
author of Romancing Gravity and
When Kerosene’s Involved 🙂
Something for me to think about (via HTML Giant) as the new year approaches and both my books come out. One of them is already available for pre-order through Amazon, but I haven’t hyped it up yet. I will let you know when the hype begins. But since you follow my blog, stumbled upon my blog, or perhaps even stalk my blog, you’ll buy my books, right? Won’t you?
Poetry. Surrender the sweater vest, lose the loafers, pop the collar. These are not your grandfather’s prose poems. Nor are they your father’s. They belong to a new generation. A generation that values poetic craft, fresh language, and images that burn. These prose poems maintain a controlled, consistent voice, despite the many colorful subjects explored. Fairy tales go awry, pop culture is pimped out, lovers take leaps of faith that can only end in injury. Surreal worlds and crisp words create an artful violence that’s vital like oxygen. The voice of these poems commands your attention. He walks up to you, looks you in the eye, and punches you in the gut. And you are winded, and you look at him, and he simply walks away. And you realize, you liked it.
Choose a subject. While your poem does not have to project a moral to a reader, it should say something. Pick a topic that makes you feel something or that you have an opinion about and reflect your thoughts in your poem.
Outline a strategy. How are you going to reflect your thoughts? If you plan to use the helpful tool of figurative language, jot down the metaphors, similes, images, allegory or whatever tool you plan to use before you begin writing your poem so that you have a clear picture of how that device can be used within your poem.
Decide how you’ll structure your poem. This can change after you’ve written your first couple of drafts, but choosing things like stanza length and line length will contribute to how succinct or detailed your voice will be, though in a prose poem, these things can change at your leisure. Also decide what you’d like the spine of your poem to be. The spine is the final word in each line extending throughout the poem. While readers will not stop reading at the final word in each line, those words will leave an impression on the reader’s eye.
Write your first draft. Forget the rules in form you learned with rhyming and metered poems; this poem can have whatever form you decide for it. The most important part of writing the first draft of a prose poem is to experiment. Writing a poem is not like writing a book; it’s a short process with many expected rewrites that don’t take an overwhelming amount of time. Try things. You can always get rid of them.
Set your poem to the side. The tendency for writers is to want their product to be finished as soon as the first draft is completed. Few parts of this process are as important as ignoring your poem for a while — for days, even — and returning to it later with a fresh perspective on your work.
Read the first draft of your poem. Decide if the material with which you experimented actually worked. Your poem may be prose, but it is still a short piece, so tighten up your work where you can. Avoid superfluous text. The tighter a poem is, the more a reader is likely to read it to the final word.
Show your poem to a peer. After they’ve read, ask them if they immediately noticed some of the ideas you attempted to portray through figurative language. Complete this step with an open mind; not everyone is going to love your work.
Edit your poem until you feel comfortable with a finished product. You will likely need to make a few adjustments, then spend a couple of days away from it, and repeat this process until you return to your poem and there are no adjustments you see necessary.