Holy smokes, it’s November. This is when I really began to panic. Not because of the holidays or shopping — we simply don’t participate that way — but because of what it all represents: the end of another year, the lightning passage of time. If you haven’t noticed, it’s speeding up. Someone needs to look into that — time’s spindles are wound too tight — what’s faster, time or the speed of light?

In an effort to take my mind off my rapidly aging self, I attacked the accumulating piles in my wee office. I found an old file folder beneath one stack, and within its pages of dreck, treasure: an older poem I haven’t been able to find (My computer’s crashed 3 times since summer, 2 times in spring, and although I’ve been backing up important items regularly, one of those times I lost the file containing most of my older, unfinished poems. Not a big loss for the most part.) which I’ve been thinking about.

It was one of those instances where you put the poem away, flawed but recalcitrant, until it bobs back up to the surface of your consciousness, and you can suddenly see its possibilities like little doors with glowing knobs. I love that.

Because what I ended up working on was a prose poem — a form that feels mystifying and ineffable to me — I’m especially interested in this new book from Firewheel Editions edited by Brian Clements and Jamey Dunham, An Introduction to the Prose Poem, and this review of it in the new issue of Cerise Press.

What appeals to the autodidact in me about this collection is that, from what I’ve gleaned in the review and description on Firewheel’s website, it attempts to offer some sort of understanding about what a prose poem is. Not to be definitive or monolithic about it, but to help the helpless (me!) gain more of a handle on what makes a prose poem a poem. Can you say? It’s harder than you think.

Thanks, everyone, for your kind thoughts and good wishes. Also mysterious and ineffable, but it helps, and I’m so grateful.

6 responses to “Squared”

  1. Absolutely love, ” flawed but recalcitrant, until it bobs back up to the surface of your consciousness, and you can suddenly see its possibilities like little doors with glowing knobs. ”

    Felt this way all weekend as I tackled i.e. revised three poems; one a recent one, the other a free verse “sonnet” from 2 yrs. ago ( I at least was able to get 10 syllables, the turn/volta, and the octave, sestet, etc. but rhyming, fuggedaboutit). The other I dug up from a pile & like you Marie, thought it completely lost … it was about 10 YEARS OLD! I totally eviscerated it and now, it is a poem I can be proud of.

    Thanks for the mini-review…I find prose poems ineffable also and I’ll make note of the book. Great entry today!

  2. Marie, I love “time’s spindles are wound too tight.” One of my ongoing issues is to learn to slow down and really LIVE. It’s hard.

    Also love the description of the poem bobbing back to the surface. Such a delight.

  3. i love that book.

    and i’ve been thinking about time, too, how it goes so fast now it frightens me.

  4. One theory could be that I’ve slowed down all the while time keeps going its merry same way.

    But I really think time’s at fault, that time doesn’t keep time too well anymore…

  5. Thanks for the tip about the book, which sounds fantastic. I’ve enjoyed catching up on your posts, but I’m sorry to hear about your fall. Hope you are healing. I share your concerns about November…the year is a metronome that keeps speeding up.

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