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Three Prose Poems

Sharmistha Mohanty

‘And the evening wind from over the sea makes that threadbare self billow like a tattered sail, all that resisted it now become the air on which it rises.’

Song

Silvina Ocampo

‘Oh, nothing, nothing is mine. / I am like the reflections of a gloomy lake / or the echo of voices at the bottom of a blue / well when it has rained.’

Biographical Detail

Ángel González Muñiz

‘The cockroaches in my house complain because I read at night’.

Two Poems

Hoa Nguyen

‘I wrote ‘valley’ when I meant ‘longing’ / Your laugh a river A trout kind of green.’

A Meeting of Minds with Henry David Thoreau

Andrew Motion

‘What am I doing here more than looking – / which I would stop / only to help things through their vanishing’

Never did amount to anything

Dorothea Lasky

‘Hi there, dear sister, I’m sad / But here to tell you / That you never did amount to anything’

Linked

Ruth Ozeki

‘old poems, like polished stones, / tumbled words to break my teeth on.’

Pyjamas

Rodney Koeneke

‘Lover, does it matter / how the river spends its glitter’

The Common Cold

Laura Kasischke

‘But here we are again, you and I, the / two of us, tangled / up and biological.’

The first resurrection

Laura Kasischke

‘The moth locked up all / winter in the strongbox.’

Revelations

Ange Mlinko

‘I think of this when raising my eyes / to a filigreed cross in a sanctuary‘’

Ange Mlinko | First Sentence

Ange Mlinko

‘I rediscovered the efficacy of meter (or the ‘contrast between fixity and flux’) when I was stuck in a shark tunnel with my kids and was afraid I was coming down with a panic attack.’

Passing Place

Helen Mort

‘Stall here and let the world / go past, the way / the world well might / on heather-coloured days like this,’

Meeting the psychiatrist’s wife

Lorraine Mariner

‘The psychiatrist’s wife / has a dress the colour / of that bottle of claret / you shouldn’t have drunk / last night.’

The Burning of the Rocks

John Kinsella

‘What locked-away / state of unawareness, other life form, / brings desire to combust / out of rock exposed to flame’

Dilation

Ben Lerner

‘We need to harness the vaguely erotic disappointment that attends the realization you aren’t being followed.’

Blueberries

James Lasdun

‘I’m talking to you old man. / Listen to me as you step inside this garden’

How Long is the Coast of Britain?

Jynne Martin

‘It is the hour for farewells. It is the hour.’

Waterloo East

Lorraine Mariner

‘On one of those mornings / when I felt like resigning / from my life.’

Dog Days

James Lasdun

‘Blizzard died. I’m remembering / his limitless affection.’

Oak

Jamie McKendrick

‘When my father saw an advert in the Echo / for a big house at a peppercorn rent / he rang.’

sleeping far from home

Soledad Marambio

‘They told her a thrush came into the house / and fell asleep by the TV.’

The Sun in a Box

Caleb Klaces

‘When I was younger I drafted a memory. / I drew a rectangle on a piece of card / and called it a computer.’

We’ll always have Paris

Richard Meier

‘I’d gone there with my girlfriend of three years, / then left her three days after meeting you.’

Sunday Drive Home

David Masello

‘On the drive down the Taconic, / you sleep, your head sinks then snaps / up when it reaches some reflex angle.’

Fabric

Richard Meier

‘At midnight on our third and final date / I stepped inside her Edwardian conversion / to find a stripped-pine, bookless space.’

Dark Night

Ben Okri

‘On a night when my soul was damp / I found in the street a dark lamp. / The moon was cold and green, / The sky had a sinister sheen’

I had wondered about the signs of burning

John Kinsella

‘None of it made sense. The house shows / no signs – the old core of the house as it is now – / of fire, of giving up the ghost.’

A Spell For Going Safely Forth By Day

Jynne Martin

‘The hunter pushes a bullet beneath his tongue to fix his aim, / or is it to stave off his thirst?

Post-Elegy

Wayne Miller

‘After the plane went down, / the cars sat for weeks in long-term parking. / Then, one by one, they began to disappear / from among the cars of the living.’

Requiem

Jill Osier

‘I watch her help, / gathering the leaves to her like love, / hiding herself.’

Two Poems

Ivan Landzhev

‘My chess teacher / used to tell me: / ‘Play your own game.’’

The Easel

Sharon Olds

‘When I build a fire, I feel purposeful.’

In the village of the mothers

Vénus Khoury-Ghata

‘The wells are kept for the use of the dead who splash the / walls with their silence.’