Dark Angels’ Note 39
Welcome back to our writerly thoughts to distract, inspire and reassure you. Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..
At our gathering this week, we responded to Sarah Howe’s prose poem, [There were barnacles…]. Prose poetry is a genre that mixes up the lyrical and rythmical elements of poetry with the standard elements of prose, such as punctuation and no line breaks.
Try this exercise inspired by Danielle Mitchell.
Read Cecilia Woloch’s prose poem below. Next, write a postcard to a specific someone that captures a strong sense of place and a moment in time – real or imagined. Think of your poem as the image on the front of the card as well as the message on the back. Remember, a prose poem doesn’t have line breaks, but it does retain qualities of a poem such as vivid imagery and varied rhythms. Happy travels.
Postcard to I. Kaminsky from a Dream at the Edge of the Sea
I was leaving a country of rain for a country of apples. I hadn’t much time. I told my beloved to wear his bathrobe, his cowboy boots, a black patch like a pirate might wear over his sharpest eye. My own bags were full of salt, which made them shifty, hard to lift. Houses had fallen, face first, into the mud at the edge of the sea. Hurry, I thought, and my hands were like birds. They could hold nothing. A feathery breeze. Then a white tree blossomed over the bed, all white blossoms, a painted tree. “Oh,” I said, or my love said to me. We want to be human, always, again, so we knelt like children at prayer while our lost mothers hushed us. A halo of bees. I was dreaming as hard as I could dream. It was fast—how the apples fattened and fell. The country that rose up to meet me was steep as a mirror; the gold hook gleamed.
From Carpathia by Cecilia Woloch.
As always there have been some marvellous pieces of writing from the Dark Angels community.
The first time they met, all was diffidence.
Shy, you’d have called them.
They’d often been called shy, of course,
Were used to it. Still hated it.
The next time, still slow, but slowly,
They opened themselves like unfamiliar lovers,
Showing a little, then a little more,
Taking satisfaction in the conceal and reveal.
And now? Well, you’d struggle you would,
Struggle to get a word in.
Their unending, flowing conversation continues,
Will continue, pausing for no-one, till death.
Matt Simmons wrote this poem in response to Sarah Howe’s piece during our Tuesday night Zoom gathering.
Through the stained glass window
of this train I am looking past
excited sleet towards a moon
white cottage and its kohl’d
eyes on a pouting cressy hill,
ancient serpent’s hump back
garden sluthering into a steam
soft compost brothel, dripping
nettles. Today, everything is like
something else. The half-famous
entomologist in seat 46A says
a European rhinoceros is loose
in here. She means there’s a beetle
rattling about her display case
The two online Starter Days on March 3rd and June 9th are a great way to sharpen your skills and connect with other writers. Novice or seasoned pro, we’d love to see you there. Find out more here.
Dark Angels is now on Instagram. We’ll be sharing writerly whatnots, creative prompts and event updates. Hugs for following.
From everyone at Dark Angels
Also published on Medium.