• Vince Pruis

Poems Wrestling Format


--those are the beings which follow this paragraph, which I'm now wishing I would have written as a poem... I don't post poetry on my website often, partly because once a piece is "web-published," most literary publications will no longer accept it (and I value, immensely, perhaps too immensely, the readership (and prestige (and acceptance)) that comes from acceptance by a literary journal). Partly, though, the reason I don't post poems here is that I struggle to lay them out in the way I want them to appear. I can't indent lines or precisely control spacing. So much of my life this year, however---of all our lives this year---has eluded precise control, has lived in adjustment and new imaginings and negotiation. So much has called into question our desire for affirmation from institutions and industries and their definitions of perfection. So, following, are beings which wrestle with format, not only indents and spacing, but also the format for how I'm supposed to share and you're supposed to read, and they aren't especially groundbreaking or impressive, but they're a piece of my world that I wanted to share with you, with you, especially:




SWAMP SONGS

(& Screen Door Snippets)




VIRGINIA STORM

a magnolia hurricane---

bruised petals curved

like hips in the rain




A plant crashed and no one

listed the casualties:---

ladybug___ant___thin

hairs___the dent-petal of one

lady slipper... The garden

homes such casual death




The swamp reeks___with

__primrose and jasmine---

knots of wanted unwontedness,

a woven language of accounts:

Knot, Knot,______briar

Knot knot, Knot, the purple furl

______at the center scent of fern

Knot, not Knot, Knot, bare ankles

____, braided with chiggers and

mud. Hair knotted in vines, caught

as Absalom instead of oak and

vengeance, in the written language

of swamp___and___of__delight.




Turtles swirl off from the

deck beneath me, breaking

the surface to mate;

stacks, three deep, swarm.

I look away from their

marshy decadance, an or-

gy in the light.




JUNE & Ripples divine the pond's face


__MAY___&___Light dwells the swamp




3 O'CLOCK &

pink flowers---like

the pond portal's

door handle---float,

entrancing me,

& the heron ahead

---on my path---keeps

wading, patiently




REPETITION

(A bird flock frays the dusk)




I'm tided;--

a bowl tiding

with anxious

__with brim

____with graft-irises___in their yellow wilt

____in their almost____in their death-faint

swell




desolation a fine mist


or sauna steam which coats

______the lungs


or particles from

______the mines


_____________chicken dust

a thousand needles piercing

______you

like alpineglow's chilly

______companion


desolation like invasive lupine

smothering Icelandic hills


like "hello" at the wake

and trout listless in

______your listless gaze


desolation a metaphor

_____because you want


to write it unreal---to unreel---

_____to unhook the fish


of despair, to no longer

breathe it in, the desolation,

______that mist.



I enter the space

the wind avoids

I come into being

_______in gaps

I am lee____not

a boulder

___to insist upon

_______themself.




Do you ever get a word stuck

in your mind. like a chorus,

like a chant:

___________Glory

___________radial

___________worthless

___________tender

___________pain

___________divine

like a groove on the branch

that you grasp every dusk

on the cliff. like a chant, like

a chant:

_______Radial

_______worthless

_______radial

_______tender

_______worthless

_______glory and

_______pain, divine

_______(but only one at a time)

hummed over the coda beyond

the cliff. hummed like a prayer.

hummed

_______like words mean something,

like a sliver left humming

_______in your palm

___________________as you pray.




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© 2020 by S.M. Vincent Pruis