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Response & Bio Ever Saskya

Question # 5) Jamey Dunham states: “I write prose poems because I believe the form of prose instinctively lends itself to the techniques that most interest me in poetry.” What poetic techniques do you find most interesting and instinctive in the prose poem? Dunham further notes, “If one is to pull off what Bly refers to as ‘leaping’ in a poem, I think it is best to do so in a form that doesn’t accentuate the penultimate step or point toward where it will land.” How does the prose poem form enable this ambiguity that Dunham suggests. For Laurel Snyder, “the process of crossing genres (i.e. pp/ff)... changes the lens enough . . . (that it) feels really productive. It changes the slant, the assumptions, the way the work is read.” How does the pp/ff allow you to make this “leap” in a way that remains ambiguous and allows you to subvert previous assumptions?

I will answer the last part first and the first part last.


For me, the assumption about a prose poem has always been to speak the story/create meaning, while also possessing the ability to sound the story/tone as well as allowing the poem its own identity within an emotive of order. By order, I do not mean a standard narrative, which grounds the reader (I was parked at a red light on fourth street, the wind kicked around my car, blew through the trees, and then I compare the wind moving through the trees to my past failed relationship); I mean an undercurrent—not as easily identified as water, hence corridor/filling space—in the mind where we retrieve and are retrieved by sound & word and their ability to convert us. I don’t believe the reader must be grounded in our swirling and multiplying out, hence layering, hence the disaster of fluttering in our attempts/language. To denote pp/ff as a form is to give it an identity, grounding—explain the collage viewed as words on a page denoting this/that as a necessary designator. However, a necessary designator can also be the ability to call the text work, writing/linking, or the idea that each utterance of verbal art is the state of affairs, what is happening or going on [in that moment/the slit/ mind’s precipitation], the position. The previous italicized words represent one definition from the OED on form—not meaning poetic form—which I have misused deliberately because the end of the previous definition is the correct procedure. What I enjoy about prose poetry is the incorrectness that can be formed in how one chooses to style her/his prose poem. Also, the OED states [the form becomes a form]. When looking at prose poetry now, there exists form which is not form (in its most basic definition: shape, arrangement of parts). Each mode of breaking and shifting speech/sound, tone/hostile-free, defiance/the-wage-of-building-a–mountain-with-our-language creates a rift (in shape or arrangement of parts), while at the same moment engenders a work of threads.

Decoquere (to boil down) and Expanse:

The poetic techniques in the prose poem are a combination of decocting and expanding. Poetry attempts to heat apart—(often) break down/disjoint the assimilations into parts— what narrative often infers in expanse. The most instinctive part of the prose poem, for me, is the appearance of wholeness, which is not actual; this instinctive part allows me to disjoint and assimilate the parts into a heterogeneous work, created from fragments, which appears homogeneous; the narrative quality of the prose poem allows this assimilation to have expanse, and the disjointedness to adhere in pieces and present a whole/fixed space of utterance within the swirling.

To Leap/Draw Out/Draw Near

Where the poem will land is not up to the emotive of order only. For the writer to say afterwards: “here is my language (as if one possesses the ownership of parts)” in the swirling is to decide before hand that this: [and after the colon, one describes how the poem will be before one ends] has a presubscribed designator; all the precipitation falls by command and not from our mindscape manuscripts? No. That which is to be written is not already formed. That leaping is the product of interest and investment/desire, absent of the manner, method, way, fashion (of doing anything) . Leaping is breaking order/expectation and taking possession without controlling the emotive of order. Multiplying out, adhering to pieces, nothing fixed or whole at once but fixed as a whole at the unexpected end for the poet is the beginning for the poem.


Ever Saskya lives in Denver, Colorado. She is a doctoral candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Denver. Her first book, The Porch is a Journey Different from the House, was published by New Issues Press in 2004.