Jonathan Carr

Response & Bio

1. What is the difference between a prose poem and a flash fiction? Flash fiction is a compact distilled piece of writing that follows all of the dictates (or lack thereof) that one would place on a work of fiction. It is an act of distillation. Of sparseness. Minimal strokes. A prose poem is often the very opposite. Where Flash fiction is a working down of a form prose poetry is an exploding up of a form, a release from structure, a star erupting, a channel run straight from the brain stem to the pen.

2. How do you define prose poetry? Pure brainstem

3. How do you define flash fiction? Firewater

5. My piece (desert) is a flash fiction, NOT a prose poem, because: It is a distillation of the fiction form. Minimalist presentation.

6. I refuse to designate my piece (desert) as a prose poem because: It is the exact opposite (see above reasoning).

7. My ff hero is __________ because __________My piece has no heros

8. What restrictions does pp/ff entail? Only those which the authors places on themselves

9. What are the conventions of pp/ff? To state the obvious? Brevity. Potency. Distillation.

10. Cultural critic Michael Benedikt suggests that "there is probably a shorter distance from the unconscious to the prose poem, than from the unconscious to most poems in verse." In what ways do you think this is true? less structure/ les strctre/ le stcte/ l sce/ se/ s/

11. The prose poem, in the very least, is "an alternative mode of articulation." Do you agree or disagree? Dot dot dot

12. Robert Bly suggests that the prose poem is more "democratic" than other forms of verse. He argues that verse written in traditional forms are all about "control," and in a way reinforce human being's supposed domination over chaos. The prose poem, Bly suggests, in contrast, is the form that best expresses 20th century ideas of democracy in the sense that it is concerned with sensibility and intelligence, as opposed to order and power. To what extent do you agree with Bly's assessment? I think it is typical Bly to apply or overlay political concepts to poetry... of course correlations such as these can be drawn. It is the bread and butter of academia... I'm not sure of the relevance to my writing. I speak for no one else.

13. Frederico García Lorca writes that the duende is a power and not a construct, is a struggle and not a concept . . . (it is) shadowy, palpitating, is a descendant of that benignest daemon of Socrates, he of marble and salt, who scratched the master angrily the day he drank the hemlock; and of that melancholy imp of Descartes, little as an unripe almond, who, glutted with circles and lines, went out on the canals to hear the drunken sailors singing." How does a pp/ff provoke the duende? Let me say I like question number twelve a whole lot. It reads so well. Duende. Duende. Duende. I am interested in publishing it in magazine minima. I'm not kidding man. Email me.

14. Reading a pp/ff is like biting into a York Peppermint Patty for completely opposite reasons. And exactly the same reasons all at once.

15. How long is a flash fiction story? As long as it needs to be while retaining its potent quality, while remaining distilled. Which means it could be war and peace as long as it remains potent. If such a thing could be theoretically accomplished. This is a point of utmost importance.

16. In Adagia, Wallace Stevens writes, "Poetry is a pheasant disappearing in the brush." What is a pp/ff? Well, off the top of my head. Prose poetry is a television being ejected through the front windshield of a car as it is struck head on by an oncoming bus full of nuns on their way to a knitting convention. Microfiction is a clam shell lost on the beach. One that no one will ever see. One that will never open. One that will spend the day being lulled by the waves. Plain and gray as the sky and the water and the sand. And inside the clam is the key to a safe full of vividly compromising videotapes of the prime minister of Luxemburg (if there is such a thing. A Prime Minister of Luxemburg that is) and believe it or not that was off the top of my sick little head.


Jonathan Carr is very busy these days. He is the Director of New Media @ Web Del Sol; he is the editor of Magazine Minima, a journal of microfiction; he is the editor of 07(group) a journal of New Media Art at Web Del Sol; and he is editing for the publication Rivendel. His multimedia art, fiction, and poetry, have recently appeared, or shortly will appear in: 3amMagazine, The Del Sol Review, Poems that Go, In Posse, Double Room, The Voyeur, Diagram, Minima , and Artifact. When not working on his literary pursuits Jonathan is usually maintaining a spartan existence via New Media/Web/Print Design. He occasionally breathes but rarely sleeps. Much of his work can be found on his website:

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