Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Devon Rae : (further) short takes on the prose poem

folio : (further) short takes on the prose poem




A prose poem is a room the reader enters. In that room, something happens to them. They sit at the table. They gaze out the window. Sometimes, they make themselves coffee or lie down on the bed. It is a quiet room, a closed room, a room visited alone. The last line is the door, and when the reader exits, it locks behind them.

I started writing prose poems in 2020 and became addicted to the form. My favourite book of prose poetry is Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein. I don't understand it at all, and I love it so much. It is like a fragmented dictionary of domesticity. Le Spleen de Paris by Charles Baudelaire is another book of prose poetry that deeply moved me. I remember reading it as a teenager – I loved the stranger in the first poem who was in love with clouds. Writing prose poems allows me to mostly avoid the problem of line breaks, which I find very tricky. It is a relief to eliminate one of poetry’s difficulties.



Conversation with My Menstrual Blood

I spill your ink, and it leaves a trail behind me, a trail others might follow, it spells messages in blood. The words you write are loss and grief. You toil each month for a child who does not come. You want to hold her close, you want to tend to her. But I give you just this emptiness to tend to. This lithic void.



Conversation with My Shit

You are marked by my interior, its twisted corridors. You lurk in darkness, out of sight, until I set you free, you touch water, light, you long for me to gaze at you. Which I do not, until I do, and then you speak to me. You say: rich, redolent, fulgent, lush. You speak in muddied tongues and loamy scents. And I say nothing back.






Devon Rae is a queer poet from Montreal who now lives in Vancouver. Her work has appeared in Canthius, Arc Poetry Magazine, SAD Magazine, Touch the Donkey, and elsewhere.

folio : (further) short takes on the prose poem




Gary Barwin ; Jay Besemer ; Heather Cadsby ; Maxine Chernoff ; kevin mcpherson eckhoff ; Anna Gurton-Wachter ; Jason Heroux ; Shane Kowalski ; Aaron Kreuter ; Alex Leslie ; Nate Logan ; IAN MARTIN ; Angelo Mao ; Sarah Moses ; Lori Anderson Moseman ; Gillian Parrish and Gene Pfeiffer ; Devon Rae ; Eléna Rivera ; Gillian Sze ; Vik Shirley ; Evan Williams ; Kim Fahner, Margo LaPierre, and Jérôme Melançon, Extroverted review: the book of smaller, by rob mclennan ; prior folio: twenty-eight short takes on the prose poem (March 2022) ; lovingly edited and compiled by rob mclennan,

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