Thursday, February 15, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Prose Poetry

Well, first of all, let's sing a little "Happy Birthday" to Poetry Thursday. The are a year old today. What a challenge they put before all of us. (not nearly as bad as the mathematical proof)
Write a prose poem. I looked through my writing, thought of writing, and then decided to tried revising a poem I wrote over ten years ago. It was inspired by the vigil being held for Nicole Brown Simpson on the anniversary of her death.
Day Five

Oncoming traffic prevents her from turning left. She loses time. She loses place. She is the dutiful pupil remembering to look left, right, and then left again. Courthouse looms ahead but this is not her destination. She sees the temporary clothesline. More tee shirts line the stairs leading to the courtroom doors. She pulls over, stops the truck, jumps out. She needs a closer look, yet trembles as she walks toward the scene. Are you still hitting? After twenty years I am at peace I cannot take it anymore I live but my mommy does not
Tee-shirts flap as the wind whips them around. She loses time. She loses place. She weeps and flinches as the hand rests on her shoulder. “Would you like to make one?”
She takes a tee shirt and the pen:
When will it end? Her tee shirt flutters free. She wonders who felt violence during this brief, peaceful vigil.
As originally written:
Day Five
Oncoming traffic
she decides not to turn
left until 13th
at Franklin
She is the dutiful
school girl remembering to
look both directions
sees the
courthouse
a clothesline of tee-shirts
flapping
lining the stairs
She stops the truck
jumps out
are you still hitting?
after twenty years, I am at peace
I can't take it anymore
I live but my mommy doesn't
unaware of the time
a hand rests
on her shoulder
would you like to make one?
She takes the tee shirt and the pen
when will it stop
two clothespins her tee shirt
flutters freely
who felt violence during this
peaceful vigil?
For more prose poetry, visit Poetry Thursday.

11 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

Very good. I was with her all the time.

gautami
Ambrosial.

twilightspider said...

This is very moving - both versions. The little differences are interesting - they each provide additional insight.

Regina Clare Jane said...

Gosh, very powerful, Jone. I can't believe that was so long ago now...
I think the poem works well both ways...

Tammy said...

I liked them both but if I had to pick the second one had more umph:) What do I know ;) Excellent & moving!

DewyKnickers said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

I like the second one also, I like the images of the clothespins and the tee shirts.

Remiman said...

Jone,
I like the prosefying of the poem...for me it sped along until the end where it slows down and says:When will it end? Her tee shirt flutters free. She wonders who felt violence during this brief, peaceful vigil."

Crafty Green Poet said...

Interesting to see the two versions. For me this worked better as a prose piece.

Rethabile said...

Which shouls we like? They are great. Each with its characteristics. Bravo.

chiefbiscuit said...

I think I like the prose better - but both work well - clever!

Mary said...

I too like the prose version better. Which do you like?

It reminds me of a t-shirt clothesline for victims of domestic abuse (including molestation and incest). People wrote on the shirts and I remember one specifically that was sewn shut at the bottom... to keep her molester out.

Your poem is very vivid and moving. The contrast of the clothesline and the fluttering is good.

whitney said...

Great poems! They are both very powerful.