“Let’s say the wrapper was orange-yellow — the color of sunset on Galle Face Beach where you took me every Sunday, the color of the hibiscus growing by the tall iron gate of the last home I lived in with you.”
My favorite part of writing is learning the meaning of a piece on the long road between drafting and publication. This is partly why I hold onto pieces for awhile before submission. I wrote my latest prose poem, Let’s Say Your Arm is Long now up at Pithead Chapel, last summer. It is about my grandfather who died when I was five. My few memories of him are likely false ones. I didn’t know at the time that I was writing this piece to comfort myself but it has become a comfort: a sort of lullaby to myself; an elegy to him. Through it, I’ve come to know that mourning can be a way of continuing love, that your body remembers love your mind doesn’t. I realized writing this piece in the subjunctive mood made it possible to build a frame around a loss I couldn’t otherwise grasp.
The same summer, I wrote two other prose poems that I’ve come to see as part of one hybrid trio I think of as my “orange prose poems” as they all turned out to feature the color orange and to be about family and fracture. I’m happy to say the other two in the series are forthcoming soon. This first piece is the simplest and most direct work I’ve written in awhile. I’m glad it is out first as the next two scare me in different ways. I’ll post here when they’re up.
“Here are the sheets pulled flat on the bed we all share, vertical stripes, thin and thick, orange, yellow, orange, yellow.”
My latest prose poem Baby Picture in the new issue of Platypus Press’ Wildness, is based on — you guessed it — a baby picture. I wrote this last year before I was pregnant. It is about the distance between my father and me, which is a spot on my heart too tender for me to say more about here. It is surreal to have this piece published so soon after giving birth to my first child — a child who has my face; a face I inherited from my father. Read the post here.
“My eyes are shut, the insides of my eyelids are orange in the light streaming through. I’ve come to believe orange is the color of vast, unbroken love.”
My latest hybrid/prose poem, Cactus, now up at matchbook,is to my mind, the third in my loose series of “orange prose poems” as the rest of the piece troubles the opening quoted above and the entire series’ concept of family and unbrokenness. Read post here.