2, From Catalogue of Utilities

2, From Catalogue of Utilities

by Laressa Dickey
Art by Christopher Allen


The siblings of the sun emerge from the mirror of the sky.

Powder, dust, run butterfly, and rain. The quarter turn of the nurse’s skirt she checks ears. Imagine hearing unhappiness become the clomping of frogs. Opens some door in another country with more frequent sun. Cows with names make more milk. Who can focus thoughts in this weather, if fire the measure of steadiness, build it. Catch no nap, if he’s napping. Her country the intruding persistence at her belly.  Take up indefinite words, cover. Say we made this, while sitting under blossomed tree outside the children’s cancer ward; it was a poem he spoke if I wrote it down.


- refer’s to “furious as trees go” in J.P. Dancing Bear’s “Spellbound”




  1. Don’t get me wrong: I love the poem. Its wording, imagery and cadences are wonderful. My only
    complaint (if you can call it that) is that it is described as a “prose poem,” as an amorphous category
    of poetry as one can imagine. I think it is a poem, a real poem, and, if cut into poetic lines, would be
    even stronger. Just because a poem is presented in a paragraph doesn’t make it prose in any sense.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment :) I’d be interested to know two things: how do you define prose poetry (or do you feel it is an invalid form?) and you like to show us where you could envision the line breaks?

    To me a prose poem most often occurs when the poet utilizes poetic logic versus narrative logic which I feel likethis poem does.

  3. Actually, thanks for the opportunity to have a discussion on poetics. To answer your questions, I’m not certain how to break the lines, which really wasn’t my point. What I was saying is that the paragraph form doesn’t make it a prose poem. In fact, I like the poem in its original form. And, yes, I’m not sure how to define a prose poem, if it exists at all. As to your point about “poetic logic” vs “narrative logic,” I think that is quite vague. Is the Iliad a prose poem because it has a distinctly narrative logic? And does Richard Cory, which, to me, is a kind of mini-narrative, become a prose poem? Really, it’s all very confusing, and I would rather not use categories at all. That’s good for academics. Laressa’s poem is what it is, and that means good.

  4. I actually wrote an article for Form 21 about the whole topic of prose poetry because I find it fascinating and oh so difficult to define.

    I agree that paragraph form does not automatically say to me prose poem but in this case the author specifically referred to the poem as such, so I trust their judgment especially since it didn’t read just as prose pretending to be poetry :)

    I guess I should have defined poetic logic versus narrative logic. For me, the prose poems I enjoy follow a poetic logic meaning they progress by the power of word to word or image to image rather than following a narrative or plot flow so often in modern poetry.

    Glad, in either case, that you enjoyed the poem!

  5. Wow! I love this photograph’s appearance with the poem. Thanks very much.

  6. Hi, Laressa,
    I’m equally wowed by your prose poem. Evocative.

  7. Currently it sounds like Drupal is the preferred blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  1. Pingback: referring to the other (stuff) | Stoney Moss

  2. Pingback: Referential Magazine | After We Kissed for the First Time (poem) by Carolee Bennett Sherwood - Referential Magazine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.