Fan Letter: EJ Koh

Dear EJ Koh,

You made me appreciate the use of a turn in a poem. Usually, poetic turns can either succeed in creating abrupt twists or fail in conjuring such emotions.

You have most definitely succeeded.

Inspired by yours, I have now tried to use them in my own writing – both poetry and short story. I want to keep my readers on their toes just as you have done with me.

Also, thank you for my yearly service check.

Best Regards,
Vanesa

Mondays: Prose Poem

A prose poem from a series based on strange, graphic events that occur in this person’s life. 


The prose poem and I have a love/hate relationship. While I enjoy this form of poetry, as it resembles a story, it is also still poetry and requires just as much thought as any other poem would. Although I seem to struggle with writing such poems – I constantly walk away from them before completion – I am intrigued enough by the form and what I could potentially write that I return, over and over again, to start new ones or continue ones I had previously abandoned.

The prose poem is, according to dictionary.com, “a composition written as prose but having the concentrated, rhythmic, figurative language characteristic of poetry.” Poets.org also explains this type of poetry similarly: “while it lacks the line breaks associated with poetry, the prose poem maintains a poetic quality, often utilizing techniques common to poetry, such as fragmentation, compression, repetition, and rhyme. The prose poem can range in length from a few lines to several pages long, and it may explore a limitless array of styles and subjects.” 

Attempting to write poems in such a way may seem strange and against the grain of what a poem should be, but at the same time, it keeps poetry interesting and keeps writing (and writers) challenging. 

Fan Letter: Etheridge Knight

Dear Etheridge Knight,

I scat your way to thank you for joining two of my loves: poetry and jazz. You were right when you wrote that writing blues songs “is to regiment riots / and pluck gems from graves.” A hearty task executed so well, I had to call my jazz friends and tell them that poetry is officially a swingin’ cool cat.

There is something special about reading haikus on piano men and jazz swings after being immersed in creative writing and improvised scats. Because of you, I will attempt to write my love for jazz in seventeen syllables too.

Sincerely,
Vanesa

etheridge-knight