Bobbi Lurie


I love the prose poem because I love the transformation of prose on the page deviating into pure language. To be specific about the poems published here, using the form of the prose poem in “Traveling North” allowed me the freedom to use this mode as a way of hammering rhythm in a continuous way, helping me enter the heart of the tensions embedded in the subtext of the text at hand. I was allowed (via the form of the prose poem) to morph statement after statement. It provided a force of energy, a type of release and, most importantly, a discovery of meaning via an outpouring of words not restricted to a more self-conscious form. It allowed sound, music and image to appear and dissipate in an instant so that the next moment, the next words, might appear and disappear just as quickly. The second poem published on this site, “Tossed Out Box of Treasure Possessions” is part of a series of prose poems I have been working on which are dialogues, monoloques and “operas” (if you will) which contain single and multiple voices (voices which include those found in conversation/ voices embedded in current popular thought systems accepted as ”reality,” internal voices of the much-maligned “I’ as well as voice of “others” both real and imagined).





Traveling North



Though you are dead now. Though I walk covered in dust through this strip mall in Iowa. I remember the collection of tendencies that led me here. The flat landscape. The blazing heat of cornfields. The landscape and body are one sensation.

Everywhere the books of atmospheric pressure. This book smells like miracles. That you were the chapter. That I was the slaughter. That sheep, my inheritance. That you were the shepherd who lead me here. Your hand reaching out to strike. Your hand reaching up to brush the hair from your brow. I never knew which. I never knew when. Your hand.

The cornfields are memories. You can not remember anything. The road is filled with dust haze. Your life is. Your death. I can not find it in this landscape. This collection of tendencies.

Though you are dead now. Though your hand would reach to strike. Though your hand would reach up to brush. The hair from your brow. Though light penetrates this. It is flat. It is frozen in self-image. I must resist the symbiotic wish. I must void the infantile condition. That region. This region. The atmospheric pressure in the vicinity of living.

Though you seemed invincible when your body moved. Though the way your hand. Would reach to your brow. Even though dead. Even though each wave of light penetrates. Even though only seems to slaughter. Sheep of inheritance.

Wake up at 4 a.m. Walk out naked to the porch. Skin shimmering. The way the word porch clings. The creaky swing. Dark lake of the body. What is always erased. The way your hand would reach to your brow and wipe your hair away. And it was always your hair. Always yours. And your face jutted into the landscape. This nowhere. This clicking sound of insects. Late summer.




Tossed Out Box of Treasured Possessions


And how did it happen?
He mistook it for the trash.

And when you saved these favorite things you speak about did you waver in your choice of them?
There was no wavering.

And so you saved them?
Saved them. Yes.

What did you do with them after saving them?
I looked at them.

Did they help you to recall good times, bad times?
The good times. The bad times.

And were episodes conjured up from seeing them?
Episodes, yes, and also images of ideas of myself I used to live with.

What sorts of images?
Images of thinness.

Thinness of body?
Thinness of body, yes. And also that of memory.

And what did you do when he threw them away?
I mourned. Then I tortured him for doing what he did, tossing out that box in particular.

And what did you do with your other collected possessions when he did that?
I dusted them off then tossed them in the trash.

Why did you do that?
Because they were worthless in comparison.

Now, I can’t help but ask: which of the treasured possessions do you miss most?
The booties of my babies, certainly, and maybe the unused magenta lipstick from my week in Paris. Of course the colorful puppets from India and such small, black, high heeled shoes I once wore strapped at the ankle and then there is the shrunken green soap from that amazing hotel in Lago Maggiore.

And what will you do with the rest of your possessions?
I will never collect possessions again.



435569-1194029-thumbnail.jpgBobbi Lurie's two  poetry collections, Letter From The Lawn  (CustomWords, 2006) and The Book I never Read (CustomWords, 2003), are reviewed here in Poemeleon in the Ekphrastic Issue. Her poems have been included in numerous print and on-line journals inclulding APR, New American Writing and Shampoo.