Dan Lewis


I am not sure I am qualified to comment on why these pieces are prose poems. The three here are part of a group of more than 20 written in the last few months and I have been somewhat taken aback by their arrival in my head. When I first began writing them, I tried to break the lines but they stubbornly refused. I think it may have something to do with the fragmented world they seem to inhabit; they insist on being what they are, and through them I am beginning to ponder what it is that makes a prose poem.




The Author of Order

What happens is that the moon rises on the wrong side of the bed. Each time he brushes his teeth, a different face appears in the mirror. The clock resets itself according to the weather. Coins dropped into the slot fail to produce the desired effect; the actors wait in the wings, stunned by the silence. If the machine can be repaired then there is hope for the nature of being. Once a suitable color, blue has been abandoned altogether. In its place, the children are taught to sing patriotic songs and to understand the transitory meaning of truth. The wolf at the door is at last learning to sign its own name.



Dead Reckoning


Crossing the street, he discovers that he has lost his left arm. This always happens when he is already pressed for time. Each name is related to a specific location. In this way consciousness maps to a physical substrate. Impatient drivers in carnival bumper cars honk at him for his slow progress. The problem is to reconstitute order from the web of intentions. The buildings which have been destroyed by fire are the least habitable because of the overpowering smell of smoke. Also they are likely less stable than those destroyed by the direct force of the bombs. He wonders if someone has been assigned to record any of this.



Uses of the Objective Correlative

She said she had gathered enough information to get started. This is strange because we have no idea what we told her. In fact there is more than a little confusion: all concur that she came the day after the soldiers left, but there is in fact no agreement on the color of her hair or skin or the sound of her voice or whether she was wearing the green shirt. There are many stories which should not be told to the outside world. And the songs, especially the sacred ones. Some believe that she was sent here. Some believe that we have imagined her; that she does not exist at all. This is of course nonsense. After all, she is the one who is writing these words.




435569-1182492-thumbnail.jpgDan Lewis resides in Worcester, where he earns his living as a technical writer and lives his earning as a poet. Old enough to know better, he still finds himself walking in the world agog. Publication credits include The Worcester Review, Diner, Beloit Poetry Journal, Paper Street, Segue, and others.