The heat has been rising all day to an incinerating pitch. At the designated hour, I arrive at the address on foot, exhausted and dusty. It’s an old, dingy residential hotel on a sunbaked street in a rundown neighborhood prowled by starving dogs, their every rib sharply outlined. When I look up, squinting against the glary sky, what appears to be an angel with a sword in its outstretched arm is hovering above the roof. Nothing like this happens here, a man who has materialized beside me says. I start to reply, but can’t. There are things that have no name even in the most poetic language.
3 Questions for Howie
What was your process for creating this work?
I wish I could say these prose poems came to me in a flash of inspiration, but I can't. The pieces were hammered together one nail at a time. That is typically how my writing goes – slowly and only with considerable effort.
What is the significance of the form/genre you chose for this work?
Prose poetry occupies a liminal space between prose and poetry, which means it is unbound by prescriptive definitions of either. Consequently, every prose poem is an experiment, a kind of dare, a challenge to see new things or see old things in new ways.
What is the significance of this work to you?
These poems arose out of a sense of alienation, the feeling that there are experiences that we can't ever fully comprehend or communicate to others.
Howie Good is the author most recently of Failed Haiku, a poetry collection that is co-winner of the 2021 Grey Book Press Chapbook Contest and scheduled for publication in summer 2022.