what the prose knows by Stella Corso


WHAT THE PROSE KNOWS
 
 
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The same nightmare that unites us, awakens us—a long process of continual revision—his first book, a night without armor—who is stalking who—everyone is either cold or sad—as illustrated by Juan Gris—a strange and snakelike syntax—the sidewalk is always changing—girls are terrible dolls with strings—and phantom limbs where phantom leans—CAUTION: may contain nudity—false faces & useful illusions—fun in hotels—the world is very old—each star in its constellation feels alone—how much you should read depends on your mood—or consult with your moon—if you didn’t come to laugh, you will die from enthusiasm—is it the windows that keep you from leaping—lines, nothing but lines
  
 
 
*
 
Much has been said and there is—a propensity to claim Lincoln—but as a goth I’m claiming him—and as a spirit—I am knifing a hole in the cloud of this tree—and as a psychic I’m despairing—in an orange dress laid out for you and picked by an oracle—an animal that died because it had to—words typing themselves—a message struggling through the wall—some of them demons, some charming—watch out for colors—all dreams are cliché—you will read them in field notes—red lights over Oakland—red eyes over Ohio—a rusty little piglet—pale then red then pale —do we move through the decades or does the decade move through us—I dreamt a swarm of bees—and then an avalanche—this is black eye for pretty
  
 
 
*
 
As if we could scrape the color off the iris—I, too, have fallen in love with fragments—a disjointed memory—Joni Mitchell, New York City, that orange restaurant—calendula, to be exact, and to be exact is the nature of color—what does it mean to have light—to be lit from within—I have a friend whom I call intoxicating—her energy literally emanates—when she leaves we get sad and don’t know why—when I lose an object I get sad and don’t know why—does the object contain our happiness displaced—an old thought but with new gravity—obsession is funny like that—here is my question—which is sadder, a red balloon or a blue balloon—if you answer both you are like me whose skin is both—and my friend—we look at her skin together as she describes this pain
 
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*italicized lines are from ‘Prose Poems’ by Pierre Reverdy, ‘The Marvelous Bones of Time’ by Brenda Coultas, and ‘Bluets’ by Maggie Nelson, respectively
 
Stella Corso lives in Western Massachusetts where she co-curates the Blue Peter Readings with Alex Phillips and acts as Assistant Editor for jubilat magazine. Her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Action Yes, Everyday Genius, Tarpaulin Sky, and Dear, Sir.