The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts is a non-profit publisher of compressed creative arts, such as micro fiction, flash fiction, prose poetry, compressed poetry & visual arts, and whatever other forms compression might take. Matter pays authors $50 for their accepted pieces. We publish weekly bursts of compression & decompression and make as many varied word-plays on matter as we can. We also blog here and at FlashFiction.Net.

Use the Narrow Edge

by E. Kristin Anderson

Microsoft Word - E__Kristin_Anderson-Use_the_Narrow_Edge.docx

E. Kristin Anderson is a Pushcart-nominated poet and author who grew up in Westbrook, Maine and is a graduate of Connecticut College. She has a fancy diploma that says “B.A. in Classics,” which makes her sound smart but has not helped her get any jobs in Ancient Rome. Kristin is the co-editor of Dear Teen Me, an anthology based on the popular website. Her poetry has been published worldwide in many magazines and anthologies and she is the author of four chapbooks: A Jab of Deep Urgency (Finishing Line Press) and A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks) Pray Pray Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (forthcoming from Porkbelly Press), and Acoustic Battery Life (forthcoming from ELJ Publications). She is an online editor at Hunger Mountain and a contributing editor at Found Poetry Review. Once upon a time she worked at The New Yorker. She now lives in Austin, TX where she is currently working on a full-length collection of erasure poems from women’s and teen magazines. She blogs at EKristinAnderson.com.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Use the Narrow Edge”?

    This poem came about in a more calculated way than the manner in which I usually approach poetry. I’ve been writing a full-length manuscript of erasure poems using women’s and teen magazines, including the magazine Seventeen, which, of course, I read as a teen. The magazines were piling up faster than I could erase them, and I had a middle-of-the-night idea, which I emailed to myself: Write a chapbook of poems using Seventeen magazine in which each poem has seventeen lines. Somehow this evolved into “what if I wrote these poems using formal structure” which evolved into “let’s screw with pantoums.” So I took a break from the manuscript and wrote a bunch of broken pantoums. Which resulted in a chapbook (now on submission) called 17 seventeen XVII that compiles (yes, seventeen) found pantoums. “Use the Narrow Edge” is one of them. And I have to say, the joy and the challenge of hunting down lines for this poem, and the others and the series, is one that I don’t want to end. Who knows — maybe you’ll run into me in ten years and I’ll still be making 17-line pantoums from articles about manicures in Seventeen magazine.

CNF: There Was a Coupon in the Newspaper

by Erin Pringle-Toungate

So after the dinosaurs and oil paintings, we boarded the shiny train that ran to nowhere but outside. I ran past the empty seats and Mom called SLOW DOWN and Grandma hurried after. Then she tripped, small woman, and broke against the concrete, her forehead blooming coffee-stained napkins from Mom’s pockets.

Erin’s first story collection, The Floating Order, is published by Two Ravens Press (2009). “How The Sun Burns Among Hills of Rock & Pebble,” the title story of her next collection, just came out as a chapbook with The Head & The Hand Press (2015). She’s now the fiction editor over at Literati Quarterly. Please visit www.erinpringle.com.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “There Was a Coupon in the Newspaper”?

    I had my creative writing students write three-sentence pieces in order to teach them what few words can do. I did the exercise, too, of course. Then, I proceeded to write more and more, and now I’m deep into a larger work composed of three-sentence memoirs.

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