In Another Beginning

by Kirsten Kaschock

There was a meltdown, and new animals began to grow or transform. There were fishbats and mouselk, which were small. The kinds of humans left to evolve were uninterested in poems or math. Blind, they kept their large and incredible hands. Their brains they devoted almost entirely to these. A Braille developed to document the beauty of use, and the new skills at love-making were unparalleled (no mere geometric conceit but a concrete representation of infinity: tracks no traveler followed all the way). Eventually, they constructed by hand a path to bring down again the planet with the aid of a few well-designed and tactilely lovely buttons. The thing about this incarnation—like the others—was the ease. How feelingly they were drawn into a spectacle of end without so much as a word for watching.

Kirsten Kaschock is the author of two books of poetry: A Beautiful Name for a Girl (Ahsahta Press) and Unfathoms (Slope Editions). Her novel, Sleight, will be published by Coffee House Press in October 2011. She has earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and is currently a doctoral fellow in dance at Temple University. Kirsten lives in Manayunk with her three sons, their father, and a small boxful of Needs.

A poet builds with line breaks; the prose writer, with sentences. And the prose poet? How does she fit into this equation? And with what else does she build her constructions? A prosepoet uses all the tools of poetry except linebreaks…assonance, accretion, truncation, parallel structure, rhythm, repetition, etc. There can be narrative, character, mood, and voice as well. If there is a difference in the construction of prose and prosepoetry, it may be at the level of attention/intention: are the materials being used in-service-to, or are the words approached as if they have lives of their own? I like all types of writing, but I am drawn to the alchemy of prosepoetry, how its content can fizz and bubble up out of the brew of language in an old, seemingly-transparent container.

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