Civitas

by Daniel Romo


Daniel Romo’s poetry appears or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, The Los Angeles Review, MiPOesias, decomP, and elsewhere. His first book of poetry, Romancing Gravity, is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press. His second book of poetry, When Kerosene’s Involved, is forthcoming from Black Coffee Press. He’s currently looking for a home for a book of poems about IKEA. More of his writing can be found at danielromo.wordpress.com

The ties that hold these three pieces together are an interesting part of ‘Civitas.’ Explain that process for you as a writer in creating that kind of harmony. I write a lot of prose poems. I find that prose poems contain circular narratives: narratives that can be physical, emotional, or thematic. Sometimes these poems seem to go off on tangents. But they ultimately pull the reader back with the ending, often employing a smart twist or resounding image from the beginning. In the case of Civitas, I tried to capture the essence of each individual region while utilizing the same tone throughout. Though these places possess distinct characteristics, I wanted the language to be consistent. I keep the poetry first. The piece must contain poetic elements at its core. I used sentence variety to create a sense of urgency, and assonance and alliteration to help ground the poem. I think, too often, blocks of writing are incorrectly labeled prose poems. The inclusion of poetic elements creates a consistency that binds the different pieces together. I used Latin subtitles to further create a poetic experience.

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