Saturday, November 7, 2009

On "Mud Love" and "The Singing Fish: Revisited" by Peter Markus (399 words; 312 words) ***

Double Room publishes prose poems and flash fiction. I'm not sure that there's a clear, well-accepted difference between the two. For me, I think of prose poetry as being simply interesting writing--interesting prose. It's poetry, however, in that it captures a moment or an idea, rather than following the rules of the short story. There is no rising action, no climax, no resolution. I don't focus much on prose poems, and that's one reason I don't check Double Room that often, since the works there tend toward that rather than what I think of as flash fiction. As a result, I've probably missed some interesting experiments in prose such as Peter Markus's work. In this case, Markus has present the story of--or poem about--brothers living next to a muddy river. There are three parts, though I like the last two parts best and thus feature them here. The brothers, to me, seem an analogy to something bigger--the mud too--the brotherhood of humanity, the dust to which we return; all this strung together in some elegant words. Read Markus's work here and here at Double Room.

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