PLAN B PRESS Issue
I have had a developing interest in prose poetry
and when Robert Miltner contacted Plan B Press it seemed like the
right time to pursue that interest. Miltner sent two shorter manuscripts
and I saw within the two an unrecognized theme, imagination and dream
states within the awakened and sleep states of consciousness. Also,
I got fantastically excited when I read the phrase “canyons
of sleep” in one of the poems. Taking that line as the title,
I wove together the threads of two manuscripts into this single more
compact and tighter package—to the pleasant surprise of all
concerned. The following poem is from Canyons of Sleep, published
by Plan B in 2006.
THE AGE OF TEN AS POINT OF VIEW
The boy did not fully understand the words either as what they meant
or the worlds they implied.
The girl from next door who was older was behind the stadium wrapped
up with a new boy in his high school jacket, sleeves with the sports
patches covering his arms which were wrapped around the girl from next
door who was older, their eyes closed, both past talk now. He saw their
lips press hard.
The boy knew this was not about him, or about his mother and father
who on Sundays gave him and his sister cocoa and donuts on the back
porch while they locked their bedroom door. The boy knew that what he
saw was the future, his future too.
But he had no glasses he could use to decode the metaphysics of the
boy and the girl from next door who was older, moving and noisy, behind
the stadium, stacked one upon the other like cord wood: the smoke, the
heat, the fire.
Robert Miltner teaches
poetry in the Northeast Ohio MFA Consortium in Creative Writing at Kent
State University. He is the author of ten chapbooks—On the
Off-Ramp, Seamless Serial Hour, Box of Light,
Fellow Traveler, Greatest Hits, Against the Simple,
Rock the Boat, Four Crows on a Phone Line, Imperative,
and Canyons of Sleep—and a full length book, Hotel
Utopia, winner of the New Rivers Press book award, forthcoming
in Volume 11, Number 3, Summer 2010.