The Evolution of a Prose Poem

THE COMPLETE DRAFTS OF PRESENTATION #2185

Learn at the feet of a poet, what it is to create the germ of a poem from daily thoughts and emotions. Watch this germ take root and grow, being fed by inspiration. See it come to full-fledged ‘Poem’ as you read this unique peek into Hunt’s diary. At the end of the trail you will read the final, a hundred-word gem tempered by the process of writing.

Editor’s Note: Four years before Burning Word began it was my pleasure to publish The Presentations, a collection of hundred-word prose poems by William B. Hunt. Cantos was the 69th poem in the collection, which was originally written for Elaine Thomas, publisher of interweave(zine). interweave(zine) is no longer online, but we were fortunate enough to salvage this manuscript and give it a permanent home. We hope you enjoy the journey.

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Presentation #2202, Muscular Nocturne

I am carving my name with America’s sweet blue tints directly against the sun that smokes alone in the sleepy gunsmoke of the clouds. I with a woodcut in my silver fingers see not your hands in hailstorms over iced blackberries painted against your red lips gliding into a bed’s darkness. No, our dirt and sea planet has the touch of diamond-spinning heaven, a muscular nocturne giving its best effort and hill of roses to burning Martian rust. Nothing else can bless the bond of desire to the heart’s inclination toward dreams. Restless stars gild our chamber of charms.

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Presentation #2200

Beyond her blue windowsill, the innocent stars rise in the cold night and burn in their bright silence. Art makes us golden, makes us gain a brilliant liberty in moments of love or moments of song. Midnight prayers: our lips turn white. Her green necklace chills. Soft light adorns her. The unspoken means we know the words to break every little world of dust. We know the celestial wheels are turning. We are bright and crazed. Summers, the little wheels of crystal, chrome and silver dash and burst. And the moments of orange peace. The light-causing process remains true.

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Presentation #2199, The Last Medicine From the Heart-shaped Leaf

At the roots of this moment facing summer-shadowed moonlight is the wit-hammered iced green drink made crystal in a work of Franz Schubert, the dim, glittering blue diamond that he wrote. Just now, it is still the staining winter. Five days, we have no sun: we watch films on wine. It is really not believable, is it? On national television, our voice of culture. How the sonata takes hold of such a one who wishes it, like a cube of lightning or a suitcase packed with old age. We want the last medicine from the heart-shaped leaf.

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Presentation #2198, Twenty-Six Degrees, Blowing Snow

At the roots of this moment lingering in the glass is winter bullying the State Highway as if there were no Christmas with hot-buttered rum and rosy-cheeked red angels madly beating their wings and playing little copper horns on greeting cards. Now the roads have grown strange with the spill of the six-sided crystal chemical burying us in moon-white in one night. As if there were no Egyptian, sand-colored sun somewhere to burn us back to heat and the open road! It would all make a fine novel, with snowplows assembled on the first page.

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Presentation #2197

This is the heart of our future: what we wrap our minds around is getting hard to believe, but the mind has its own fingers and wings, and is the clarinet in us, a medicine against our shuddering, words to come from our hands and mold a heart or a cluster of hearts against the dusky roots of our demands. The gunsmoke ceases. Colors are drawn down. The old drunk stands in the shadows with the red devil. The rest of the future must be more sweet. There is the pulse to consider, and it is such a beautiful question.

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