Submissions Open Nov. 1st
Poet Laureate Poem Prompt—Winter 2020 Kathleen Flenniken
We hope Kathleen Flennikin’s poem, “Seven Seas” will inspire you, as a reader, to discover a feeling you hadn’t named before or a resonance you hadn’t expected. For the writer/artist, let the poem- as-prompt carry you to some place new in your work.
The one we’ve fished to death,
that tosses ships till they sink,
so deep the fish at the fissures
squiggle instead of swim, glow
instead of gaze.
The one inside a conch shell
that sweeps us from the couch
to its shore—our first metaphor.
The sea of ones and zeros
with tributaries pressing Send,
where our secrets glitter
in the data gyre.
The sea of refugees, turned away, turned away, turned away,
crashing the razor-wire fence.
The sea of cash, thick
with trawlers’ tangling nets, green
with the drowned and drowning.
The sea of regret
that surges and retreats
and sucks at our feet,
a tide that takes us nowhere.
And the final sea of liquid light
we’ll only know from below.
from Post Romantic (University of Washington Press, 2020)