Talking stranger: a collection of prose poems
Weekley, J. Marcus
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Talking Stranger uses the prose poem genre in order to explore the hybrid nature of the prose poem and the duality of being human—flesh and spirit. The prose poems employ various personae who use seemingly disparate dictions and syntax—colloquial, metaphorical, crafted, and spoken—to convey the idea that verbal and written communication is at best, faulty, and at worst, ineffective. That said, the personae of the prose poems—male, Christian, gay, female, middle-class, childish, straight—in Talking Stranger do try to overcome their own inadequacies regarding communication and rely on their memories, imaginations, and speech in order to engage, entertain, and inform others. Likewise, the personae struggle internally with conflicts about their own physicality and spirituality, desire to live now and fear of consequences, and creativity, mortality, and malevolence. Formally, the prose poems in Talking Stranger also blend expectations about the poetic and the prosaic to utilize then upset the notions of poetry being artful and prose conveying the ordinary. More precisely, the prose poems rely on reader expectations about how prose and poetry function in order to upset those same reader notions, with the hope of making readers more aware of the already-existing generic bridge between poetry and prose.