ditch,

the poetry that matters

Bob Heman

Bob Heman's prose poems have appeared in Sentence, Quick Fiction, Paragraph, Caliban, The Prose Poem: An International Journal, First Intensity and Lost and Found Times, and online at Otoliths, Mad Hatters' Review, Clockwise Cat and Action, Yes.  They have been translated into Arabic, Spanish and Hungarian.  Two of his collections are available as free downloads from the Quale Press.  He lives in Brooklyn (New York City) where in the late 1970s he was an artist-in-residence at The Brooklyn Museum.  He has edited CLWN WR (formerly Clown War) since 1971.

from INFORMATION

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And perhaps then it will catch up with them and change them so that they can again enter into that place and with the woman travel down through the time that has not yet been able to touch them.

 

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The chemical formula for wood is not always the same.  Clouds are a simpler matter but we are never allowed to hold them. Sometimes a man will pass through them as he searches for the forest that is really all around him.
 

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Simple things repeated until a city is formed.  The lines of rodents remembered as cars later on.  They were required to leave but were never able to.

 

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The train troubled the landscape until it was admitted.  In another room the forest kept the children safe.

 

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Each of the commandments a map we are forced to enter in order to change.  Whether we believe or not is unimportant.  The fact that we enter them is enough.

 

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Imagines the bottle was removed before the yard came back.  There were ducks that were replaced by other ducks that did not move as much.  Each one had a number that gave the men information.  They were numbers that could not be used for anything else.

 

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An investigation into the lives of clerks.  The stars counted as they were removed.  Each man there a frog once.  The woman who kissed them only a vague memory.

 

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The dead man carried into the light that is not real light but changes him nonetheless so that he seems to speak even though his mouth is tightly sewn.

 

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Thinks a poem is required in the room where the forest ends.  Thinks the chairs are words that can be rearranged.  Their meaning no more than a table that has been tipped over.  Its fluids vanishing into the quickest exit.

 

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There are things that are repeated: the room, the door, the windows that are painted shut.  The man who enters the forest.  The trees that cover the road.  The wolf that speaks to the woman who must discipline him.  Her hands holding only what is necessary.

 

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The symmetry of the breast or breasts.  His words spoken carefully without ever being understood.  Each step she takes preceded by or followed by another.  The angle of the land affecting them in ways they never realize.

 

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She talked louder than was required.  She took the cars with her into the forest.  There they became bears or birds or rabbits that ran around until their fuel ran out.

 

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The height of the wall depends upon the height of the man.  The man can be lifted or partially buried to change his proportion.  The source of the light is always hidden behind the wall.  The light itself seems too heavy to be real.

 

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Familiar buildings each time the wall stops.  He wonders how the woman became that woman.  She gets into the car or gets out of it.  Each time the tree is in a different place.

 

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There were things that fell from the sky.  The bears gathered them and took them back to their hive.  The cars they used had no machines but relied on the movement of their feet.  When they arrived the bees punished them for making too much noise.

 

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There are cities that are not on any map.  The man who carries the bears carries them only in his imagination.  The door cannot lead him outside since he doesn’t know what outside is.  After that it is only painted on.

 

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Each of the skeletons again grows its flesh and again becomes the stranger that is invited inside because it seems to resemble even though we do not know how or why.

 

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