Volume 14:4, Fall 2013
Prose Poem Issue
I take Clays chainsaw chain to sharpen the teeth at the feed and tack where the two Wilhelm brotherseleven and ninebuy plywood and a sack of sixteenpenny nails with quarters and dimes. Trailers aint made of nothing, they tell the clerk, so theyll build them a house in back of the trailer, mount a satellite, dreaming at that chipboard as if they can see the foyer, linen closet, breakfast nook, can enter in and shuck the trailer like a hull. As if theyll build anything but a dogpen. I buy the boys Milkyways and send my dull chain to the spinning whetstone in back and wait. In comes Old Lou in the workshirt of his dead brother Eddie, still bearing Eddies name patchtoo big, too hot out. He buys nothing, but spiderwebs us in stories: In them days you dressed by the fire and Eddie turned our pantlegs inside out to warm, them days no cure for a calf with scours but Eddie held it in his arms the night it died, Eddie, he kept hollyhocks in June like a woman. But the boys wriggle free of the spidersilk, Milkyways mudding their faces, their bodies flung unto task to make the thing made of something real, each as unaware of his home inside the other as his own skin, ash that it is.
Jessie van Eerden's first novel, Glorybound (WordFarm, 2011) won this year's Editor's Choice Fiction Prize from ForeWord Reviews. Her prose has appeared in The Oxford American, Bellingham Review, The River Teeth Reader, Best American Spiritual Writing, and Longman's college reader Dreams & Inward Journeys. Van Eerden received her MFA in nonfiction at the University of Iowa and was awarded the Milton Fellowship at Image and Seattle Pacific University for work on Glorybound. She directs the low-residency MFA writing program at WV Wesleyan College.