Creative nonfiction is the term of choice these days. It certainly didn’t start that way, and there are still several other ways of referring to “that way of writing” which readers might also be familiar with: literary nonfiction, literary journalism, narrative prose, you get the idea. We’re trying to find a way to nail this baby, the “baby” being, in the short form of the definition, the application of literary techniques to documentary material.
Tree branches touching
in the breeze of autumn:
to have known you this way
is no less touching
for its randomness, its
All dark long drafting in bed,
I scratch my longing down your shoulder blades—
Your dual-purpose back, a dry erase board,
upraises pink wherever I touch it.
Mark a wild garden. A map you read
each morning in the mirror.
A hidden-in-skin compass: rose lines & needles,
Let soldiers stand for violence.
Let the suburbs stand for childhood.
Let paella stand for love.
Let zero stand for death.
What would you have me answer
that I do not know your name?
What else did the willow tell you
she, young and pliant, assured me a hello
they revive the ancient
language of youth
though cadence falters
and inflections flatten.
before they reach air.
The night should cohere around some limit:
such as a wave that has just crested.
For since I saw the ocean after dark,
the stars fall like tired owls onto my dreams,
to shimmer and swim.