One of the common themes of my prose poems is isolation/existential angst. I try not to be sappy about it. Instead, I try to make the darker themes somewhat beautiful, whether through imagery or musicality. Being that I’m from Southern California, beach imagery is common in my work. I also mix in urban imagery. I’m interested in the sudden juxtaposition/contrasts of the isolated beach with a busy city.
I have a series of prose poems, like this one, that begin with “A man woke up…” For example, “A man woke up on the surface of the moon…” Also, “A man woke up in a field of marigolds…” With this premise, I’m interested in the bizarre or dreamlike and trying to make it sound normal or even beautiful.
I wrote this poem, like most of my poems, at the public library. It’s quiet and there is free air-conditioning. Shout out to Cerritos Millennium Library, Norwalk Library, and LA County Public Library in general.
I’m not sure if I was listening to music when I wrote this piece, but I often listen to music when I read or write. Some favorites: Gary Clark Jr, Dave Douglas, Las Cafeteras, Matthew Shipp, Chicano Batman, and Kendrick Lamar.
This piece is part of my manuscript of poetry/prose poetry. I’ve been submitting it to competitions. So far, it’s been a finalist for the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, and a semifinalist for the 2018 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition.