cover image Little Mr. Prose Poem

Little Mr. Prose Poem

Russell Edson, edited by Craig Morgan Teicher. BOA, $17 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-950774-73-9

This whimsical selected brings prolific prose poet Edson’s “inverse world” to a contemporary audience. In these surprising pages, domestic spaces and familiar figures are rendered in a surreal light. Women turn into beds. Mustaches are made of spinach. A girl learns to play the piano by taking it for walks in a wood. A clown “destroys a large liver which has been growing in his room for several years.” In one poem, “a man had a sack which he kept father in,” while in another, “a tired cow went into her barn and took off her milk bag and horns, and put them on a shelf.” The men, women, parents, children, and animals in these poems are archetypal, their thoughts and deeds magnifying the absurdity of human experience. “On the other side of a mirror there’s an inverse world, where the insane go sane,” Edson writes in “Antimatter.” These off-kilter tales and tableaux balance the humorous and the serious, the macabre and the sweet, offering much beauty and endlessly startling turns to be explored. (Oct.)