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This poem is taken from PN Review 219, Volume 41 Number 1, September - October 2014.

Two Prose Poems Paul Rossiter
A Tragicomedy in Five Acts, Presented to Great Applause

  1. Honey. Apples. Summer in an orchard. A treatise on gardens.

  2. A grey wolf is observed among the hollyhocks. The donning of a mask. Manifold complications and a misplaced key.

  3. Thunder. Catastrophe. Tempests and earthquakes. An old man jumps from a very high bridge.

  4. Multiplying disguises. Scenes of unbridled lust. The gaoler with a rubber nose. The beautiful animal is tormented in its golden cage. Seventeen rapes, five eviscerations, and the destruction of several large cities.

  5. Providential manipulations and rearrangements. Thoughts on fatherhood. Three unlikely marriages and a humble restitution. After a short pause for refreshments, the whole thing starts all over again.

Utopia, Arcadia


The 3:19 passes through a cutting and across a matchstick bridge above a glassy river. It’s running right on time. It continues through a level crossing and comes to a halt in a station equipped with bookstall, milk churns and a motionless porter.

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