“Visitation”, a prose poem by David Shumate.

Fall is hammocks by the fire.

I’m slightly in love with David Shumate’s book of prose poems, High Water Mark. Apart from admiring his craft, my affections tend towards the particular.

I am grateful for his “Prescription For Insomniacs”. Because a poem is the best prescription of all once you accept the words which keep you awake. The price of a good night’s sleep being so many unrendered stories.

Riveted by “What Hemingway Learned From Cezanne”, which reads like a gallery visit, the conversations we create between artists and writers who inspire us. It’s a sharp poem. Clear and edgeless.

Astonished by “The Blue Period”. Muddling slowly through the thick muds of “Lifesaving”- the question at which point two people wish to lose the cares of loving another, return to the place where “she could just drive by”.

Curious about “The Psychic Geography of Atlantis”, and the Romanian reference.

Pacing the room with “The American Dream” in hand. Thrilled by his insight into immigration and assimilation. The phantom limbs that keep me up at night.

And then there is “Visitation”, the poem that hits me in all the right places. The poem that speaks outside spoken sense. Straight into smoke and fire.

Oh if I could only tell you about the bird, that stubborn phoebe that keeps returning to sit on my notebooks as I write. She is not enough, though. Not yet.

More poems from High Water Mark

“Passing Through A Small Town” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“High Water Mark” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“Teaching A Child the Art of Confession” (Reader’s Connection)
“Mornings With Freud” (Indianapolis Public Library)
“Afternoon Nap” (Arabesques Review)
“Reading to the Blind Man” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“Shooting the Horse” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“Custer” (The Writer’s Almanac)

Paul Holler talks to David about prose poetry craft (Eclectica)

Other poems by David Shumate

“Plum” (Agni)
“Amish” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“Trains” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“Chinese Restaurant” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“The Department of Love” (Karen Kovacik)
“An American In Paris” (Karen Kovacik)
“Lincoln” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“The Long Road” (AGNI)
“Mangos” (Plume)
“Bringing Things Back From the Woods” (Plume)
“Talking Animals” (Plume)
“If You Hire A Poet To Draw A Map” (Verse Daily)
“A Hundred Years From Now” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“Welcome Home Children” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“The Bible Belt” (The Writer’s Almanac)
“Mannequins” (NEA)

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