Russell Edson is a prose-poetry pioneer. His works are childish and profound at the same time. They are about cathing a stone and guarding it, they are about scientists counting tiny sheep in test-tubes and falling asleep. They are also about torturing angels.
Here's two of my favorites:
A father with a huge eraser erases his daughter. When he
finishes there's only a red smudge on the wall.
His wife says, where is Amyloo?
She's a mistake, I erased her.
What about all her lovely things? asks his wife.
I'll erase them too.
All her pretty clothes? . . .
I'll erase her closet, her dresser--shut up about Amyloo!
Bring your head over here and I'll erase Amyloo out of it.
The husband rubs his eraser on his wife's forehead, and as
she begins to forget she says, hummm, I wonder whatever
happened to Amyloo? . . .
Never heard of her, says her husband.
And you, she says, who are you? You're not Amyloo, are
you? I don't remember your being Amyloo. Are you my
Amyloo, whom I don't remember anymore? . . .
Of course not, Amyloo was a girl. Do I look like a girl?
. . . I don't know, I don't know what anything looks like
anymore. . .
A JOURNEY THROUGH THE MOONLIGHT
In sleep when an old man's body is no longer
aware of his boundaries, and lies flattened by
gravity like a mere of wax in its bed . . . It drips
down to the floor and moves there like a tear down a
cheek . . . Under the back door into the silver meadow,
like a pool of sperm, frosty under the moon, as if in
his first nature, boneless and absurd.
The moon lifts him up into its white field, a cloud
shaped like an old man, porous with stars.
He floats through high dark branches, a corpse tangled
in a tree on a river.