Prose Poem/Dramatic Monologue Example
Eavesdropping: you get closer with only two...men are more flexible, more easy going...the sisters are more rigid...it's just the truth (apparently talking about the disadvantages of polygamy; could they have been advocating polygeny? one woman with more than one husband? ha)
Journal Freewriting: I eavesdropped on two guys talking to a beautiful, exotic Brazilian woman on the 811 bus. It was strange...loud conversation...preachy..."It's just the truth" (ach!!). The guys were nerdy, slightly balding, glasses, the sort of tight, soiled polyester DI ski jackets...they always talk with great authority...the woman next to me on the bus looked at me when i looked at her...we exchanged sort of a shocked humored unbelieving look...but then i thought, is she thinking what i'm thinking? i've just taught a class on feminism, on the linguistic constructedness of gender roles...i was just reading about it...this girl, she was probably reading her book of mormon...we likely were smirking for very different reasons...anyway, these guys reminded me of the smug assed patriarchs from my previous mormon life...but i looked at them and they seemed so small and poor...and their ideas so simplistic...still, interesting that they are seriously arguing about polygamy...the brazilian girl didn't say much, didn't talk...they were dominating the conversation...no wonder women are less easy going (ha)...
Technical Issues: prose poems and dramatic monologues often have more of a narrative focus; they tell a story, even if very tiny, even if only a vignette; this often involves a bit of plot, a setting, a time and/or a bit of movement through time; this often involves characters doing actions, often going through some kind of conflict; this often involves a central narrative voice (first person, though this is not always needed; one can also play with 3rd person, or even 2nd person); using concrete imagery is always a must; dramatic monologues are more specialized in that they often sound like someone (a central narrative voice, first person) speaking to US, the reader, the audience, or speaking to a YOU, someone who doesn't speak but might either be present, or is "off stage" and imagined. Some writers enjoy doing dramatic monologues for famous characters, imagining their more hidden, surprising, inner lives, imagining their private voices.
I've always wanted another wife
but the first one might balk.
She might squint at me and make her teeth hard
and orange like candy corn.
You know how women are.
You go to the Sears to buy them new
blenders, five speeds, attachments, the works,
and she says, "Harvey, you spent too much.
You could have gotten it on sale at Wall Mart."
And you go to the couch, and she makes you watch
and you think, "There's a helpful woman,"
and you look at your wife and you picture her there
sitting by Martha on your RC Willey couch,
sitting there thigh to thigh,
Sally and Martha smiling at you
their blond hair wispy perfect,
their teeth recently whitened,
the house full of cakes and well groomed dogs,
and you there sitting in a pile of your own large smiles.
(no, this is not supposed to be double-spaced)