KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Prose Poems: 87 words
111 words

Two Selections from Ruined Traveler

by Renée Ashley
So she spills and spills and then rows (she’s 
more than a little dinghy) like tablespoon-
tablespoon to cut down the make-believe 
tree-tree There’s no magic there (here) and 
the water’s secretive and colder than before 
She is tied to another’s back and he to hers 
She can’t blame him Not for anything Really 
The spoon snaps at the bowl’s neck and then 
she has a weapon to swing overhead at least 
At least that Oh and once in the fire yes Not 
even one can be unburned 


Maybe the ghosts have got her Maybe the 
ghosts have toppled her pride They are handy 
the ghosts but spiteful as well She’s banged 
her pot lids with a spoon and they have not 
dispersed She’s set the bitey dogs on them 
The ones with fleas The ones with worms 
Yes she has tried asking nicely Tried begging 
on a pitiful note with a wretched weeping 
coda She’s petitioned the ones who can speak 
and the ones who will She has failed and has 
become smaller and in becoming smaller has 
managed to loosen the ropes But she isn’t 
shriven yet She’s breathing She’s finding her 
balance beneath a lightning-struck tree

— Selections are from the title poem of a manuscript in progress

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