Our first post of 2016 comes from a composition professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Jason Walker’s flash fiction offers a humorous and surreal vision of a poet racking his brain to come up with the “Next Great American Poem,” all while searching for the hidden meaning of a devil cake. Walker plays with the agonizing inner monologue of a struggling writer and personifies the demons that hinder the creative process.
The Poet’s Resistance
The man with soggy eyes waited outside my front door as I retyped the first line of what I hoped would be the next great American poem: This is the poem for all unhealthy youths . . . . But once I sensed the man’s presence outside the door again, I went blank. So I brewed tea and ate a devil cake, watching people ridicule each other on television. Then I glanced through the peephole. Another line arrived: hand your handfuls of devil cakes back to the devil. “Here’s our next great American poem,” I said aloud. “Here’s what we have to look forward to.” Continue reading