Virginia Smokes
Accept this
Prose to Poetry

About Rose Lobel



Virginia Smokes

Yeah baby,
I thought.
not such a long a way
that I'm free to write
in an unswept room.
Not so long
that dishes
don't take priority
over creating.
over meditation.
I can’t write a sonnet
if company is coming.
I must
Excuse me Ms. Woolf,
the room is swell,
but you forgot to mention
which day the maid comes in.



Accept this

That there may or may not be
a beneficent power
who keeps the cosmos in order
That He may have hands
to embrace the flight of birds
That She could have all-seeing eyes
That It might be
A serene and dispassionate
or even the frightened lightning
racing across a human cortex
Accept this
That no matter what your belief
the statue
the mountain
the deep nothingness
prayer changes things
as long as you know
exactly what you want
Accept this
That you will never know
exactly what you want
That even a billion
interactive receptors
are not enough to comprehend
all of experience
and you would be far wiser
to pray for peace
and trust
and freedom of breath
Accept this
That if you do so
in some place
will whisper
“I love you”
Accept this




Like a flood
they pour through the mail chute
each one demanding time
the dictatorship of shiny paper
If only they read themselves
sat on the table
covers spread
and recited
some in foreign accent
their contents
like a radio
or some visiting aunt
while the dishes got done
and the floor swept



a silver hair
streaks across my vision
like a frozen crack
in the window of life
lie down with poets
wake up with words


Prose to Poetry

It’s like holding an orange
in one hand
and a small knife 
in the other
a hundred sparklettes
bringing your nostrils 
the memory of an orchard
somewhere in the sun
perfuming your fingertips
for later
until all the dark part
is gone
But not really gone because
there are still lines 
and dots
like some cryptic hexagram
from an organic I Ching
but you don’t have
the guidebook
So you keep peeling
and you get to the part
like hand-pressed paper
creamy and thick
but totally useless
on its own
And you might get a picture
or more exactly
an idea of the reason
behind an image
and that’s the first warning
You’ve got to get delicate
strip tiny pieces
because you want that juice
more than any thing
but contained in a membrane 
and not running down your elbow
so you take a step
in an opposite direction
and stop to look 
and then
there’s this



writes prose under the name K. R. Lobel and has had poetry and short stories published in The Blue Moon Review, The Porter Gulch Review and Matrix Magazine.  More of her poetry can be read on her web site,  As a person who was born with cerebral palsy, she is also quite possibly the world’s only voice-disabled radio programmer: she hosts a music show called “What’s New” on radio station KZSC in Santa Cruz, California.  Her novel The Flower Daughter was released as an ebook in August. She can be reached at Her website is