The difference between poetry and prose.

I've been trying to figure this one out for years. One of my playwriting profs asked me this one, since I was trying to write both.

The tentative answer of the day:

Prose is clear, communicative writing.
Poetry is clear, communicative writing under extreme conditions.

--I never really liked rhymed poetry, but the conditions I put on my free verse were just as harsh, even though most of the time I wasn't lucky enough to figure out exactly what those conventions were afterwards.

Our 8-year anniversary of dating was July 15th. Our six-year wedding anniversary is Sept. 26. Here's the best love poem I've ever written, just after I started dating Lee:

#when you jump you fall#

when you jump you fall. that all i
know. you fall as far you you're high
off the ground, and then it's over. i
kept my eyes open the whole time.

every time. i tense up when i see
the bottom. everything shatters. i
know how to pick up the pieces. right
from the first i've always known.

when you jump you fall. you always
grow from the things that hurt you.
nothing else works. nothing else gets
through the skin. that's why you

jump. nothing else makes you look
and see what you've become. nothing
else makes going on important at all.
when you're falling you're in heaven.

i'm not afraid. i climbed so high i could
see sunrise and sunset overlap under me.
you look startled. the distance. it's too
far to clear it both ways. i'm ready, i

say, only i've already let go.

when you jump you fall. that's all i
know. why doesn't it hurt yet, you
say. i don't know. these mysteries.
the wind is so thick when i'm with

you. so hard to keep from catching sky
between my fingers. i just don't know.
so hard to keep flinching from the blows
that never come. i just don't know.