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Why One Must Be a Journeyman Prophet for a Time

Why One Must Be a Journeyman Prophet for a Time
by R. Mac Jones

The dialect of presaging,
the inflection of next,
the tone of prophecy,
these you can teach,
not the gift, but believability.

Simply think of your words
as wood, aged in deserts,
petrifying, as sap, hardening,
something caught within.

* * *

R. Mac Jones is the co-editor of the anthology Found Anew: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the South Caroliniana Library Digital Collections. His work has recently appeared in Star*Line, Unlost Journal, and NonBinary Review, among other publications.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a fantasy poem?

The trick of the fantasy poem is making clear for the reader what is metaphor and what is an aspect of the fantasy world of the poem, or blurring these without confusion. This is also the joy of the fantasy poem, for me: the challenge of mingling distinct world-building and poetry’s natural desire for elusiveness and resistance.