Trails of Ink Stranded on the Asphalt

Hybrid Prose Poem: Getting unblocked

Danielle Loewen
Published in
2 min readJun 15, 2022


Photo by Laker :

“I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.” — Adrienne Rich, “Diving into the Wreck

a hood, folded in on itself


How To Climb Out of This Crenulated Car

an optimist might call this dead-end devastation braille and touch its lines tenderly, scan its ridges for lessons not yet learned, secret sentences guarded by the bluffs and basins, encoded in a car bonnet as creased as mislaid laundry

the motor revs and revs but the wheels?
misaligned. steering
wheel askew

(I am no mechanic but) the muffler sounds congested — it coughs/coughs/coughs a staccato sound without a signifier. deflated typo tires sag wretchedly, vital iridescent fluids leak — trails of ink stranded on the asphalt. the headlights? unable to illuminate — empty eyes (mind the sharp edges) finding no things beyond but a bleak and unblinking darkness

a battered
origami language, lashing

a corduroy map (crimped)
jagged Jenga thoughts jumbled, jostled
sentences scrambled.

ambiguous lines — limping
along, too variegated
to navigate, careening into
cul-de-sacs (mirrors reflecting
more mirrors)

signs stutter asunder
colliding colluding collapsing
leading to —


Not every rattle-trap wreck is a crime scene filled with clues, a suitcase of stories to unpack, a lucid etiology of existence.



Danielle Loewen

she/her | reader | queer feminist | recovering academic | body lover | gamer | poet & fabulist