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Exploring the art of prose

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Author: Hart L’Ecuyer


Author’s Note

In lieu of an author’s note, we’ve gathered some of Hart L’Ecuyer’s thoughts on this piece and its inspiration.  —CRAFT


In an entry on his blog in 2019, Hart L’Ecuyer announced that he’d been inspired by a MasterClass seminar with Billy Collins to write poetry about his own life for a change—instead of the “feudal Japanese lords and dead presidents and mid-century Russian socialites” that had occupied him most recently. “Y’all damn well better like this stuff when it’s done,” he wrote, “because it sure is tough to look in the mirror and not run away sometimes.”

In his flash creative nonfiction piece “Cities and Desire,” L’Ecuyer marries the tough realism of looking in the mirror with the surrealism of so much of his poetry. He credits the Italian surrealist Italo Calvino as the model for his essay, which is epigraphed: “inspired by Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino—a story of my life.” “This small nonfiction piece is presented in the style of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities,” he shared with us. “It tells of a return home from a brief vacation—and a heroin relapse. In a way it tells the story of multiple such relapses, many of which took a similar shape. I was a heroin addict for about two years before doctors found a sinus tumor between my right eye and my brain. I finally stopped, but the damage was done. In my nonfiction I explore that time in my life as part of the healing process.”


A proud St. Louis native and committed surrealist, HART L’ECUYER has attended Loyola University Chicago, St. Louis University, Webster University, New York University, and the University of Missouri—St. Louis. He has published poems in over two dozen literary magazines, including PARAGRAPHITI, Blue Lyra Review, Futures Trading, Blue River Review, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Former People, Bad Jacket, The Conglomerate, Blue Moon, Mannequin Haus, and Subterranean Blue Poetry. He has performed all over St. Louis, as well as at bookstores and bars in Chicago, Kansas City, New York, Berlin, and Paris. His eighth poetry collection, Broadcast Domino Plague, was recently published by Spartan Press.