Metafiction is a narrative technique and a genre of fiction, wherein a fictional work (novel, film, play, poem, etc.) self-consciously draws attention to being a work of imagination, rather than a work of non-fiction. Metafiction poses critical questions about the relation between fiction and reality, usually by applying irony and self-reflection. As a genre, metafiction is comparable to presentational theatre, which continually reminds the audience that they are viewing a play; metafiction continually reminds the reader to be aware that he or she is reading a fictional work. [Continue reading HERE] It became prominent in the 1960s with the publication of such novels as Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

Instead of making this idea seem very difficult to contemplate, I hope that we can have some fun with it. Take a good look at the means by which we write poetry (and why we do it) and approach it from a slightly different angle. Truth be told, anything goes.


Fictional Poem by me written earlier today at the train station


That’s me there

sitting on the bench

at the railway station


except of course it isn’t

because i’m here

writing this


that me there though

the one waiting for the train

pen in hand




a poem


is not real


people pace back and forth

waiting but moving


they’re not real either


the train on the opposite platform

hums and then sidles its way outward


but in reality

does not


it’s not real




if it is going outward

am i heading inward?


into the heart of it?


the skeletal bones of this

poetic reflection?


i see my imagined pen

move across the paper

that is not

and i imagine it

appearing on this blog


in some future moment


like now


that’s me there

getting on the train


to here








18 thoughts on “trains

  1. Rene says:

    I don’t know exactly why, but this feels like the most real and deeply touching poem I’ve read in quite a while. So much so that I don’t want to close this page for fear of losing this feeling … of knowing something somewhere is real, despite you telling me it isn’t.

  2. Brendan says:

    If art is a mirror held up to nature, the nature of poetry as you write here is the inward reflection of the outer world. Getting to the skeletal bones of that interior, as you put it — therein lies the art of the making. Well put.

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