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A Character Named Metafiction (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Another highly experimental piece, based on the literary genre of metafiction.]

A character named Metafiction

    is aware she is a character named Metafiction who

    lives within the margined boundaries of this poem

          much like a happy robin

          safe inside her nest high in a tree

This character named Metafiction

    understands she has the attention of readers

    from somewhere                   beyond her paper home




                        to you

                                     and asks for some fun from me

                                                  her writer

                             as a means

                  to entertain you—

                                  who she declares as, “Our Guests”

I give her a pogo stick

                        on which Metafiction bounces         around

     from one place

                                           to the next          

                   and giggles

                                                        before she lets it go

       and the pogo stick vanishes

                                              somewhere beyond the tex—

I give Metafiction a cannon

     that she uses to B r e a k t h e F o u r t h W a l l

           and cries out, “Hello! My name is Metafiction,

                                            and who are you?”

But              my dear Reader          you cannot answer right away

     so all Metafiction hears is silence         as if from the other end

                         of a telephone

                                            at which she grows frustrated

Metafiction shouts at me, “You are the writer. I thought you could make anything happen!”

            To which I reply, “I am your writer, but even I cannot do everything.”

                       And my character grows quiet in thought.

“But you can speak to them, right?” Metafiction persists. “Even though I am a character freshly born for this poem, without much of a form or a voice beyond these lines, I want to know readers enjoy me—as any character does.” She pauses, then asks, “Say, Writer, despite the fact that I am fictional to you and your readers, my existence still matters,” her tone is hopeful, “right?”

         To which I reply, “Of course, you are. And you will live always in this imagined space that has more meaning than as a simple poem.”

              “What do you mean by that?” Metafiction asks.

                      I smile and write, “Someday, you might understand what I mean.”

                                  And so

                                       Metafiction continues to develop in small ways.


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