Friday, 21 July 2017

Sudden Prose Reprints: 'Gordita' by Maria Jastrzębska


From The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingénue



Gordita


On a day without any breeze the Commander is strolling across the sleepy square when he hears children chasing a round-faced child – Gordita, Gordita Chocinita they call. He asks the priest who has become his interpreter what it means and on learning it means piggy girl he tells his henchmen to find the child. That afternoon the villagers cannot believe their eyes as the men, having built a huge fire in the centre of the square, hang the child trussed up like an animal over its flames. The child screams. The people plead and shout. The Commander inclines his head and the men fire a round of shots above the crowd to silence them. But it’s you who are responsible for this, he drawls, you are the ones who named her Chocinita in the first place. His voice carries in the stillness like smoke rising lazily on a day without any breeze.


Maria Jastrzębska


This poem first appeared in Long Poem Magazine.










Friday, 5 May 2017

Sudden Prose Reprints: "Green" by Jodie Hollander






Green

Green were the waves on the Zambezi bouncing our rubber raft, close to the sharp cliffs, then far, high out of the water, the waves they called the angry sisters, the washing machine, the raft dipped its nose into the green river, the knowing of skull-clanking rock. First the gasping for a way out from beneath, my hand searching for air, bumping raft, then raft again—then that sinking feeling—the green calm of the heart’s unclutch, green like the ribbons of seaweed waving, locks of a woman’s hair. Green—the pat pat of the last beats before the heart’s submission, then the release—that melody beneath the water, the letting go—that music, green.


Jodie Hollander


Friday, 14 October 2016

Sudden Prose Reprints: Em Strang's "Hare"

This compelling prose poem appears in Em Strang's first collection, Bird-Woman, just out from Shearsman Books. 


HARE

In Memoriam Jyoti Singh


I'm carrying the hare along the road. One of its back legs is hanging by a single tendon, blood seeping slowly in the cold. It's early morning, but the hare is late. The school bus has taken it by surprise, for the last time. I'm holding it like a newborn baby, one hand beneath its head, the other beneath its backside. It's heavy. It weighs roughly as much as a fully grown, well-fed tomcat. It's the kind of weight I'd prefer to sling over my shoulder.

For some time now, I've been unable to let the images go: the bus in the semi-dark, the young woman and her male friend; the blood on the men's hands and all their wide eyes in the confines of the vehicle; the metal air; the woman's voice which I can hear, again and again, no matter where I look.

The body is still warm and limp, still supple, and I keep half-expecting its eyes to blink, its legs to jerk awake. I half-expect the hare to jump and charge away from me. But it doesn't. I carry it into the woods and put it down beneath a rhododendron bush. I lay it out in such a way that the gashed leg is invisible and it looks, it really looks, as though the hare is wide alive and running. It doesn't matter whether I'm doing this for me or for all hares.

I find a few branches and twigs and make a kind of woody tent over the body. I don't do this for other roadkill, but I've been watching the hares all year – there's a pair. Or there was. They circle the house like sentinels, beginning on the eastern side with the sun and working their way round through the orchard, past the hen-run and into the woods. I watch them through the windows, their black-tipped ears, their long, powerful hind-legs that work like suspension coils, easing the body up and forward, down and forward, perpetually sprung; ready, I supposed, for the unexpected.

By now it's a familiar story. The woman with a young, smiling face and soft skin. Her softness in the last light of the evening. All the shouting men, their mouths, their drenched clothes.

It's a small back road with little traffic, but the school bus passes twice a day and the driver doesn't mean to hit it. He's late and the kids are waiting, out in the cold on a corner of turf.

I stroke its long ears back against its head, stroke its fine coat, white belly, small face. Hares have kinetic skulls – they're jointed – which allows for a degree of movement between the front and back sections. It helps absorb the force of impact as the hare strikes the ground.

The iron bar. The shadow faces. The quiet glistening of the steering wheel, an empty glass bottle, an eye.



Friday, 15 July 2016

Sudden Prose Reprints: "With the Boy, in the Box" by Jennifer Kronovet




With the Boy, in the Box


I drag the boy along the shore in a box, a boy-box, a not-box. I pause to speech-draft us a word-ship, a ship-box, a ship, and I try to leave spaces for weather, we-weather. I leave spaces that are high, highly visible for us to move into as we grow culture with our box-myth: a box can be a word can be a ship can be the blank that takes us to each other.


Jennifer Kronovet
Case Study: With (above/ground, 2015)



Information about how to purchase the chapbook directly from the publisher ($6 CAD for out-of-Canada orders, including shipping) are available here. 


Friday, 8 July 2016

Sudden Prose Reprints: "With the Boy, Inside the Museum" by Jennifer Kronovet




With the Boy, Inside the Museum



A painting of horses charging in a war. The war is subtle but the horses aren’t. Nouns, for the boy, live in the sounds nouns make. We don’t hear the horses, but the boy makes us. Our war is silent as horseflesh armoring distance. The boy’s future war makes a sound. We imitate that sound by accident.


Jennifer Kronovet
Case Study: With (above/ground, 2015)




Friday, 1 July 2016

Sudden Prose Reprints: "Father Tongue" by Jennifer Kronovet






Father Tongue


Each issue of Blade Magazine describes a man and how he came to be a person of knives. There are veins of metal in rock and in a family and in one person’s diorama. Some is mined for weaponry, some for language. Some knives are photographed like ladies in a nudy magazine, hovering above place without a human to hold them. Their blades are reflectionless like the back of my mind when I look. Blade at the dining room table, in the bathroom, on the couch, throughout my striated landscape leading to leaving.

The language of knives includes: quenching, hilt, damascus, hollow ground, skeleton handle, balisong. “Song of Myself” has: loveroot, souse, killing-clothes, chant of dilation, fallen architecture. Whitman was too late to sow me as an orchard for harvesting the hybrid fruits of our thinking. I had held my father’s knives and could feel how they fit him, and he was multitudes to me by being different from himself. Whitman was merely me, but different. I am still waiting for my mind to fit a language the way a knife can fit my hand. I want to wield both together to cut my past down, the opposite of screaming.


Jennifer Kronovet
Case Study: With (above/ground, 2015)