Friday, 21 July 2017

Sudden Prose Reprints: 'Gordita' by Maria Jastrzębska

From The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingénue


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 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