Friday, 7 March 2014

Sudden Prose Reprints: Andrea Scarpino's "With Lines from Nâzım Hikmet"

With Lines from Nâzım Hikmet

The poplar with its silver leaves as if a welcome light: come here, follow me. You did as you were told, took a flower from his casket's face. How long, this Earth? A star among stars / and one of the smallest. How long this silver light? Once there was a girl, a father, basil plants, chickadees, mourning doves. Even opossum. Even deer. Then there was a grave, sunflower cut, pressed hard to metal, mahogany. Turned from light. This earth will grow cold, Hikmet said. Will roll along / in pitch-black space. Once there was a father, daughter, ground for silver leaves, air for sparrow flight. Flowers opened recklessly. Then there was a grave.

Andrea Scarpino
Once, Then (Red Hen Press, 2014)

In the UK you can purchase Once, Then online at Foyle's, and in the US, directly from Red Hen Press.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Sudden Prose Reprints: J.R. Fenn's "After the Natatorium"

After the Natatorium

The first time they saw the natatorium they changed into their bathing costumes, pulled their rubber caps over their heads, and rushed into the water without a thought for the ice crystals that floated, cold and perfect, on the surface. As they somersaulted, chicken-fought, and cannonballed from the edges, an Indiana marching band played the young upstart Sousa’s Liberty Bell, conducted by a gesticulating barber from Mishawaka. The pool washed their skin clean of Chicago grime—soot from the chimneys, brick dust from fingernails, mortar packed and matted in their hair—and they crawled out of the natatorium as pink and fat as they had from the baptismal font, before they could rightly remember their own names.

At night the natatorium’s locked doors and windows invited the jimmied entrance of gin-breathers and wounded boys who immersed themselves in the waters, where they bled through their bandages in a hush, leaving the pool’s liquid a clear lapping blue and their wounds salted, closed, and covered over with quick growths of scar tissue that shone whiter against the white bottom of the great basin—a basin so gigantic that none of the night gangs could have imagined it could hold them all together at once as they bobbed and spumed and sighed in the dark, the occasional laugh that bubbled up from their throats swallowed by the cavernous heights above.

As the water warmed over the course of the summer, swimmers arrived from all corners of the city: babies with cauls that clung wet in their mothers’ arms, dancers whose jewels spread from their hips in drifts of color, liberated minnows that darted in bright curtains though the depths, a dromedary with levers inside to propel its dives toward the bottom-most deeps where it dwindled smaller than the terriers that paddled belly down in the light-cracked shallows.

Soon the demand for water outpaced the supply from the spring fed aqueducts sourced in a village northwest of the city. The natatorium dried up into a hollow field of concrete that first housed an electrical exhibit, then a market, and then—before it finally fell into disrepair—a variety show. Hawkers lingered by the entrance to advertise big mamas, one-eyed dogs and penguin men, flippers downed in black and white fuzz. The waterless pool filled with a honeycomb of curtained compartments where hundreds of people disappeared, eyes open in wonder, in hopes that others might chart their futures.

JR Fenn's writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, PANK, Flash, and more. 'After the Natatorium' is reprinted from Versal. She teaches at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Oblong III

Oblong Magazine's third issue is out, and I'm delighted to have a story, "Insurance," therein. A mere £3 will also bring you a nicely printed magazine of flash fictions by Alan Beard, Ric Carter, Margaret Eaton, Rhoda Greaves, Chad Greene, B. J. Jones, Nicole Matos, J. J. Steinfeld and Jon Steinhagen, as well as my own contribution. Many thanks to editor Jo Beckett King.

Fellow Sudden Prose writers may be interested to know that Oblong has just reopened for flash fiction submissions for its website, as they take a short hiatus from print issues.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

New magazine, The Irish Literary Review, seeking flash fiction

The Irish Literary Review is seeking flash fiction submissions of 300 to 1000 words. You can learn more here.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

New online magazine seeking flash fiction

Deep South, a new online journal from the University of New Zealand at Otago, seeks submissions of creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry and flash fiction up to 500 words. Find out more details on their website.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Sudden Prose Reprints: Meryl DePasquale's "On Parting"

On Parting

In that print two kids in kimonos slip sake to a rooster, trying to purchase a few more moments alone. Reverently, they stoop over a big orange bird. Lovely drooping tail feathers. Without horn-blast, the dawn creeps in fire and cream.

The same hour, he and I argue the entire way to the airport. Fat flakes fall against the windshield. No one can accuse us of graceful morning behavior. Once the weather clears my plane is in the air. Cottony clumps still hang around the mountain ranges. The woman beside me cries softly.

Passengers do not look to each other for sympathy. I want his hand cupped on the back of my neck. I imagine him saying I want you with bare sincerity. That sureness is enough to make a woman quiver all over, to cause her to crow. 

Meryl DePasquale lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a letterpress printer and participates in a collaborative mail art project called Four-Letter Press. Her chapbook Dream of a Perfect Interface is forthcoming with Dancing Girl Press. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Interim Magazine, Paper Darts and The Offending Adam, among other places. Meryl teaches at Saint Catherine University and the Loft Literary Center.

I originally read this poem in Handsome.  

Friday, 26 April 2013

Sudden Prose Reprints: Lucy Hamilton's "The Compulsion"

The Compulsion

To emerge from my hideout and stagger to the mirror. To face the stranger in my face. Who is she in the white of her face, like the white of Robert Wyman’s Twin? Is it this white that fills the stalker’s dreams and fuels his nightly propulsion to the one-way mirror? The reflection is distorted. If I break the mirror I’m done for.

 Lucy Hamilton

"The Compulsion" comes from Lucy Hamilton's Stalker (Shearsman, 2012),  shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. More information as well as multiple purchasing options are available on the publisher's website.