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)

Friday, 24 June 2016

Sudden Prose Reprints: Jennifer Kronovet's "With the Boy, Outside"

I was very impressed with Jennifer Kronovet's chapbook, Case Study: With: this is the first of four prose poems I'll be reprinting. Thanks to Jennifer for permission and to her publisher, rob mclennan, for bringing her work to my attention.

With the Boy, Outside

Twigs collect by the side of the path. Wild flowers space themselves. Pigeons respond instantly to being chased. If I look through the boy—to loss, to a future, to else—nothing is enough to hold the ground into one place. This is your foot, I say. But people don’t talk like that. I watch people gather their faces into thoughts I can’t hear. This is the space between us, I say waving my hands to make the distance.

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

Friday, 17 June 2016

Sudden Prose Reprints: Sarah Burgoyne's "The Basket Waltz"

The Basket Waltz

It was around that time of year when everyone decides to take their chances. The baker transformed into a cut of meat, and the funeral was solemn, the casket oddly-shaped. We hadn't learned any better, but then again, there was no one there to teach us. Asleep in the wild country, we watched the moths go up in flame.

Lay me down, prophets, and let me watch you read into things. It only took a couple of years to learn that the oracle can be sometimes wrong. One day, I taught her how to French braid her hair and from then on, braids became powerful symbols of widows. She told her secrets only to the dog, and when she died, the dog ran off into the woods, taking our bones with him.

When my daughter returns as an old woman, she’ll take up country singing. I’ll take up lodging in a nearby tree next to several spiders. We’ll spend our last days comparing webs, though I never will feel at the centre of mine. When my daughter passes, I’ll spin each note of "Walkin' After Midnight" into perfect white skeins of yarn.

Sarah Burgoyne
A Precarious Life on the Sea
above/ground press, 2016

To order a copy of A Precarious Life on the Sea, send cheques ($4 CAD, with $2 additional for postage outside Canada) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1H 7M9 or paypal at

Friday, 10 June 2016

Sudden Prose Reprints: "Rain" by Julia Webb


Daddy said that the FLOODS were coming and we believed him − it rained for days and we didn’t go out. Alice was grumpy because the holidays were being wasted but I didn’t mind I LIKE staying indoors. I decided to get everything out of the cupboard in our room. First I found NOAH’S ARK and lined up all the animals, but some of them wouldn’t stand up because they had broken legs. Next I played with Tiny Tears, but she couldn’t cry anymore. Then I tried to draw an Ark on the Etch-a- sketch but I couldn’t make the sides straight so I gave up and decided to find all my cuddly animals and get them ready for the REAL ARK. At dinner time on the fifth day of rain Daddy said that ALL THE SINNERS IN THE WORLD WOULD DROWN AND GOOD RIDDANCE, and I held Easter Bunny tight between my knees so he knew I would save him, and so that Daddy would not make me take him back upstairs because WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TOYS AT THE TABLE. That night I had a nightmare about water coming in the window and I woke up screaming. Mama said to Daddy NOW look what you’ve done! And she gave me a glass of milk and a biscuit even though we aren’t allowed to eat in bed. I saved the biscuit under my pillow because there won’t be much food on the Ark. When they had gone I couldn’t get back to sleep − I was too busy remembering all the BAD THINGS that I had done like writing POO in the back of a school book, and I decided that I would have to build MY OWN ARK in case Daddy couldn’t save me. I must have fallen asleep praying because the next minute the SUN was shining and Alice was bouncing on my bed saying Get up Lazy Bones the rain’s gone, and Mama says if we clear up we can go to the shops! And I knew that my prayers HAD been answered, and that I should try hard not to sin anymore. But I DID want some sweets, and as Mama says I AM ONLY A CHILD, so I kicked the mess under Alice’s bed, and wondered whether Daddy would buy me a new Tiny Tears if I accidently broke her arm off, because if I’m not going to die yet I WOULD like a doll who can REALLY CRY!

Julia Webb
Bird Sisters (Nine Arches, 2016)