Friday, 28 July 2017

Sudden Prose Reprints: 'What of the Heart?' by Maria Jastrzębska

From The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingénue

What of the Heart?

Everybody looks below the surface hoping they’ll find some meaning, some remnant of a wreck, cargo of lost gold, if they just look hard enough and deep, when all they need is a glance. It’s enough to brush the surface lightly with a gaze, here, where a fish can jump through air or a bird dive under water, where light breaks and joins itself. Imagine gazing at the green surface of the water. Your face, the trees, mountains and sky are there. One sigh of the wind is all it takes and everything’s gone, face, trees, stone, clouds and you have to wait till it comes back the same way you wait for your pleasure, slippery as a fish, to leap between worlds, out of the water, through air, and back again.

This poem originally appeared in Long Poem Magazine. 

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.

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