Friday, 7 December 2018

Sudden Prose Reprints: "What Did the Orange Gain" by Anna Reckin

What did the orange gain

                                           when it lost its 'n'? Orotundity and foreignness--an orange is rounder than a naranja. It announces its roundness at the very beginning, out loud in black type: O.

But the 'n' didn't just drop off and fall away, a curl of peel. It slid across into negative space, no-man's land, the indefinite article. There it is, in the middle: empty vessel without so much as an outline around it. 

You can't throw a circle off-balance, but a painting needs a tipping movement. Something to set the eye rolling, ball on a see-saw. Teeter-totter, the clatter of utensils. Cutting board, and the knife's an indicator. Spin it like a needle, and see whose heart it points to. 

Not many murder stories happen in kitchens, despite all the knives, the opportunities. Or maybe they're disembodied--the murders, I mean. Acid, or the ones that slowly boil away until the pan runs dry. Spices whose oils evanesce into the atmosphere...

                                                            the vanishing's the point.

Anna Reckin
Line to Curve (Shearsman, 2018)