Friday, 12 February 2021

Sudden Prose Reprints: "Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in their Arms the Skins of an Orchestra – Dalí, 1936" by Geraldine Clarkson

Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in their Arms  the Skins of an Orchestra – Dalí, 1936  


Having always used her music as an instrument, a gift to stifle hurt in others, a searching for a niche into which she could stuff pansies or wallflowers, a grey to be drenched with peony or tangerine, she became pliable, perfectly responsive to circumstance, a kitten following its master, chase-and-nibble. At first she didn’t notice herself changing, so intent was she on pacifying with titbits the yawning jaw. Filling the jug of subjugation. Until she awoke in a boulder-desert, stone-faced, immaterial. Her life shrunk now to two needers who dominated: her mother and her daughter. Her music no more than a cipher, a distorted keyboard painted on a banner wrung out, flung out between her and the others, a mute offering. The godlike gift something less than animal or vegetable. A split skewed thing. And she, a rock-musician, no longer able to please anyone.


Geraldine Clarkson
Monica's Overcoat of Flesh (Nine Arches Press, 2020)

Friday, 5 February 2021

Sudden Prose Reprints: "A Thursday" by Geraldine Clarkson

A Thursday

Attendant circumstances: the sun and the moon, in that order. Running home, no reason to think the house would not be as we’d left it. Mother wiping workaday hands on her stretchy pink overall. Father gulping down tea, talking to whoever was there, his soft-steel presence filling the house, so that we breathed in, moved carefully into corners. And my brother: thinning, staring, wandering off for longer and longer, forgetting to say where, just flushed cheeks and eyes shining like polythene. But the noise coiled through the windows and walls before we arrived—a wind of tangled voices sighing and soughing. The back door open. Mother not in the kitchen. Father, loitering. The next room quickly dark with cousins and uncles and Irish people, all here not there. On top of each other, two heads to each person. All the heads crying. And Mother by the fire, flanked by four aunts. Someone took us to a back room, away from the sobbing-wind sound, offered us sweets, as many as we liked, while day turned to night, in that order.

Geraldine Clarkson
Monica's Overcoat of Flesh (Nine Arches, 2020)