Back in July, I wrote a post entitled The Tortoise & the Easter Bunny ?, this book by Lee Rourke traced a history of fables from Aesop to Flash Fiction. Whilst writing this post, I came across a few names, some known (Shane Jones) & some new to me. One of those new to me & who featured in that post was Joseph Young & his collection of microfictions - Easter Rabbit.
Things he decided: ice was always bitter, time will
append like cooking oil, he’d only been wrong once.
That was as a boy. There was a girl, her small ear,
purple in the mulberry tree.
In this collection the tales have been reduced to their core, although “reduced” as a term doesn’t do them justice. in this collection of microfictions the stories are carved as though from a large block of marble, not to create something, but to reveal the essence that was always there. The majority clock in at about fifty words & yet they convey the impression of being complete, without being finite, it’s as though they have their own interior logic, and are not reliant on any external source.
Her hand was small enough to thread the fence,
touch the bug that held the wall.
---,she whispered, as it fell. What? he asked. What?
she answered. She turned her head, her neck a bracket
for the dropping day
* * *
To be honest this collection has me slightly confused, I’m also sure it’s my fault & whatever label used is fine with the writer. My confusion lies in the where does the division (if one exists) between micro fiction and prose poetry lie? Like prose poetry, microfiction appears to be loose, possibly random paragraphs and to use everyday language, although it is heightened, making every word placed - placed with a specific purpose - as if it were a puzzle & could have only been placed there, would only fit there. As stated this division is probably only the confusion faced by one confronted by something new to them and something that by it’s very brevity leaves you with more questions than answers, that leaves you to ponder each tale.
Making this collection, however you define it, a wonderful read and one that, like poetry, benefits from being read then reread to oneself, and then out loud just to feel the way the words roll around your mouth.
Easter Rabbit opens windows to both the small and large worlds of everyday life and in the process opens rooms in your mind that you had either forgotten or had no knowledge of. The tales in this book provoke sometimes, coerce others but whichever route chosen the result is you are left with your thoughts and/or a desire to read that one just finished, one more time.
* * *
They turned right, off the road, left the smell of the
river, the miasma of history. They looked at their hands
and forearms for dust and scars. Well? She said, down
the long blue lens of his sight.