July 1, 2013 by The Citron Review

by Emma Burcart


I had a first sentence yesterday. But I didn’t sit down and write it, so it’s gone. I could go back into my writing room and work. I’d rather think about color. Sit and stare at the walls. How gray turns into blue, and back into gray where the corner turns. Oranges against dark gray. Every one of the oranges in the clear glass bowl is a different shade. From deep, sunset red to yellowish-green. How do they make them seedless? Actually they’re tangerines. Cheaper than oranges at Winco. But all together in the jar they just look orange. Dark and smooth around the navel (is that really what it’s called?) and light and kind of spotty toward the middle. Big pores like an eighth grade boy who hasn’t yet discovered Clearasil. The walls are bright orange. The name is Dragon Fire. Orange is supposed to spark creativity. All I want to do is search for pictures of living room layouts and interior decorating. All I can do is look at color. Everywhere I go. When someone is talking to me, I’m looking at the wall behind them and noticing how the paint makes their eyes pop. Or thinking about throw pillows, saturated with color and smooth to the touch. I’m over animal print. Zebra stripes have become a neutral. I want color. Orange against gray, bright against smooth. I should say warm against cool, the official language of color. Shift my gaze, turn my neck, and orange hits the blue. Takes away all the gray and leaves a robin’s egg. It’s easier to breathe when I just look at colors. No pressure. My brain, my mouth, my ears are all filled with color. Why did I set the blue coffee mug on top of the orange tea cloth? A Caribbean color combination. Makes even my elbows sweat. I sink my toes into the ocean. Far away from gray.


Emma Burcart lived most of her life in Portland, Oregon, but recently relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina for the weather. She teaches reading during the day, writes fiction and essays before the sun comes up every morning, and blogs about girlie things. She will begin the creative writing MFA program at Antioch University this summer. 

2 thoughts on “Block

  1. Allie Marini Batts says:

    A lovely, lyrical spin on the place that every writer has been (and hates.) Somehow, you made it seem sort of appealing! Fantastic work, Emma. Even writer’s block can’t stop you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Snow on brush in desert

IMAGE CREDIT: Jill Katherine Chmelko. Protest Road, Winter. 2019.

🍋Our Tenth Anniversary


    Cheers to ten years of celebrating the short form.


🍋 Instagram

US President George Washington rode a horse, of course. So we are recognizing this President's birthday with our Winter Issue story, "The Farrier, by Lisa Tuininga. Lisa Tuininga writes fiction and creative nonfiction. She holds a BA in English Literature from DePaul University and has studied at Seattle’s literary center, @hugohouse. Her work has appeared in @belletristmagazine , Adanna Literary Journal, @sharkreeflit, and others (under pen name Lisa Regen) and she is working on her first novel. #amreading #amsubmitting
Whether you celebrate V-Day or you're anti-V-Day, we all have laundry to do. Kris Willcox's work is in publications including The Cimarron Review​, @beloitfictionjournal , and @PDXReview. #amreading #flashfiction #litmag
Dive deep into some #flashfiction with @elpattee. Emma Pattee’s writing has been published in @nytimes and @carvecommunity and is forthcoming in @marieclairemag. She was a 2019 AWP Writer-to-Writer mentee and leads the Portland chapter of Women Who Submit. She is currently working on a novel.
We review the debut Cathy Ulrich collection Ghosts of You (@okaydonkeymag) We're over the moon with ZEST. #amreading #flashfiction
We're ready to read your Flash, Micros, Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. Submit at
Micros are always on our mind. Come around back and live the story Sean Pravica has conjured. Sean Pravica's next book, Hold Still Fast, is a collection of 200 stories 50 words and under. It's out in May from @Pelekinetic. #amreading #microfiction

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: