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!

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