Fawn- Introducing Jimmi Campkin

Whitby XXI.JPG[Photo by Jimmi Campkin]

Fawn

We’d convinced the girl behind the screen to let us climb the church tower.  We were both stoned beyond human comprehension – only nature could understand us now – but with her bored expression and indigo hair, we could see a kindred spirit.  Arms over shoulders we talked about the coming of the Lord, and how we needed to get really high, because we wanted to run our fingers through the clouds, and you kept spitting on the glass every time you tried to pronounce a hard ‘th’.  Never mind.  Our tickets were punched, and I swear I caught a smile as a lock of dark purple hair curled over an ear pockmarked with empty piercings.

Up the narrow stone steps we wound, tripping over each others ankles, inhaling all the smells of history – damp, dust and decay.  Emerging on a ledge, supported by one  thousand year old masonry, we stared up at the same sun from all those ages ago, and ran our fingers through the grooves left by people long since lost.  No tombs, no bones, no names, just the gashes in the rock.  I carved our initials into the soft stone to continue the journey.

Your lapdance around the spire was bizarre.  Uncordinated.  You stripped like a propeller rather than a dancer, flinging clothes and limbs everywhere.  Quoting The Dane, you screamed into the air; I have of late, wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth…

I sat down, watching you self destruct, what a piece of work…

Jimmi Campkin

[Born in November 1983, I have been writing in some form or another for most of my life, but I began to take it seriously as a career around 2003/2004.  Since then I have produced a novel, a novella and a series of short stories some of which are loosely linked into an overarching anthology.
Most of my stories come under the wide umbrella of ‘general fiction’, but I have experimented with genre pieces.  My short stories tend to be bittersweet, nostalgic, sometimes melancholic and (on occasion) examine the darker side of human nature and obsessions.
I also enjoy art and photography.  Clicking on the photography link will direct you to a few examples of my pictures, or if you prefer you can look at my artwork.  Most of my pictures, art and snippets from my stories also end up on my Instagram account (@jcampkin)
I welcome you to this site, and I hope you find something here to please you.  If not, below you’ll find a big picture of me to scream obscenities at.]

Street Rats- Introducing Daffni Gingerich

Ziegfeld Model - Non-Risque - by Alfred Cheney Johnston

From the depths of my churning stomach, he pulls out my childhood and makes me puke so violently it comes out of my eyes. After wiping my face, he kisses my acidic lips. That’s when the world stops and the words start to fall out of me. The mustard plants in the vineyard across the street bloom yearly. They’re beautiful so I sit on the fence and get lost in them. When with me, he’d stare for a good 20 mins before sneaking his dirty paws up my shirt. The wind would cause me to run through the flowers in whatever direction it blew. The sky is blue and I can taste grapefruits in the air. He grabs my arm and pulls me back towards him to say I could never get away. With his arms locked tight around me and my soul devoured by his eyes, I feel a shiver go up my dress. Reminds me of Clara Harris, the woman who they claimed had “sudden passion” and hit her husband repeatedly with a car. Then proceeded to run over his lifeless body. His kisses bring me to places I never planned on going. A monkey and tiger tug at my dress and the sultan rubs a gold lamp. I want the lamp but when I return to his kiss there’s not much else I could ask for. Besides well written work and well, that’s something I prefer to earn over rubbing a lamp to get for free.

[We are very excited to add Daffni Gingerich to our collective. She is a special writer who brings something very special to the our group. I would hope that you would welcome here to SD.]

Subjective – Matt Eayre

tumblr_nsmc6x850V1swx8i2o1_500
‘Subjective’

These words have no meaning.

A metaphor, perhaps,

an impending ice age covering the landscape while I run from the freeze.

A turn of phrase, it could be, I never wanted anything to stop my destruction, and she jumped on the grenade to save me.

A rhyme, to mark the time, the wind brings me a smile,

Thinking of you drinking in that happy place about a mile

Away from my hands, you can stand on your own and

Find a new home while I wither alone and drink my lonely tears,

I’m stuck in my fear and will be for years…

These words have no meaning, when they sit on your screen, on your printed page you read them and translate into images of your own experience

My life is my own and when I write I feel a release of captured agony,

Does it reach you?

This man is getting old, trying to find a way to keep being

I’ve found a medication that works

Strange eyes see my heart and pass judgement,

this is poetry,

this is not

this is good enough,

this is crap

you’re a good writer,

you’re a poet

you’re an imposter

and you know you don’t belong

These words have no meaning

Here I sit, a survivor of countless attempts on my life

(by my own hand)

Here I sit, a remnant of innocence twisted and stolen,

I stand, the thing that grew when a brand-new tree was broken.

These words have a meaning.

I have lived this life and I have tried to find a meaning, I have fought against all of the noise in my head, all of the hate in the world which buries my people.

I have tried to lift hearts from cages and teach birds to walk,

So their wings won’t fail them.

These words have meaning.

If you will just see
I cannot yet fly
I have only a wish to know the clouds.

If you will read these words and know my love, we may both find the wind.

I have died and come back to life
to be here
to give you this moment

I write for only one reason.

I am these words.

I have meaning.

Matt Eayre

Subterranean Novellas – Aurora Phoenix

he is sleeping
fetally curled
as the narrow bench allows
hairily bedraggled
a forlorn green bean
hopelessly lost in a crisper corner.
insensible to the hubbub
lurch oblivious
sea legs unconscious.
his story has uncracked bindings
though I inescapably
draft this chapter
unimaginatively entitled
“homeless”
subtitled
survival strategies for bitter blustery days

they wear their privilege
like their pancake
precisely overdone
accentuating blemishes
it purports to mask.
like spanx in overtime
containing wayward bulges
they convulse in paroxysms
suppressed schoolgirl giggles
as they selfie mock him –
these southern belles
similarly lionizing
life’s half century
in the city
that will never sleep

do I,
in the crushed velvet burnout
that is my poetic soul,
bear closer resemblance
to an urban misfit
escaping frigidity
cloaked in congealed
eau de shame
than I do
the pungently judging
glam squad clique
clicking and cackling
in cringe-worthy
mean girl couture?

I hope,
fervently as the guillotine bound
damned
pray for salvation
that I do


[Aurora Phoenix: I spent over 2 decades as a clinical psychologist, prior to the decimation of my world when I was suddenly incarcerated 2 and a half years ago. My writing was born in that caged existence – not a choice but a soul-saving necessity.  I write as Aurora Phoenix at Insights from “Inside”]

Introducing N. Ian McCarthy

A Drift of Dead Comics
by N. Ian McCarthy

       You lay, balanced flat across the colonnade of my fingers. A lower-left corner wags with the intervallic oscillation of a floor fan—the limb of a cotton bed sheet, straddling a clotheswire in the wind. You are almost a breathing thing: the impulse of a contracting diaphragm. You are the sucking gill of an angled fish, one who cannot oxygenate without water. My wax lips strain around the vowels of an invented dialect, during the seventh minute of my resistance to pick at the flat-folded staples that run up the split of your faulted spine. Do I engender a quake that will defoliate your season of autumn? Can I scatter your sheets like loose cedar shavings, as mulch for the bed of my own Silk Road?

            I am the yellow-eyed cat, lean and starved, who ladles the spoon of his tongue into the dish of the remainder of your souring cream. I mount a low mangrove branch to bay into the charcoal square of your nighttime doorway. Come not for me or for anyone. You are a reliquary of mutable fictions, and you behoove no further corporal appearances.

       Are you more than the sum of your linearly arranged innards—this cardboard box lined with plastic sleeves and white splints to keep your keepsakes from creasing? Are you only your cut-to-fit pages printed in four-color process? Value is a future thing, fuzzy, until the future appraises it. I hold you by your edges and delicately, like a cautious amateur rolling through brittle Egyptian papyrus. And, in the ball of this lamplight, I become a tonsured vulture who stabs the vice of his beak into a gob of your dried rib meat.

       Six years ago, I misplaced my hat at a bar ringed by soot-black acres of potato dirt, where notes of vinegar from a nearby canning plant punctuated the inferences of my nose. It was a driving cap, sewn with a damask label boasting Donegal Tweed on the bowl of its belly. The memory of its passing is an ash steeped in smudgy tumblers of neat whiskey—as all things that transpire while drunk are contractually forfeited upon embarkation. The recently tangible became only a murmur in the chill of my morning baldness. Am I more than those thick, raspy hands? The ones that likely scrubbed over its green-and-brown woven fibers? Is there any molecule of me still stitched into the band of its fit? Or do I become a novelty, minus all personal history, as is the fate of any found and inherited thing? Do I exist in a green garbage pile, awaiting my delivery unto the heap? Or am I hung lightly on a wood knob, in the corner of room buoyed by festive music?

       May the serialized volumes of my being—like yours—be bound in clear plastic sheaths and filed horizontally by issue number, their values cataloged and fondled by speculators. In my collection, a body-warm cap, tumbled from the crown of a quite common skull. Worth is a fuzzy thing, indeterminate without precise coordinates in space and in time. Permanence is a windblown page printed in chalk.

 


[ N. Ian McCarthy lives in the southern United States, where he writes poetry and brief prose. His works have appeared on cocktail napkins and in bifold restaurant placemats since the early 2000s. He believes in the principle of essential human worth and in the incomparable value of stories and experiences; he hopes that by attempting to understand better, we attempt to be better. He’s been fascinated by outer space since boyhood, though he has an irrational fear of gas giants. He maintains a small blog at Mad Bongo Maze.]

Lost Voice – Christine Ray

siren’s golden voice
once dropped confident syllables
into air
as naturally as breathing
now stifled in constricted throat
that struggles to swallow
six-sided anxiety
hot, sour bile

college ruled notebooks
once full
of manic scribblings
compulsively captured in black ink
before inspiration could swirl down the floor drain
collect dust
sigh from disuse

pen now held in death grip
fingers have lost their grace
their nerve
fertile mind now an empty room
where silence rings
torturous tinnitus

blindfolded by fear
weight pressing down on shoulders
by the weight of giant
unseen inquisitor’s voice barks
Have you reached the bottom of yourself
are you so shallow
so barren?!
Or is truth so deeply hidden
that you must dive inside
hand to elbow buried into slippery entails
to reach it?

surgical implements laid out
with precision on a stainless tray
slide into view
no hesitation picking up sharp scalpel
with shaking fingers
a writer’s way is
always to bleed


[Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.]

Introducing Allie Nelson – Addict

13128412_f520 (1)
Addict – Allie Nelson

It’s evening, and we’re both drunk as stoned birds, and you look like a young Hannibal Lecter and stink of corpses and rotting roses. I’m in bandages and heels, I cut myself on your broken bottles again, maybe because I hate myself or maybe because I hate you and I want you to see your precious little canary bleed red, dead, showing the coal mine of your palace is stranger danger. There’s needle pricks along your forearm and you’re ranting and raving about how I left you for your brother, the Prodigal Sun, and you’re the fuckup your dad kicked to the curb into a joint you call Hell with your bachelor buddies where all you do is fuck and kill and get high any means possible. I say your twin is worth a thousand yous and I’d rather you were dead by my hands than calling me jezebel and heirodule and all your pretty words for whore. Maybe you get off on me sleeping with all your friends and enemies – no, I know you do, because you own me and I own you and I only do as we please and you’re a manwhore that likes used goods – but for now you’re pretending it’s only us at night, not succubi or angels of prostitution or all the fancy terms rabbis came up for cheap ladies of the night that dress up in oxblood lipstick and leather and decorate your palace. I tried to join in on one of your orgies once and you laughed to high heaven at how innocent I was, too pure, and your wives stroked my hair and tweaked my nose and then you got back to your fucking. So much for sharing. I don’t know a damn thing about drugs and all the shit you drink and snort and smoke and siphon through your veins but silver daggers are pumping this clear heady substance into your banded arms and I’m cornered, horny, and pissed. I imagine you are the same, because what fucking loser castigates his wife for straying and throws temper tantrums then comes crawling back drunk for forgiveness and pleads for a second chance, a millionth chance, just take my poetry and books and roses and shittily made tacos and let’s pretend I’m the dragon, you’re the princess, and your fucking knight brother was burned to a crisp. You grab me from behind and I hike up the bandages and you talk about kids and how pretty I would be pregnant and I tell you to fuck off as I cum and you’re still snorting coke off my spine and we rut until I bleed and you’re raw. You mock me for missing a spot waxing but I know you’d fuck me if I had a sixties porno bush. You’ve made it a point to fuck me however I look, lathering me up to a soap with compliments and moaning and weakness as your seed spills out and I could sink my teeth into your manhood and drink down all the black sin inside you. You’re crying again, sobbing into my hair, saying how could I have left you for the better half, the sober one, the brother you hate and love in equal measure. I tell you to shut the hell up and let me sleep and that I only keep you around because you’re hot when you’re not an abomination. I’m pretty sure you raised me to kill you, and you love watching me in other men’s arms, but then you go and haunt my boyfriends and fuck me in their beds so who knows. All I know is that you think you have me figured out, but then I go and surprise you and you lose your shit and rant and rave like a rabid dog. Watchdog of the graveyard, you called yourself. The Scapegoat. Samuel the Judge. I hope the whole fucking Internet reads this and the Satanists know what a pussy their god is. The Devil’s a cuckold and cries at Victor Hugo and beats his women and is as disturbed as his favorite eponymous band. Addict Angel Extraordinaire. Waste of Space Junkie. This is just me spewing shit on the page to see what sticks but isn’t that what I always do?

I learned to write from you, after all.

https://dancewithtricksters.wordpress.com/

[Allie is a rather bubbly blonde that currently attends grad school for science communication, has a rather useless degree in biology, and works in the environmental field. She can usually be found hugging trees, eating green curry with tofu, or exploring the wilds of D.C.. Allie is an avid poet, aspiring author, meme queen, speculative fiction enthusiast, and alien centaur aficionado. She also has about 600 lipst.]