Important Announcement from Sudden Denouement Publishing

 

Nicole Lyons’ stunning books, I Am a World of Uncertainties Disguised as a Girl and Blossom and Bone are currently on sale at Amazon for $9.99 each.  Once Amazon’s stock of these books has been sold, these titles will NOT be available again. Don’t miss your chance to own these amazing books!

Sudden Denouement Publishing will also stop publishing Christine E. Ray’s first book of poetry and prose, Composition of a Woman, on March 1st. Composition of a Woman will be available through AmazonBarnes and Nobel OnlineBook DepositoryIndigo, and other major online book retailers through February 28th.

Foundations – Jimmi Campkin

Foundations

I salute the trees.  I am not magnificent but I can see everything grow.  I hear the grass chattering and laughing.  I stare at the oaks as they stretch like old hungover drunks after a binge.

Kicking my way through an old memory, I sit down on a bench and watch a young mother playing with her child – she lets go of the kid’s shoulders and this little fat bundle of limbs wobbles and trundles into a loving pair of arms.  I light a cigarette and look over their heads towards a crumbling brick wall where I came in thirty seven seconds – a gloriously brief but exhilarating moment of savagery that left me needing three stitches in my shoulder thanks to the razor sharp teeth of an utterly destructive angel.  For five nights afterwards, I would lift my head from my pillow and find one of her brunette hairs lying next to me, either tangled up in my own or left as some kind of spiritual offering.  I didn’t wash until my sheets left an imprint of my twisting torso.

In the cold the hot ash lights up my eyebrows, and I feel the smoke rumble down inside me.  I am just a stranger now, in a place where we left so many imprints that we wrote in a language too complex for future generations to understand; or too simple.  Perhaps everything just moves on from our messages, our little totems to what a future could be – liberal, relentless in our pursuit of sensations, dogmatic in our chasing of the wind and of love, emphatic in our use of drugs and alcohol but sensitive in our presentation.  I remember walking a five block diversion to avoid following a nervous young lad, who kept looking over his shoulder at the wasted behemoth shambling and crashing behind him as our paths continued.  It only took a bottle of whiskey to give me a night so intense I could drink the stars, and yet leave an impression on this youth that I was somehow a danger to him rather than a revelation… or more probably a self-indulgent indifference.

When I close my eyes the world turns black and white and I see, like a filter, what was once and is no more.  I recognise footprints in grass that has since been cut and mown a thousand times, because I can still lay down and hear the echoes in the soil and the worms gossiping about the underwear we flung high into the canopy of the trees – bras, panties and boxers like flags on the backs of warships.  I remember warming my hands inside your cunt and you gripped my stiff cock like a hot chip as our breath mingled under a trillion years of entropy.  Under the Milky Way you promised that we would remember this moment for the rest of our lives.

I wonder.  I remember this moment but I don’t know where you are now.  I don’t know what you think or what you feel.  I don’t know whether you sit on this bench, look at that wall and remember sinking your teeth deep into my shoulder enough to dribble my blood down your chin.  I don’t know if you remember my cold fingers deep inside you or whether you see the footprints through the filter.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter.  Perhaps you are focused instead on better things, more important things.  Perhaps you are this mother, focused so intently on her little baby as it shuffles through the grass desperately trying to maintain its balance long enough to be embraced tight.  Maybe you look to the light in someone else’s eyes rather than to the light above us, as it shines down on our best and worst crimes.


Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com

Sliced – Aurora Phoenix

Slash

you took my shame and sliced it
lengthwise and lethal
with a viscous crunch through
the sheltered skin of a hothouse tomato.

no hesitation marks here

you cleaved me not crosswise
in that superficial scarring that screams
here I am, a suffering seeded gash
staining citric your surround.

you slashed my history

left me gasping for a tourniquet
or oblivion’s sweet relief
while the blood of shame in my eyes
obscured my vision for an eternity.

you want it that way

as it keeps me neatly in my place
that place where I may not
disrupt ill-balanced status quo
or wreak maladroit mayhem

with the power in your head.

the dripping blood of an act engaged in
is pulsing exsanguination here
four score and gore on the floor
daring you to do better.

am I to be judged

by the stertorous impulse
of my worst nightmare
or the cucumber constancy
of my day to day?

I am relegated

a crumpled and ill-used relic
ne’er dusted in the cobwebbed corner

until I decide
that I AM human
and deserving of continued respect


Aurora Phoenix is a wordsmithing oxymoron. Staid suburbanite cloaks a badass warrior wielding weapon grade phrases. Read more of her confabulations at Insights from “Inside.”

The knight of infinite resignation – Nitin Lalit Murali

The knight of infinite resignation

I’m the knight of infinite resignation. The puppet on a string that never grasped the abstract like Abraham, the champion of faith did. I came close and perhaps almost touched faith, but vultures of guilt swooped down and plucked my flesh, leaving me screaming in pain and angst. Now, a walking cadaver, one of the undead, I’m lost to apathy with an occasional paroxysm of acute melancholia gripping me. Waves and waves of ditch-water green sorrow crash against the surface of my calloused heart, softening it for a moment, before receding, leaving me mute again like a forgotten chipped-off bar stool in the corner of a discotheque.

I’m a fatalist, the puppet soft and humanoid, but not free. I dance to the whims of a vengeful sovereign when a fantasia of dour, dolorous and despondent notes play. My dance is awkward, clumsy and slow like a virgin attempting to make love like an expert when he knows nothing. Trash, used red bull cans, pants I’ve shagged in, and cigarette buds litter my room. The stench is nauseating, and it parallels me. Pornography takes up most of the space on my computer. The women come, and the women go, finding the sadness initially alluring and then repugnant.

I don’t have cuts on my wrist because I don’t parade my misfortune with embellishments like the pseudo-depressed, ‘there’s a blue elephant in the room,’ status message posting for the likes, ‘I’m getting by,’ people do. I am who I’ve become, and there’s no remedy, and even if they put me in a time capsule and send me six years back when I looked good, and watched the stars, and fathomed the distance between them with a quixotic mind, I’ll end up becoming the man I am now.

I know horror intimately like Whitman knew his bedfellow. I’ve seen, I’ve heard, I’ve screamed, and I’ve run. Now, a melange of prescription medication keeps me breathing, but doesn’t stop me from asking if it’s worth it. The sunrise kills, and the sunset terrifies. I snatch sleep between the aubade and the curtain call, but even then, demonic dreams haunt. I’m not your source of inspiration. I’m not your Joel Osteen, white Chiclet toothed preacher of this being your ‘best life,’ but neither am I a prophet, or a soldier of wrath. I’m death personified. Not the taking of lives death, but the death that comes for a few who still breathe.

So, I don’t ask for your sympathy and empathy is never given without a clause. I only ask for your understanding.


Nitin Lalit Murali is a poet, flash fiction writer and essayist from Bangalore, India. He also enjoys reading literature of different genres and listening to jazz and neo-classical music. He started writing seven years ago and art has consumed him over the years. He blogs regularly at Fighting the Dying Light

 

Polonius – Lois E. Linkens

Polonius

This burnished arras, the fibre’s thick
Like short red grass. I know t’other face
With heavy gold and Denmark’s seal.
Those bleats of pain are crass
Behind so fine a pile.

A shadowy place, a maskéd face.

The fibre’s thick. I see a powd’ry moon,
I see a flying bird. A crouching beast,
A quiet man, fellows lost in the grasses
As they rise, blood ropes t’wards the skies.
I see them glint.


Lois is a poet and student from England. She is studying the literature of the Romantics and hopes their values and innovations will filter through into her own work. She is working on longer projects at present, with a hope to publish poetry collections and novels in the years to come. She is a feminist, an nostalgic optimist, and a quiet voice in the shadows of Joanne Baillie and Charlotte Smith. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkens.

Morning Mist – Iulia Halatz

Grace-M.-Ballentine-Morning-Mist-1948
The mist that
covers my heart
is thick
numbing mornings
and evenings
with the sagacity
of a cubist artifact.

It comes in layers
clinging with fetid fingers
on to the gargoyles
of the old mansion
our love has become.

No surprise from
any shadow
No brush
with velveteen
vulnerable
acts of tenderness.

Dragons and starlings
seem nearer
in the dancey mists

Love is uncovered
in a smile
at first light…
Is that enough?


“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.

Update on the Sudden Denouement Short Story Contest

 

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We have had a lot of inquiries about the Sudden Denouement Short Story Contest.  We received 129 submissions to the contest from all over the globe and the editors recently completed their first round of judging, choosing the top 24 stories.  We are currently finishing a second round of judging and will begin publishing our favorites on the site as early as next week.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

For All the Pretty Boys I’ve Loved – Kindra M. Austin

For all the pretty boys 2

In consequence of
grand
transgressions,
bodies bob in
putrid
tinted
water.

I captained fastest motor boats
that ran on sweat and
seminal fluids.

I did not burn down
bridges,
rather,
I set fire
to marital mattresses;
then
we all
choked on
ashes.

Yes, I captained
fastest motor
boats that ran on sweat and
seminal
fluids—
tapped the bodies,
tossed ‘em back,
collected more
to feed my whore
heart.

I’m sorry for
all the pretty boys
I’ve loved
and left in
my epic wake.


Kindra M. Austin is a very sweary indie author and editor from mid-Michigan (you can find her books here). She’s also the co-founder of Blank Paper Press, a founding member of Indie Blu(e) Publishing, founder of publishing imprint, One for Sorrow, and a writer/managing editor at Blood into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. Austin cut her poetry teeth in April, 2016, and joined the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective in 2017. You can find more of her foul mouth at poems and paragraphs.

Anatomy of a heartbreak – Henna Johansdotter

Picture1

[February]: He’s left you a wishbone on your pillow. You’re not sure what to do with it so you stick it between your ribs, feeling the sharp end shift with every move, scraping against the aorta. You hold your breath while sleeping and do not stir as the dreams pass by like headlights, colliding into the mist.

[May]: You pull out your teeth as not to hurt him anymore. He says your silence is ugly and suggests you keep your mouth open.

[August]: He draws surgical lines on your body.
“See? This is where I wish you loved me.”
Outside the operating theater you panic and run, not looking behind as he calls you back. The hallways are roaring. This is not your home.

[October]: The rains come and you’re picking up the pieces, trail of breadcrumbs leading you into desertion.

[December]: Your reflection glows back at you from the pond, clearer than ever without him peering over your shoulder. The wishbone flutters within you like a compass needle, pointing out your path. You find your own way of being lost.


Henna Johansdotter,  the goth girl next-door. Aspiring author. Monstrophile. Horror enthusiast. She writes to cope with mental illness and everyday experiences. Find her at H.JD writes

Red Tides – Christine E. Ray

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blue and white capsules
ingested daily
devour my melancholy, baby
always ravenous
unsatisfied
they strip protective coating
off vulnerable neurons
leaving them raw
excitable
the faintest whisper
or intimation
that I fail to please
am not enough
makes irritation rise a
red tide
up my spinal column
forcing fluid rage
into hollows
ossification has crudely
carved into each
vertebrae
stiff-backed
bristling
lupine claws extend
gruff growl grows
low in my throat
and I am prepared
in that heartbeat
to shred tender flesh-
yours or mine-
clean to the bone


You can find Christine lurking about Brave and Reckless and Indie Blu(e) Publishing.  She is the author of Composition of a Woman and The Myths of Girlhood.