Island Thoughts and Ship Songs – Nathan McCool

Call me down from the star splattered sky
of another opiate morning,
from bad dreams of your sails burning and
my body of wind passing through
uncatchable.

My limbs still shake from faltering flight
and the total absence of rapture’s acceptance. But fear,
I think it only finds home in the idea that you may
one day long for me only to feel my
fingers as morphine injections;
taste my breath as methadone.

So what if all I want is to walk the sea shore with the
solitary rose I harvested from your mouth,
collecting bowl shaped shells for holding
that nonexistent kiss;
your lips – a wreath of phantom accelerants.

I’m sinking way down to gather enough salt
from this ocean
to blanket pictures of old wounds.
An arm still reaching wide to hold hope,
a neck still turning to see our ideals of goodness.

You can have my wounds and salt, my dear. My
small amount of goodness that looks like
a corpse filling picnic baskets with
flashing images and blinding murmurations
of color.
I’m still an uninhabitable island in moon’s long
light. What else can I say, baby?
“Come sail your ships around me.”


[Nathan McCool is the dark lord over on Instagram at God Of Dregs.]

the heart asks pleasure – samantha lucero

when you become a parent,
you become less 

a p p a r e n t.

until i disappear completely,
i can weep into the liquid face of a mirror
and speculate about who used to dwell in
my iron & carbon skull, before i was
the me that faded.

i held onto me like a movie ticket
in the back of my wallet
the one we all keep
that just becomes a tomb
like a placeholder in our hearts
for a special day we end up
forgetting.

i’m perfunctory now, roiling,
knocked up by rainstorms
and lightning writhing down like a noose
on his red beard, drinking snake oil

maybe the world’s a cat’s eye and i am shattered faith
my shoulders a hewn epitaph of hopes
am i lucid dreaming, i never fell asleep.
these days, i lie down in a trance
and never wake up.


[ Samantha Lucero is the phantom haunting six red seeds. ]

Dawn – Howl Davies

[A note from Howl: Inspired by a piece of autobiographical haikus by Christine Ray of Brave & Reckless. She reminded me how fun haikus were, and how they’re a great solution to a full on creative block.]

I admire the way
the dawn rolls and recreates
adjacently blind

To the half-drunk boys
and the half-heartbroken girls,
trying to forget

The gristly encore
it’s delayed in its showing
yet it comes around

Not before a glimpse
of the spotlight matinee,
le Cirque du Soleil,

Cleansing rituals
to please the gods of the day
to polish the soul

Justification
belongs in daylight, just as
transgressions, the night

And dawn pulls the rope
lifting curtains for each act
blind, deaf, and silent.


 

[Howl Davies is the ringleader at The Sounds Inside.]

Guest Blogger – Liz McLeod, “Fragility”

Fragile egos,
Crushed like eggshells
Dropped on the floor,
Spilling their insides.

A simple challenge,
A contrary word
Meant for discussion,
Or clarification.

Instead it is viewed
As a knock to the expert,
A refusal to submit
On terms they require.

This is not equality.
This isn’t understanding.
This is a simple wish
To bend another to your will.

Willow-strong, pliant
I will bend to a point.
But then I bounce back
To continue my growth.

Why is every question
Such a threat to so many?
Why is there only
The expectation of bowing?

Are we always so fragile,
We can’t accept and relish
Being pushed and nudged,
With another’s experiences?

I can sit on the floor
At another’s feet, if and only if,
My past is acknowledged,
As it can only reflect on my future.

I am human, humans learn.
My learning has been fraught
With challenges, frustrations, loss.
Issues abound, but so do gifts.

My gifts are discernment,
A very good ear,
Passion, interest in life,
A relatively quick mind.

I have a caring heart,
An appreciation for beauty,
A love of learning more.
I could have made you curl your toes.

I can listen to your past,
Can you listen to mine?
Can we acknowledge each other
And the paths we have traversed?

Or are we doomed to continue
The age-old dance
Of loneliness and isolation,
Wrapped in our cocoons of pity?

I don’t want that,
So, I will seek elsewhere.
I will ask questions,
Expecting thoughtful answers.

I want to constantly question,
Continuously search and understand.
I want to acknowledge and seek
Good and bad, up and down, here and then.

If that is such a challenge,
Then you are right…
We are not for each other
In any form whatsoever.


 

[ Liz Mcleod is a science fiction and fantasy author as well as a poet, living in the great and beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. You can find more of her writing HERE! ]

A Big Nothing. -S.K. Nicholas/A Journal for Damned Lovers

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Big Nothing.

They say I’m not romantic, that I’m distant and distracted, but my love shows itself in many different forms. They tell me that I’m cold, that I don’t know how to connect. My defense is that it’s them- it’s them that can’t connect to me because they’re not open to the ebb and flow of my myriad ways. Actually, no, it’s me. I confess. I’m far too strange for those who happen to cross my sullen and maudlin path. Smoking my cigarette, I contemplate my actions but grow bored within the minute. Maybe sooner. My attention span isn’t great at the best of times. There should be writing, should be declarations of love, and yet I keep thinking of all those roads from my childhood that don’t exist anymore and the names of random galaxies I looked up on Wikipedia the other night after polishing off the rest of that red wine I’d been refusing to drink because white is just so much sweeter. Near where my grandparents lived in Lewsey Farm, there was an area of marshland that used to terrify me back when I would stay with them during the holidays as a kid. Not sure why it got under my skin, because it was all fenced off and secure and there was no chance of ever stumbling in. Yet for many years, I just couldn’t help but worry that one day I was going to find myself in a terrible predicament. As the wine does its thing and the wheels in my brain begin to spin, I feel a thought coming on. Y’know, even though we barely speak, maybe we could pay the place a visit? One evening when you’re not too busy wanting to break my bones, and it’s not too cold, we could take a drive up and slip through a hole in the fence before exploring each other’s bodies? I’m having trouble remembering the exact shape of your breasts, and every time I try picturing them I get these nosebleeds that just won’t quit. Every time I close my eyes and taste your lips, there’s a flavour that just won’t shift. It’s one of the skittles, maybe the blue one? Yeah, that’s it. You’re a blue skittle I want to suck and chew beneath a blood-red moon as the ground beneath us swallows us whole until there’s nothing left but our giddy laughter that rattles through the streets like the screams of some long-forgotten knife fight back in the summer of ’92.


S. K. Nicholas is creator of  myredabyss.com and author of A Journal for Damned Lovers, his first novel. He is a brilliant writer and a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. To learn more about S.K. and A Journal for Damned Lovers read Jasper Kerkau’s interview with S.K. and his review of A Journal for Damned Lovers.

Midnight Precedes-OldePunk/RamJet Poetry & Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless

Originally posted on Secret First Draft

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Secret First Draft: Member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

Midnight precedes

The dawning of you

Shadows and peaches

Lavender and spices

Rare, honeyed tongue

Sings rapture

My soliloquy of you

Cool moonlight

Carves your shadow

Against stark walls

But you are smooth whiskey

Intoxicating to my parched soul

Cedar and pine

Warm earth against my skin

From earth it begins

Aquiline movements

Fostered by need

To travel without motion

Traverse the depths

Of the lilac and evergreen

Pools of your eyes

Sacred stolen hours

We claim as our own

We declare victory over the selfish god

Time

In this indigo night

Where everything that is not us

Drifts away

Like silver dust motes

Writ of passage into

The deep dark

Where our secrets

Are kept by the verdant

Grasses and tall oaks

Cottonwood blooms scent

The air of our bonding

We explore our mysteries

Your hands

Clasping mine

Ground me

Connect me

To where our souls and

Bodies entwine

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pribhleid / privilege-Karen Bain/Writer

Karen Bain - Writer

Creationist insanity needs conversion [therapy]

scripture never should be disguised as homophobic [rhetoric]

minorities on their knees forced to take it. racism runs

off at the mouth. white power lies, ignorant [wrapped] in red

white & blue [misogyny] feels – it’s way, dripping, vile & crude,

slithering. bigotry vomits on a nation of minorities

divided by its [white ] power

burns through the progress of [a Dream I had ]

on a hill. great men bow their heads. [in] [shame cries

as [black lives matter ]hangs on every cross. as a rainbow dissolves

in the dark storm, the vision of the approaching [new world order]

©Karen Bain 2017.All Rights Reserved.

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