some of us are just broken
born of dust and little disappointments
bleak barrow bones and lamented jewels
made of helpless tears and midnight fears
saltpeter and cobwebs, nickel and newt
lost toys that cost joy
cast of glass and weakness
the forlorn reborn in submission
forced into place even when
the pieces never fit
a cross-threaded screw
muck on the sandal of a forgotten god
a chewed up pen
dull pencil with no eraser
primer painted wagon
with busted wheels
many things of little use
an alchemical composition
turning gold to lead,crack and peel
the Narcissist stone!
you do not understand
as the dead envy the living, so
do the broken hate the anointed, you
as i hate you
as I hate myself
the chipped stone defacing a masterpiece
mold on the Monet
dry rot in the wall
asbestos in the halls
toxic relations and divorces
aria of dissonant discourses
some of us are just broken
one of the unchosen
I am the name it always hurts to say
the reflected shadow at the window pane
you will recall we just were
not the same
the broken one will eat the blame
cherry wood ashes and goat’s hair
shell casings and a hangman’s prayer
the puzzle with the missing pieces
a chill wind that never ceases
bitter pills and wounded pride
all of the shit you try to hide
the hateful words that were spoken
these are the desolate ways
we are broken 

Running in a Wedding Dress-Georgia Park/Private Bad Thoughts

Coverage of the election gives me

Orwellian style nightmares

we are separated by metal rods

and bars of water,

we are submerged in cages

on the way to

the quarantine zone,

which try as it might

is tasteless


Each day, there’s a new exhibit

on Wednesday,

when we are admitted

into the long hallway

for the movie screening,

it’s a tacky abstract.

Two days later, when we exit:

Thursday’s is a row of severed hands

Friday’s is a stock photo of a woman

running in a wedding dress


I wake up and know

we are all married to this man

and there will be no turning back

i wake up and I try to go back

to dreaming again

[Georgia Park is creator of Private Bad Thoughts, curator of Whisper and the Roar a feminist literary collective, and a writer for Sudden Denouement. She is a wonderful poet with an enormous heart. We can’t imagine this journey without her. Please check out more of her wonderful work.]

i don’t – samantha lucero

i don’t.

i don’t remember if i ever loved myself.

but all alone i loved, once.

i’ve slept naked, a tiger with nightmares, an animal on a leash in a burrow of fevers. night’s where i woke up & couldn’t move, because no matter where i left your memories, they found a tunnel back into my chest.

another dusk with double-espresso van gogh & it burns my drowsy throat to know the fluorescent pictures tacked to the back of my eyelids like postcards that sunk with the titanic, wish you were here, are reaching for me from that hole forever.

before my eyes were stolen & my mouth was packed with soil, i’d have a yellow american spirit & think of freedom.

those were the days. those were my days. those  w e re.

& now they’re not & never will again.

Writing on the Wall-Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless

I read the

Writing on the wall

Neon graffiti

Composed of

Cryptic symbols

Stunning words

Of power

Of rage

Of grief

That sting

Like sleet on my bare skin

Ice crystals that burn

And freeze on contact

I recognize your

Artist’s tag


I long to

Pull out

Cans of spray paint

From my battered


Connect the dots

With hunter green

Soften the edges

Silver and mauve

Rewrite the narrative

Midnight blue

But this is not

My territory

I am unsure of

My welcome

On your turf

These days


I reluctantly

Turn away

And walk

City streets

Concrete and steel

Broken glass

Strewn sidewalks

To my 3rd floor


Rows of deadlocks

And chains

On the door

Never sure if

Their purpose is to

Keep others out

Or keep my creative

Madness contained


In this room

Of my own

Blank canvases


I pause



What I want

What I need

To express


And lose myself

To the process

Weaving words

Of love

Of healing

Spinning dreams

Painting longing

Etched with light

A thing of


That you may

Never see


Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and The Whisper and The Roar and is a managing editor at Sudden Denouement.

She is an aspiring badass

Overwhelmingly Underwhelmed-Nicole Lyons/The Lithium Chronicles

Overwhelmed is for Wednesdays,

between day old bread and another

payment arrangement.

She drops it into cracked glass

where it sinks and stays

contained and safe to study,

like a strange or elusive bird

she has been meaning to watch.

Oh, look at you pretty birdie,

terrifying birdie; she’s caged you now.

And it flutters, wingless, in the bottom

of her grandmother’s before four o’clock

crystal that gives her permission to sigh

in acceptance as it cradles overwhelming

so beautifully, right before she throws it

back to meet the aftermath of underwhelmed,

and a Tuesday night blowjob.

[Nicole Lyons is creator of The Lithium Chronicles, as well as being an editor and writer for Sudden Denouement. As always, we are honored by her presence.]

Sudden Denouement/Secret First Draft Divergent Literature Writing Contest

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Secret First Draft are holding a joint Writing Contest in the month of March to elicit new writers for the Collective.

Writing Prompt: March Madness

Unpublished/Original work

Each entry should be more than 50 words but less than 500

Each writer may submit 1 to 3 (maximum) pieces of writing for consideration

Submissions will be accepted: 3/1/2017 through 3/31/2017

Full prize information to be announced soon!

1st Place Winner will be granted membership in the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

2nd, 3rd and 4th Place Runners-ups will be granted membership in the Secret First Draft Collective.

Send your submissions with your name, your pen name (if applicable), the address for your blog and a short biography (1 to 3 sentences to):

The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and its sister sites Secret First Draft and The Whisper and The Roar are forums for divergent literature that we hope excite and challenge you.

The top three posts will be published on Sudden Denouement and the top five posts will be published on Secret First Draft.

Finalists will be contacted by Sudden Denouement no later than April 30, 2017.

Only Us

S.K. Nicholas

S. K. Nicholas


We are islands in a field where the only source of light comes from the moon. There are no buildings, no cars, only that lone rock above our heads that has witnessed everything yet never uttered so much as a word in return. Kissing your lips and then the wet bark of the tree closest to us, I remember a story my grandad told me as a child. It concerned a tree in acemetery somewhere in St Albans, and how if you managed to run around it twelve times before the bells stopped chiming the midnight hour, then a ghost would rise from the ground and shake your hand. Linking my fingers with yours and doing my best to run despite it being so slippery because of all the mud from the recent rain, you tell me that it won’t work because it’s only that particular tree in St Albans…

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