Circling the Drain-Erich Michaels


Cracked sidewalks and faltering smiles

Abandoned houses are the rotten teeth

For a town always grinning

The horse has trampled the aimless young

Heroin today, gone tomorrow

Gravity wins again

You find stability in the stratum

Faulty suspended-animation

Where you do absolutely nothing

But the real world hisses in

And you slowly rot

Internal liquefaction

Your final thoughts are of immortality

You open your mouth

The surgical tube unravels


Seeping through the couch

The floorboards

Into the basement

And down the sewer drain

You’ve left a ring

This ring is the smile that will never falter

Erich Michaels describes himself as  “just trying to share the human experience.”  He has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, but find himself writing SOPs (lather, rinse, repeat) in order to make a living, which can be detrimental to the creative process.  You can find him on the road to recovery at Erich Michaels.  Every journey begins with a single step, right?

It’s the wait that gets me- Sarah Doughty

“It’s the wait that gets me.

Like our first kiss.”

I hear it again. That tick, tick, ticking of that incessant clock. That feeling of inevitability. The one you can feel, deep into your bones, that something is coming. Like a countdown to some unknown ending. And you can feel it in the air, like just before a storm on a hot and humid summer day. It’s that electricity, the uptick in the wind that carries just a little further. The kind of breeze that will make even the strongest of trees creak as they sway to a silent song only they can hear. And if I’m lucky, it’ll come before I lose my mind. Whatever it is that’s coming. Because it’s the wait that gets me. It’s that unknowing. The gnawing ache that will eat away at me until everything hits critical mass.

Whatever happens, I’ll be ready. And I’ve learned, over time, to assume the worst. That way, it might not hurt so bad. But every once in a while, I’ll let myself hope for something better. Like when we shared our first kiss. Or the night we first made love. Those moments were well worth the anticipation. Unfortunately, I won’t know about this one, until it actually happens.

Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

Coming July 2018- ‘A Sparrow Stirs its Wings’ by Rachel Finch

Sudden Denouement Publishing is thrilled to announce the upcoming release of Rachel Finch’s book of poetry ‘A Sparrow Stirs its Wings.” Rachel is the powerhouse behind the Bruised But Not Broken community on Facebook, which provides support and healing for trauma survivors. She is also a Contributing Writer for Blood Into Ink and founder of Bruised But Not Broken on WordPress. She is a symbol of hope throughout the world and we are honored to see her vision come to life.

White Dress

Daffni Gingerich/Daffniblog


Speaking to others just makes me down down and out. It brings me there like a hangover laced with hospital gowns. Churning stomach and acid in my chest. That smell of iodine and vomit, the hustle of silence. My lips don’t feel like my own and this body only a wonderland for his fantasies but I have no real interest in fantasy these days. I hung my white dress in the window but with this tunnel vision it’s a vase. The dress has pockets fit for buttercups, or quartz depending on my mood. The collar is elastic lace that grips my neck as a reminder this life and everything in it is temporary. The truth is it’s gunna itch but I tend to sacrifice comfort for beauty. I’ve showered and gotten into my underwear but I can’t find the dress. I’ve torn my room apart and flipped the bed. He…

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Child of Her Time

S. K. Nicholas/A Journal for Damned Lovers

S. K. Nicholas


The hours run away. They slip and slide like the tiny feet of the ducks and swans that glide over the frozen lake in her lunchtime dreams. Behind those eyes of hers, the world blooms, and there’s no such thing as heartache and no such thing as pain, and life is this one long car ride towards a yellow sun that never sets. As she twitches her nose, she’s drifting through the aisles of a supermarket she hasn’t set foot in for the best part of several years. Helping herself to cubes of raw jelly and ice cream, she scoffs the lot before trying on several dresses in the clothing department, and as she waltzes around eyeing herself up in the mirrors, she smiles at her reflection and then just like that she’s skipping through those golden fields of corn as free as a gust of wind and as light…

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Liquid Jade

Stephen Fuller/Pointed Home

Pointed Home

The ocean runs like liquid jade
Poured between fingers, pure and clean
Empty like I wish to be long enough
To settle between ears that heard too much.

God poured his glass of water here
So that I could see the bottom
A reminder of spots that can be touched
But many more that remain to dive for.

Should I take a break from these poems –
Lyrics to songs I sing alone –
Try to dance to a song everyone knows?
Not to give the night to conformity

Just to break the darkness
With a light from wax,
Words melted with a flame,
A spark that smells familiar, if foul.

Did the child wonder,
That darkness would not scare him?
Did the chid wonder
What darkness would inspire?

Image: Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky

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