When the Cradle Stops Rocking – David Lohrey


When the Cradle Stops Rocking – David Lohrey

When the cradle stops rocking,
pink and blue darlings
spin in the breeze,
as these pastel posts
pen me in, lest I fall.
It’s dark. Why’d they turn

out the lights? That man came in again,
repeating my name. He pressed his wet lips
against my cheek and blew.

I want that ant to follow my eye.
His friend circles above,
keeping her thoughts to herself.
Her mate can’t seem to get in.

Silk threads above hang loose and
dangle. Is it a trapeze; is it for fun?

There’s so much murmuring I can’t sleep. The flying duck
and the mouse dance but don’t sing.

It’s the woman’s fragrance I miss most of all,
and I like her cold finger behind my ear.

[David is lost in Japan. He is a smart, kind man who writes amazing poetry. We are thrilled to have him writing for Sudden Denouement. He is one of us.]

David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf.

Sleeping giants – Howl Davies


Sleeping giants – Howl Davies

I found the sound of her voice
soft and alone-
always far gone.
Prone to the dull ache,
the drone of hatchet cries.
Coming alive in matchstick fantasies
of Ketamine lovers and 4am dynasties.
Wishing to relive the pornographic hallucinations
witnessed on prime-time re-runs. The revelations
of forever after, severed, plastered on the walls.
Sleeping giants in the corner, I could have sworn
I’d met them before, in another life,
in another reality. Where strife is passion,
and we are calamity. One in the corner
speaks of a self-performed tracheotomy,
how he saved his own life,
how he thrust a blade in his throat to breathe
and as he gasped for air
he felt alive.
He talked to me of drowning.
I already know the feeling.
I am realising it as I’m surrounded by
ghouls with worn out aesthetics, the
Sunday collective of thieves and brawlers,
heathens and others.
I always thought I could be an artist,
but I was afraid that I just meant depraved.

[ Howl Davies is a student & aspiring writer joining us from London. He is the creator of The Sounds Inside. We’re excited to share his work. ]

rant of dreams forsaken

Sheer, majestic genius from our man Max

Max or Not

In life, we are plagued with many things. Some serve to compel us forward. Some, seem only to exist to thwart our pusillanimous progress toward the arbitrary goal of being human. What on earth is this innate desire to adhere to such insidious standards of corporeal existence? What is this tethering to that which can only be thought of as tormented torturing? To be able to reasonably anticipate the fate of each moment as a fate worse than death itself. To know the rhythm of each step and the sound of every footfall. To know the precise frame of time in which that sliver of sunlight will slip in through the windows crack to smack you into the oblivion of consciousness. Beholden to the call of nature’s never-ending reminder that our minds are moored to primal needs to which we must abide. to know that if we ever hope to reach…

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Purge by Nicholas Osborne


inside me thrives a wild need
stretching—twisting its shoulders

a malignant fetus, in utero
sired by seed from the
ravenous vacuum of deep space
a gifted thing with unending hunger

hot pangs that rake at my guts—
cigarette cherries gently teasing the
softest walls of my organs

they beg me to loosen and leave
to smoke me out, until all that
remains is the pleasant and echoing


drained of yolk, but hollow-intact
like a blue-spotted robin’s egg—
a boon to the eye and fingertip but
at heart just a porous façade

its zygote, a decaying mucous drip
dangling low and gelatinous to
bring feast for the blue-bottles

I want to blow away with the wind
or fade away under blankets as I dream
or be elevated to heaven or dragged down
to hell—if we believe in the stories

maybe reincarnate as a cancer cell
and spend my hours dividing in two

it is imperative that I be sundered
quartered in the old way, where rough
men tie burning hemp knots around
the bones of my ankles and wrists
then slap all the simultaneous horses

gallop the dripping stumps of me down
the cobbled narrow streets, crowded
with niched-in shops and cafés

though be sure to kick and
ditch-roll the fifth quarter—
the one that dropped like a
wet bundle of pelts and
stayed where it lay

pound me as void and as nothing
enact that precise erasure
turn all of this inside out and shake
my frame until every cog rattles loose

feed my morsels to the
pigeons from a plastic bag
filled with stale breadcrumbs

saw at my medium-rare with steak knife and
fork—ingest my choice filet—wash it
down with a glass of big ballsy burgundy

stretch my tripe like an elastic band
from here to Xanadu and back again

scoop every scrap from this container and

let me be empty

We are very excited to have Nick Osborne contributing to SD.  You can find more of Nick’s excellent writings and poetry at his site:


For Your Kiss – Max Meunier

For Your Kiss – Max Meunier (Max Meunier Poetry)

i lay the braided stars
before your precious countenance

that you may walk
the path of light

where gods
no longer dwell

for we are but a figment
of ephemeral affectation

reflecting in the tear
that wells
in worlds
wont to forget

the season of surrender
shall not plunder my resolve

to beckon at your call
under the restless moon’s fluoresce


stripped and strung

in astral flecks
that flickered with foreboding

the myths depicted
in the dithering
of days foregone

still haunting,

as your fragrance wafts
into the garden
florid waifs found desiccant

wistful sentiments
entwine me
in an urgent yearning

for your kiss

[Max states: “I write about the things going on in my life. I am a feminist, humanist, cat loving musician bound by whimsy and the incessant analysis of hyper-vigilant observations.  I am obsessed with words and rhythmically woven wordplay.” We are honored to have him as a member of our tribe.]

Max Meunier Poetry

[Photo: Mary Pickford]