Introducing Nathan McCool – Let the Devil Wear Black

If my cup runneth over it is because its contents
are boiling – but my true spirit has evaporated
and now only moves like vapor swallowed freely into nature’s lungs
before growing tired
and rigid under the bear’s matted fur. Send
back home now, my grandmother’s aching
heart. So I
might take it with me into night’s viscera – before
I am crucified, not entirely either whole or
wholesome. 

In a cemetery I roll over between stones,
and wake in a sudden shudder…
thinking I may be the least alive of the things
here. Sleep deprived, still holding onto
fiends from nightmares. Still holding onto
morning’s severed hand.
Still holding onto dead children.
Still holding onto feet dangling lifeless.

When I return to the civilized world, I am so aware
of not belonging. So aware
of how petty it all is. I say, “Fuck your money.
Fuck your authority. Fuck these
same old rehearsed days.”
If any of them only knew the way I would smite
even the air that they breathed in before another
worthless and unanswered, “How are you?”
How when the lightning comes I cringe at its distance;
think of sinking my teeth into its throat, ripping it apart, and
casting it back.

And when I do, like any true animal, my words
come out in a growl.
“Something answer me now god dammit.
What the fuck do you want from me?”


[Nathan McCool does Instagram at God Of Dregs. He’s the winner of the SD March Madness contest, and a fucking genius. Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, we accept him, one of us!]

Author: Sudden Denouement

A Literary Collective

24 thoughts on “Introducing Nathan McCool – Let the Devil Wear Black”

  1. “In a cemetery I roll over between stones,
    and wake in a sudden shudder…
    thinking I may be the least alive of the things
    here.”
    The entire piece is wicked but this about knocked me over. God how I know this, and to read it written into this unashamed powerhouse of a piece is just about the closest thing to glorious.
    Welcome (again) to SD, I look forward to getting to read more.

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    1. Sweeeet! You’ve got my email. Send me something sometime and I’ll add a few lines and we can go on like that until we’ve made a poem. Or a homunculus. I’m not opposed to either really

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  2. Nathan, I truly believe you are going to keep us on our toes! Your bio for your contest submission is hands down my favorite of any I have ever read. I keep coming back to read: “In a cemetery I roll over between stones/and wake in a sudden shudder…/thinking I may be the least alive of the things/here. Sleep deprived, still holding onto/fiends from nightmares. Still holding onto/morning’s severed hand. Still holding onto dead children./Still holding onto feet dangling lifeless.” “Thinking I may be the least alive of the things here” and “morning’s severed hand” keep echoing in my head. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Again I’m humbled. Thank you so much for your kind words. And I’m glad that my writing makes you feel something. That’s the most important thing for me. I think that emotion is the greatest gift anyone can give. That’s why this is such a great place. It’s so full of emotion.

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    1. I hope to get to know all of you guys. And thank you. I’m humbled amongst all these great writers. It’s nice to know you think that because I’ve honestly felt like my writing isn’t up to par with everyone else’s.

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    1. I wrote it about feeling angry and isolated and out of place. About having been through so much misery and trauma that I sometimes just feel bitter and the magnitude of all that trauma and bitterness causes a lot of other things to feel small and petty: concern for money, material possessions, jobs, etc. And that because of that, I also feel out of place among people that are so concerned with those things and don’t ever seem to think about anything deeper. Feel pain on the same level. But maybe that’s a bit of narcissism stirring around inside me. That’s my best shot at an explanation. Let me know if there’s any other questions or certain lines you wanted to ask about.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you so much for the explanation, I understand it more now since you explained. I have three particular sentence which I would like to know more about, ‘bear matted fur’, ‘grandmother’s aching heart’, the question at the end. It really is very beatiful work, it makes me want to read again and again.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. The bear’s matted fur is because I feel like a bear in a lot of ways. The idea of its way of life, its ruggedness. I was thinking of hibernation at the time. Something so strong and mighty growing tired and sleeping for so long. My grandmother’s heart because I’m like her. She suffered so much but she always had such a good kind heart. I want a heart like that. Strong and kind and loving despite the suffering. And the question at the end is because I’ve always struggled with faith and belief in anything. Or maybe just life. And sometimes I do everything I can and it doesn’t seem to ever be enough. So I want to know what I’m really supposed to do in life to ever catch a break. To earn mercy. To find happiness.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow, I’m really glad I asked you, it’s like filled with emotions. It’s an amazing work. Thank you so much for explaining and congratulations on joining SD. I love it.

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    1. Haha. Thank you very much. I’ll be sure to read your writing soon. I’ve been meaning to read and comment on a lot of the stuff on SD. Just been an insanely busy week. Hopefully this weekend will offer me some time to indulge.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. What an introduction! “If any of them only knew the way I would smite
    even the air that they breathed in before another
    worthless and unanswered, “How are you?”” I don’t know how many times I’ve felt this exactly. Great work Nathan. Welcome to the family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Glad to be a part of it. And I won’t say I’m glad you’ve felt that way, but it is an oddly comforting feeling to be in the presence of other minds that perceive the world in a similar way. So thank you for that as well.

      Liked by 2 people

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