Anatomy of a heartbreak – Henna Johansdotter

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[February]: He’s left you a wishbone on your pillow. You’re not sure what to do with it so you stick it between your ribs, feeling the sharp end shift with every move, scraping against the aorta. You hold your breath while sleeping and do not stir as the dreams pass by like headlights, colliding into the mist.

[May]: You pull out your teeth as not to hurt him anymore. He says your silence is ugly and suggests you keep your mouth open.

[August]: He draws surgical lines on your body.
“See? This is where I wish you loved me.”
Outside the operating theater you panic and run, not looking behind as he calls you back. The hallways are roaring. This is not your home.

[October]: The rains come and you’re picking up the pieces, trail of breadcrumbs leading you into desertion.

[December]: Your reflection glows back at you from the pond, clearer than ever without him peering over your shoulder. The wishbone flutters within you like a compass needle, pointing out your path. You find your own way of being lost.


Henna Johansdotter,  the goth girl next-door. Aspiring author. Monstrophile. Horror enthusiast. She writes to cope with mental illness and everyday experiences. Find her at H.JD writes

Red Tides – Christine E. Ray

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blue and white capsules
ingested daily
devour my melancholy, baby
always ravenous
unsatisfied
they strip protective coating
off vulnerable neurons
leaving them raw
excitable
the faintest whisper
or intimation
that I fail to please
am not enough
makes irritation rise a
red tide
up my spinal column
forcing fluid rage
into hollows
ossification has crudely
carved into each
vertebrae
stiff-backed
bristling
lupine claws extend
gruff growl grows
low in my throat
and I am prepared
in that heartbeat
to shred tender flesh-
yours or mine-
clean to the bone


You can find Christine lurking about Brave and Reckless and Indie Blu(e) Publishing.  She is the author of Composition of a Woman and The Myths of Girlhood.

Coyote – Mitch Green

coyote black and white.png
The turnpike of west bowed to the city shimmer. An escort icon in ornamental estrangement contested the chivalry of desire. A whisper in a windless wood bellowed aloud to the deaf. Parking breaks bleeding the asphalt. The yellow strip chalked in brick red exhaust. A body adorned the open blank mileage of night – belly and breast down to our virgin eye. The opening cast of exposure decomposing the edible noir of suspicion. A sobbing wail claws at the silent twinkling nothing. A bent in bumper, fragmented shrapnel of glass and ribbon. Point south the rearview, and you see the cacti and coyotes roosting along edgy dunes sprouted to cast shadows. We wait out the buzzards, the hawks and wolves that are known to creep salaciously in cold blood. The lonesome fear reels inside like icy daggers, as the fantasizing man rolls the 140 pound dead weight idol into a sleeping bag.

Landscape scenic shot of the car and the bagged body, hauled stressfully. This is a slow and awkward struggle. The red hue blotching the lot – seizing natural color. Body in trunk, the frantic man, fumbles behind the wheel and chugs the murderous hunk from the scene. Residue of red sweats to black.

The cacti, the coyotes, the buzzards, and hawks all dash and bolt far from the wheels of this death machine. Into the eons, out beyond the pale who flops soundly with each jolt, rocking knots into the trunk. Like a meteor through the galaxy, the sputtering machine caught a set of red and blue sirens breaking sight behind. The vomit induced toxicity knuckled him to the gut, and he could hardly breathe. The hit and run captive homicide was slowly decaying inside polyester.

Hindsight dread deepened root around his spine, spearing bolts of electric wire to rattle bone. Quaking and immobile, the rubber rolling ankles trudged close. White knuckled, and shrink wrapped – plaid plagued soul of guilt. Hysterical hangover of helix vision, burning sight. The electrodes of the mindscape have abandoned all sake of morality. In troves the internal war upon self now underwater to smother. The clicking tongues spoke in a language not known to common dialogue. Deaf disposition now a suspicious entity on the side of highway 95 in the pith of night with a body in back.

A thump popped like tin, and the trunk creaked open. Alive, she’s alive. If skin could crawl, his anatomical dearest would be on auction. Scuffing dirt and gravel, he bolted to the back, flinging open the dinged trunk door. There wadded in the black human sized napkin of camping gear was the pink and red stillness of the breathless.

The longer he hovered the more he fantasized. The longer he fantasized, the more he became an adolescent boy again, reflecting on the first time he had seen an unclothed girl. The printed papers, the digital previews on 50” screens, the brothel on 5th street, and his routine call girls in shoddy motel rooms off of route 76. Appalled by the touch of his hand on her lukewarm cheek. But even more disgusted by the inhumanity he found within himself; he knew not the man he had become.


Mitch Green founded Rad Press Publishing in September of 2016. He is an avid artist in visual design and literature. Published in various literary journals and magazines: The Literary Yard. The Penmen Review. Vimfire Magazine – Mitch aims to seize the narrow line between all artistic mediums.

A few of his known poetic titles are: “Flesh Phoenix” “Monsters” “The Wolves Howled”.

Offering his hand in graphic direction – his book design portfolio can be found here.
Follow Mitch and Rad Press Publishing on Instagram.

Tea and Turbulence – Aurora Phoenix

Tea and temperance

was that mercury you dolloped
by the teaspoon brimming
into the cup of my tempest teeming?

I have sipped on a brew
Weltschmerz steeped in introversion
while trouble boils and toils double
in churning unplumbed depths.

did you misapprehend my clime
striding presumptuous as you did
through the dead of my hurricane’s eye?

you skew the heated misconstrue
as my oft-bitten tongue scalds
on steaming leaves of fate infusion.

teapot not, though short and spouty
I whistle through cycles of cyclonic vision
salting the trail of your sluggish bluster

look out, quicksilver!
I’m on your tail


Aurora Phoenix is a wordsmithing oxymoron. Staid suburbanite cloaks a badass warrior wielding weapon grade phrases. Read more of her confabulations at Insights from “Inside.”

Sudden Denouement Welcomes New Collective Member Nitin Lalit Murali – Us

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We’ve been through the same routine, you and I:
me, coming home in a prescription haze with slurry speech
and a numbing nonchalance,
and you, broken and infuriated
to see me ‘waste my life away.’
But what’s there to ‘waste away?’
Hasn’t life heaped piles and piles of sorrow on us
like arachnids poured on a Fear Factor contestant,
lying in a tub?
You yell. You scream, ‘I’m leaving you!
I’m not going through this again!’
and in that moment of semi-consciousness
when my mind only whispers – the thoughts circling my mind
like the breeze from a slowly moving ceiling fan –
I barely nod, and that agitates and burdens you more.
Soon, you aim arrows of curses at my core,
hoping they’ll pierce my callousness,
make me admit that I’m a promise-breaking hypocrite
who crosses his heart
before plummeting into an abyss
so dank and deep where speech
fumbles and becomes a string of neologisms,
and sudden blindness possesses
like the abrupt fading-to-black ending of The Sopranos.
But what you don’t see are
the moments I spend with myself,
leaning against the bathroom wall,
cigarette in mouth,
tears streaming down
because of the guilt
that unsettles, unnerves and unmans.
But that’s no excuse.
That’s no justification for the man I’ve become
after seeing a perpetual Autumn
with the sights, sounds, and smells of decay.
I looked for Spring
or even a Winter that will urge me to find warmth,
but sorrow clandestinely woke me one morning
using mind control,
making me a zombie on his leash,
made to go, ‘Woof!’ when he commanded.
The only way out was to poison myself.
To escape, and so, I did,
imbibing pill after pill,
taking a page out of
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Moshfegi
and flushing our marriage down the toilet.
Sorrow didn’t mind because he knew
he still retained control
and I’d only constructed an illusion of escape.
But I’ll reiterate that
there’s no excuse for the pain I’ve caused you,
there’s no justification for the hurt,
there’s no remedy to who we’ve become,
and since, I’ve always been a coward,
there’s no final act on my part that will paradoxically
offer you catharsis and anti-catharsis,
so, leave now,
and don’t look back in grief, anger or angst.

Nitin Lalit Murali is a poet, flash fiction writer and essayist from Bangalore, India. He also enjoys reading literature of different genres and listening to jazz and neo-classical music. He started writing seven years ago and art has consumed him over the years. He blogs regularly at Fighting the Dying Light

The Statistics of Opinion – David Lohrey

We hate the man in the White House because he eats McDonald’s.

We hate him because he orders his steaks well-done and uses

ketchup like a rube from St. Louis. Americans have adopted

the snobbery of Princess Margaret. We expect the President

to eat popcorn in white gloves.

Yes, this is who we are. We no longer want a President. We demand

a Queen. We treasure the wealthy not the greedy. He’s too much

like us, this man in the White House. The poor love him because

he eats the way we do. He spends his money in the same way

we would if we had any.

There’s a touch of the gutter in the men we send to the big house.

Some people have too much; that’s what makes us resentful. Not

Trump. We appreciate his desperation. We understand his hunger.

He’s not at all like the rich we’ve seen before. He knows his dough

is not permanent.

They’ll tell you how much they admire TR, because everyone loves

a rich man in power, but what I loved about Teddy was his delicacy,

his appreciation of nature, his love of the outdoors, his refusal to eat

with a spoon. All this came from his childhood asthma. He could ride

bareback and use a lasso.

You can’t blame Obama for wanting to be rich. What’s $50,000,000?

Change from the bottom of Oprah’s purse. After eight measly years

in the White House, he was bidding for a basketball team. Now, he is

worth nearly 800 million. And counting. Soon, he’ll be worth over

a billion. He has contempt for people who work for a living.

You turned your face away. We are deep into a period of misrule. The

Presidents are leaving power richer than when they come into office.

Clinton, Obama: trash, bless their hearts, but both now vacation on private yachts. They look down their noses at Trump. He’s beneath them. They

know real money. They can smell it.

I don’t want anyone to come down here trying to be kind. Trump teaches

us how to embody shrewd ignorant verve. Guts, not condescension. Not

the milk of human kindness. Too much of that and you’ll be ready for death.

He’s the kind of guy who’ll tell you you’re stupid, right to your face. Let’s face it: he reminds us of our mothers.


David Lohrey is from Memphis, where he grew up, and now lives in Tokyo, where he teaches and writes for local travel magazines. He graduated from UC Berkeley and then moved to LA where he lived for over 20 years.

Internationally, his poetry can be found in Otoliths, Stony Thursday Anthology, Sentinel Quarterly, and Tuck Magazine. In the US, recent poems have appeared in Poetry Circle, FRiGG, Obsidian, and Apogee Journal. His fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Dodging the Rain, and Literally Stories.

David’s The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th-century literature, was published in 2016, while his first collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was released in September 2017. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Collective.

The noise of this brain

By Devika Mathur

And so I crumble in my own jaw line

Leaking from the iris,

A stoned mahogany stuck

Beneath the frivolous sky,

I lie like a pond, open and scarred,

Rummaging through your eyes,

To seek something that belongs to my lip.

I fail.

I fail the second day as well.

My mind talks pills and potions

A volatile adamant touch of burps.

A ripple lost and secured.

My mind is insane, forever.



Devika Mathur, a poetess from India is a published poetess and is a lover of everything dark and surreal. Her work has been previously published in Sudden Denouement, Visual Verse, Dying dahlia review, two drops of ink, Madswirl, The rye whiskey review among various others. Find more of her musings at https://myvaliantsoulsblog.wordpress.com

Vitesse – Shreya Vikram

i run 3

A litany, a promise, a prayer.
Run.
I run so fast, I will tear out of this sordid flesh, out of gilded skin and ivory bone.
I see myself: I am hollow, a pit of red.
I am the colour of blood, the colour of rage. The colour of flesh, the colour of shame.
I am shackled, by these strands of vein. They coil around me, tighter, tighter, I cannot breathe.
I see the cage, clearer than ever, this prison of flesh.
I see this promise, I hear its oath.
Run, it whispers. If you run fast enough, you’ll break free.
And so, I do.

#

I run on fear, I run on fire.
I run for pain, the excruciating burn of desire. I burn for the exquisite absence of thought.
I run so fast, I leave behind my self, I will rust away until there is nothing left of me. Out of breath, out of life.
I want to lose myself, in the purest sense of the phrase, I want to forget, to be misplaced. I want to leave behind this life.
Bone to dust; blood can rust.

#

I see the cage, clearer than ever, this prison of red.
I hear these voices, I trust in their message.
Run , they whisperIf you run fast enough, you’ll break free.
I know I can.
I know I can.


Shreya Vikram is a writer who prides herself on her ability to blur the lines between poetry and prose, intensity and elegance. You can read more of her work at The Midnight Ember.

You’ve Been Careless with Her, and I Hate You – Kindra M. Austin

i hate you

Ravel,
unravel,
ravel…

Travel round-stuck-about;
but pain is faceless in the stoic.

You built the road she
travels,
ravels,
unravels…

She will paint her face in rage,
enraged
at last
with your infidelity.

Infidel,
you’ve made a grievous error;
for you may not enter temple, yet
refuse to pray at altar.

And she will build new roads to
those where you’re unwelcome
while you ravel,
unravel,
ravel…

Travel round-stuck-about.


Kindra M. Austin is a very sweary indie author and editor from mid-Michigan (you can find her books here). She’s also the co-founder of Blank Paper Press, a founding member of Indie Blu(e) Publishing, founder of publishing imprint, One for Sorrow, and a writer/managing editor at Blood into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. Austin cut her poetry teeth in April, 2016, and joined the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective in 2017. You can find more of her foul mouth at poems and paragraphs.

Hide and Seek – Daffni Gingerich

hide and seek

From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon


 

I have poured out the contents of my insides today. I don’t want them back but there will come a day when they’re handed back to me with side notes and red ink. And I will retreat under the bed like I did as a child during hide and seek. There’s knowledge left under beds from those who never survived hiding. My eyes would dart back and forth and my heart would race as if death was truly on the outside waiting. It was always the big brown eyes of my brother that found me. And with such a rush I’d demand he be seeker again. He’d whine and I’d ignore him until he quit and we went our separate ways. Headstrong. That’s what they call me. I’m hard to stick around because anyone without passion bores me and anyone with it, well, that’s deadly. Deadly, like hide and seek. I’ve had an insatiable craving for sweets lately. I do my best to be an adult and pair them with more salads, but that amount of eating can be too much. I’d need more than 3 salads a day, and three is quite a lot already. If only hiding under the bed brought me sweets, I’d have been more likely to give my brother a turn to hide.


Daffni Gingerich says simply that she “is a writer.” You can read more of her mesmerizing prose at Daffniblog.