‘Far From Any Road’ – Collaboration II – S.K. Nicholas & Samantha Lucero

When I looked into your eyes that time not long after we first met, I told myself that if I was given the chance, I would go ahead and do it. And such a thing would really impress you and make you want me even though I was just a zero.

Because the black light has been here since the beginning.

When I first discovered what you were in the early hours of the morning while drunk and on the brink, you reached inside of me and brought me back. Sounds melodramatic, I know, but before I found you it was as if I were the only one and that being a zero was all I was good for.

And it’s been burning a hole for so long.

When I swallowed what you had to say, I found a truth that had been denied me my entire life by those who had never even pretended to care. In that gaze and in your hand, there was a woman I could call mother and lover unlike any other that had come before. I could feel it in my bones and in the cold night air down every street that had housed your ghost.

And that’s what brought us together.

Whenever we want, we can be without form, for our images have long since been removed along with all traces of what remains of our former lives. This vision we share, it’s of being at one with nature with no need for the insects that spend their days doing whatever they can to cling. And this nature- it’s our drink and our line of coke. It’s our needle and hand around the throat. Through its influence, we can be both pleasure and impulse.

It spoke to us when we were children.

Together, we are bitemarks and Nietzsche spinning in fields that are empty of life but full of the essence of who and what we really are, and this is why we roam far from the useless crowd doing only what we can do. This is why we seek the limits that are forbidden because only there do we come close to taking a glimpse through those doors that offer perception where the rest offer only cheapness and the drip drip of ideology that pleases the many but disgusts us.

It put the images inside our heads while we slept.

In each and every letter, and in each and every thrust of our hips we know we are nothing and yet we revel in the control that passes between us. When it lingers in our breath, we take a bite out of each other and in our kiss, we are demons writhing in the sands of Gomorrah looking for kicks that extend beyond time and space. In our flesh, we are bound to bodily delights, but what we are is something pure and something more.

It showed us the door we were both seeking.

They wouldn’t even know where to start looking, for those that have seen us at our most beautiful have long since gone to where we too will go, but only when our bones can no longer take the weight of our souls. Beneath a blanket of stars and as naked as we were born, we sink our fingers into the soil to touch the faithful departed.

And it showed us how to find it.

These are our footsteps, and these are our secrets that will carry in the wind long after the two of us have left this place behind. But we’re in no rush, for there’s so much more that we can do. I hope you agree with what I’ve had to say, because this whole thing makes me feel like God.

Yes, but who’s like God? ‘My world was christened in a stream of milk.’

Was our world blessed with crowns of barbed-wire thorns, in sheltering the quiet soil like corpse worms gone moon-cold, till the blue water left and dried the hot skin. The air paused like Sunday’s pastor during angers sermon, saliva-foam huddled in the corner of a mouth; for effect, for suspense it stayed and spat, baptized the world in a pool of breast milk, they said, and it tasted like its own doom.

We can become a laugh sipped in a cup that we share, dumped over the overpass of whirring cars onto ghostly windshields like scarecrows, become the bellowing storm rattling ribs in darkrooms where smiles like ours rest alone like dreaming tigers WHO once wanted to be warm like wolves in snow packs, but were crowned in that barbed-wire, bred into a dying lung. Let’s BECOME the eye; I was the trapped eye in the wall, in the bones smoking at 3am, up with the red sky in a silky morning sliding down a pole and a thousand other pieces of people we’ll leave behind. Only fighters left alive, no lovers.

OUTSIDE I want the wild like glad animals in oily furs crave flesh, which taste a sliver of hare-blood in the breath between their teeth. I want to sip at eagle feathers in an old Norn’s horn, palms heart-lines engraved in heart-lines, mirror-image superstitious we can press together like funeral-flowers between pages of our favorite books, in passages our failing lives desire never to forget, but will. We will be the lavender and the rose, and then the pink gum turned black on the pissed-on sidewalk.

Or we will be the slender fingers of rain that ooze from the skies through seams in the clouds, like cold memories left unthawed from asteroid belts. Be drunk on watery soup for winter rituals, hummingbird songs, and rush to hear the tight-lipped drums of braided tribes our shivering northern ancestors once followed to 9 worlds. You say let’s be without form; I say let’s erase form, Voltaire, physical pleasures are fleeting, they die out; it’s the delight, delight of the heart that matters? Or the withered husk in a mortar ground with graveyard dirt and hag-spit, where a heart could’ve lived and died, but did both backwards. We are all alone, born to die, born to live, to die. Our wailing birth-mothers knew this, my mother, your mother, the all-mother in a room that’s a pennyroyal cage hung upside down to dry for spells for little girls’ mistakes, that’s a star pulse, that’s a whisper in a place I wish I knew the noise of still. When next you see the mirror folding into itself, the steaming woman heart-shaped in the glass, remember, she is life or death, a mask.

THEMSELVES
ARE
TRULY
SET
FREE

Who will see the tears and dirt that fill my mouth with mud when I smile, or the heartbeat living behind my right eye that could kill me in a blink, but you. Winter never stays long enough, and summer never ends. And we walk until our clothes fill with steam, or I’m the steam now, and my clothes are just anyone, or maybe I’m you anyway, and I could be anyone but you. Or we could just be me. I could conceal just one dusty memory of you when I die someday, pin it against velvet with my last breath, let it glow like the last neon day of a Luna moth. If I could live with it, I could live forever. In a fluttering trance, a twitching shadow, where there’s no form, no image, no mirror, no hands, no mothers.

Yes, but who’s like God? I wasn’t christened in a stream of milk.


 

S.K. Nicholas is the man at a haunted hotel, alone on a snowy night, trying not to have a drink at My Red Abyss, and Samantha Lucero is the crumbling, lone grave on a hill poking out like a little rotten tooth at Six Red Seeds. ]

Shell Beach – S.K. Nicholas

In the boot of your car, there are several bottles of wine and a shovel of which we use to bury our secrets with because the world has no place for the likes of us. In your pocket, there are filters to block out the voices of those we once resembled, filters your childhood self would be shocked and alarmed to see. Much the same as how my younger self would be shocked and alarmed in coming face to face with the abstraction of what I’ve since become. In a field away from prying eyes, I place the blanket on a spot of flush grass and together we admire the unspoilt view of miles and miles of nowhere and everywhere with an ocean of blue sky above us that leads to an ocean of water as my hand slides beneath your top caressing your waist. And then it’s your breasts and then it’s my mouth and teeth on your neck and then you push me down upon the blanket and we roll and rock in ways none of them will ever be able to measure. In the distance, a city rumbles like a belly full of booze and not much else. In the hidden soil, all that we have ever lost is regained with each kiss. This globe is a tiny one, and yet we do what we do as if we weren’t mere humans but entities, like those on the moor up north, y’know, the one where Heathcliff and Cathy play? We taste these kicks and dig our fingers in pretending it’s not how it is but it’s exactly that which is why we’re here, kissing without the need for anyone else to ruin our vision. Your lips are cherry, and the way your hair catches the breeze, it’s a memory of London, and it’s a memory of paint on canvas and the quietness of my life before you made yourself known. We were always meant to find each other, and we were always meant to come undone in each other’s embrace. There was no other way. As my fingers touch yours and you whisper those words into my ear, I tell you to close your eyes and picture us stood at the end of a pier throwing stones into the sea. It’s a place we can go where they’ll never come looking. Where our love will remain as pure as the night when everything else crumbles. We discovered it almost by chance, and when it gets too much and we lose sight of things, all we have to do is go back, and our souls align themselves once more.


 

[ S. K. Nicholas is the creator of  My Red Abyss and author of A Journal for Damned Lovershis first novel. He is a brilliant writer and a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. To learn more about S.K. and A Journal for Damned Lovers read Jasper Kerkau’s interview with S.K. and his review of A Journal for Damned Lovers. ]

Us – S.K. Nicholas

There’s junk food in my belly and a book on Ian Brady in my hand. Blinking my eyes, the pages are stained with sweat and splashed with spit. Remember when I would take you from behind and how I’d lean over and tell you to turn your face and look me in the eyes? How I’d get you to open your mouth so I could let a stream of saliva drip onto your tongue? You don’t? Well, shame on you. Somewhere in my mind, the smell of stale beer drifts to me across playing fields. It’s autumn, and the leaves are crisp and crumble in my hands before falling to the floor like confetti. There’s a chill kick in the breeze that pains my face whenever I shave. There are bus journeys and newsagents that sell sweets and magazines with free toys attached to their covers. There are coffee shops and pet stores and underpasses where children from nearby schools paint pictures of the world they live in. After a drunken night out in town with friends, I walked home alone and took a leak in that underpass, and as my yellow stream of piss splashed the colourful buildings they had painted, I laughed until my stomach hurt. That book on Ian Brady, I keep it in my bag and read it in the shade of trees and weeds far from the presence of others. His voice is one of existence, and as such, it reminds me that I exist. In silence is where I grow, and yet in your arms is where I’m alive more than ever. I’m not sure how that works, and that’s part of the problem. There’s a cigarette to ease my troubles and to make my head spin. There’s a song that connects us even though so many days have been and gone in between our last kiss. For some, the meaning of words is a thankless one, but for me, God is in every letter. This poetry. This sense of glory. There is nothing that comes close save for the image of you leaving footprints on fresh snow, or the taste of your neck as we do our thing while trying so hard to resist the breaking of dawn. And to think of all those buildings where our ghosts dance in silence, and to think of those fields where I would carry you because it was too muddy and you didn’t want to get your shoes dirty. Those dead cigarettes of mine, they are still there somewhere, along with those empty bottles of wine I would fling into the mouth of the quarry. And that hairclip you lost- that too is there. Everywhere we go and have been, there are artefacts that hold so much meaning the rest will never be able to fathom. What’s gone is not lost, and what’s not lost is with us every step of the way.


[S. K. Nicholas is creator of  myredabyss.com and author of A Journal for Damned Lovershis first novel. He is a brilliant writer and a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. To learn more about S.K. and A Journal for Damned Lovers read Jasper Kerkau’s interview with S.K. and his review of A Journal for Damned Lovers.]

Climbing Up the Walls

S. K. Nicholas

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Through the woods and through the seas, I walked and swam lost to the world and everyone in it, and then there came a day when I put pen to paper, and lost I was no more. There was a time when I kept myself locked up and boarded shut, but the more I learnt to be open the less I felt like giving up and the more beauty I recognised in myself and my surroundings. It’s there for everyone, and yet how funny it is now to see those who are as I used to be. They just float around unaware of anything that doesn’t fit into the confines of their tiny lives. They exist within themselves and nowhere else, and even when they try to make a change, they make no effort in acknowledging who and what they really are. To be who you need to be, you…

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‘ This mess we’re in ‘ – Collaborative – S.K. Nicholas & Samantha Lucero

 

   the lights are always on now, no one ever sleeps.

   i am one of those dreamless alien lights; one of those nobody’s cradled in the teeth of a high-rise window. my building’s a fang that pierces an eye of god. i loved you more because you turned away from me.

   i stare at my reflection until i become the memory of you; until i am become death and stones in pockets, and the formless outside in the velvet dark. you, the ghost that rushes in the corner of my eye, the reason i wear lace when it rains. i’m trying to read your mind, wherever it’s gone, but i can’t. i try to unearth the sandalwood smear of you on my walls and in between my fingers, but you’re not there. i’m not there either, not anymore.

   and so i’ll go to the hudson where they sell fire for your throat when you can’t weep or scream, where there’s bad news in the laughter and they find you floating the morning after.

   this mess we’re in will be over before it can begin.

   With a rock in my hand, I lay you down and taste the sweetness of your lips. I make you pretty and breathe in a scent that tickles me just right. With my fingers around your throat, I squeeze them tight and tell you that I want so much to believe. Among a bed of roses in a part of town others have no need to tread, I watch over you as the sun is replaced by the milk-white moon that makes you look like a porcelain doll my sister used to own. You, my beautiful secret. You, my only regret. You, the only one who knows me for how I am. Sit with me a while and hear my reasons. Give me a little time to tell you how this came to be. Speak some truth to heal these sins. Say something that will ease our passage to a place we were never meant to resist.

   With a rock in my hand, you move with such speed. Like a cat, you twist and turn as I stumble trying so hard to make it known that despite my deeds, I am indeed a good man. But the more you fight against it, the harder it is. The more you move away the closer I come until the only way I can make you understand is for you to see a part of me I try so hard to hide. Hitching up your skirt and sliding down those tights, I smear your lipstick and kiss your throat. Touching you where I feel God the most, I whisper to you knowing there will be no answer. Pulling your hair and sinking my fingers into the ground beneath your head, I hear no birds. I sense no movement at all as the world we used to know turns without us.

   This mess we’re in will be over before we know it.

   i could be the smooth arms of angrboda.

   i could hunt the heat lost in you somewhere like a tremble of life, find the skeleton key that unlocks all locked doors. i could keep one dying secret down in flames. i could birth in kerosene the chained wolf-child, your half-dead maid, an immense snake that cradles the sea. we could be the myth. we could be the end, for fragments like us to fit in life’s hands, full of dirt.

   i’m spit miscarried on grass, i’m all the things i thought, except the thing i could’ve been. i’m lost in my head, and you want me here. swallowing all six red seeds, I still starve in spring. i like it in the dark, with you believing, and you want me to believe in good men, when they would bury vestals alone with a lamp. leave me on a road that i can hitch hike to hell on and think, think… !

   think about a time in red converse. stepping on your toes just to get a close up, listen low so no one else can hear, fuck them, late night in a leather jacket and a pin with a gold tooth and vampire fangs. warning label. 2 packs of american spirits until we’re dry, and anne boelyn’s ghost in the tower of london. a grin of blood they never found on the wall. hell can be real. it’s here; but your face in my hands, watching me cry, that’s worth it.

   “time is a flat circle.”

   if we have one moment that matters,

   this mess we’re in can happen over and over again.

   With a rock in my hand, I use the other to cradle the base of your skull. You used to be my woman. You used to be my girl, but you just wouldn’t be tamed. I never wanted to clip your wings. No, I never wished to see you like that at all, but you never gave me a choice. I could’ve been your man, could’ve been that someone to watch over you when you needed a friend. I was here to give you all of this, yet you went a different way. You gave yourself to those who know only how to betray. It should never have come to this, but what was I supposed to do? Just allow it? Just let you fall further from grace? I’m not a monster, I’m a poet, and all I ever wanted was for you to know it. It was your choice to make.

   With a rock in my hand, I dig the soil with the other. You speak to me but it’s too late. I’ve made up my mind. And yet this isn’t the end. You are the seed that shall be planted. You are the nucleus of what I shall become. You will be mother and lover, and as I lay you down and watch you grow, the past and the future are already dancing on the same page. You have this voice but it needs to be silenced so I can hear what you have to say. You have this beauty but I need to cover it because others will surely come and attempt to sniff you out yet again. Y’know, I’ve never been this open with anyone but you. Never had the chance to be so close. It’s not how you wanted it, I’m sure, but with time you will understand, I can feel it in my bones.

   This mess we’re in gives birth to everything.


S.K. Nicholas is the man at a haunted hotel, alone on a snowy night, trying not to have a drink at My Red Abyss, and Samantha Lucero is the crumbling, lone grave on a hill poking out like a little rotten tooth at Six Red Seeds. ]

 

Castles in the Sky

S. K. Nicholas

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Kisses on your belly and my tongue doing stuff your mother knows all about but won’t ever say. Fingers on your thighs as you lie there speaking of what hurts with no intention of making a change even though you know it’s all down to you and no one else. You can travel far and wide, and yet you can never escape your own skin. You can take as many lovers as you like, but never will they keep you as you wish to be kept. There’s autumn in your eyes and a forest in your heart. There’s a swan you call your own and a pathway to the past you try so hard to deny that just aches to walked. Penetration. A doorway made of light. A cigarette to link us as the years come undone like the ties that bind to that which we have no need of. I…

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A Big Nothing. -S.K. Nicholas/A Journal for Damned Lovers

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Big Nothing.

They say I’m not romantic, that I’m distant and distracted, but my love shows itself in many different forms. They tell me that I’m cold, that I don’t know how to connect. My defense is that it’s them- it’s them that can’t connect to me because they’re not open to the ebb and flow of my myriad ways. Actually, no, it’s me. I confess. I’m far too strange for those who happen to cross my sullen and maudlin path. Smoking my cigarette, I contemplate my actions but grow bored within the minute. Maybe sooner. My attention span isn’t great at the best of times. There should be writing, should be declarations of love, and yet I keep thinking of all those roads from my childhood that don’t exist anymore and the names of random galaxies I looked up on Wikipedia the other night after polishing off the rest of that red wine I’d been refusing to drink because white is just so much sweeter. Near where my grandparents lived in Lewsey Farm, there was an area of marshland that used to terrify me back when I would stay with them during the holidays as a kid. Not sure why it got under my skin, because it was all fenced off and secure and there was no chance of ever stumbling in. Yet for many years, I just couldn’t help but worry that one day I was going to find myself in a terrible predicament. As the wine does its thing and the wheels in my brain begin to spin, I feel a thought coming on. Y’know, even though we barely speak, maybe we could pay the place a visit? One evening when you’re not too busy wanting to break my bones, and it’s not too cold, we could take a drive up and slip through a hole in the fence before exploring each other’s bodies? I’m having trouble remembering the exact shape of your breasts, and every time I try picturing them I get these nosebleeds that just won’t quit. Every time I close my eyes and taste your lips, there’s a flavour that just won’t shift. It’s one of the skittles, maybe the blue one? Yeah, that’s it. You’re a blue skittle I want to suck and chew beneath a blood-red moon as the ground beneath us swallows us whole until there’s nothing left but our giddy laughter that rattles through the streets like the screams of some long-forgotten knife fight back in the summer of ’92.


S. K. Nicholas is creator of  myredabyss.com and author of A Journal for Damned Lovers, his first novel. He is a brilliant writer and a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. To learn more about S.K. and A Journal for Damned Lovers read Jasper Kerkau’s interview with S.K. and his review of A Journal for Damned Lovers.