On Muses-Candice Louisa Daquin/The Feathered Sleep

Muse you are an unwanted thing

coming as moth must be drawn unwillingly

for whom of us longs to be captured by the light

denying us rest?

for in the grey of our self-imposed exile

we know no disturbance

our affection is metered and paid for each day

by a short stack of coins all bronze and safe

securing our space in certain harbor

as little boats will never attempt

glorious journeys

but of course there are those unbidden times

like a storm out of the West devours best intent

cutting down our resistance

stark against your person

if you didn’t do anything but exist

it would still hurt

like beauty can make a man cry

unconsciously we dream of ideals

moving in hymn with that part of us

that can be held to the light and fractured

you know my song

before I know my own


I see the distance between

a quiet sleep touching you in earnest

and anything real

as colorless as soot belies attempt to rise above

normalcy and quench our longing for

a girl who breaks us into pieces with one movement

unknowing, as free as a child who has grown beautiful

over summer time

unawares of herself

she will always be this way and I didn’t know until I felt

in the pit of my stomach that fizz and fall

down into a place of ache

something as sweet as pain

the desire unrelenting and yet

impossible before it is formed

like a best intention

left like her dress on the floor

as I lift it over her thin arms and watch

the bow she makes with herself

and the reddening of her cheeks when

I demonstrate not all we know we know

surprising even those

who think themselves immune

to oddities and marbles strewn

lifting her into me and beyond where

my tongue and her murmurs hold each other

my eyes close when I see her

beneath me like a sea

nipples pressing insistently against my fingers

and all that she thought

was right

and wrong

for this moment

it doesn’t really count

we are beyond ourselves

her feather weight and my discovered ardor

making champions of hesitation

acrobats in abseiling the curves of her

I would please myself in the pleasure of

her surprised movement, writhing as she danced

inside my mouth clawing in pleasure

every part of her as delicate

as the flower I saw reminding me

how she would surely taste

a nectar within honey within amber within light

and stars

reflecting on her sloping shadows

lifting her up into myself we bind our

legs and arms and hips into fused pulse

no it is not a contest I seek to win

she is always going to love others

as they will always seek to touch her

but for that one moment as I let the sun heat my face

in thought

she is mine for this second and I reach out

and she comes

into my arms willing

dissolving and hungry

like red sand rises with

encroaching storm I hear her

cry in my ear a cascading joy

something breaks free

and she knows then

the loveliness of her

reflecting within me

Candice Louisa Daquin is from Sephardi descent and immigrated to the USA where she lives in the American South West. She’s written many poetry reviews, her own work has been published in magazines and she has her fifth book of poetry coming out thru Finishing Line Press. Candice loves modern dance, reads voraciously, walks in the countryside and loves supporting fellow poets in their quest for true creative expression, above all she honors the rare human traits of loyalty, truth and mercy and supports the destigmatization of mental illness.

The rule & curve-Introducing New Sudden Denouement Member: Candice Louisa Daquin/The Feathered Sleep

The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective is thrilled to introduce new Collective Member Candice Louisa Daquin.  Candice is the fierce beautiful voice behind The Feathered Sleep.

A dream reminded me of

countryside winter

snowed in house

cut off from sound

ice storm and horror movies

Kurt Cobain

everyone wearing plaid

stringy hair and

grinding hips

the rat eating his house

you smoking in a velvet chair

sunday interminable

release from despair

the portent of future

how hope of youth is our torment

all is possible and nothing is as real as it feels

the illusion and persistence of dreams

did I sleep to wake 20 years hence

still thinking tomorrow I will sit exams

anxious briefly as if time were a rubber band

no more the rule and curve

of outstretched hands

before we could afford tattoos

dying our hair with fragments

only the gentle footfall of sex and orange bulbs

swinging like marmalade

choices made, and made not

kissing arbitrary strangers at costume parties

we drive crowded in

steamed up

cars disguising our zeal behind foggy windows

you pull over for a piss

I run out into empty fields

long legs scratched by dead corn

the sky looks enormous

in a rush of past and future

I see myself in reflection

a small figure staring upward

do I know then what will come to pass?

would it make any difference?

or are we part of a greater weave?

rushing to the culmination of ourselves

only to look back retreating?

far back

through time

changing lens

adding dilution and tint

until the picture we held once

in our tight skin

becomes the us of now

solidified in our skin

like a tree feels its way deep

into soil

grasping blind way for roots

to feed

Candice Louisa Sequin is from sephardi descent and immigrated to the USA where she lives in the American South West. She’s written many poetry reviews, her own work has been published in magazines and she has her fifth book of poetry coming out thru Finishing Line Press. Candice loves modern dance, reads voraciously, walks in the countryside and loves supporting fellow poets in their quest for true creative expression, above all she honors the rare human traits of loyalty, truth and mercy and supports the destigmatization of mental illness.

Wake Me When It’s Over- Nicholas Osborne


my boots are caked with mud and shit, and
likely other elements I’d soon withhold from mind;
I squat, with lumbar pressed into a man-dug ditch,
confined to this gashed earth we call a trench;
it’s damp out and my breath puffs precede me—
black smoke from a coal stack—sipping with mechanical
lips whatever lukewarm liquid sloshes in this old tin cup
I hold in palms that used to quaver, when blood
more innocent still coursed their length and width.

I’ve been told my hands look like a those of a pianist;
now just blunt and bloated stubs, with nails dipped in
midnight pitch—crescent slivers from the dark-side
face of a waning gibbous, so deep begrimed that I’d
need to hatchet-hack the digits off to separate
myself from this smut—the dirt that’s thick and
wet, and doesn’t wash off, though I could scour
my skin until I mined to bright white bone; it’s a hell
tar that bubbles up from whatever pit’s below, mixed
with melted rime from last night’s winter, puddled in the
deep, manifold impressions of confused and wayward boots.

and I don’t shake anymore—my nerves so frayed
they couldn’t pass a shadow in between them;
on edge so many shapeless days and nights that
‘scared’ has lost its meaning; I’ve forged my old fear
into a new-minted apathy I pass for courage—not
phased a twinge at the prospect of dying alone,
secure in the knowledge that my head will
tip from my neck soon enough, like what’s happened
to every other horizontal boy right over the ridge:
all dressed up and uniformed, posed like
alabaster storefront mannequins, showing off
their Sunday church duds to the ruptured sky;
splotched first here, then there with blooming crimson
flesh petals—a wild rose garden, sown in silent furrows.

I don’t’ think I’ve slept in weeks, but I tire more
of waiting; waiting for that looming sound to drill my ears
with jackhammer voice and ear-bleed whistle shrill,
demanding that I rise and drop this mug of sick—let it lay
forever lost, stamped into the muck and mire, to be
excavated by some shovel-wielding archaeologist, who sifts
where once I squatted— a few futures from now, in days when
time’s dementia has stolen the remembrance of my name.

girded with my brave indifference, I’ll wrap hands around my
gunstock, and sighing, mount that slimy slope,
where the only way out is over—the only way out
is out—when it’s a relief to finally expire, with nails in need
of manicuring; and I can exist as another cold fixture in
a larger human mural—a hunk of polished porcelain,
shaded thoughtfully in red acrylic that accentuates
my cheekbones; when this fucking waiting ends and
that brass tube screams its guts out, I can charge;
dead or free, or amputee—at last, I’m going home.


Nicholas Osborne

My thoughts sometimes stub their toes on a pen.

Plucking Strings-Nicholas Osborne/The Dirty Limerick

Nicholas Osborne plucks our strings

The Dirty Limerick

This is the first in a series of misplaced poems I’ve recently rediscovered. I wrote this one on March 13, 2011, while hung over on my friend’s couch, waiting to forget the day…

lithe, we play
that banjo

twang-twing as
night echoes of semi-
unfulfilled lovemaking
perpetuate our sweatlets—
blood-warm breezes
rake the deep ravines
craters and sinkholes of
your tree-bark skin

sing loud your
thick waves of
margarine, while we
churn, in turn—
a slick-cheeked commingling
born of striped beer
cans, dead music, and
fancy pressed-collar

a voice of clobbering
wagon wheels on your
prairie plain—rotating
in rivulets, down your
corridors, flesh walls, and
plush cotton fibers—soft
hot, electrostatic pops

I taste the way you
travel, dull bird
and I know better
because they believe you
a brilliant pink flamingo—
more pigeonlike
to me

so, I will carry
your secret, as I
would an ugly babe

even as your…

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Pillow Thought

Gorgeous writing from Nicholas Osborne of The Dirty Limerick

The Dirty Limerick

a moment— I had one the walls of present- future-past melted into the aging skin that drapes my skull the thing I thought oblivion became the everlasting and all was moisture and body-heat— love, compressed into temperature the discordant many-voice these ears have known, familiar-drifted like dinghies in a passing mist— rudderless creations, forever bobbing strained through a lead crystal colander, dripping out the holes, emerging as streams of light-catching prisms, projecting in full-spectrum color life seemed a speck as I fell into a white space, without dimension engulfed in dust-devil energy ribbons—kinesis five senses, my departing lovers smiling, hand-combing tousled hair under the discovery of dawn, and I hear the thump of their feet down the stairs and the courteous shutting of the                                   front door they are callers with tangled string—each afloat…

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Flightless Birds & Fireballs

Word spell from Nicholas Osborne

The Dirty Limerick

I am not love, and
lust is no object I possess;
attention is a cardboard city
strung with garish Xmas

I am not man or woman—
my present state attained by
psychosomatic chromosomal

I am not indulgence or delight;
the food I chew is cold and
bland, plucked from a gaunt
metal grid under the pale
light of a wheezing

I am not corporeal, my
two-dimensioned body
won’t be discovered in
sunshine or by dark,
for I have sidled
into a realm of gray
on gray—an endless
archipelago of mist-clung

I am not the skeleton key to
your locked strongbox of
happiness or despair—
not the kindling or the
matchhead to strike
sparks upon your dry

I am not genius, nor am I
revolution at the tip of
a sword, the end of a
gun, or in the gleaning of
catchphrase words on a picket

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Horns Blast Down the Walls

Stunningly painted stream of consciousness piece from Nicholas Osborne at The Dirty Limerick

The Dirty Limerick

I slithered to this swivel chair by means forgotten—
the one with the flattened padding, fatigued
like a smooshed Atlas, muscles turned to jam under the
near-constant weight of my ass and my troubles—its
patterned pleather armrests, cracked and peeling in broad
strips, like elastic, translucent skin, dead shedding
from too long spent in the sun—eroded by years of my sharp
cogitating elbows, that nursed my bulging brow more often
than not, during mystical solstices of intuition and
nameless mundane mornings, when the remnant booze
steamed out of my pores through sweat-stiff denim,
as I would attempt a ritual self-resurrection, praying to a
miracle carafe of black coffee and one too many cigarettes—
the casters at its five-pronged base, like a star, still wound with
fur from at least three housedogs, old-age dead a while ago—
yet I have had a constant companion in the inanimate, as I sit
and sit…

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