Guest Writer: Tofu “Errant Pleasures”

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[photo: Clara Bow]
=Errant Pleasures

“I am lost.
labyrinthe in static motion,
kaleidoscope-violated prism,
glass veins and sticky lacerations
amphetamine-laced burrowing into skin
and I’ve forgotten your scent

the burrs lay flat against my hide
of which
I’ve long since ignored.
friction, my husk ignited,
and the pines burn in my flesh
in a spot I cannot reach
and you are distant
and they beat the fight out of me
and you are gone
and they left me to die.

I am lost.
light turned sour in smog air,
a paned window painted bloody,
small and afraid.
quiet, undulating, sickly pulsating
gruesomely sore,
dead, dead, dying.

I reached out,
why weren’t you there?”

“I am Tofu, a twenty-one year old poet. I reside in British Columbia, in a rural neighbourhood, surrounded by power lines and open fields. My work is influenced by trauma, uncomfortable sensations, and the people of my past, present, and future. I’ve trekked through periods of poverty, chaos, peace and growth, and weave my experiences into intimate and vulnerable poetry. I hope only to encourage thought and empathy from the people who read my work.”

I also have a personal Instagram at @tofulori.
Her writing can be found at Tofu.poetry.blog.
Instagram: @tofulori

Guest Writer: Bharti Bansal My Father is a Brave Man

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My father tells me that tongue is a paper
Which should be folded
For world now is a cruel place
The voices here are murdered much before they can be heard
I tell my father how
this world is a blind man
Stepping on the dead bodies of children and men who stood up
As their tongues became iron crutches
“Gurney” he corrects
He tells me how voices are crushed
By the men like Venus fly trap
Eating unless nothing is left but fear
Fear to speak out loud
Fear to shout before the mountains echo back with “shhhhhhh”
This world makes a rosary out of the beheaded souls
And chants the name of oppression
As some child is murdered and thrown in a river for taking birth on a land
Where stigma learnt to walk first, head on
I then tell my father how I have learnt to whisper
Whisper through the hidden metaphors
Making my words a guerrilla force
Fighting against those who never choose to read between the lines
How my words are peaceful protest
Against a world where a foetus is drained in a toilet
And a mother is murdered for giving birth to rebellion
My father is a brave man
Scared for the life of a daughter
When being daughter is a fearful statement
Ending with the probabilities of death demanding mercy like a lost exclamation mark
My father is a brave man
Fearing outrage in a blood
Which has always meant to be kept cool
Like the lavender room
Where hang the pictures of women
Who died for shouting out loud
When patriarchy groped them, put fingers inside their vaginas
To cure them from taking a stand otherwise called as “hysteria”
My father is a brave man
Except he fears this world for a dandelion child
Whom he has protected against the winds of change
Where the rivers are filled with blood and bodies lie dry on streets
“Keep sush because it’s better sometimes” he says
But what he means is
Paper can be folded seven times
So fold your tongue into smallest version
Before it can’t be folded no more
And then scream, wail, ululate
Because in the end
A voice unheard is guilty silence
Scratching the insides of its cheeks
Before blood oozes out
declaring war
And war kills the silent ones first
My father is a brave man
Except sometimes he tells his daughter to stand
And shout in a deaf crowd
But what he means is
“If they can’t hear, make them see”
So I pick up my pen and write…

[My name is Bharti Bansal. I am 21 year old Indian poet. I write on depression, self esteem, sadness. I have been published thrice in Indian anthologies. People can read more of my work on my Instagram.

Introducing New Sudden Denouement Writer Vicki Wilson

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The pause

It is the pause

Between heartbeats

Where I await the echo

To signal that it can beat again…

…that I can breathe again…

… that I can’t…

It is the pause

Haunted by a promise

The prelude

Of pain

Where in slow motion

I scramble

With broken compass

And bloody nails

To find finger-holds

In the grey edge

Of the moment

Frozen in the shattered glass

Of the bauble

That once had

housed the world

Within a world

Before I

am falling

To moral paste

Beneath the agony of cloven behoves

Which beget the disentangle

Of limbs

Of lips

Of hearts.

© Vicki Wilson

I am an amateur poet, published author and professional technical analyst… all of these things mean I basically solve puzzles for a living, and to keep from dying. I know this because I died once. Metaphorically. Six years of a slow death by industrialised decision making. In the end I was so numb to living I ceased to exist. But burn-out has a silver lining, you wake up and all you have left is steel and the rich black of sticky charcoal to make your mark. I am still learning how to hold a pen, how to form words into a living thing, but my scratchings are mine, they are made with the corpse of who I was. I offer them as evidence I exist.

I have recently published a children’s book – written and illustrated by myself – under the banner of dragonflypublishing. You can find me there writing my next one: https://www.facebook.com/dragonflypublishing.au.

Guest Writer: Able Elba

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[Photo: Able Elba]
Pulchritudinous Decline
Able Elba, 2018
 

And as the years fade,
fleshy encounters
with folds of listening and not being heard
creep up and frighten from behind walls and doors.
Pulchritudinous sags – crags – puckers –
a map of memories to cherish
and those I hope have the decency to stay behind
when I go.
[Writing began at fourteen, therapy after the loss of my father. Now, approaching thirty I extend a piece of my soul for the world to hold and do with what it likes. Seven years of art, music and writing education and here we are– further from the beginning with the penetrating recognition of how fast it has all gone by. Living is a burden and exquisite– all of which, I sieve through the arts. –Able Elba]
Her writings, art, and music can be found on her site: Able Elba

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.

The Night Before – Salvador Macias

We finally slept a little after the sun rose
It’s reminder of our mortality
Rearing it’s face through the cracks of
Blue and red curtains
Five hours later
We awoke bracing our selves for the ugliness of the day to begin
As slugs and roaches danced below our bed
We lurched dry mouths
and hangover sickness
To a baptism of soap and heat
We stood together
Motionless
Her head against the white tile
Of the shower wall
She kept her eyes closed
As she combed through my wet hair
Scrubbed my back and chest
And I ran my hand across her breast
To keep balance
Washed away was the
Musk of sex
The stink of cigarettes,
Of whiskey specials
And the nonsense of the night before
As we dried ourselves
She asked if I had meant
What I said in the parking lot
After last call
Though I couldn’t recall
What we talked about
I sensed it had
awakened something
Long dormant
Within her
I smiled looking directly into
Her eyes
And replied
” every word baby ”

Sudden Denouement’s First Short Story Literary Prize – Open For Submissions Nov 1, 2018

Since its inception in 2016, The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective has had the privilege of featuring some of today’s most fearless writers. With members that span the globe and editors who share a passion for pushing boundaries, we as a collective have enjoyed reading, promoting, and watching the success of each individual artist as they have grown in their craft and left their mark upon the literary world.

Now, as writers and readers, editors and fans, we at Sudden Denouement Literary Collective are ecstatic to open up the doors to our outstanding, award winning collective, and invite you all in to pull up a chair and tell us your stories.

The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, and Sudden Denouement Publishing, are pleased to dip our toes into the waters of great literary contests and announce our first ever short story literary prize with a call for submissions from all of you.

Our theme is ‘Things Would Never Be The Same’ and our rules and regulations are as follows:

WHAT: You can submit ONE original, unpublished piece of fiction that is up to 2500 words. There is no minimum word requirement.

WHEN: The competition is open for submissions from November 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019

WHO: Everyone, everywhere

HOW: While the competition is active, submit your piece online through Submittable.

WHAT YOU CAN WIN: 

1st place:
$100 cash
One copy of every book published by Sudden Denouement Publishing
Three guest spots featured on Sudden Denouement Literary Collective
*possibility of publication in Sudden Denouement’s first short story anthology – 2019

2nd place:
$75 cash
One copy of three books published by Sudden Denouement Publishing
Two guest spots featured on Sudden Denouement Literary Collective
*possibility of publication in Sudden Denouement’s first short story anthology – 2019

3rd place:
$50 cash
One copy of two books published by Sudden Denouement Publishing
One guest spot featured on Sudden Denouement Literary Collective
*possibility of publication in Sudden Denouement’s first short story anthology – 2019

Honourable Mentions (2 places)
$25 cash
*possibility of publication in Sudden Denouement’s first short story anthology – 2019.

Check back on November 1, 2018 when submissions will be opened.

Good luck to you all, we look forward to reading your submissions.

-The Editors of Sudden Denouement

 

The Logical Response – Stephen M Crow

The skyline illuminated
Bright razors against the night
Doing what cutters do
Finding humanity in pain
In emotional release

Pinballs crashing on the street
No eye contact to betray
Inch by inch we march
Hand in bitter hand
Into the belly of the beast

The wind picked up the message
Fall leaves blown asunder
Scrambled contrast across the moon
Throwing shadows
Signaling the end of peace

Burning our own homes in protest
Purpose with a side of death
Realizing we must tear it down
As we lay upon these flames
And go to sleep

[Stephen M Crow is a writer and musician who resides in Pasadena, Texas with his wife, Christy, and their children. Interests include cooking, watching horror movies, listening to music, and spending time with his family.]

Day 1 – Patrick Hart

Forgiveness is found in the cooling of blatant heat
A treasure typically reserved
For hunters and priests
Finally shifting in the form of falling leaves
A light reprieve
From hollow hell and dampened glory

The sky awakens to bodies succumbing
To the Cliff Swallow’s song
A disbelief of patience
That strands the torture of constant war, for
Beauty is a season in desire
It is a body bright
Knotted In the fingers of sunlight
And a bored man’s tongue
Can find the fruits of passion
In the throes of this calm union

Roadside Maples dance in irenic fashion
With acorn offerings littering
The feet of wolves nurturing the day
And autumn prints pry fault
From the aging jetty of the mind

Alas, the first of its kind bows
To the womb of a sunrise
As dusk falls
The earth becomes a beautiful woman
Behind the glow of her cigarette
And I—
A statue on a mantel
Watching her glory echo

[Patrick Hart is a transplanted South Georgian writer who originally hails from Hampton Roads Virginia. He currently serves in the United States Air Force, as an air traffic controller.

Like most of us, Patrick draws most of his inspiration from his history. Through his writing, he seeks to dredge bodies from the dark pools of his mind, as much as he desires to describe and define what life is.

If he had to use one word to describe himself, it would be cerebral.]

Find more of Patrick’s work on Instagram and grab a copy of his stunning debut collection War Paint, published by RadPress Publishing

Pull-String Playgrounds – Introducing JL Stevens

All these threads lead to the same endings.
The fabric of pain doesn’t shelter,
and it rains all the time.
I stumble among the defense mechanisms,
and the battlegrounds now stretch
like a list of forgotten names.
The devil may understand the broken,
but he is laughing
behind the cup of indifference.
These fractures are given labels,
beautiful categories,
pinned to the walls like wrists.
I am suffocating on all
the identities they are forcing upon me.
Hesitant to say a word
as the ink falls unwillingly from my eyes.
Every sin that once separated us
is now sold back with a smile.
And the sign overhead says: Play to Win.
We cannot thrive within
these pull-string playgrounds.
Because the game is tied
too tightly to ourselves.

 

JL Stevens is a writer of psychological fiction. She is currently working on her first collection of short tragedies entitled How The Story Ends. You can find her poetry on Facebook under JL Stevens and Chaos of Thought. She loves classic literature and has a deep passion for words. She is going back to school to pursue her degree in psychology and human development, and hopes to incorporate this into her writing.