Ita and Tom-Jimmi Campkin

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The town surrounds the hill like a doughnut, and we are the hole.  We lay side by side, staring at clouds like nature’s Rorschach.  Here are warriors with spears and here are fucked up dolphins with five tails.  There is a strand of DNA being broken apart with pliers and there is a dick with three balls.  Three balls.  She observes it dispassionately and says, dryly; enough to give anyone a stomach ache.  Then she claps her hands a few times and shakes her head.

We endure below the waterline with the scum and the fools, but on this hill we can exist, and stroke the feet of angels.  She tells me to splay my fingers out wide and to comb them through the clouds, to feel divinity in the webs.  I half-heartedly swat at thin air and she stubs a cigarette out onto the back of my hand.   Raising one shoeless foot she traces out her name, lets out a fart with a wince and demands another cigarette.  I feel my phone vibrate but this hill has rules.  No technology.  No distractions.  No unnecessary conversation.  I wish I could live my life the way I live on this hill, staring at frozen water and being burned alive.

In the nearby churchyard she has a favourite grave.  A young Italian couple died on the same day over thirty years ago.  The tomb is expensive but forgotten – once pristine marble now dirty, a bunch of rotting artificial flowers in the honeycomb vase, slowly sinking into the ground head first.  I ate her out on the cold stone, looking up at that glorious landscape – the round thighs, the scarred rolling tummy and through the gap in her tits to that gasping, eye-rolling face.  But then my eyes lingered on their names, rusting and bleeding onto the off-white slab… names chosen by parents for children, and I couldn’t muster any enthusiasm anymore.  Rolling off, I told her I had a sore throat and she didn’t speak to me for a week.

This is all memory to me now.  She sleeps somewhere beyond where angels and demons sleep, a special place where she connects to the planets in far off systems and keeps them turning.  The hill is no more and the hole is filled.  There are no clouds, and I swipe my hands through a vacuum.  I try to make shapes out of the nothingness, and I just end up trying to marry specks of dust into sculpture.

Just before the end, we lay in a trembling embrace.  She hadn’t stood under clean water in three weeks and her hair stuck to her skin at every opportunity.  I would do the same.  She looked at me through gelatinous eyes.  I’m just so tired… and she smiled sadly.  I’m terrified because I’ve never seen her cry before.

A few years ago the town planners bulldozed the church and built a supermarket over the graveyard, the dead trapped under the aisles.  I hate it but I tell myself; it’s just the next logical step.  God creates Man.  Man creates Walmart.  Walmart destroys God.


Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com.

The Effortless Brass-Jimmi Campkin

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I’d known The Boy about six years before I realised he had feelings.  Until then, I’d assumed he was like a dead tree – enigmatic and interesting to look at but essentially hollow and lifeless.  The Boy only made sense on drugs – taken by himself and his audience – but in that narrow alleyway of lucidity there was a path to reaching him.  Like those on the fringes of death who witness the long path to the bright light, if you were willing to get as fucked up as he could and did, you’d find windows where he made sense.

I remember lying on the floor, smashing my teeth on a brick, convinced it was a stale piece of bread, and seeing him standing above me, upright, without the usual hunching of the shoulders.  His voice clear and concise, not broken and wavering.  I crawled in the general direction of his shoes, blood dribbling down my chin and spitting bits of tooth and gum out onto the concrete floor.  I grabbed a handful of dust and rubbed it into the smashed remains, feeling the first burning embers of pain even this far gone.  He looked down on me with an expression I didn’t think he was capable of; pity.

He said; She smells like a spring thunderstorm.  A spring thunderstorm.  That was exactly what she smelt like, what she sounded like, what she essentially was.  A storm in a fruitful season.  He crouched onto his haunches and I met his eyes, but they moved too fast for me.  Curling into a foetus, I began to violently spasm, kicking and dragging my body in a circle.  He told me later that the retching created petal splatters of blood around my head…. like a scarlet daisy. 

*

The Boy’s earliest memory was watching a fox with a broken leg trapped in an old oil drum, slowly starving to death over a period of two weeks.  Every day that summer he’d clamber through thistles and nettles taller than him to find the poor beast inside the metal coffin, rattling and whining.  Initially he would sit apart from it terrified and fascinated, as the animal crashed and groaned, trying to free itself from its prison.  But as it became weaker, the noises died down to a soft howl, gentle as the wind through a keyhole.  Towards the end, he would push a crate against the drum and peer inside, looking down at the fox as it looked back up at him….breathing heavily but with a look on its face of utter serenity.  No noise, no whining or struggling, just two damaged lifeforms staring at each other – one at the beginning of its life and one nearing the end.  He once told me; the fox went to sleep, and I kept going back to see if it would wake up.  But something ate its eyes, and it didn’t move no more. 

*

I still go to the old oil drum, now rank and loathsome, filled with black muck and vague glimpses of rib and snapped femur.  I throw my old cigarettes inside, hoping one day I’ll feel bad about it, but I never had the depth of feeling that The Boy did, with or without drugs.  I take enough blotter acid to wallpaper most family homes, but the sun still looks normal and the trees don’t sing anymore.  I push through the thistles and weeds, remembering the pain this little child went through to experience feeling.  How he’d return home covered in little white nettle bumps on his arms, legs and face.  How he’d never cry, even as he slept on a mattress damp from beneath the floor.  Born to indifference, raised in a slum; just a product of bad decisions and post-industrialisation, both parents dead in a public toilet cubicle.

I buried The Boy in a quiet corner of the wasteland.  I picked the spot especially; surrounded by nettles guarding what they could not harm, within sight of the drum and blasted by the rays of the noon sun.  He rests under his little barrow mount, like ancient kings, away from all the troubles of the world.  And that is what haunts me; leaves me so helpless and jealous – not that his troubles are now over, but that nothing ever troubled this simple, stupid Boy in the first place.


Born in November 1983, I have been writing in some form or another for most of my life, but I began to take it seriously as a career around 2003/2004.  Since then I have produced a novel, a novella and a series of short stories some of which are loosely linked into an overarching anthology.

Most of my stories come under the wide umbrella of ‘general fiction’, but I have experimented with genre pieces.  My short stories tend to be bittersweet, nostalgic, sometimes melancholic and (on occasion) examine the darker side of human nature and obsessions.

I welcome you to my site Jimmi Campkin, and I hope you find something here to please you.  If not, below you’ll find a big picture of me to scream obscenities at.

Shinbone-Jimmi Campkin

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We’d swum upstream, arching through the reeds and the little currents swirling around the sharp rocks just below us, grazing our elbows and knees.  The river meandered under the watch of hills crumpled and confused like an unmade bed.  Nothing moved except the wind and the water; and two undernourished, hopelessly drunk, hopelessly pale little tadpoles in the dark green of a midnight dip.

She’d hotwired the car in a dark corner of the drive-thru.  Under the artificial glare of neon bulbs, we’d seen the young couple fingering each other damp before sucking away their respective juices and hitting the fries.  All she needed was a cigarette lighter and a hairclip and we had a car.  A good car.  A V6 apparently, whatever that means, with two belts of cheap vodka and an automatic transmission.  I didn’t mind.  It meant she could grip my cock and still keep one hand on the wheel.

The narrow lanes guided us.  I became convinced that she drove with telepathy, her delicate wrist flicking the wheel with minimal effort but maximum g-force.  No lights, because apparently that would draw attention to us, she spat the thing out of town and into the swaying countryside.  In town I felt anxious but with every passing mile and every fleeting farmhouse I realised that nature was calling us.  I knew that somehow, Everything Would Be Taken Care Of.  Any cop car that happened to chase us would end up in a swamp, or with a sudden puncture.  We weren’t evil and we weren’t out to kill.  Our goodness would see us through.

We left the road out of boredom and smashed through a fence in the gap between the posts.  After a lot of bouncing and protesting we ended up in a field of tall corn past the roof, everything hissing and slurping as though the car itself was peaking a weird acid high.  Leaving it behind, we lunged through this cathedral of corn stalks and plunged into the river.

*

We cuddle under the old railway bridge, naked and alone.  At night, her skin glistens like a thousand pairs of moonlit cats’ eyes.  She doesn’t shave anymore and I can grab full clumps of her leg and under her arms but I don’t care.  I want everything she has, and if there is more of her I want that too.

Under dead stars and rusting arches she rests in my arms and legs, reclined against my back pressed against a damp stone wall.  We talk about everything from hot dogs to Einstein.  She doesn’t believe in the theory of relativity, but she does believe in a formula for the perfect dog.  A bun the specific length of her hand, a quart of mustard, a quart of relish, and the merest fumes of mayo…Mid-conversation she presses two fingers into the forest of her bush and pisses out a stream of alcoholic nectar running between our legs.

I kiss the back of her head and tell her everything will be fine.  It’s my generic line.  I don’t know if she is unwell.  I don’t know if she needs everything to be fine.  She tweaks my nipples, pulls my hair and licks my chin.  Then a hair bobble frees her ponytail and she winds it three times around her wrist until her hand glows, veins protruding like the contours of an atlas, ready for a needle we don’t have.

I apologise and cuddle her tightly.  My cock grows and lifts, dragging itself against the small of her back.  Underneath the bridge, a midnight train rumbles and complains overhead sending dust onto our heads and a small colony of bats scrambling over the river.  I’m cold, filthy and pointless.  But she is in my arms…my arms…and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.


 

Born in November 1983, I have been writing in some form or another for most of my life, but I began to take it seriously as a career around 2003/2004.  Since then I have produced a novel, a novella and a series of short stories some of which are loosely linked into an overarching anthology.

Most of my stories come under the wide umbrella of ‘general fiction’, but I have experimented with genre pieces.  My short stories tend to be bittersweet, nostalgic, sometimes melancholic and (on occasion) examine the darker side of human nature and obsessions.

I welcome you to my site Jimmi Campkin, and I hope you find something here to please you.  If not, below you’ll find a big picture of me to scream obscenities at.

Meet Sudden Denouement Collective Member Jimmi Campkin

The editors of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective know that our strength is our writers. We hope that you enjoy getting to know them through our new Writer Interview Series.

What name do you write under?

Jimmi Campkin

In what part of the world do you live?

I am currently living in a small seaside village called Whitby, in the North East of England.  Whitby is a charming and beautiful little place – little changed in 850 years – with narrow winding streets, ancient buildings, a ruined Abbey on the cliffs and wee cobbled roads – as well as long beaches and the power and majesty of the sea, which crashes over the town during storms or is as still as glass when calm. Whitby also has connections to literature – Lewis Carroll stayed here a few times, but more famously Bram Stoker was also a visitor and set much of the beginning of Dracula in the town, inspired by the view from his hotel window.

Tell us about yourself. 

Born in 1983, lived in the same dying post-industrial town called Dunstable until I was nineteen – a town which, in the spirit of hiraeth, I still have affection for but I know I can never revisit.  Spent most of my childhood playing alone or with a few close friends, writing stories and inventing hundreds more in my own head.  Dunstable still haunts many of my stories – characters, locations and experiences make up a big chunk of my work, and it is a town that I find difficult to fully extricate myself from, and yet I know I will never live there again.

Between the ages of 16 and 18 I had a knife pulled on me three times, and a few other incidents in which people wished to cause myself (and sometimes my friends) considerable harm.  It’s that kind of area.

I moved to York attending the University of York St John in 2003 studying English Literature; where I largely ignored the dull course texts and bummed around reading Catcher In The Rye, wearing eyeliner and reading poetry in coffee shops.

Yeah, I know…

However during this time I decided to become A Proper Writer after getting a very high mark for a Creative Writing module.  Since then I have bounced from job to job, town to town, taking up art and photography, playing the guitar, trying to find the point of it all but it always comes back to words and images and the love of them.

Where do you publish your work?

Writing: Jimmi Campkin

Photography: jimmicampkin

When did you begin your blog and what motivated you start it?

I began my blog in it’s current incarnation around 2012/13.  I had been going through a writing drought, and I felt a new platform with a clean slate might inspire me, although it took a long time for me to feel comfortable writing again.  I’ve had an online blog/website since the late-90’s though, when I had two long-running Livejournal accounts which mixed my real life with fiction…. something I still do now.

What inspires/motivates you to keep blogging on your site?

As grandiose as this sounds, I feel as though I have been put here to create.  There is nothing else that I am (relatively) good at, and also enjoy doing.  I can’t rewire a plug, I can’t swim and I cannot climb the greasy company pole in a job I detest for fifty years and retire miserable.  Whether it is photography or words, I need to do this or there is no point.

When did you join the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective?

I am a newcomer to the collective, and no less humbled by it.

How did you find your way to Sudden Denouement?

I had already heard of SD, but felt slightly intimidated by the quality and quantity of words already on there.  However SK Nicholas – one of my closest friends, if not my absolute closest, and someone I have known since we were both in single digits age-wise – recommended that I try and join, and put in some very encouraging words on my behalf.

What does “Divergent Literature” mean to you?

Divergent to me is something challenging, and far from the safe and cosy world that seems to perpetuate the shelves of modern bookstores these days.  When something awful like 50 Shades can immediately generate a thousand copycats flooding the market, and the gaps are filled with dry crime, romantic slush and ghost-written autobiographies by people still in their thirties, it is important to still have a gateway to fiction that makes you think and feel and that sometimes grabs you by the shirt, forces you against a wall and demands to be seen.  Fiction that sometimes doesn’t work, but that still merits a thoughtful response.  Words and stories and poems that are brave enough to fly close to the sun, knowing that their wings may melt.  Divergent is to not be afraid of a heroic failure in the pursuit of reaching out and touching the fingertips of someone looking for a fellow lost soul to be their guardian in the Big Bad Real World of white picket fences and Donald Trump.  To want to be Divergent is the desire to connect with Human Beings as opposed to Hard Capital and Sales Demographics.

Jasper Kerkau frequently talks about Sudden Denouement writers using the ‘secret language’. What is it?

I can’t tell you.

Tell us about your literary influences?

Iain Banks was an early influence on my writing, particularly The Crow Road and The Wasp Factory.  Jeffrey Eugenides The Virgin Suicides and Douglas Coupland’s Life After God feature sentences that make me want to climb on my roof and punch the air in triumph.  In recent years I have discovered Bukowski and his anarchic commentary on the Down Life, and even higher than Charles B, I need to acknowledge Donald Ray Pollock whose works based around his life in deepest Ohio are beautiful, poetic and sympathetic to people who have been forgotten by society – I rate him above Bukowski and I rate Bukowski high.  Although this smacks of a weird form of nepotism, SK Nicholas has always been an influence.  I am fortunate enough to have been reading his work since we were both teenagers with Livejournals and I’ve always admired his words.  Lastly, I think JG Ballard possessed the finest and most prescient mind of anyone I have ever read.  Although I never attempt to write like him, stories like High Rise and my personal favourite Vermillion Sands are examples of what literature can do when a mind is unshackled and allowed to fly.

Has any of your work been published in print?  How did that happen?

My work has featured in literary magazines such as Gravel, and a few others that have since passed peacefully away.  I have also written for various fanzines and independent publications.

What are your writing goals? 

My desire is to have a novel and a collection of short stories published.  I would also like to see my Sanctuary series republished in a format that is larger and more affordable to showcase my photography.  Ultimately, it is about making connections.  I want my work to be seen by as many eyes as possible, in the hope that I can inspire someone as much as my inspirations have driven me.

Which pieces of your own writing are your favorites?

Painted Fingernails

Oily Jeans

Death Sun

Apples

Sync

Coconut

What else would like to share about your writing, Sudden Denouement, or yourself?

“What am I in the eyes of most people – a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person – somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low.  All right, then – even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart” 

Vincent van Gogh

“It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption.  Which condition is better for the world at large I shall not venture to discuss.  But I do know, that many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow.  We must all hope we find them”

Mark Rothko

 

 

 

 

 

Menace-Jimmi Campkin

 

The cornfield waves and shimmers before us. I have you on my shoulders and we’re having our Woodstock moment, wooping and crying, high and mighty. The angel dust kicked in over an hour ago and my skin still feels electric, sweat turning to pebbles and rolling off my cheeks and arms.

Faced with a blazing autumn sun, we curse all the gods we can remember; we fuck the Christian god, the Greek gods, the Roman gods, the names and faces of our so called creators we motherfuck out of existence. Only the sun matters now; the heat and the light burning our eyes clear of the filth we see every day in town, before we fill our veins and noses with the truth. Out here in this field we are the only junkies; never kicking down but only kicking up, only fighting the glass ceiling, only trying to win… looking for our hill to die on. When that skinny, trembling greasy cunt met us in the stairwell last week, you looked him in his marble eyes and said firmly we are one of you, and I ended up taking a knife slash across the jaw. Yellow and swollen it hums and seethes, weeping like the rest of this cursed society. Even infected with dirt, it is still more pure than the rest of our neighbourhood.

The town has suffered under a never-ending eclipse, where the moon blocked the sun and has remained there to punish us, to leave us sans soleil, but with cruel glimpses around the black edges of a light we no longer have a right to. That’s why we steal cars and Coke cans. We punch in the holes, fill our lighters, drain the sugary garbage into the soil, and go miles and miles find these places where the glowing radiation above can burn away our cancers.

Climb the tallest trees and you can see the monster under the shadow. We know about the rows of terraced houses, like the walls of an old castle, keeping out intruders; like the walls of a prison, keeping everyone in.

Later in the evening the shimmering globe melts the horizon enough to slip beneath and disappear under us. We feel the warmth as we lay on the soil, protected by thousands of yellow shoots now standing guard over us. I slide my fingers into your jeans. From the shining smirk in your eyes I can’t tell if you are soaking horny, or if you’ve deliberately pissed yourself again.


Born in November 1983, I have been writing in some form or another for most of my life, but I began to take it seriously as a career around 2003/2004.  Since then I have produced a novel, a novella and a series of short stories some of which are loosely linked into an overarching anthology.

Most of my stories come under the wide umbrella of ‘general fiction’, but I have experimented with genre pieces.  My short stories tend to be bittersweet, nostalgic, sometimes melancholic and (on occasion) examine the darker side of human nature and obsessions.

I welcome you to my site Jimmi Campkin, and I hope you find something here to please you.  If not, below you’ll find a big picture of me to scream obscenities at.

Semaphore-Jimmi Campkin

We build sandcastles just to destroy the pure, wet sand, dreaming of pineapples, messages in bottles and California.  Suntanned toes and blue lipstick, red dyed hair that runs in the rain and streaks your shoulderblades with plastic blood.  Lights twinkle over the harbour like your teeth in the sunlight.  You attract men, flies and trouble, and all three irritate you and spoil your fun.  You ask me, why can’t we burn down the local chapel on a Sunday morning?  And it isn’t rhetorical.  Hell hath no fury like an ex-Catholic.

Later that day, we conquer the sea.  You remove your red panties and pierce them with a shank of driftwood, plunging it into the oncoming tide in the name of Us… and what a concept that seems to me sometimes.  There is no Us, just You, hurtling around the Earth like a cannonball in the Hadron Collider, which you call the HardOn Collider whilst squeezing the blood out of my stiff cock, leaving it sore and limp like a dead chicken.

Today the sea is a flat plane of blue glass, and in the quiet the echoes are louder.  Clouds rumble overhead, keeping watch but never staying long enough to enforce justice.  I’m lying on my back as you fondle my balls with one hand and grip my neck with the other, asking me over and over again why I keep breathing.  It’s boring, apparently.  Breathing is boring.  I should just stop doing it.  My friends say you aren’t healthy for me.  But one by one they are going out, like Christmas tree lights, and soon it will just be Us again… or maybe just You, rubbing powdered glass into the slice you made in my arm with a fish-gutting knife, because…. well, just because.

 

Born in November 1983, I have been writing in some form or another for most of my life, but I began to take it seriously as a career around 2003/2004.  Since then I have produced a novel, a novella and a series of short stories some of which are loosely linked into an overarching anthology.
Most of my stories come under the wide umbrella of ‘general fiction’, but I have experimented with genre pieces.  My short stories tend to be bittersweet, nostalgic, sometimes melancholic and (on occasion) examine the darker side of human nature and obsessions.
I welcome you to my site Jimmi Campkin, and I hope you find something here to please you.  If not, below you’ll find a big picture of me to scream obscenities at.