First Look: Machiavelli’s Backyard by David Lohrey

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I just received my proof copy of David Lohrey’s new book Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing. It is beautiful book. We will have copies available in the next week. It is a very exciting week for SD. I would like to think those who have purchased Rana Kelly’s book Superstition. We will have the Kindle edition available any day now. We will also be giving away copies of both books. Though we have a lot to learn, we are on our way to becoming a serious publisher of divergent literature. This process has been the culmination of a year’s work. It could not have happened without the love and support of so many wonderful writers/editors.

Jasper Kerkau

Tokyo Express: Poem from Machiavelli’s Backyard by David Lohrey on SD Publishing

Tokyo Express – David Lohrey

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Tokyo Express

That man there used to be my father.
I recognize those blue-veined arms on that corpse riding the
train with me from Shimokitazawa to Chitose-Funabashi.
That’s the corpse of my father, I swear to God.

I recognize his receding hairline and his pale skin.
It even has curly hair and wears glasses. That’s dad,
all right, sitting there beneath the sign for special seating.
That’s exactly where he’d sit if he were alive.

Dad saw himself as disabled and in some ways he was.
He was an emotional cripple, that’s for sure.
He flew into rages over nothing.

I once got up the courage to point out there were no other cars on the road but he was cursing. He was ranting. He looked out the window and stopped. When I was eleven, he’d have turned around and smacked me on the head. He was always threatening to trounce me.

Dad was a bully. When I was little, mother asked me to get dad an aspirin to go with his pickled herring and his dry martini. Years later, dad once said, “After two martinis, I’m not afraid of anything.” I like that.

Like a lot of monsters, he had a heart of gold. Like Frankenstein and all his monster friends, he scared the neighborhood children but felt lonely. Like many bullies before him, what he needed was a blind man to make
him a cup of tea. It was precisely because people were not blind that he hated them.

Oh, but how well Edward Albee understood him. What he wanted above all else was love: L.O.V.E. Just like an alcoholic, but he didn’t drink. No, his father drank enough for two generations. He once said, “You think you’re a big shot, but you’re nothing but a big shit.” I like that, too. I used to pick cashews out from father’s dish of mixed nuts. Amazingly, it didn’t make him mad. It amused him.
I did that from his lap.

That old Japanese guy sitting across from me reminds me
of my father when he was alive. The old man there looks
very thoughtful, looks intelligent. My father, too, had that look. I wish I did.

That man’s flesh is as white as a frog’s belly, so pale I can see his blue cheesy veins. I could see my father’s, too. It made him look frail. He’d get cross but with no power. He became pathetic, especially when he smelled of urine.

It’s hard to control other people when you stink.
It’s impossible to run the show when you’ve sprung a leak.
It’s hard to frighten your son when you have to wear pampers. Fear goes but love lasts. Now there’s a line for Machiavelli’s Prince. I learned that from my father. Or is it the other way around?

From the forthcoming book of poetry Machiavelli’s Backyard via Sudden Denouement Publishing.

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Sudden Denouement Publishing: David Lohrey and Rana Kelly

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Sudden Denouement Publishing: David Lohrey and Rana Kelly

We are very excited to announce the forthcoming publication of works by David Lohrey and Rana Kelley. Over the course of the last few months, there was a great deal of work put into transitioning our energy and talent into creating a fully-functioning publishing company. Though the process has been arduous, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. SD Publishing will serve as an outlet for our writers to have access to publishing their work, and we will also be open to submissions from non-SD writers.

     Over the course of the last four or five months, we have seen several of our writers find avenues to publish their work. Nicole Lyons’ published her stunning debut HUSH through the Feminine Collective, Georgia Park (warrior poet extraordinaire) self-published her first collection, Quit Your Job and Become a Poet. We have several other writers who have already published books, and I felt that with the wealth of talent we have at our disposal it was natural that we provide our writers an outlet for publishing.

     I am proud to announce that we have two books that are forthcoming. First, we are honored to publish David Lohrey’s Machiavelli’s Backyard. David is a poet who continues to find ways to stun me with his honesty and mastery of the art. I am very proud of the book and think his work will gain much-deserved attention to this brilliant artist.

      Rana Kelly and I have been finishing up editing her chapbook, Every Breath an Earthquake. I remember the day Nicole Lyons sent me a frantic email that she had discovered a brilliant writer on Facebook. I will always be grateful to Nicole for bringing Rana into our collective. She is fierce, honest writer speaking the secret language Sam Lucero educated us all on. I believe her work will find its way into the hearts of many who share our passion for poetry.

     Additionally, we will soon start the process of putting together the Sudden Denouement Anthology. My passion has always been connecting writers with a larger audience, in the process, we have formed a family. The anthology will be the result of over a year’s work and showcase the amazing talent of our writers.

     All of these projects are a labor of love. It is the work of every writer that makes it possible. We are interested in talking to anyone who wishes to participate in the process. This project is larger than one, or two, or three people. This undertaking will require many people bringing their gifts to the table. I will be setting up Skype interviews with anyone who wishes to participate in the publishing process, or who wishes to have their work published. We all do this for the love of literature. It is our goal to be good stewards to those who bestow upon us the honor of sharing their work. We are a collective; we are a community. We are all stronger together than we are on our own. Sudden Denouement is the most important project I have been privileged to involve myself with. Please contact me or any of the editors with any questions or suggestions.

Godspeed

Jasper Kerkau

Jasperkerkauwriting@gmail.com

Rebuild A Heart-valve – Mick Hugh

The rain had beaten holes in our backs and it was my idea to come here. 2,000 miles from home. You owned a Mazda and I owned a dream, and together we had $40 and no place to sleep. So we did what we always did best. We scrounged, rags and happiness up and down the sidewalk. New friends, old acquaintances, same familiar taste for bum wine. No mattress but a pile of blankets on an old neighbor’s floor but the walls were hard and hid our dirty fucking well. Drunk on rooftops, drunk in alleys, drunk in bars, drrrrrrunk in the library ‘cus it opened at 7 just after the sun and had couches in the stacks to hide our bum lovin’ selves. Towers shined downtown. Neons shined crosstown near the arena. Eyes shined tits shined cocks shined. Dreams hid behind clouds. Nose bled. Knuckles bled in drywall. Hunger struck well. Fever came to days flush red with sun baking without a drop on the promenade. Dry-out, please just dry-out. Uptown sprints to catch delivery trucks, clandestine missions lifting cases of cans. Rowdy downtown. Rowdy uptown. Rowdy ‘cross the college campus getting sex out of wild freshmen. You were talking ‘bout New Jersey and the hills you grew up in. You moved our blankets to the far side of the floor. Leave me stranded, will you, just lock the god damn door? Sail off in your pretty cloud ship, leave the wasteland far behind. You had the keys and the gas and the paycheck I couldn’t steal, a heart I couldn’t hear. I’ll guide you to the alley and watch you beg for bread. Hike up those legs and shut the god damn door. Shut the door and let me wander and close your eyes till I get back. Let me see it from a distance.

I’ll come back sane.


[Mick is a writer/editor for Sudden Denouement, as well as being creator of Mick’s Neon Fog. He has been published in various publications, most recently in Junto Magazine.]

 

Quit Your Job and Become a Poet – Georgia Park

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Once a week we will be highlighting books by Sudden Denouement members and friends. The first book is Georgia Park’s first book of poetry. Georgia is the personification of the warrior poet. She has an infectious energy I do not see in most writers. I have come to know Georgia very well in this process and can bear witness to her passion for poetry and her unique style of writing. Georgia’s book is available through Lulu.com. I would make the case that Georgia’s work is a worthy investment for anyone who has a passion for literature. Georgia defines her collection as such:
This poetry collection has a beginning, middle and an end. It covers two months’ worth of misadventures in the life of an embittered and slightly arrogant young woman who decides to quit her job to become a poet out of spite after being called a few choice names. Sometimes you will like her; sometimes you may not. Sometimes you may laugh or cry or want your money back. But life’s not very fair that way, now is it? This is a coming of age story, and that age is almost thirty ……….
Here is a link for her wonderful collection of poetry: Quit Your Job and Become a Poet. Her website is Private Bad Thoughts.
Georgia also runs a feminist collective Whisper and the Roar. She is always looking for feminist writers. If you are not familiar with it, please take a minute and check it out.
We love Georgia Park. She is an inspiration to us all.
Jasper Kerkau

 

Introducing Editor/Writer/Publisher Dustin Pickering

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I am very excited to announce the addition of Dustin Pickering as a contributing editor of Sudden Denouement and Sudden Denouement Publishing. He a poet, editor, and publisher of impeccable reputation. He is author of numerous books, such as The Daunting Ephemeral (Transcendent Zero), A Matter of Degrees (Hawakal Publishers), Salt and Sorrow (Chitrangi Publishers) and the publisher of the poetry journal Harbinger Asylum, with his partner Z.M. Wise. If that wasn’t enough, Pickering founded Transcendent Zero Press, a successful publishing company with an impressive catalog of writers from around the world. Recently, Pickering has begun writing for the Huffington Post.
His knowledge and expertise are without measure. It is a true honor to have him as part of our collective. Dustin has a full plate with his various projects and will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of Sudden Denouement, but he will advise us on our transition as we move into the world of publishing. I would recommend taking a minute and look at his body of work, his publishing company, and the sophisticated construction of his poetry. Dustin has become a friend and a mentor, who is more than willing to share his vast knowledge of poetry and publishing. Please take a moment to welcome him to our ranks.
Jasper Kerkau
6/13/17

Transcendent Zero Press

Harbinger Asylum 

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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. ]