Introducing New SD Writer: Abigail J. Brown “Ancient Tales”

Waterhouse, John William, 1849-1917; A Mermaid

[Artwork: John William Waterhouse]

Ancient Tales

Alluring red hair,

Said to be stained

With the blood of 10’000 men.

My bare breast

Drenched in pearls and shells.

Glistening, clean skin

Only to temp them more.

The curves of their wives on land,

And the tail of a goddess.

Scales blinding

In the warm golden sun.

A song is sung as they sail near,

To calm the waves

And draw them here.

To catch me

Before I pull them in

Would only mean immortality.

As they come closer,

With one touch of my pruned fingers,

On their soft cheeks.

They attempt to steal a kiss,

Sinking my nails deep.

Pulling them over

Temptress of the sea.

[Abigail Brown is a lover of creative ways of to express the “self.” She seeks to find ways to tell a story and eliciting feeling through her work. She is a a mother by day and a poet by night. She is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.]

Literary Property

by David Lohrey


One doesn’t think of poets as money managers.

It must be nice to see one’s work issued by the government.

You have to give her credit for it, she made an industry

out of having had a hard time of it, even if today she lunches

with the likes of Oprah and Jessica Mitford.

Had there been enough good parts, she could have 

made a fine actress. She would have made a powerful Josie 

Hogan, you know, from that play by Eugene O’Neill, or that

haunting wife of Macbeth, or, better yet, Hamlet’s dear mother.

Instead, she became a bestselling poet.

Something about her reminds me of a circus, a tented

carnival with a snake-man called Scaly and a three-breasted

lady. Step right up and hear her tale of unparalleled woe.

Avoid the door on the right, or you might get her confused

with the tattooed midget in yellow tights and his aqua tunic.

Tell the tale of your miserable past: how

you were beaten and mistreated, and how

you experienced unwanted advances. Why not

explain once again what it was like to have to eat

barbecued bologna on Christmas morning?

Now there’s human suffering.

The royalties mount beyond anyone’s count.

Rake it in while it lasts. There’s the 5-bedroom townhouse

in a fashionable part of Harlem, the mansion down

in swampy Carolina, a wee property along the Hudson

and, rumor has it, a pied-á-terre in a posh section of Paris.

The newest new book is just coming out in a new

waterproof edition. The text, it is said, glows in the dark,

so it can be read underwater, or you can get one that floats.

It is scheduled to appear later this month in coordination

with her new show, Big Woe, the new Broadway Musical.

Have your say, as they say, but be sure to count your earnings.

Some might say it is too much to dare. When you wear earrings 

and things from Tiffany’s, it gets harder and harder to ask for 

sympathy. You might wind up like some of your devoted readers,

much too rich to notice a little girl in need of affection.


David Lohrey’s plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and Lithuania. In the US, his poems can be found at the RavensPerch, New Orleans Review, Nice Cage, and The Drunken Llama. Internationally, his work appears in journals located in the UK, the Netherlands, India, Malawi, and Hungary. His fiction can be seen at Dodging the Rain, Terror House Magazine, and Literally Stories. David’s collection of poetry, MACHIAVELLI’S BACKYARD, was published by Sudden Denouement Publishers. He lives in Tokyo. You can read more of his writing at Writing, Musing, Poetry

Iulia Halatz – All roads lead to Rome

 

Ellen Rogers 2

All roads lead to Rome

All roads lead to Rome
and poetry
-Delmore Schwartz

All words lead to Love
And the poetry in the afterLove

I wish I wrote poems
For the dreamers of barren lands.
They do not go to Rome
They go to places
That cannot be.

Maybe love is a colorless, odorless
shapeless haze
We see through
with the eyes of
the bricked sky,
pathless oceans
walled shrubberies
streeted lunarian trails
breathing and tingling
scents
In the perfect nightmare
of flowers…
Vines reward our sun
with the sweetness
of grapes
wedded in perpetuity with
the linear shades of amber.

From the Good Place
Where joy is an illumination
To the Place that Cannot Be
They would have worn
The silver claw
of the Moon
above their heads
nightly
daily
musingly
vibrantly….
Art by Ellen Rogers.

Iulia Halatz

“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.

 

 

Interzone

by Jimmi Campkin

I remember she once told me; the funny thing about endings is that they never happen.  By the time you reach it, you’re already past it. Likewise we can never experience tomorrow, it is always just out of arms reach.  She was always saying stuff like this; it sounded profound but then she once told me that only men die, women just sleep until it is time to wake up.  I was having a panic attack at the time and this apocalyptic vision of women emerging out of a cemetery did nothing to help.  

I hurl another rock into a jet black ocean.  She’s running late but I have a comfortable spot, several small stones and pebbles, three pathetic little flowers clinging onto the pier and a few thousand miles of uninterrupted empty horizon to stare into.  

I dangle my feet over the edge and feel a vertiginous swelling in the pit of my stomach, up my esophagus.  I feel top-heavy as though I might topple forwards, and I’m aware of my shoes being loose on my feet. The stones of the pier sink into the silt below and I think I am sliding forwards so I grab hold of the ground either side of me and cling on.  Below me the water laps, disinterested in one more fragile little soul. No birds in the sky today, just heavy bloated clouds fighting through a film of brown pollution.

When I stare at the sea for too long I see faces in the waves.  Often they protest or cry out, so many drowned sailors and regretful suicides, but sometimes I see a beatific face beaming out, inflected by the rays of an underwater sun, a soul at peace with itself and its journey.  When the wind whips across from the frozen North the faces sink away for the white horses to gallop and crash, falling over each other and throwing their jockeys into the ether.

She tells me often that my eyes are like the sea; still and grey or furious and white.  She cups my hands, blows warm air into my palms and kisses my forehead. In those moments I forget that I have ever felt cold in my life.  When they arrive I run to the storms to watch the sea clawing at the land, allowing huge waves to crash over the defenses soaking me, and I feel the warm furnace beating inside my ribs evaporating the water from my body and leaving a film of salt.  In those moments I am untouchable, unsinkable, invincible.

I throw another rock and I see faces scrambling to devour it like so many hungry fish.  The ground feels steady now and I am brave enough to rest my hands in my lap, to kick my legs freely knowing that I won’t lose my shoes.  To my left I can hear the crunch of a pair of sneakers approaching. A pair of legs appears in my peripheral vision and a familiar hand tousles my hair and strokes the back of my neck.  

Crouching onto her haunches she asks me; what are you thinking about?  

Nothing, I lie.  


Writer, photographer and creator of SANCTUARY. https://jimmicampkin.com/

“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process” – Vincent van Gogh

Jimmi Campkin

Doping in shadow

by Oldepunk

doping in shadow

is it love or just thirst

I’m feral, impotent

turn, turn, turning

I am a quark

I am nothing until

counted

all the feels, like Lana,

so wretchedly exquisite.

razor-bladed surroundings, blank

faces pass so fast they blur

into Van Gogh ukiyo-e

hey you, still life

scrape away this Vernier scale

leave mass alone to ponder

weight, levitate

expensive conversations

feed the souls of our lonely

bottom feeding in retro

too young to know better

too old to care

bite into that scripture

mad dog driving

rushing home to….screen

divert, deviate, masturbate

unchained, infringed

so many fences

out of dollaz

but take no quarter(1 of 4)

doping in shadow

when you get this down, push

no matter the cost

is it hate or just hunger

you are unbroken, potent

let us begin

to explore(abhoreadore?)…..love or hate

thirst or hunger

in the end, we will

know.

introduce me to your

particular kind of damage

I like to hurt.

let’s do it in the light.

you can carve

your scars onto me

so you don’t feel all alone


An old punk trying to make sense of what I see and hear and think and feel. Words pulled from the ether. Introverted agoraphobic explorer.  Hockey and food junkie(snob).

Editor, Contributor and supporter of Sudden Denouement, a literary collective.

image courtesy of Pinterest

Amoebas, Locusts, Fog

by Jonathan O’Farrell

How can I describe this left hemispheric madness?

Well try this,

first came delicate filigree amoeba,

followed by blue green algae?

But less blue, more green

with a hint of burnt umber?

It remained so for sometime.

I hoped to bode it farewell.

I bade my time, waited.

As per usual you wake up one morning and it’s,

it’s gone! Oh, what was that?

But no, it came at me again,

bloodged, bludgeoned itself into my conciousness;

thicker, inkier and then locusts

as if from afar,

covering from horizon to horizon,

up and down,

above and below.

Locusts, swarms of them

doing what swallows do,

only not so prettily.

They stir up in their wake indeterminate fog

and it banks and it swirls

and it impinges.

And so I rest upon my one, good, in inverted commas,

right eye and it works harder

and I work harder,

maintaining slices of routine.

Maintaining fronts,

amidst all those banks of fog.

Morningtide, I pray, eveningtide, I pray.

I think for now, that’s all I can do

and hope, the good hope.

Listen to spoken word reading of this poem

“I guess you might describe me as a semi-nomad, at the moment . . . and in the moment, I might change. I am transitioning into a creative life, blogging, photography and, significantly, the publication of my first two photographically illustrated poetry anthologies, this year.”

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter, with writing, photography, healing garden project updates and travel journals:

https://misterkakiwriter.substack.com/


Wonderstance – Basilike Pappa

Winter in radio frequencies

his mad orchestra

the pale state of heaven

Sluggish days / cemeteries  

for pencils – broken  

Are you upset? Walk often

Until communication returns

sleep wake attack escape

social shadowplay

Feed yourself:

the kitchen knife

gleam of the underworld

Windows are reflection / also inspection

But if I fly through them – broken

(as long as they’re not open)

Anathema to insect screens:

instead of sticky tape,

with nails to the frames are attached

See?

Afterlife does nothing on a whim –

follows protocols

Resurrect somebody or make a replica – do it fast

When I repair myself

in the green and gallant spring

when birds do sing

the pine-wood grows alive with wings

face rentals suffer much

my scarves

my boots

my coats

my gloves

will go through

a mild case

of wonderstance

 


Borrowed Lines

In the green and gallant spring: In the Green and Gallant Spring by Robert Louis Stevenson

When birds do sing: It was a lover and his lass by William Shakespeare

The pine-wood grows alive with wings: Spring in the South by Henry Van Dyke


Basilike Pappa is a bookmonger and a wordcubine. She believes that in poetry an image must montage the mind with false cognates, and that god is sun on a copper coffee pot. Her prose has appeared in Life & Art Magazine, Intrinsick and Timeless Tales, and her poetry in Rat’s Ass Review, Surreal Poetics, Bones – Journal for Contemporary Haiku and in Nicholas Gagnier’s anthology All the Lonely People. Most of the time she can be found reading near a window in Greece. You can see more of her work on her blog Silent Hour.

A Stable Life

by Mick Hugh

For three years I’ve sat up in my tree,
in the shade of dreams,
and the roots have slowly
been drying up.

For three years catching wafts
of the vinegar and rotted fruits,
of our American Dream,
recessive trait of responsibility.

Who knew at the age of 22,
hot-blooded crotches
and itchy skin for sunshine,
that a Fortune 500 would be their Jubilee?

What pederast had it out at 18
to be a financial manager
at corporate Walgreens?

The treelimb you sit on breaks,
and the fall takes a few months.
Rat cages and sychophants
fed twice as much for listening.

The heroics of monotony.

Remember your days
reading textbooks at your desk,
group projects and algebraic thinking:
Little Davey you’ve been cultivated for this.

No need for you to sweat callouses and rough hands,
they’ve got another desk for you.
Pear-shaped where the body-fat masses on their seats,
little economic engines-that-could.

Genetically modified flowers
blossom without sunlight,
without color or stamens;
a horse without nuts
makes an easier ride.

Have a house,
have a kid,
be well-fed.
Pad your stable.

The American frontier
is a corral on Main Street,
Maple Street
and daydreams of Carnival Cruises.

Masturbate on lunch break,
a few white tears
in a bathroom stall.

Life lived,
life lost,
100 million limp-necked stiffs
have cordoned-off unnecessary risks.

Welcome to your stable, kid.



Mick Hugh is a writer for Sudden Denouement, and the groundskeeper at Mick’s Neon Fog.

Cohen, Cave, and Joy Division Crash This Bar

by Nathan McCool


I gather up abandoned bottles kissed with

cherry lipstick and cigarette scents – bring them to my lips and eavesdrop on the white noise inside.

“Come on back in, one more time, for the encore of “The Butcher Boy”; come in for

the closed viewing of PSR B1919+21.”

And this is when the boredom of barrooms

comes alive.

Right at the moment I emit pulses

that tell the masses I am not part of them. I’m sending you a signal, you tiny, little world.

See me here spinning and burning in my own

mind. I hop on stage to sing you a melancholy ballad and follow it up with “Tower of Song”.

That’s where I am. Another hundred floors below Hank Williams

and screaming to tell you,

“It’s the loneliest down here.”


Nathan McCool is a member of Blood Into Ink and the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. You can find the haint, dusk, and sizzling of his concrete snares on his blog, Mist of Melancholia.

Quietly incessant

by Oldepunk

I wasn’t always sure

About the noise in the background

Incessant, like the peeling of

A grimace in rush hour massacres

Pounding out the march of time

To rounded pupils and bloodshot

Veins that wrapped around conclusions

They claim names remain inane

I see some new faces on the pavement

air is thick with mistrust and ash

I know it’s not safe to breathe

There’s really no other alternative though, right?

Nodding on Himalayan chiba

Absorbing good news vibes

While the bad news bears play to lose

In the side streets, side stepping

Johnny law and copper johns

Did you hear that meth is a thing again

Don’t call it a comeback, it’s company certified now

Cheaper and harder than generic opioids and gin

Sundays and shit coffee and stale pastries

Freebasing the shame on the nails of

Mary Magdalene and asking if maybe

She was the one this whole time

I once knew a girl who looked like

My vision of the wife of a Messiah

Except she dressed like Lilith and wakizashi

She wrote me a Gospel unlike any other

My faith in her will be

the dirt of my grave

She spun up a speedball packed

With that Chelyabinsk fentanyl

Cooked herself the last supper

she ascended while surrounded

by a dozen other prophets

in a broken down rectory on

North Brother Isle

I would share her Book but I haven’t the words

To quite define the Spirit she conferred;

faith restored in self.

I regret I could not return the favor

Perhaps that’s how angels get back

Where they’re supposed to go

I tattooed Psalms of her movements

Upon the palms of my daughters hands.

Holy things can come in the strangest

Places that hum quietly incessant,

Prophecies behind a junkies teeth

_______________________________________________

Oldepunk writes in Texas with a pair of kids and cats.  Hockey junkie and music aficionado.  Read more at Ramjetpoetry.