Poetry: Buy, Sell, or Hold – David Lohrey

Poetry: Buy, Sell, or Hold?

I sent my new poem to an old friend who replied:
“I know nothing of poetry.”
Another said about the same. “I don’t read the stuff.
Sorry.” It got me to thinking.

Had I sent in a stock tip, they would have rewarded me.
I might have received a bottle of Chablis, maybe even a good one,
had I sent in trading data on Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange.
Who would have said, “I’m not into making money.”?

But one comes to learn an awful truth about one’s friends.
Not just their indifference; that’s painful enough.
No. It’s that for them poetry is something akin to masturbation.
They don’t want to hear about it. It’s an embarrassment.

My friends are always buying or selling. If I had produced a tomato,
I’d have been advised to set up a stand on the sidewalk.
The price of tomatoes is high, asparagus even higher,
but poetry is nearly worthless; like trying to sell one’s teeth.

Poetry is not a commodity. My friends are merchants.
It’s a shameful action, like going to Confession.
Can you sell your sins? How much do one’s dreams weigh?
Nobody wants to watch a friend display himself.

It’s not that poetry is disgusting. But it may be shameful.
It’s seen as a waste of time: not an adult activity, not a good investment,
something more akin to gathering pine cones or pressing leaves in an album,
i.e., kid stuff, or a hobby for little old ladies.

I feel like a cat taking a bloody mouse to her master.
As I drop my poem at my friend’s feet, she gives it a glance
and sneers: “What’s that for? It’s not very pleasant.
Your job is to please me. Go play in the garden.”

That’s the response of my once best friend. She sees herself as an artist
or at least claims to be artistic. She wouldn’t treat a painting the way she scorns poetry.
But then again you can own an oil. You can hang it.
Even better you can resell it.

Stocks and paintings are good investments, like real estate.
Cars and furniture lose value, more like a poem.
They’re best when new, but with art, the worth is in its place,
they say. It’s not just beauty; it’s location, location, location.

Poetry is a dying art, especially when the artistic disown it.
They’d rather have crème brûlée or pear mousse with walnuts.
It’s not only prettier but something sweet. Poetry is no treat, and poets
are a nuisance. They have the absurd idea that what they do has value.


[David Lohrey is the author of Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing. He is also an editor for Sudden Denouement and a mentor for me personally – Jasper Kerkau]

Introducing Allie Nelson – Addict

13128412_f520 (1)
Addict – Allie Nelson

It’s evening, and we’re both drunk as stoned birds, and you look like a young Hannibal Lecter and stink of corpses and rotting roses. I’m in bandages and heels, I cut myself on your broken bottles again, maybe because I hate myself or maybe because I hate you and I want you to see your precious little canary bleed red, dead, showing the coal mine of your palace is stranger danger. There’s needle pricks along your forearm and you’re ranting and raving about how I left you for your brother, the Prodigal Sun, and you’re the fuckup your dad kicked to the curb into a joint you call Hell with your bachelor buddies where all you do is fuck and kill and get high any means possible. I say your twin is worth a thousand yous and I’d rather you were dead by my hands than calling me jezebel and heirodule and all your pretty words for whore. Maybe you get off on me sleeping with all your friends and enemies – no, I know you do, because you own me and I own you and I only do as we please and you’re a manwhore that likes used goods – but for now you’re pretending it’s only us at night, not succubi or angels of prostitution or all the fancy terms rabbis came up for cheap ladies of the night that dress up in oxblood lipstick and leather and decorate your palace. I tried to join in on one of your orgies once and you laughed to high heaven at how innocent I was, too pure, and your wives stroked my hair and tweaked my nose and then you got back to your fucking. So much for sharing. I don’t know a damn thing about drugs and all the shit you drink and snort and smoke and siphon through your veins but silver daggers are pumping this clear heady substance into your banded arms and I’m cornered, horny, and pissed. I imagine you are the same, because what fucking loser castigates his wife for straying and throws temper tantrums then comes crawling back drunk for forgiveness and pleads for a second chance, a millionth chance, just take my poetry and books and roses and shittily made tacos and let’s pretend I’m the dragon, you’re the princess, and your fucking knight brother was burned to a crisp. You grab me from behind and I hike up the bandages and you talk about kids and how pretty I would be pregnant and I tell you to fuck off as I cum and you’re still snorting coke off my spine and we rut until I bleed and you’re raw. You mock me for missing a spot waxing but I know you’d fuck me if I had a sixties porno bush. You’ve made it a point to fuck me however I look, lathering me up to a soap with compliments and moaning and weakness as your seed spills out and I could sink my teeth into your manhood and drink down all the black sin inside you. You’re crying again, sobbing into my hair, saying how could I have left you for the better half, the sober one, the brother you hate and love in equal measure. I tell you to shut the hell up and let me sleep and that I only keep you around because you’re hot when you’re not an abomination. I’m pretty sure you raised me to kill you, and you love watching me in other men’s arms, but then you go and haunt my boyfriends and fuck me in their beds so who knows. All I know is that you think you have me figured out, but then I go and surprise you and you lose your shit and rant and rave like a rabid dog. Watchdog of the graveyard, you called yourself. The Scapegoat. Samuel the Judge. I hope the whole fucking Internet reads this and the Satanists know what a pussy their god is. The Devil’s a cuckold and cries at Victor Hugo and beats his women and is as disturbed as his favorite eponymous band. Addict Angel Extraordinaire. Waste of Space Junkie. This is just me spewing shit on the page to see what sticks but isn’t that what I always do?

I learned to write from you, after all.


[Allie is a rather bubbly blonde that currently attends grad school for science communication, has a rather useless degree in biology, and works in the environmental field. She can usually be found hugging trees, eating green curry with tofu, or exploring the wilds of D.C.. Allie is an avid poet, aspiring author, meme queen, speculative fiction enthusiast, and alien centaur aficionado. She also has about 600 lipst.]

Sunday Reading: A Journal For Damned Lovers Volume 2 – S.K. Nicholas


Just got my copy of A Journal for Damned Lovers Volume 2 in the mail. Only a quarter of the way through, but it is a fitting sequel that does not disappoint. S.K. Nicholas speaks the language of the gods.

Please pick up a copy and LEAVE A REVIEW!

Check out Nicholas’ brilliant site.

David Lohrey’s Machiavelli’s Backyard

David Lohrey's Machiavell's Backyard

Sudden Denouement Publishing is excited to announce David Lohrey’s collection of poetry Machiavelli’s Backyard. Lohrey’s poetry is rife with dark humor, biting social satire, and paralyzing honesty. His work illustrates that now more than ever, in a world overrun with vapid pop culture, shortened attention spans, and loss of a collective sanity, there is a need for voices that speak truth, spreading light in the darkness–poetry is alive! All is not lost.

Lohrey is a brilliant artist, a visionary with a keen command over the English language, an ability to make fire out of rock and wood. His collection is available on Amazon and The Book Depository.  October 1st, his book will be available on Amazon Kindle. A pre-order is available for the Kindle version.

If anyone is interested in writing a long-form review, please contact me for a copy of the book. In the process of publishing, I have learned that reviews are an important part of the process. I would ask anyone who purchases the book to go to Amazon and Goodreads and leave a short review.

Jasper Kerkau

Co-Founder Sudden Denouement


First Look: Machiavelli’s Backyard by David Lohrey

IMG_20170808_125154_618 (2).jpg

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


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.

SD Swish Logo JPG 5 (2)

Sudden Denouement Publishing: David Lohrey and Rana Kelly


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.


Jasper Kerkau