Need for a sick bag – Nathan McCool

I’m a rare coated stag. Gut shot for sport and
forgotten in a field of
painted moonlight.
The hunt is over, the storm is here. Beauty
all sheathed inside a gun barrel…
I think I’m dead now. I need a new scene.

I’m the out of tune keys on a piano, that
some rusted god keeps playing before he
heads off to a bookstore
where he constantly asks,

“Got any remedial shit with no substance?”

“Yeah. Check any shelf” the faceless
pseudo-librarian says back.

And the more he reads and the more he reads and
the more and more…
it’s just more hope he loses;
arms just getting tired of holding pages
burdened with
cliché poems and redundant stories.
(Have I read this before?)

“But really? You cut down a tree for this shit?”

It had more real poetry beforehand.

Now the rusted god goes to sleep and
now I am the rusted god.
And the only thing either of us still hopes for
is that if I publish a book it never comes here.

Not to visit.
Not to fuck.
And especially not to die.

***

Tucked away behind some shit book
about learning to love yourself I find
Nick Cave’s “Sick Bag Song”…
Now that’s a god damn jewel!


[Nathan McCool is the dark lord over on Instagram at God Of Dregs.]

Island Thoughts and Ship Songs – Nathan McCool

Call me down from the star splattered sky
of another opiate morning,
from bad dreams of your sails burning and
my body of wind passing through
uncatchable.

My limbs still shake from faltering flight
and the total absence of rapture’s acceptance. But fear,
I think it only finds home in the idea that you may
one day long for me only to feel my
fingers as morphine injections;
taste my breath as methadone.

So what if all I want is to walk the sea shore with the
solitary rose I harvested from your mouth,
collecting bowl shaped shells for holding
that nonexistent kiss;
your lips – a wreath of phantom accelerants.

I’m sinking way down to gather enough salt
from this ocean
to blanket pictures of old wounds.
An arm still reaching wide to hold hope,
a neck still turning to see our ideals of goodness.

You can have my wounds and salt, my dear. My
small amount of goodness that looks like
a corpse filling picnic baskets with
flashing images and blinding murmurations
of color.
I’m still an uninhabitable island in moon’s long
light. What else can I say, baby?
“Come sail your ships around me.”


[Nathan McCool is the dark lord over on Instagram at God Of Dregs.]

Wind Song-Nathan McCool/God of Dregs

The wind blows in from the west today, and
cigarette ashes blow from shaky hands
onto my feet – still vacant of motion and their pursuit
of love left paralytic. I put my lips on the edge
of a windowsill candle and I become the flame.
The wind blows in from the north, and I am
all crimes of passion and renewed faith
in beauty;
but you know it’s all drowning slow in this
mournful wax placenta.
The wind blows in from the south and
a flock of birds impregnates the air
one more time with songs of ships
and foreign lands. A single dove comes
to converse with my musical heart murmur.
The wind blows in from the east, and butterflies
nearly drown me in a river. It takes rest
on my silent, morbid shoulder and I lose tears
to a river when I think of how I should never
touch its wings.
The wind blows in from nowhere now, and
I flicker for the first time in so long…
It blows from an empty place where we sang about
love. Where darkness can never overburdened
our soft stomachs turned up to starry skies.
But maybe all the wind is telling me now,
is that it’s all just absence.

Introducing Nathan McCool – Let the Devil Wear Black

If my cup runneth over it is because its contents
are boiling – but my true spirit has evaporated
and now only moves like vapor swallowed freely into nature’s lungs
before growing tired
and rigid under the bear’s matted fur. Send
back home now, my grandmother’s aching
heart. So I
might take it with me into night’s viscera – before
I am crucified, not entirely either whole or
wholesome. 

In a cemetery I roll over between stones,
and wake in a sudden shudder…
thinking I may be the least alive of the things
here. Sleep deprived, still holding onto
fiends from nightmares. Still holding onto
morning’s severed hand.
Still holding onto dead children.
Still holding onto feet dangling lifeless.

When I return to the civilized world, I am so aware
of not belonging. So aware
of how petty it all is. I say, “Fuck your money.
Fuck your authority. Fuck these
same old rehearsed days.”
If any of them only knew the way I would smite
even the air that they breathed in before another
worthless and unanswered, “How are you?”
How when the lightning comes I cringe at its distance;
think of sinking my teeth into its throat, ripping it apart, and
casting it back.

And when I do, like any true animal, my words
come out in a growl.
“Something answer me now god dammit.
What the fuck do you want from me?”


[Nathan McCool does Instagram at God Of Dregs. He’s the winner of the SD March Madness contest, and a fucking genius. Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, we accept him, one of us!]

And the Winners of the March Madness Divergent Literature Contest are. . .

The editors of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Secret First Draft are thrilled to announce  the winners of the March Madness Divergent Literature Contest

1st Place: Conflagration/Nathan McCool  Newest Member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

Inaugural Members of the Secret First Draft Literary Collective:

Second Place: Ligeia, under dimmed lights/Oloriel

Third Place: Marching in Madness & March Madness/1Wise-Woman

Fourth Place: The Magic Quilt/Zelda Reville

We are honored to welcome our new collective members and were thrilled with the quality of the writing submitted.  We hope that you enjoyed reading them as much as we did.

 

March Madness Top Ten: Conflagration/Nathan McCool

From among rampikes where I study ancient things,

I think I could reach up with my ponderosa arms and

pull down all the gods. I could bring them

here to earth, but people would only know them as

madness…

Know them in that same way that the

general population will always know

beauty and brilliance.

I’m society, some things are outside of it;

and gazes are always turned to those things

like the barrel of a gun. Scoffs are shot from

perfect, lipstick painted mouths like bullets.

But to be perfect is to have never burned.

Things that have not endured burning cannot

give light. And in the absence of light,

no one ever sees anything.

What I’m saying is, each person can set themselves afire in some way and endure –

can be stars speckled against darkness.

To be or not to be is a question of suicide,

but I ask, “To march in bright, radiant, conflagrant madness…or to simply spectate

in dull content?”

The thing to really remember is:

If you are to spectate, it is only because

more enkindled “mad” things allow it.

 

The Editors Top Ten

Ligeia, under dimmed lights/Oloriel

A Moment of Dying/Kindra Austin

The Magic Quilt/Zelda Reville

Marching in Madness & March Madness/1Wise-Woman

Conflagration/Nathan McCool


A biography? What would I tell you? That I am a drunk miserable sod that writes and plays music and wanders nomadically? That I try fruitlessly to scatter around whatever goodness is in me in hopes that maybe someone else wouldn’t feel as miserable as I do? That I’m just some dumb, angry man that cares too much despite wishing I truly didn’t give a damn?

Do you really think that would matter? Anything I could tell you would just be what I think and feel about myself. Is that really who anyone is?

The point I’m making is that it doesn’t matter what I tell you. Anything anyone needs to know about anyone else doesn’t come from some shit they say about themselves. What people are and the way that they choose to exist as a conscious human is what a biography should say, but those things are actions and reactions and the outward representations of what is inside someone. You can’t tell that in words.

You can find Nathan on Instagram at God of Dregs