Rhyme Lapse- Nicholas Gagnier

Think I need a new kind of dream.
I used to think
it was wife and
house and kids,
two cars and
white picket fences.
I used to think
fulfillment was some
kind of
cookie cutter but I prefer
to smash the dough into imperfect spheres and watch them
rise like a kid willing to burn
both palms.
Only difference, I put
weed in them now.
Yeah, think I
need a new
strain of ambition,
because I’ve
been finger
lickin’ the
blades of
knives just to
taste me
something worth the
blood rolling
off my tongue.
I’ve fallen out
of love with
these
intricate
rhymes and
relationships that
benefit no one.
There we go,
we call that
relapse, and
rather than
get my
fix of
coupled sounds,
I’ll break down in
my car listening to
the five o’clock news.
I ain’t a
one-trick pony,
just a workhorse of
self-doubt in dire
need of a new fucking
dream, and no
love poems can
placate me
now.
Look, I quit drinking
and im a manic
goddamned mess but im
just holding it together
until it all
falls apart
again,
because gods fucking dammit,
sweetheart, you
know it will, because
i can’t
live without
the chaos

Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet. He is the author of Leonard the Liar and Founding Fathers, as well as the creator of Free Verse Revolution, and co-founder of Blank Paper Press. Nicholas is an avid poet and his next release, All the Lonely People, will be available in 2019.

Between You and I-Nicholas Gagnier and Kristiana Reed

Started this poem in transit between my home and manic states. Continued it somewhere between drunk sleep and barely awake. Dedicated to my darlings killed for cheap Friday night thrills, kissing in the backseat of a Chevrolet, I write this poem between being broken and telling myself it will be okay.

I write this when I’m swatting every memory of you away, stuck listening to words which wish to stay. And breathe on the pages of relationships I hope won’t sink. The fledgling fragments take flight in the bath; when I’m naked with half a glass, full and empty. This is how I write best, chasing the sun set in tepid water, foolishly believing every good thing lasts.

I wrote this poem between flowers and their glass vase, shattered on the floor like my million shards of shame. I wrote this for my loves, only for the sentiment behind it to fade, as they became ghosts in the static, FM radio waves.

And maybe this poem will see the light of day, pulled from the confines of my ebony heart. It only looks this way because I like to sit in the dark, and hide from the blue it has beaten for you. I write and I’m pulling apart the crumpled edges of loneliness while driving in my car; straddling the curb to spill the lifeblood of another three ghosts I’ve allowed to stay with me for the hour.

I write this poem from a perturbed place, between deafening silence and awkward bass. Thrill of the chase with tears down my face, facetious and simultaneously lacking faith. I write this clusterfuck in wait of something better, despite knowing nothing could be more remote.

You see, I wrote this between you and I. So even if they love me and I learn how to fly, I’ll never let go of tucking a daisy behind your ear and watching the earth disappear in your eyes.


Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet, and the creator of  Free Verse Revolution. He has published several poetry books, as well as a novella releasing this July. Nicholas supports and engages in conversations around mental health and social welfare, preferring strong literary voices and self-expression to traditional narrative and poetry. He lives in Ottawa with his young daughter, where he runs FVR Publishing and works on a million projects at once.

Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.

Only One of Us Gets to be a Martyr Part II-Sarah Doughty and Nicholas Gagnier

It was the defiance in your gaze that caught my eye at first. The way you did the opposite of what anyone told you, for the sake of proving them wrong. Sometimes you succeeded, and sometimes you didn’t. But it never stopped you from being you. Down to the core. Making your own way, on your own terms. Maybe that was what fascinated me for so long. What left me in awe. Maybe it was some of the things you said. What left me speechless.

(But I’m restless, 
full of 
condescension, 
ruling my own city without mandate or 
consensus, putting up 
fences, making 
contestants of 
first 
impressions,
taking something so breakable as penance
and helping it
be bent
in pieces.)

Being alive is not a competition, but death calls to my indecision.

I didn’t know how to respond to such a comment. Indecision was never a part of who you were. And I knew, in that very moment, that I would happily die in your place, just to rekindle those fires that burned inside you. Because a world without your fiery passion is not a world I want to live in.

(And yet, I’m obsessive 
with my tenses, past & future,
as ghosts of
the present 
debate
the 
metronomes that 
menace every last
paragraph
and 
sentence, 
trying to mention 
events without
saying
your
fucking name,
and I’m reckless, shaking
rowboats and the
dust from
sarcophagus
serenades) 

So, darling, let
me be
the martyr.

You deserve to rise and become so much more.


Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet, and the creator of  Free Verse Revolution. He has published several poetry books, as well as a novella releasing this July. Nicholas supports and engages in conversations around mental health and social welfare, preferring strong literary voices and self-expression to traditional narrative and poetry. He lives in Ottawa with his young daughter, where he runs FVR Publishing and works on a million projects at once.

Handcrafted- Nicholas Gagnier and Kindra M. Austin

There’s a sinkhole in my 
soul, like playing the blues 
without bass. There’s a 
Heaven somewhere but 
nobody manning the patron 
gates, and undesirables 
infiltrate its most fertile wastes.

Here I hang in the meanwhile ether,
a place betwixt the in-between—
I remain unseen 
even to 
mine own 
eye. 

And thus, I craft something 
never meant to die, but never really 
gets to live. I create 
to forgive, painstakingly 
consisting of all the self-
destruction immortality’s 
made apparent.

I am an enigma, a
mystery even to me—
though I breathe and bleed,
I feel inorganic, unmammal, inhuman;
all encompassing, omnipotent and
beautifully blasphemous, sacrilege 
for allusion’s sake.

So I take 
these loves and give them laughter,
daily resurrections to prepare them
for Rapture the midnights
acquaint,
handcrafted rite of passages 
all my angels can posthumously use
to paint me 
legends,
spread a hopeful
message when we
finally acquiesce to those 
pearl-white gates.


Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet, and the creator of  Free Verse Revolution. He has published several poetry books, as well as a novella releasing this July. Nicholas supports and engages in conversations around mental health and social welfare, preferring strong literary voices and self-expression to traditional narrative and poetry. He lives in Ottawa with his young daughter, where he runs FVR Publishing and works on a million projects at once.

Kindra M. Austin is an indie author (her books can be found here, a founding member of Indie Blu(e), and a writer/managing editor at Sudden Denouement, Blood Into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. A Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan, she likes craft beer, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.

Only One of Us Gets to Be a Martyr- Nicholas Gagnier/Lois E. Linkens

Alive is not a competition but death calls to my indecision, before I fizzle out with weakening flames. 

The future has looked stranger, indeed, and yet these are 
troubled times; 
your hair dyed dirty
blonde like your mom 
said would never suit you, and 
longing to remain blind to her little wisdom instilled.

My quick red mermaid maverick,
You always were a thing between states.
A fresh face
And a scowl to snuff a forest fire,
What was it – the hand with many voices murmured, sharp as lemon –
What was it that made you stay?
Dear kind Harpocrates, yield to them
Until the curtain drops o’er this sweet sad story
I never chose to write.

Guess I’m still self-righteous,
somewhere beneath the spite. Enough so
I could immortalize the ego in your overbite, the 
hubris
we made heists of, 
cracking the dial safes of your inspirations,
only to set the world alight. 

When the pyre burns,
I would my flesh would peel and crack.
Still in my gloried self I hoped you’d see
That acrid bitterness your larval soul
Did at present lack.  

Fade to black, enlightened words
for these are are the supernovas which blind 
you to 
the stars. But only one of us 
get to be a martyr, and living is 
harder with the 
other’s dying breaths as gospel.
Insanity is 
probable,
tragedy quite certain.
But only one of us gets to be the 
subject of long-lived chronicle, 
 
the other mortal until his dying day. 

Image courtesy of Pinterest


Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet, and the creator of  Free Verse Revolution. He has published several poetry books, as well as a novella releasing this July. Nicholas supports and engages in conversations around mental health and social welfare, preferring strong literary voices and self-expression to traditional narrative and poetry. He lives in Ottawa with his young daughter, where he runs FVR Publishing and works on a million projects at once.

Lois is a poet and student from England. She is studying the literature of the Romantics and hopes their values and innovations will filter through into her own work. She is working on longer projects at present, with a hope to publish poetry collections and novels in the years to come. She is a feminist, an nostalgic optimist, and a quiet voice in the shadows of Joanne Baillie and Charlotte Smith. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkens.

Ibuprofen- Nicholas Gagnier/FVR Publishing

You were twenty-three when we met, rebel of unrefined rhetoric.

I was twenty-six, what a perfect age to be. Idealism wasn’t dead and I could still make you love me for all these ideas which had yet to erode the fantasy.

You were twenty-five when I proposed, wearing plainclothes in a parking lot, where I once asked you for a smoke and hoped you’d nod, but didn’t expect such conversation.

I was twenty-eight and a fortnight when I asked your father, the warmest that relationship ever got.

Because we bonded over daughters,
I tried to be what I was not.

Imagined family and futures,
not this animosity, but then,

there were fewer signs.

Epiphanies haunt me in kind; there is no more normal than there ever was strange, and beautiful things begin the way they eventually wane; as products of their time.

Inevitability has a shelf life, yet this expiry is mine.

So I’ll lie to myself that this glass of whiskey helps, and true, it might alleviate this madness ’til the bottle’s empty or first light tomorrow, but this sorrow weighs upon my tongue like ibuprofen.

Some part of me is broken and I’ll use its shards to borrow years ’til I go bankrupt on self-doubt and counting pills, trying to find the magic in waking up without you.

It’s the falling asleep that kills me.


Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet, and the creator of Free Verse Revolution. He has published several poetry books, as well as a novella releasing this July. Nicholas supports and engages in conversations around mental health and social welfare, preferring strong literary voices and self-expression to traditional narrative and poetry. He lives in Ottawa with his young daughter, where he runs FVR Publishing and works on a million projects at once.

Review of Leonard The Liar, Nicholas Gagnier by Kristiana Reed

Let me begin honestly. There is no hiding the love I have always had for Nicholas Gagnier’s work; whether that be his poetry or being a beta reader for his novel Founding Fathers, due to be released in the summer of 2019. However, this also meant I approached reading Leonard the Liar with a preconceived notion of Gagnier’s narrative voice. I hear Gagnier as an angsty yet wise before his time twenty something to thirty something year old, who is both equally in and out of love with the world around him. This was not the voice I heard in the opening of Leonard – the prologue which lays the foundations for the telling of this story.

Gagnier’s strength is in his characters. His ability to write about the complexity and brilliance of human nature all at once. His characters are not metaphors or windows to a bigger picture; they are the people, like you and me, living in the bigger picture; living in the world we struggle to recognise yet know all too well at the same time. Leonard in his fifties appeared to lack this for me but Gagnier soon turned the tide.

Each moment and encounter Leonard faces shapes him and reveals secrets, and paths he regrets walking down. From struggling to even see Gagnier in the prologue, I soon saw little parts of myself in every character. I saw myself in Skylar’s reckless yet needy nature. I saw myself in Leonard’s lies and his endless search for happiness everywhere, except where it already exists. I saw myself in Claire’s ability to love even if it means getting hurt. I saw myself in Luke’s short tempered fury but perhaps not in his ability to win a bar fight singlehandedly.

I read and enjoyed Leonard the Liar. I smiled, laughed and furrowed my brow. However, as the denouement opened I forgot about enjoyment and Gagnier’s skilful storytelling took hold of me – whether by the hand, heart or throat is hard to tell. All I know is I felt every last syllable. And I cried with both grief and hope because this is what Gagnier does. He introduces you to a man we can all relate to. A man who has secrets, insecurities and memories he would rather not share. A man who lies, loves and loses. But, despite all of the heartbreak in this novella, there is light. There is light wherever you would like it to be – in the happy ending, in the morning sky or at the end of the tunnel.

Gagnier always reminds us to ‘Never lose your light’ and I think for the first time it truly made sense, thanks to Skylar’s words:

‘I hope you will forgive me the words my darkness spoke, and use them to find your light.’

In short, mid-fifties Leonard makes perfect sense by the final pages and my preconceived notion of Gagnier’s voice was flipped on its head; introducing me again to him as a writer whose voice will always be heard above the crowd.

To buy:

US
UK


Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.