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.]

the heart asks pleasure – samantha lucero

when you become a parent,
you become less 

a p p a r e n t.

until i disappear completely,
i can weep into the liquid face of a mirror
and speculate about who used to dwell in
my iron & carbon skull, before i was
the me that faded.

i held onto me like a movie ticket
in the back of my wallet
the one we all keep
that just becomes a tomb
like a placeholder in our hearts
for a special day we end up
forgetting.

i’m perfunctory now, roiling,
knocked up by rainstorms
and lightning writhing down like a noose
on his red beard, drinking snake oil

maybe the world’s a cat’s eye and i am shattered faith
my shoulders a hewn epitaph of hopes
am i lucid dreaming, i never fell asleep.
these days, i lie down in a trance
and never wake up.


[ Samantha Lucero is the phantom haunting six red seeds. ]

Guest Blogger – Liz McLeod, “Fragility”

Fragile egos,
Crushed like eggshells
Dropped on the floor,
Spilling their insides.

A simple challenge,
A contrary word
Meant for discussion,
Or clarification.

Instead it is viewed
As a knock to the expert,
A refusal to submit
On terms they require.

This is not equality.
This isn’t understanding.
This is a simple wish
To bend another to your will.

Willow-strong, pliant
I will bend to a point.
But then I bounce back
To continue my growth.

Why is every question
Such a threat to so many?
Why is there only
The expectation of bowing?

Are we always so fragile,
We can’t accept and relish
Being pushed and nudged,
With another’s experiences?

I can sit on the floor
At another’s feet, if and only if,
My past is acknowledged,
As it can only reflect on my future.

I am human, humans learn.
My learning has been fraught
With challenges, frustrations, loss.
Issues abound, but so do gifts.

My gifts are discernment,
A very good ear,
Passion, interest in life,
A relatively quick mind.

I have a caring heart,
An appreciation for beauty,
A love of learning more.
I could have made you curl your toes.

I can listen to your past,
Can you listen to mine?
Can we acknowledge each other
And the paths we have traversed?

Or are we doomed to continue
The age-old dance
Of loneliness and isolation,
Wrapped in our cocoons of pity?

I don’t want that,
So, I will seek elsewhere.
I will ask questions,
Expecting thoughtful answers.

I want to constantly question,
Continuously search and understand.
I want to acknowledge and seek
Good and bad, up and down, here and then.

If that is such a challenge,
Then you are right…
We are not for each other
In any form whatsoever.


 

[ Liz Mcleod is a science fiction and fantasy author as well as a poet, living in the great and beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. You can find more of her writing HERE! ]

NightBringer

By Oldepunk

Nightbringer

At the Altar of Life

granite and obsidian

carved into all that is, was, or will be

are the letters, in silver

of my existence

I am the nightbringer

I am shadow, and dust

lost dreams and broken homes

dark rooms and rust

I appear as you do

but the curse I bear

Oh, the sorrow

you will come to know

Anachronistic

life leech

vampire

draining sustenance

all of you are candles

But I am a pyre

You will love me, feed me

support me

carry me home

Call me friend, brother, sister, lover

Wife or Husband

we strive to live as you

We wish to taste love

As you do, to commit freely

The curse

And oh, the sorrow

How I wish to give

But all I can do is

Borrow

And Take

The lies, the drugs, the sex

The gambling and gin

The doctors, the lawyers, the authorities

The institutions that came and went

All to quiet this

raging conflagration within

You can never understand

your love you give and you give

Over and over

more and more

With the fears and the memories

of what has come before

The Wasteland in my mind

haunts dense and deadly

the war with ghosts

that no one can see

This chain of horror

that clenches my throat

Of use to none

I will scorch and burn

Everything I see

I try to show you how to burn

Just like me

I am the nightbringer

And I can only grant you

my tragedy

Oh, the sorrow…

You have come to know

The hard truth you see

the only way to save yourself,

The only way to love me

Is by letting me go

And you know who I am

I know that you see

Mark these words dear

before you burn

Just Like Me

 

O.P.

 

HUSH By Nicole Lyons

HUSH written by Nicole Lyons, is a searing collection of poems that takes the reader on an emotional ride, through the tunnel of mental illness and reckless love.

Nicole Lyons’ voice undulates from pain to ecstasy, at breakneck speed. Erotic, soulful and authentic, Nicole has written a raw memoir encapsulated in poems. Stepping off the cliff, delving into HUSH, readers will find themselves breathless and wanting more. -Julie Anderson

hush-white-final.jpg

 HUSH

The first book from Nicole Lyons is now available here.

Hush cover design: Sherri Smith
Hush cover model: Julie Anderson
Hush cover photo: Paul Empson Photography


You can read a glowing review by Jasper Kerkau here, and if you’re interested in reading some of the galaxy’s most liberating, moving words, I recommend that you follow the amazon link above. Nicole Lyons is the creatrix of The Lithium Chronicles, as well as being a consulting editor and writer at Sudden Denouement.

 


 

Teratophilia

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Drawing (c) Malicia Frost // Henna Sjöblom

 

I never wanted your understanding
All I need is a mouth
someone who roars louder than me
someone who grabs first and asks not
whether I’m enjoying it
to block out
my own desires
I have chosen to love the monster
I did not ask for it,
still
I think I’m quite comfortable in here

Being bitten is painful and familiar
I collect his teeth as trophies
like soldiers stacking bullets around their necks
like we used to compare our scars
in middle school
“I think he’s getting more violent,” you whispered
and shivered in terror and ecstasy
over the thought of getting torn apart
at the dinner table that night

Now,
my skin has become a topographic map of wars
that were never recorded in history
My anxious fingers wander up to his jawline
and starts deciphering
where the next impact will strike
so that I might pull my shirt up
make sure it hits the spot
to make me see stars, nebulae bruises
flashing before my eyelids
And it doesn’t matter that he is all teeth
and no bones
I always found it easier
to love the wound
rather than the person inflicting it

 

[Malicia Frost, or Henna, is a hobbyist writer and an aspiring novelist from Finland. She enjoys surrealism, sci-fi and horror, and her works often deal with mental illness. The drawing is from her sketchbook, a place she likes to illustrate her thoughts. More of her works can be found at her personal blog.]

Meeting again in another life when we are both cats – Howl Davies

Perhaps we will meet again,
in another life,
perhaps we will come back as cats,
with nine more times to try,
pretending inevitabilities aren’t so,
that the complexities of
circumstance are merely
hexes and crystal-skull
reluctances that we can circumvent,
something that the little omniscient
man in the sky can’t always
keep an eye on, and if we can’t
do that, we’ll take his eyes
right out of the sockets,
display them on the mantle,
adorned with laurel leaves
and glow-in-the-dark
animal bones,
a prize to show how we never
needed to compromise,
nor be more wise,
that we simply needed to
be ruthless,
and take prisoners
only for ourselves.

 


[Howl Davies can be heard over at The Sounds Inside.]