Strange Shapes

S.K. Nicholas

S. K. Nicholas

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With my paws sliding across the ice, the milky moon puffed its cheeks and blew out a gust of wind that pushed me like a pair of invisible hands. Sailing on that frozen sea, I yelped and shrieked, and as the animals watched from the shore of trees, life didn’t seem that bad at all. With her song guiding me on, the words danced around my head before sliding down the length of my spine, entwining themselves around each and every one of my hairs. The fox was close behind, and he knew the magic too, and even though he hadn’t once been human like me, he knew of love and of the soul, and he understood what it was to believe in destiny. Scrambling after me, he latched onto my tail and together we drifted along. The wind was cold and got into my bones, and when the ice…

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Under Blades of Wings

Nicole Lyons

Nicole Lyons

I remember moments with him and how he made things
that could never feel burst with feelings, like the day
the wind felt angry against my legs, and how it blew
the hem of my dress up around my knees and whipped
at my thighs until my legs were as pink as the petals
of the flowers my mother had sewn onto that dress.
I remember the smile in his eyes and the love
in his smile, and how he chuckled when he hid
his love from me somewhere underneath his breath.
I remember watching in awe as he harnessed the devil
in his thumb and flicked him into submission with nothing
more than a wink and little less than his smirk,
and I remember falling in love with him just a little bit
more as he laughed at the sound that devil made, when he
ricocheted off of brick…

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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.

The Night is for many things but …

misterkaki

I would rather walk

my authentic steps into the night,

embracing obscurity,

than remain pliant fodder

for certainly lovely honey-traps

laid aforehand, by well-meaning pity.

The night and me

we are one abiding,

our abode,

beyond the reach you seek,

with your contrivances,

of lightmaking.

If you wait

until my return

then we may talk,

as equals.

You bring the true light

and intent

and I,

bring my friends,

of the dark.

Then,

we will sit,

in the balance,

of mutual possibility.

Arico Nuevo

26 November 2018

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call (l’appel du vide)

Fallen Alone

and for years i’ve heard it-
a call

a lover’s call;

whispering and settling over my bones
like my skin does
– on most days when it is not being pulled apart
by those laodicean sparrows –
like a vow does
– during weathers when they bury their tongues
in octagonal caskets anchored
to my wrist –
like longing does
– each time the night parts my thighs
and slips in –

within

where a stranger voice from the skies
– from the void –
echoes.

••ra’ahe khayat

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Like me

erichmichaels

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Are you like me?

Never really sure just how others take you

Do they really like you or just tolerate you?

When they laugh at your jokes

Are they being courteous or sincere?

Are you like me?

Giving those you meet the benefit of the doubt 

Assigning a whole backstory to why they did what they did

Justification for treating you shabbily 

Are you like me?

You dutifully take in the sorrows of others

Everyone’s therapist they can vent on

But can’t open up yourself

Either for fear the floodgate will never close 

Or being thought of as weak

Or facing your own frailty 

Are you like me?

Do you come undone?

At the thought of the pain and sorrow 

That is being endured in the world

At any given moment

Are you like me?

Despite your emotional connection to the world

You’d rather stay…

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