Foundations – Jimmi Campkin

Foundations

I salute the trees.  I am not magnificent but I can see everything grow.  I hear the grass chattering and laughing.  I stare at the oaks as they stretch like old hungover drunks after a binge.

Kicking my way through an old memory, I sit down on a bench and watch a young mother playing with her child – she lets go of the kid’s shoulders and this little fat bundle of limbs wobbles and trundles into a loving pair of arms.  I light a cigarette and look over their heads towards a crumbling brick wall where I came in thirty seven seconds – a gloriously brief but exhilarating moment of savagery that left me needing three stitches in my shoulder thanks to the razor sharp teeth of an utterly destructive angel.  For five nights afterwards, I would lift my head from my pillow and find one of her brunette hairs lying next to me, either tangled up in my own or left as some kind of spiritual offering.  I didn’t wash until my sheets left an imprint of my twisting torso.

In the cold the hot ash lights up my eyebrows, and I feel the smoke rumble down inside me.  I am just a stranger now, in a place where we left so many imprints that we wrote in a language too complex for future generations to understand; or too simple.  Perhaps everything just moves on from our messages, our little totems to what a future could be – liberal, relentless in our pursuit of sensations, dogmatic in our chasing of the wind and of love, emphatic in our use of drugs and alcohol but sensitive in our presentation.  I remember walking a five block diversion to avoid following a nervous young lad, who kept looking over his shoulder at the wasted behemoth shambling and crashing behind him as our paths continued.  It only took a bottle of whiskey to give me a night so intense I could drink the stars, and yet leave an impression on this youth that I was somehow a danger to him rather than a revelation… or more probably a self-indulgent indifference.

When I close my eyes the world turns black and white and I see, like a filter, what was once and is no more.  I recognise footprints in grass that has since been cut and mown a thousand times, because I can still lay down and hear the echoes in the soil and the worms gossiping about the underwear we flung high into the canopy of the trees – bras, panties and boxers like flags on the backs of warships.  I remember warming my hands inside your cunt and you gripped my stiff cock like a hot chip as our breath mingled under a trillion years of entropy.  Under the Milky Way you promised that we would remember this moment for the rest of our lives.

I wonder.  I remember this moment but I don’t know where you are now.  I don’t know what you think or what you feel.  I don’t know whether you sit on this bench, look at that wall and remember sinking your teeth deep into my shoulder enough to dribble my blood down your chin.  I don’t know if you remember my cold fingers deep inside you or whether you see the footprints through the filter.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter.  Perhaps you are focused instead on better things, more important things.  Perhaps you are this mother, focused so intently on her little baby as it shuffles through the grass desperately trying to maintain its balance long enough to be embraced tight.  Maybe you look to the light in someone else’s eyes rather than to the light above us, as it shines down on our best and worst crimes.


Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com

The knight of infinite resignation – Nitin Lalit Murali

The knight of infinite resignation

I’m the knight of infinite resignation. The puppet on a string that never grasped the abstract like Abraham, the champion of faith did. I came close and perhaps almost touched faith, but vultures of guilt swooped down and plucked my flesh, leaving me screaming in pain and angst. Now, a walking cadaver, one of the undead, I’m lost to apathy with an occasional paroxysm of acute melancholia gripping me. Waves and waves of ditch-water green sorrow crash against the surface of my calloused heart, softening it for a moment, before receding, leaving me mute again like a forgotten chipped-off bar stool in the corner of a discotheque.

I’m a fatalist, the puppet soft and humanoid, but not free. I dance to the whims of a vengeful sovereign when a fantasia of dour, dolorous and despondent notes play. My dance is awkward, clumsy and slow like a virgin attempting to make love like an expert when he knows nothing. Trash, used red bull cans, pants I’ve shagged in, and cigarette buds litter my room. The stench is nauseating, and it parallels me. Pornography takes up most of the space on my computer. The women come, and the women go, finding the sadness initially alluring and then repugnant.

I don’t have cuts on my wrist because I don’t parade my misfortune with embellishments like the pseudo-depressed, ‘there’s a blue elephant in the room,’ status message posting for the likes, ‘I’m getting by,’ people do. I am who I’ve become, and there’s no remedy, and even if they put me in a time capsule and send me six years back when I looked good, and watched the stars, and fathomed the distance between them with a quixotic mind, I’ll end up becoming the man I am now.

I know horror intimately like Whitman knew his bedfellow. I’ve seen, I’ve heard, I’ve screamed, and I’ve run. Now, a melange of prescription medication keeps me breathing, but doesn’t stop me from asking if it’s worth it. The sunrise kills, and the sunset terrifies. I snatch sleep between the aubade and the curtain call, but even then, demonic dreams haunt. I’m not your source of inspiration. I’m not your Joel Osteen, white Chiclet toothed preacher of this being your ‘best life,’ but neither am I a prophet, or a soldier of wrath. I’m death personified. Not the taking of lives death, but the death that comes for a few who still breathe.

So, I don’t ask for your sympathy and empathy is never given without a clause. I only ask for your understanding.


Nitin Lalit Murali is a poet, flash fiction writer and essayist from Bangalore, India. He also enjoys reading literature of different genres and listening to jazz and neo-classical music. He started writing seven years ago and art has consumed him over the years. He blogs regularly at Fighting the Dying Light

 

Coyote – Mitch Green

coyote black and white.png
The turnpike of west bowed to the city shimmer. An escort icon in ornamental estrangement contested the chivalry of desire. A whisper in a windless wood bellowed aloud to the deaf. Parking breaks bleeding the asphalt. The yellow strip chalked in brick red exhaust. A body adorned the open blank mileage of night – belly and breast down to our virgin eye. The opening cast of exposure decomposing the edible noir of suspicion. A sobbing wail claws at the silent twinkling nothing. A bent in bumper, fragmented shrapnel of glass and ribbon. Point south the rearview, and you see the cacti and coyotes roosting along edgy dunes sprouted to cast shadows. We wait out the buzzards, the hawks and wolves that are known to creep salaciously in cold blood. The lonesome fear reels inside like icy daggers, as the fantasizing man rolls the 140 pound dead weight idol into a sleeping bag.

Landscape scenic shot of the car and the bagged body, hauled stressfully. This is a slow and awkward struggle. The red hue blotching the lot – seizing natural color. Body in trunk, the frantic man, fumbles behind the wheel and chugs the murderous hunk from the scene. Residue of red sweats to black.

The cacti, the coyotes, the buzzards, and hawks all dash and bolt far from the wheels of this death machine. Into the eons, out beyond the pale who flops soundly with each jolt, rocking knots into the trunk. Like a meteor through the galaxy, the sputtering machine caught a set of red and blue sirens breaking sight behind. The vomit induced toxicity knuckled him to the gut, and he could hardly breathe. The hit and run captive homicide was slowly decaying inside polyester.

Hindsight dread deepened root around his spine, spearing bolts of electric wire to rattle bone. Quaking and immobile, the rubber rolling ankles trudged close. White knuckled, and shrink wrapped – plaid plagued soul of guilt. Hysterical hangover of helix vision, burning sight. The electrodes of the mindscape have abandoned all sake of morality. In troves the internal war upon self now underwater to smother. The clicking tongues spoke in a language not known to common dialogue. Deaf disposition now a suspicious entity on the side of highway 95 in the pith of night with a body in back.

A thump popped like tin, and the trunk creaked open. Alive, she’s alive. If skin could crawl, his anatomical dearest would be on auction. Scuffing dirt and gravel, he bolted to the back, flinging open the dinged trunk door. There wadded in the black human sized napkin of camping gear was the pink and red stillness of the breathless.

The longer he hovered the more he fantasized. The longer he fantasized, the more he became an adolescent boy again, reflecting on the first time he had seen an unclothed girl. The printed papers, the digital previews on 50” screens, the brothel on 5th street, and his routine call girls in shoddy motel rooms off of route 76. Appalled by the touch of his hand on her lukewarm cheek. But even more disgusted by the inhumanity he found within himself; he knew not the man he had become.


Mitch Green founded Rad Press Publishing in September of 2016. He is an avid artist in visual design and literature. Published in various literary journals and magazines: The Literary Yard. The Penmen Review. Vimfire Magazine – Mitch aims to seize the narrow line between all artistic mediums.

A few of his known poetic titles are: “Flesh Phoenix” “Monsters” “The Wolves Howled”.

Offering his hand in graphic direction – his book design portfolio can be found here.
Follow Mitch and Rad Press Publishing on Instagram.

The Statistics of Opinion – David Lohrey

We hate the man in the White House because he eats McDonald’s.

We hate him because he orders his steaks well-done and uses

ketchup like a rube from St. Louis. Americans have adopted

the snobbery of Princess Margaret. We expect the President

to eat popcorn in white gloves.

Yes, this is who we are. We no longer want a President. We demand

a Queen. We treasure the wealthy not the greedy. He’s too much

like us, this man in the White House. The poor love him because

he eats the way we do. He spends his money in the same way

we would if we had any.

There’s a touch of the gutter in the men we send to the big house.

Some people have too much; that’s what makes us resentful. Not

Trump. We appreciate his desperation. We understand his hunger.

He’s not at all like the rich we’ve seen before. He knows his dough

is not permanent.

They’ll tell you how much they admire TR, because everyone loves

a rich man in power, but what I loved about Teddy was his delicacy,

his appreciation of nature, his love of the outdoors, his refusal to eat

with a spoon. All this came from his childhood asthma. He could ride

bareback and use a lasso.

You can’t blame Obama for wanting to be rich. What’s $50,000,000?

Change from the bottom of Oprah’s purse. After eight measly years

in the White House, he was bidding for a basketball team. Now, he is

worth nearly 800 million. And counting. Soon, he’ll be worth over

a billion. He has contempt for people who work for a living.

You turned your face away. We are deep into a period of misrule. The

Presidents are leaving power richer than when they come into office.

Clinton, Obama: trash, bless their hearts, but both now vacation on private yachts. They look down their noses at Trump. He’s beneath them. They

know real money. They can smell it.

I don’t want anyone to come down here trying to be kind. Trump teaches

us how to embody shrewd ignorant verve. Guts, not condescension. Not

the milk of human kindness. Too much of that and you’ll be ready for death.

He’s the kind of guy who’ll tell you you’re stupid, right to your face. Let’s face it: he reminds us of our mothers.


David Lohrey is from Memphis, where he grew up, and now lives in Tokyo, where he teaches and writes for local travel magazines. He graduated from UC Berkeley and then moved to LA where he lived for over 20 years.

Internationally, his poetry can be found in Otoliths, Stony Thursday Anthology, Sentinel Quarterly, and Tuck Magazine. In the US, recent poems have appeared in Poetry Circle, FRiGG, Obsidian, and Apogee Journal. His fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Dodging the Rain, and Literally Stories.

David’s The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th-century literature, was published in 2016, while his first collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was released in September 2017. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Collective.

The noise of this brain

By Devika Mathur

And so I crumble in my own jaw line

Leaking from the iris,

A stoned mahogany stuck

Beneath the frivolous sky,

I lie like a pond, open and scarred,

Rummaging through your eyes,

To seek something that belongs to my lip.

I fail.

I fail the second day as well.

My mind talks pills and potions

A volatile adamant touch of burps.

A ripple lost and secured.

My mind is insane, forever.



Devika Mathur, a poetess from India is a published poetess and is a lover of everything dark and surreal. Her work has been previously published in Sudden Denouement, Visual Verse, Dying dahlia review, two drops of ink, Madswirl, The rye whiskey review among various others. Find more of her musings at https://myvaliantsoulsblog.wordpress.com

Hide and Seek – Daffni Gingerich

hide and seek

From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon


 

I have poured out the contents of my insides today. I don’t want them back but there will come a day when they’re handed back to me with side notes and red ink. And I will retreat under the bed like I did as a child during hide and seek. There’s knowledge left under beds from those who never survived hiding. My eyes would dart back and forth and my heart would race as if death was truly on the outside waiting. It was always the big brown eyes of my brother that found me. And with such a rush I’d demand he be seeker again. He’d whine and I’d ignore him until he quit and we went our separate ways. Headstrong. That’s what they call me. I’m hard to stick around because anyone without passion bores me and anyone with it, well, that’s deadly. Deadly, like hide and seek. I’ve had an insatiable craving for sweets lately. I do my best to be an adult and pair them with more salads, but that amount of eating can be too much. I’d need more than 3 salads a day, and three is quite a lot already. If only hiding under the bed brought me sweets, I’d have been more likely to give my brother a turn to hide.


Daffni Gingerich says simply that she “is a writer.” You can read more of her mesmerizing prose at Daffniblog.

Because I am worth so much more- Sarah Doughty

suzy-parker-photo-allan-grant-bn

From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon


“Because I am worth so much more.
I deserve better than loving
someone like you.”

Maybe, loving you was wrong. Maybe, I knew that being yours would end in my own heartbreak. But, darling, did you ever consider that I made that choice on my own? That you had no business putting words in my mouth — words I never spoke. That you had no right to force my actions. Or act upon your belief that it was in my best interest. Maybe, this has been my problem all along. Choosing to love someone that could never accept me for who or what I am. Loving someone that I knew, deep down, would never change. Maybe, I should have loved myself more, respected myself more. Because I am worth so much more. I deserve better than loving someone like you.


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 hereTo learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her websitestalk her on Goodreads, or both.

Wasps – Jimmi Campkin

From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon


Open up my skull and you will find her inside, in a tatty striped dress and muddy Doc Martens.  Every bedroom, every hotel room, every airport lounge, train and coach I sleep in she is there, smiling and licking razor blades.  When I shower I look into the steamed mirror and see a pair of blue eyes staring back at me.  Neither of these eyes belong to my partner.  She is still there, with a red flowing tongue and a black choker.

This is no guardian angel.  She is guilt and sex and violence, with greasy hair and furry teeth – not brushed since her last remembered birthday and she always forgets her anniversaries.  Years later, lying in bed next to my partner, ‘the woman I love’, I wait until I hear gentle snoring before I rest my head on the pillow and close my eyes.  I know that I talk in my sleep, and all I think about is Her, with a mouth full of blood and bacteria.  In my lucid dreams I feel the hairs on my face lift to receive that sour taste.  I feel my pupils expand, opening like bank vault doors to a secret code.

As teenagers together, she took me to her secret place – a single tree in a circle of thick thorn bushes.  Like a ballerina she danced up to a noose tied to a low branch, launched her head inside like a basketball three-pointer and thrashed – piss streaming like river deltas down her soiled, writhing legs as I watched, frozen in a moment of incredulous horror.  After a few moments she lowered herself down and her barefoot heels touched terra firma.

She stood before me, at her full height, the rope now slack at her shoulders.  There was no danger, it was all a game.  Removing the noose, she walked towards me.  You never even tried to save me she smiled, and kissed me hard.  It tasted disgusting.  And then she kneed me firmly in the groin.

I sank to my haunches; coughing and farting, with a stomach ache billowing through my insides.  Looking down at the floor I saw brown leaves, dead twigs and ten toes with ten filthy toenails.  I thought to myself; I wonder if my tongue could clean these grey stumps?  A few minutes later, I knew the answer….


Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com

Sudden Denouement Classic: Gag Reflex- S. K. Nicholas

Triptych personality and a taste for the beaten and crushed. Favoured positions. Preferred imagery including a crushed butterfly placed so sweetly on her navel- the one that swims with my seed. Specks of blood on the bed sheets from our collision- the one I try denying but keeps happening anyway. In lipstick upon the wall, I scrawl my desires in lowercase. I spell out what I mean to say which always seems to escape me when she’s gagging on my fumes. I’m a good guy at heart, but a single droplet puts me in a rage like you wouldn’t believe. Shards of glass and portals. Lonely roads and stories gathering dust, but there will come a day when everything makes sense. There will be a moment when the end is not the end and an exit is not an exit but a door to a river where resides the girl who started it all. I go in and out- I pass through on the off chance she’s around. Lights and nipples and stretch marks. Torn lingerie and tourniquets. Vampires, lovers, killers. A painter, a writer. There exists celluloid imagery of my actions. There are photos of body parts and vials full of hair which fuels the fantasy more and more. There was once a golden light but it was snatched away and now I take from others because my future was taken from me. Souls and slaves. The ties that bind. Scenes missing until she’s wrapped in a blanket because this world doesn’t care and although my hands are cruel I do it because I care and no one cares as much as me. She is mother and enemy. She offers salvation and torment but the more I do it the less I can tell which is which. Flowers pressed in a book. Numbed fingers from two bottles of wine as she shaves her pubic hair at my request. She is not her own woman, she is my girl. The girl by the river who visits me after I pass out in the early hours of the morning halfway up the stairs. She flickers in the eyes of those who get too close. She dances in the mirror and kisses my neck when the right scent ignites what’s left of me. That cherub heart, it’s been gone for years and no matter what I do, and no matter how many times I try bringing her back, it won’t beat again.


S.K. Nicholas is the creator of My Red Abyss.comas well as author of two novels A Journal for Damned Lovers Vol 1, 2 & 3 (available on Amazon). 

Sudden Denouement Classic: Everything Wasn’t Enough – Jasper Kerkau

Laughter echoes down long hallways, gives way to arguments and eventually more giddy children’s laughter. Plastic toys are left in my restroom, socked feet bouncing on beds, falling down and I scream from the other room. There is silence that eventually erupts again with the delight and carefree abandon of childish glee. I bury my face in my hands at my desk, waiting, waiting, always waiting for everything to change, for the laughter to eventually stop, the shadows to take over, the long unwinding of a life built on endless toil–nothingness.

The sword of Damocles looms over me. My skull anticipates the shattering strike; blood and fragments of bones mixed in a concoction of death.  My fate sealed by icy hands. Alas, they have come to purge me of what is left; they have come for my children. They have come for my words; a blind witness, left with the bloody rags of silence, childless, suffering for the sins of my oppressors. Blood upon blood upon blood. They relish in feasting on my fear and devour my heart, desperately trying pull the fruit of my loins from my bosom. Am I vanquished?

Splayed on cold table, I am pulled apart slowly. My eyes affixed on the past, the mistakes left in closets among unmatched shoes and discarded summers. It all rolls off of me as the they slowly drain my life, whisked the children away, leave my words fatherless, left as an empty vessels that once held such promise. I could have been better. I could have been better. They smirk and guffaw, standing over me with forks and knives, waiting to dine on my soul, exposing their vicious appetites. Will everything be enough?

There is something inside me that is immune to their illicit desires. I hear the hymn of sacred souls, the chorus of magnificence sang from distant places, songs of hope and sorrow. Each voice carries its own unique message of personal salvation. I am not alone; they cannot destroy my sacred vision, the words sewn with the sinews of travail and perfect love into each verse. I am a writer and a father, with undying affection for my children; the words create divine tapestries which can never be wrested away from me. They will live long after I am gone.

I stand steadfast in the light, accompanied by the remnant chosen for the articulation of suffering, their special dispensation due to the ability to speak the secret language of the universe, their affliction decoded and turned into consecrated arias. The shadows will eventually flee, leaving me vindicated, left to tend to my words, nurture my children, guard them from the profane hands which seek to drag them into the dark places, strip them of their beauty and joy. There is nothing that can stand against truth, innocence, and pure love. I hear a voice in the darkness, fingers intertwined with my own: “I love you daddy.”


Jasper Kerkau is a founder of Sudden Denouement and editor and writer for The Writings of Jasper Kerkau.