[Photo by Jimmi Campkin]
We’d convinced the girl behind the screen to let us climb the church tower. We were both stoned beyond human comprehension – only nature could understand us now – but with her bored expression and indigo hair, we could see a kindred spirit. Arms over shoulders we talked about the coming of the Lord, and how we needed to get really high, because we wanted to run our fingers through the clouds, and you kept spitting on the glass every time you tried to pronounce a hard ‘th’. Never mind. Our tickets were punched, and I swear I caught a smile as a lock of dark purple hair curled over an ear pockmarked with empty piercings.
Up the narrow stone steps we wound, tripping over each others ankles, inhaling all the smells of history – damp, dust and decay. Emerging on a ledge, supported by one thousand year old masonry, we stared up at the same sun from all those ages ago, and ran our fingers through the grooves left by people long since lost. No tombs, no bones, no names, just the gashes in the rock. I carved our initials into the soft stone to continue the journey.
Your lapdance around the spire was bizarre. Uncordinated. You stripped like a propeller rather than a dancer, flinging clothes and limbs everywhere. Quoting The Dane, you screamed into the air; I have of late, wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth…
I sat down, watching you self destruct, what a piece of work…
[Born in November 1983, I have been writing in some form or another for most of my life, but I began to take it seriously as a career around 2003/2004. Since then I have produced a novel, a novella and a series of short stories some of which are loosely linked into an overarching anthology.
Most of my stories come under the wide umbrella of ‘general fiction’, but I have experimented with genre pieces. My short stories tend to be bittersweet, nostalgic, sometimes melancholic and (on occasion) examine the darker side of human nature and obsessions.
I also enjoy art and photography. Clicking on the photography link will direct you to a few examples of my pictures, or if you prefer you can look at my artwork. Most of my pictures, art and snippets from my stories also end up on my Instagram account (@jcampkin)
I welcome you to this site, and I hope you find something here to please you. If not, below you’ll find a big picture of me to scream obscenities at.]
Addict – Allie Nelson
It’s evening, and we’re both drunk as stoned birds, and you look like a young Hannibal Lecter and stink of corpses and rotting roses. I’m in bandages and heels, I cut myself on your broken bottles again, maybe because I hate myself or maybe because I hate you and I want you to see your precious little canary bleed red, dead, showing the coal mine of your palace is stranger danger. There’s needle pricks along your forearm and you’re ranting and raving about how I left you for your brother, the Prodigal Sun, and you’re the fuckup your dad kicked to the curb into a joint you call Hell with your bachelor buddies where all you do is fuck and kill and get high any means possible. I say your twin is worth a thousand yous and I’d rather you were dead by my hands than calling me jezebel and heirodule and all your pretty words for whore. Maybe you get off on me sleeping with all your friends and enemies – no, I know you do, because you own me and I own you and I only do as we please and you’re a manwhore that likes used goods – but for now you’re pretending it’s only us at night, not succubi or angels of prostitution or all the fancy terms rabbis came up for cheap ladies of the night that dress up in oxblood lipstick and leather and decorate your palace. I tried to join in on one of your orgies once and you laughed to high heaven at how innocent I was, too pure, and your wives stroked my hair and tweaked my nose and then you got back to your fucking. So much for sharing. I don’t know a damn thing about drugs and all the shit you drink and snort and smoke and siphon through your veins but silver daggers are pumping this clear heady substance into your banded arms and I’m cornered, horny, and pissed. I imagine you are the same, because what fucking loser castigates his wife for straying and throws temper tantrums then comes crawling back drunk for forgiveness and pleads for a second chance, a millionth chance, just take my poetry and books and roses and shittily made tacos and let’s pretend I’m the dragon, you’re the princess, and your fucking knight brother was burned to a crisp. You grab me from behind and I hike up the bandages and you talk about kids and how pretty I would be pregnant and I tell you to fuck off as I cum and you’re still snorting coke off my spine and we rut until I bleed and you’re raw. You mock me for missing a spot waxing but I know you’d fuck me if I had a sixties porno bush. You’ve made it a point to fuck me however I look, lathering me up to a soap with compliments and moaning and weakness as your seed spills out and I could sink my teeth into your manhood and drink down all the black sin inside you. You’re crying again, sobbing into my hair, saying how could I have left you for the better half, the sober one, the brother you hate and love in equal measure. I tell you to shut the hell up and let me sleep and that I only keep you around because you’re hot when you’re not an abomination. I’m pretty sure you raised me to kill you, and you love watching me in other men’s arms, but then you go and haunt my boyfriends and fuck me in their beds so who knows. All I know is that you think you have me figured out, but then I go and surprise you and you lose your shit and rant and rave like a rabid dog. Watchdog of the graveyard, you called yourself. The Scapegoat. Samuel the Judge. I hope the whole fucking Internet reads this and the Satanists know what a pussy their god is. The Devil’s a cuckold and cries at Victor Hugo and beats his women and is as disturbed as his favorite eponymous band. Addict Angel Extraordinaire. Waste of Space Junkie. This is just me spewing shit on the page to see what sticks but isn’t that what I always do?
I learned to write from you, after all.
[Allie is a rather bubbly blonde that currently attends grad school for science communication, has a rather useless degree in biology, and works in the environmental field. She can usually be found hugging trees, eating green curry with tofu, or exploring the wilds of D.C.. Allie is an avid poet, aspiring author, meme queen, speculative fiction enthusiast, and alien centaur aficionado. She also has about 600 lipst.]
What can I give you? lulia Halatz
What can I give you? I am the blue
as imagined by a blind
and the roots of knowledge
as watered by a scholar.
I am the yellow
wind and the mauve
respond of light
in the ubiquitous trees
tethered in the clouds
that barely scratch
I am the green
storm and colorless waves
that wished upon a mountain
to break water in tryst
with the sun.
Not by blindness
we can reorder colors
but by the painting of a soul
in a moment tender
as the liquid moon
is quivering above the forest.
[lulia Halatz describes herself as one who is in love with words. She states, “I write stories about dreams and goals, failure and foible, fallacy and reality, blossoming and withering. About the spears from life that make me glint. I am a teacher of English by trade and small entrepreneur and cyclist by passion.” She is Romanian]
Eavesdropping on an Anarchist’s Monologue at the Post Office
Here you are,
fumbling for change in your early 60’s,
to get the fucking technology to work
Shouldn’t you be in Orlando with a beer gut?
(Copy machine fails to cooperate)
Corporate America, pssh!
I’m minding my own business at the kiosk,
listening to the Republicans taking over shit for the next 30 years.
Are you an anarchist, sir?
Or have you been left behind?
Fucking Americans, wake up!
Mid. Term. Elections. Are. The. Most. Important.
I do want to vote,
will you, honestly, dear sir?
(He’s still fumbling around with an early 00’s copy machine)
I know the woman mailing Christmas
heard your fucking shit and goddamn Democrats.
and I’m not even trying to, sir.
Will you throw your torch into the pyre
or is that asking too much?
You’ve had your whole life to tear the system down,
why is the baton covered in dirt?
I wish I could just mind my own business
and get your fucking papers in check.
Maybe a coffee.
Maybe a Guy Fawkes mask.
Because your curmudgeon self
makes me think the deck is fixed
and you’re exactly where they wanted
you all along.
[Josh Dale holds a BA in English from Temple University and has been previously published in 48th Street Press, April Gloaming Publishing, Black Elephant, Huffington Post, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Your One Phone Call, and others. If he’s not petting his rescue Bengal, Daisy, he is perfecting his stir-fry recipe, hunched over in the dark like an alchemist. He is the founder and current editor-in-chief of Thirty West Publishing House and Tilde: A Literary Journal. He calls Norristown, PA his second home.]
Links to Poems, A Short Story, Interview, and Press
Every day next week we will be presenting a new Sudden Denouement writer. We have received an enormous amount of submissions and have five new writers to present–there may be more. We have received amazing submissions from all over the world, and I have personally enjoyed reading each one.
Additionally, we will be seeking two new editors. Anyone interested in becoming an editor for SD, please contact me (email@example.com).
The duties of an editor are communicating with writers, submitting works, and helping in the decision making process of SD. It is an unpaid position, as we are all unpaid, but it is very rewarding. Those considered would need to possess a shared understanding of our vision. This job is not limited to Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, but also includes Sudden Denouement Publishing.
Lastly, Sudden Denouement is being re-branded as A Global Literary Collective. A minor change, but I want it to reflect our desire to have a global reach and reflect the diversity among our writers.
You. Her. She. The bottle and a banshee and a priest. A will-o’-the-wisp and the gleam of painted lips all puckered up and ready for the kiss. No poetry and then a little poetry. No women and then your image that comes sauntering into view behind the back of my blacked-out eyes. In schools, they preach hide the soul, and then work comes along and drills it in a little deeper. But art liberates, and good art is the answer to all that ails us. So maybe take me by the hand and walk these streets with me until we can’t feel our feet, yeah? Maybe if you want you’ll come along with me on a journey someplace strange until we can’t remember who we were to begin with, yeah? Maybe you’ll let me want you, and the more my heart burns as a result, the more you’ll see that these visons I preach are as real as it gets. I ain’t proper and I ain’t well, and this mouth is far too quiet for its own good, but in my bones, there’s darkness and more darkness and this darkness comes as easy as the sleep of reason the rest of them try so hard to deny. There are butterflies mixed with sleeping pills and your trimmed pubic hair I run my tongue over even though the pain itches me something rotten. There’s dust on your windowsill and coffee in your belly and wonder smeared all over your pretty little chin of which I bite and chew until you beg me to stop. Chrysalis and fire. June bloom and fairground highs and the smell of cotton candy mixed with hotdogs as lovers stand on the brink. That first kiss. That first touch when fingers long to creep. Those brown eyes and autumn hearts- the two things I seek more than anything. But only God can make a tree, so who I am? My reflection and your reflection, so many reflections and all these reflections that keep on reflecting, oh, how I want them now. So many obsessions and afflictions and addictions and sensations and I wanna feel them all. Let me mirror you and then mirror me back until we’re mirrored through and through. Let these reflections keep on reflecting until we screech and howl and our words dissolve and what’s left is but a reflection that keeps on reflecting, over and over again.
[S.K. Nicholas is the creator of Myredabyss.com, as well as author of two novels A Journal for Damned Lovers Vol 1 & 2. Both of these books are available on Amazon. Additionally, Nicholas is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.]