MY CITY IS GREY – An Impromptu Interview W/ Lois E. Linkens.

A few moons ago, a few glasses of wine decided that Lois needed a spotlight tossed onto her, and so this impromptu (and unprofessional, because I’m not a professional) interview was begun simply for appreciation. Enjoy learning more about her!


 

Q: I’ve been made aware that you’re in Europe somewhere—a marketplace for historical and/or haunted locations—do you have any experience with what you might’ve perceive as the supernatural?

A: I’m from England, specifically, which is obviously quite the destination for ghost hunters. However, while I have been to some places, which might be dubbed as haunted – such as Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds, and the Clink Prison in London – I wouldn’t say I go looking for the supernatural. In my mind, ghosts and demons are like bees; they’ll only harm you if you go interfering. Keep your distance – my mum told me that a friend of hers used to make frequent use of a Ouija board, and its negative influence impacted her life in quite awful ways.

I know I believe that there is something more out there. I have a fairly good historical awareness of the Bible and I do have a faith. I don’t think that the slightly scary side of the supernatural and the spiritual realm, which includes God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit necessarily, has to cancel each other out. Perhaps some of the ways in which people encounter ghosts and spirits are manifestations of the different forces at work. It’s a whole other exciting world that exists essentially over the top of ours, and I would never want to discredit the experiences of others, considering how painful it can be to have my own beliefs scorned at. My general approach to the supernatural is a good amount of caution, a pinch of skepticism, a little courage and an extremely open mind.

Q: Speaking of the manifestation of different forces, do you remember the first poem you ever wrote, and if so, what caused it to manifest? AND DO YOU HAVE IT, BECAUSE HELLO?

A: Yes, I do remember it! Well, I think this was one of the first poems I ever wrote, and I believe I was in the [age] range of 6 to 9 when I wrote it. It was for a school competition, and the winner won a wind-up torch so obviously I was all over that. It went like this:

‘i’m always forgetting,
especially today.
i’ll tell you about it –
what did i say?’

As you can see, I was a comic genius even at the tender age of 6. And I won the competition! Still have the torch knocking about somewhere. I actually still love that poem, because it’s so brief, yet it’s quite funny too. I don’t remember exactly where the inspiration came from, and I know I did enjoy writing poems at the time so there may have been many more like this, but this is the only one I can remember by heart.

I started writing poetry again around 2012, and I do have some early ones, which I could dig out, but I like to think that they are hidden away for the greater good.

Q: That poem’s very, very witty for a young child. It shows an early understanding of humor, which is humankind’s only redeeming quality, that, and the invention of zombie movies. If something similar to ‘Night of the Living Dead’, or ’The Walking Dead’ happened, do you have a plan? If so, what is it? Where will you hide, or, will you run instead of hide?

A: Oh goodness, my plan for zombie survival. See, I like to think I could fight them. I feel like I would be able to create some strength from somewhere if the situation was dire enough. But in reality, I imagine I would go to sea. My dad has a penchant for sailing, so I’d stick with him. I would take everything I could possibly manage and take to the waves. The thing is that when I’m faced with these sorts of questions, I can’t help mourning everything I would lose rather than creating a potential survival plan. I’m very much a look-to-the-future sort of person, and the thought of not being able to live out a decent life does really devastate me. This kind of thing, whether or not it’s possible, would eradicate vast amounts of individual futures and that breaks my heart. Maybe I’m naive, but I see humanity changing for the better in a lot of ways and we don’t have time for a zombie apocalypse to ruin our progress!

Q: I think of that, too. The individual lives. And how much harder I’d have to work in a world with less to do — shoot, run, hide – A horrible world without Google maps.

How did you come to be a member of Sudden Denouement? Also, without googling it, how have you personally been pronouncing “denouement”? I’ve recently discovered I was WAY off.

A: I feel that my own life right now takes enough navigating without having to fear for my life.

I believe that Jasper, who was running Secret First Draft and SD at the time, followed my blog when I had just begun posting poetry at Secret First Draft. I was looking to get some of my work published somewhere, and had reached out to a few blogs without much luck. I sent an email to Sudden Denouement, which I discovered through Secret First Draft, and within a few days Jasper got back to me saying that he enjoyed my work and wanted to have me involved! It was so much nicer to have a genuine, personal email from a real individual responding to my plea for recognition, rather than a bland old rejection email, which didn’t even have a person’s name at by the end. I felt welcome straight away. But yes, I know I’ve been pronouncing it wrong this whole time. I thought it was ‘de-noo-ment,’ with a hard ‘t’ on the end. I even studied French at A Level. It was only when I saw a video of Jasper talking about it that the penny dropped.

Q: I was pronouncing it deh-now-mint. I had to google it and find the YouTube video of the robotic voice saying ‘day-new-ma’

I know you’ve recently been published in the poetical anthology collection concerning mental health, called “SWEAR TO ME” but when can we expect our highly anticipated, Lois E. Linkens chapbook?

A: It was a real privilege to be included in ‘swear to me.’ I did not expect to have my work published so soon. I was entirely happy plugging away at my blog and keeping it at a very neutral, easy level. For that reason and because of university, I don’t imagine there will be a chapbook very close on the horizon, but it is definitely something I would like to do when the time is right. I’m still establishing myself as a writer both among the community and in my head, so I think I need some time to develop my thought processes and really write something that has intense depth and complexity. I have various ideas and projects on the go; one particular novel is bugging me like no mistake. Watch this space, I suppose!

Q: You wouldn’t consider just putting together all your work thus far, into a chapbook? And what’s the novel about, or are you superstitious like me and cant tell just yet?

A: Well, perhaps. But I feel that at the moment, a lot of my work is practice. If you go back and look at some of my really early poems on my blog, my style and clarity of writing has changed, I like to think, a great deal. There are only a few pieces I’ve written, which I really feel accomplish something that has depth and complexity to it. So a compilation of all my work would be a collection of quite shoddy poems written just for writing’s sake, from a 19-year-old up to the slightly more unhinged, yet more politically aware, voice of a 21-year-old trying to figure out what she wants to say.

At the moment, the novel is just a collection of iPhone notes and scrawled plans in my notebooks. Events I want to include, scenes and images, a few character profiles, etc. I know it is going to revolve around one central female character. She will be a bit like me, I suppose – someone trying to figure out what it means to be a woman in the 21st century, and trying to find legitimacy as an artist and integrity as a creative individual. I want to engage with some current events and that’s difficult. It involves a lot of research and at the moment, I don’t have that kind of time! So it is just buried in the back of my mind for the time being, and hopefully will come to light when I’m ready.

Q: [Last few questions!] What’s your process? What gets you in in the mood to write/how do you get in the mood?

And, if you had to marry any classic horror character (Dracula, Wolf-man, The Mummy, Frankenstein, Jason, Michael Myers, etc.) who would it be and whyyyy?

A: My process usually requires some spark of imagination, which might be something I’ve seen in a film or TV show, something I’ve read in another poem somewhere, a person on the street, a situation at the supermarket. As I say, my poetry used to be a great celebration of words and images and I’m beginning to refine that style. That means that I can’t just write about a thing I have seen. I need to say something significant about that thing. I need to explore why it mattered enough for me to write it down – not just, it was quite sweet or it was funny or it was shocking. I need to connect my poetry to my experiences in a way that has substance and intuition, rather than just excitement. At [university], it is harder to find time to ‘get in the mood’ to write. It tends to be just a way for me to have a break from all the other writing I’m doing – an expression of my other thoughts and other ideas that don’t come out in my academic work. I let my imagination and my thought process take the lead, I suppose. If something comes to mind, or something is bothering me, I will write about it. The writing makes time for me, rather than I make time for it.

I am so out of touch with classic horror that this is actually a pretty tough question. I’m going to twist it slightly and name a classic Gothic character – I would pick Daphne du Maurier’s Max de Winter. The murderous husband of the beautiful, manipulative Rebecca; when I read the novel for the first time, I was so intensely frustrated with Mrs. de Winter for not standing up to him or confronting him about his behavior and his secrecy, that I think I would like to try it myself. I’d like to try being married to the man who fell captive to Rebecca’s charms, and figure out what went wrong. Sorry if I cheated – classic horror isn’t really my thing!


Lois picked a classic gothic character, so to me her answer was substantially valid. REBECCA is a classic, and is even a favorite of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Lois is a thoughtful, talented human being on this splashing rock we’re all spinning on in the airless blanket of the rocky road, dancing in the Milky Way like a pinpoint, searching for individual meaning in an infinitely cold universe. You should keep your eye on her.

– Samantha Lucero

For more information on Lois E. Linkens’ work, visit her blog [HERE]

A Note from Jasper Kerkau

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I want to take a minute and wish everyone a very happy holiday. This has been a wonderful year for Sudden Denouement and Sudden Denouement Publishing. The holidays can be blissful and arduous. I want to apologize for lack of communication over the last couple of weeks while I dealt with work and personal matters. Over the next couple of days, I will be finally have time to make corrections to the site, assign new editors and begin moving SD to the next level. I want to thank everyone who has given their time, passion, and vision to our humble collective. We have put together the premier collection of writers on the planet. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I will be working with others and make the process more cohesive and share the responsibility. I want to give a special thank you to David Lohrey, Nicole Lyons (thank you for your friendship and counsel), Olde Punk, Sam Lucero (there is a special place in the next world for Sam for the work she does without asking for recognition). I will be adding two new editors who I feel will bring new energy to SD.

There was a time I would bombard our writers with my emails—especially OldePunk.  As writers, we often fall into strange places. We live in the darkness and the light. I look forward to getting caught up with a lot of you, getting input about the direction of SD. I will get caught up on emails, but I promise not to overshare.

I appreciate every one of you. SD has been the beacon for me to find my way out of the darkness. The future is very bright. Each one of you is touched by the light of the universe. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are doing something special.

Jasper Kerkau

Street Rats- Introducing Daffni Gingerich

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From the depths of my churning stomach, he pulls out my childhood and makes me puke so violently it comes out of my eyes. After wiping my face, he kisses my acidic lips. That’s when the world stops and the words start to fall out of me. The mustard plants in the vineyard across the street bloom yearly. They’re beautiful so I sit on the fence and get lost in them. When with me, he’d stare for a good 20 mins before sneaking his dirty paws up my shirt. The wind would cause me to run through the flowers in whatever direction it blew. The sky is blue and I can taste grapefruits in the air. He grabs my arm and pulls me back towards him to say I could never get away. With his arms locked tight around me and my soul devoured by his eyes, I feel a shiver go up my dress. Reminds me of Clara Harris, the woman who they claimed had “sudden passion” and hit her husband repeatedly with a car. Then proceeded to run over his lifeless body. His kisses bring me to places I never planned on going. A monkey and tiger tug at my dress and the sultan rubs a gold lamp. I want the lamp but when I return to his kiss there’s not much else I could ask for. Besides well written work and well, that’s something I prefer to earn over rubbing a lamp to get for free.

[We are very excited to add Daffni Gingerich to our collective. She is a special writer who brings something very special to the our group. I would hope that you would welcome here to SD.]

Subjective – Matt Eayre

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‘Subjective’

These words have no meaning.

A metaphor, perhaps,

an impending ice age covering the landscape while I run from the freeze.

A turn of phrase, it could be, I never wanted anything to stop my destruction, and she jumped on the grenade to save me.

A rhyme, to mark the time, the wind brings me a smile,

Thinking of you drinking in that happy place about a mile

Away from my hands, you can stand on your own and

Find a new home while I wither alone and drink my lonely tears,

I’m stuck in my fear and will be for years…

These words have no meaning, when they sit on your screen, on your printed page you read them and translate into images of your own experience

My life is my own and when I write I feel a release of captured agony,

Does it reach you?

This man is getting old, trying to find a way to keep being

I’ve found a medication that works

Strange eyes see my heart and pass judgement,

this is poetry,

this is not

this is good enough,

this is crap

you’re a good writer,

you’re a poet

you’re an imposter

and you know you don’t belong

These words have no meaning

Here I sit, a survivor of countless attempts on my life

(by my own hand)

Here I sit, a remnant of innocence twisted and stolen,

I stand, the thing that grew when a brand-new tree was broken.

These words have a meaning.

I have lived this life and I have tried to find a meaning, I have fought against all of the noise in my head, all of the hate in the world which buries my people.

I have tried to lift hearts from cages and teach birds to walk,

So their wings won’t fail them.

These words have meaning.

If you will just see
I cannot yet fly
I have only a wish to know the clouds.

If you will read these words and know my love, we may both find the wind.

I have died and come back to life
to be here
to give you this moment

I write for only one reason.

I am these words.

I have meaning.

Matt Eayre

Introducing lulia Halatz – What can I give you?

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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
perched
in the ubiquitous trees
tethered in the clouds
that barely scratch
the sky.

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]

https://blogdecompanie.wordpress.com/

Reflectors. – S.K. Nicholas

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.]

SD New Writers

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We put out a call for new writers and have been overwhelmed by the response. I have been trying to reach out to each writer, though the process will take me some time. I am currently compiling all of the documents to be looked over by all of our editors. It will be a week or so for a decision to be made about additions. It has been a wonderful experience reading your work and look forward to corresponding with more of you in the near future. We will be adding a number of new writers.

Jasper Kerkau