i don’t – samantha lucero

i don’t.

i don’t remember if i ever loved myself.

but all alone i loved, once.

i’ve slept naked, a tiger with nightmares, an animal on a leash in a burrow of fevers. night’s where i woke up & couldn’t move, because no matter where i left your memories, they found a tunnel back into my chest.

another dusk with double-espresso van gogh & it burns my drowsy throat to know the fluorescent pictures tacked to the back of my eyelids like postcards that sunk with the titanic, wish you were here, are reaching for me from that hole forever.

before my eyes were stolen & my mouth was packed with soil, i’d have a yellow american spirit & think of freedom.

those were the days. those were my days. those  w e re.

& now they’re not & never will again.

Writing on the Wall-Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless

I read the

Writing on the wall

Neon graffiti

Composed of

Cryptic symbols

Stunning words

Of power

Of rage

Of grief

That sting

Like sleet on my bare skin

Ice crystals that burn

And freeze on contact

I recognize your

Artist’s tag


I long to

Pull out

Cans of spray paint

From my battered


Connect the dots

With hunter green

Soften the edges

Silver and mauve

Rewrite the narrative

Midnight blue

But this is not

My territory

I am unsure of

My welcome

On your turf

These days


I reluctantly

Turn away

And walk

City streets

Concrete and steel

Broken glass

Strewn sidewalks

To my 3rd floor


Rows of deadlocks

And chains

On the door

Never sure if

Their purpose is to

Keep others out

Or keep my creative

Madness contained


In this room

Of my own

Blank canvases


I pause



What I want

What I need

To express


And lose myself

To the process

Weaving words

Of love

Of healing

Spinning dreams

Painting longing

Etched with light

A thing of


That you may

Never see


Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and The Whisper and The Roar and is a managing editor at Sudden Denouement.

She is an aspiring badass

Overwhelmingly Underwhelmed-Nicole Lyons/The Lithium Chronicles

Overwhelmed is for Wednesdays,

between day old bread and another

payment arrangement.

She drops it into cracked glass

where it sinks and stays

contained and safe to study,

like a strange or elusive bird

she has been meaning to watch.

Oh, look at you pretty birdie,

terrifying birdie; she’s caged you now.

And it flutters, wingless, in the bottom

of her grandmother’s before four o’clock

crystal that gives her permission to sigh

in acceptance as it cradles overwhelming

so beautifully, right before she throws it

back to meet the aftermath of underwhelmed,

and a Tuesday night blowjob.

[Nicole Lyons is creator of The Lithium Chronicles, as well as being an editor and writer for Sudden Denouement. As always, we are honored by her presence.]

Sudden Denouement/Secret First Draft Divergent Literature Writing Contest

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Secret First Draft are holding a joint Writing Contest in the month of March to elicit new writers for the Collective.

Writing Prompt: March Madness

Unpublished/Original work

Each entry should be more than 50 words but less than 500

Each writer may submit 1 to 3 (maximum) pieces of writing for consideration

Submissions will be accepted: 3/1/2017 through 3/31/2017

Full prize information to be announced soon!

1st Place Winner will be granted membership in the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

2nd, 3rd and 4th Place Runners-ups will be granted membership in the Secret First Draft Collective.

Send your submissions with your name, your pen name (if applicable), the address for your blog and a short biography (1 to 3 sentences to): Suddendenouement@gmail.com

The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and its sister sites Secret First Draft and The Whisper and The Roar are forums for divergent literature that we hope excite and challenge you.

The top three posts will be published on Sudden Denouement and the top five posts will be published on Secret First Draft.

Finalists will be contacted by Sudden Denouement no later than April 30, 2017.

Only Us

S.K. Nicholas

S. K. Nicholas


We are islands in a field where the only source of light comes from the moon. There are no buildings, no cars, only that lone rock above our heads that has witnessed everything yet never uttered so much as a word in return. Kissing your lips and then the wet bark of the tree closest to us, I remember a story my grandad told me as a child. It concerned a tree in acemetery somewhere in St Albans, and how if you managed to run around it twelve times before the bells stopped chiming the midnight hour, then a ghost would rise from the ground and shake your hand. Linking my fingers with yours and doing my best to run despite it being so slippery because of all the mud from the recent rain, you tell me that it won’t work because it’s only that particular tree in St Albans…

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Modern Man Don’t Stand No Chance-Mick Hugh/Mick’s Neon Fog

Mick Hugh- Mick’s Neon Fog

Mick's Neon Fog

I don’t know what brought me here, I’ve awoken from a nightmare 4 years in the making and find myself strangling with a JC Penny tie around my neck. I sit in bed in the early a.m. and I don’t look at you – I don’t look at the bed or the dusty typewriter on my desk, I stare at the wall until my brain turns numb. I won’t think of it; I won’t think of us or anything at all. Willingly brain-dead the morning routine before the commute down Route 80 – neurons shriveling, a brain matter withering into the mundane hum of the skull. I find myself at work with a tire-iron bashing the hood of my car. I don’t want a Keurig or all the clothes in your closet and I will go through life with a single pair of jeans. I’ve thrown in the trash every…

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Wherever You Go, I Will Follow-S.K. Nicholas/A Journal for Damned Lovers

S.K. Nicholas/A Journal for Damned Lovers

S. K. Nicholas


Out on the moors in the middle of the night, we dance with the ghosts of Heathcliffand Catherine, and when the wind blows just right, we hear the victims of Hindley and Brady having risen from their infant graves by the cries of our childish hearts. With their laughter ringing in our ears as we float above the sodden land, they are etherealand free, and even though they get so lonely, they smile in the knowledge that never again will they come to harm. Post-coitus, we lie on a blanket of heather with bellies full of wine and I tell you that wherever you go, I will follow, and as my lips meet yours as we drift to the icy waters of the North Sea, there is only us and us is all they’ll ever be. And yet there will always be part of me that wants to see you…

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