Been Bloody – SRP

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


Terror fills the streets
in dark
as we cry to ourselves
sleep at night
you don’t know me
anymore
How many days how many nights
when we pull out
hair
and scratch out
eyes
Done seen too much
the information is relentless
I didn’t have a choice
won’t make it
you gave me the gun
tried to make it
right
She was standing there
right in front of him
and all i can see
is red
red red red
And i can’t wash it
clean
i can’t take it
away
we both are
still here
bloody


SRP is co-creator and editor for Sudden Denouement.

Absconding – Joey Gould

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Absconding

When I left my job I folded my apron like always, tucked

into my hat. Six months since the supermarket rows–apples

stacked once twisted & picked–I check into a dive hotel

in Chelsea with a room the size of my body but free apples

at the desk. At the ferry, a storm culls the sky like a produce knife.

Rain, rain, passing front, then stars: belligerent dappling apples,

sparkling cider in dark sky over Governor’s Island, Lady Liberty

bright as a promise. Squint long enough & any tree will bear apples

or maybe they’re given us to sample on arrival at the farm

in the sparsely-paved pinelands, Maine, littered with unheard-of apples,

varieties that drip summer when sliced, cry & bleed sugar—

cold mustering a nor’easter backstage for after apple

season, the pond cool enough to sting skin while dragging

the dock from its posts to the boathouse. Andy takes an apple

but leaves a basket of late peaches. Uncle!

I had lost my admiration for you. I’m sorry, dear apple,

for leaving you in fascist rows, for the poorly-cut quarters

for the bruised side hidden under a PLU sticker. Apple:

I remember being a mouth full child. Let’s get there sweet,

because we’re all going somewhere to be apple-

sauce. To the loud world, its musty-colored figs, riding the long

whalebone skeleton people marry under, apple

orchards when out of season. Gaunt capillary networks

dull white as a Macoun inside, bone-core of an apple

thrown out the car window on I-95, radio blasting Lady Lamb

on a cyser-crisp Sunday, singing: you are the apple.

I’ll carry my past in a tucked-away apron pocket. We all do, we all

secret away what we found: a kiss, a glimpse, an apple.

I’ll never leave the store. Or my heart won’t, that bloated, red

goat. How I run from it. How I should hold it soft like an apple.

Joey Gould is a long-time contributor to Mass Poetry who has twice been nominated for Bettering American Poetry and once for a Pushcart Prize. He has performed in The Poetry Circus, Elle Villanelle’s Poetry Bordello, and The Poetry Society of New York’s Poetry Brothel. He writes 100-word reviews as poetry editor for Drunk Monkeys. He’s working on a website: joeygouldpoetry.wordpress.com

You can follow Joey on Twitter @toshines

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

Funeral Trumpets-Kindra Austin

With each jug of spirits
I ingest,
my organs’ mourning
does crescendo; and premature
funeral trumpets
bleat in stereo, stricken on the sidelines of
my mind.

Every time I get sober,
someone else
dyes
black
my hair.

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


Kindra M. Austin is a very sweary indie author and editor from mid-Michigan (you can find her books here). She’s also the co-founder of Blank Paper Press, a founding member of Indie Blu(e) Publishing, founder of publishing imprint, One for Sorrow, and a writer/managing editor at Blood into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. Austin cut her poetry teeth in April, 2016, and joined the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective in 2017. You can find more of her foul mouth at poems and paragraphs.

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: On Becoming a Writer – Christine Ray

Sometimes, adopting the names ‘writer’ and ‘poet’
Led her to encounters with the most amazing minds
Connecting her with a larger community

At other times she thought that ‘writer’ and ‘poet’
Were the loneliest names she had ever called herself
Waking up every morning
To unzip her chest, her gut
And bare her truths to the world
Because like others of her kind
She was complex, messy, containing
Multiple truths, not a singular one

Sometimes she felt like she was writing
To a small group of intimate friends
At others times,
She felt like she was calling out her truths
Into an empty desert landscape
Without even a coyote or armadillo
To hear her words before they fell away
Forlorn and unread
Unheard and unacknowledged
Rendering the writer, the poet herself
Invisible, diminished somehow

She was always struck by the juxtaposition
Of her physical body negotiating
Close suburbs,
Crowded subways and jostling city sidewalks
On the way to her day job
While her heart and mind
Wandered in the isolated wilderness
While errant words and wisps of dreams
And drops of feelings like rich, red blood
Continued to seep out of her


Christine Ray is a writing, editing tornado who touches down at Brave and RecklessSudden DenouementSudden Denouement PublishingWhisper and the RoarBlood Into Ink, the Go Dog Go CafeFVR Publishing, and Indie Blu(e).

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.

Tucked Palms- Daffni Gingerich

I’ve tucked my palms into the pockets of my coat because I’m tired of thinking about them. They’re driving me crazy those lines, those lies, the lack of expectation. There’s no tight rope. There’s no hope. There’s no flame flickering from afar. There’s a sky and a sea. And you can hear the hushed judges hiss with serpent tongues. They burrow into your skin and into your brain until a candle flickers where it shouldn’t and a tightrope is strewn only into tomorrow. Never present, never today, and never to the soul. And if it has no soul it’s of no use to me. No use at all. So I waiver from light to light from certainty to uncertainty. . .


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

Happy New Year from Sudden Denouement Publishing

 

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Sudden Denouement Publishing is celebrating the new year by lowering the price of the print version of Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective on Amazon from $17.99 to $11.99  and the Kindle version from $9.99 to $4.49 for the month of January.
 
We believe this fabulous collection of writing from 29 writers across 7 countries is an essential library addition for all lovers of edgy modern prose and poetry. 
 

Letting go- Erich Michaels

You’d think as the seasons march on
Rotting soldiers casting off bits of themselves
Their cadence seeming to ever quicken
Having lived a month and a half of April fools days
No wiser and falling for the same old tricks
That I’d bury my head in like a tick
Swallowing watermelon seeds hoping to root myself to the ground
Looking for ways to have my name chiseled in stone
Engraved in plaques or even a cornerstone time capsule
But there must be a limit, as there is for everything
In mourning tears and afternoon funerals
I’ve said goodbye so many times I bought a plane ticket to Hawaii
So I can pretend I’m really saying hello, for a change
My worst fear, having seen how it ravages the mind
Now sounds like a lullaby meant to usher you off
Your golden years never losing luster
Some days you forget you ever said goodbye in the first place
Your day becomes the photograph
Nursery rhymes a soundtrack
Your heart a bookmark


Erich Michaels describes himself as  “just trying to share the human experience.”  He has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, but find himself writing SOPs (lather, rinse, repeat) in order to make a living, which can be detrimental to the creative process.  You can find him on the road to recovery at Erich Michaels. Every journey begins with a single step, right?