In Your Absence – Max Meunier

how do i go on
now that this bitter husk
no longer bears your burden

now that shattered skies
no longer paint your visage white

left with naught
but false impressions
framed upon your pillow

and all the stars have fallen
from the absence of your eyes

Max Meunier (Max Meunier Poetry)

[Max states: “I write about the things going on in my life. I am a feminist, humanist, cat loving musician bound by whimsy and the incessant analysis of hyper-vigilant observations.  I am obsessed with words and rhythmically woven wordplay.” We are honored to have him as a member of our tribe.]

Little Mister Full of Promise

Mick Hugh!

Mick's Neon Fog

Here are ten years spent searching for the antithesis of a life uselessly lent to Keurig machines brewing, daily traffic migrations idling, flat-screen TV’s streaming: Here are the screams of the mad-eyed peeling their scalps to let out the vacancies eating away at their brains. Here are the years spent shifting desks in dormitories where your youth went for a degree in death management: You found yourself crawling naked hysterical on the sidewalk well past sun-rise. You took the plunge and scrapped gum from the sidewalk, making yourself a lunch to carry downtown for a day staring listlessly at trees in the park, where you found, on a pedestal, a mirror looking down at you. Here are your dreams above the obscurity of the crowds – a PhD in philosophy, Mr. Little Camus you could change the world.

Here are the scars on your forehead the time you realized the…

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Wolves – Christine Ray

Wolves – Christine Ray (Brave and Reckless Blog)

It had been many years

Since the wolves

Had come and

Circled the house

Howling at her door

Their voices insistent

Their teeth sharp

Their musk pungent

Their coats winter thick and matted

She was not surprised

At their return

It was, after all,

The Full Wolf Moon


She shivered in the house

Wrapping herself

In a worn blanket

Trying to block out

The mournful, insistent sound

Her heart beating fast

She never knew if they were

Demanding retribution

Come to tear out her throat

Or inviting her to shrug off the last

Vestiges of her humanity

And run wild with the pack

Naked through the snowy night

Christine Ray

[Christine was the winner of the Sudden Denouement Divergent Writing Contest. She is the creator of the Brave and Reckless Blog. I have gotten to know her over the past few months and can say she personifies the spirit of  Sudden Denouement. I am honored to have her among our ranks. Take a second to look at her bio and read more of her wonderful work.]

Brave and Reckless Blog


December Ghost

Brave & Reckless

I have been walking

Through this holiday season

As if from the inside

Of an ice tunnel

I see the cheerful lights

I hear the joyous voices

I smell the pine

But everything is muffled, remote

I am experiencing these sensations

As if from a distance

As I walk down Locust Walk

On my way to my

Sterile subterranean office

I know that I will yet again

Spend too many hours today

Trying to wrestle

My focus and attention span

Back onto my work

Deadlines are looming

But my thoughts too easily

Wander away into the ether

The other commuters

Look as though they

Are on another plain

Of existence

Our colors, our vibrancy

Do not match

There is no look of recognition

No acknowledgement

As we pass each other

They are like ghosts

Drifting by on the cobblestones

It occurs to me

That perhaps it is I

Who has become

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Next Door Neighbor – David Lohrey


Next Door Neighbor – David Lohrey 


The man who moans

Moans because he lives alone.

His moans are not the same

As the couple upstairs.

Say no more.


He moans because he is still alive.

His moans are like sighs.

They communicate isolation. It’s

The human equivalent of an owl’s hoo.

Almost like boo hoo. But not quite.


The guy’s lonely.


When the young men are lonely,

They whistle.

The man who moans can’t whistle,

But he wants company.

He’s lonely.


When we hear moaning, we

Feel discomfort. Humans recognize

Despair. It’s in our genes.

It’s coming and we know it.

It’s basic.


In the meantime, we laugh.

Or whatever. You don’t hear

A lot of moaning from the young.

Nor from the young at heart.

It’s disturbing.


A whistle is a mating call.

The young man wants company.

He expresses appreciation, however

Awkwardly, however rudely. It’s

Base, but it’s sexy.

Women secretly love it.

Dying men don’t whistle.


The dying want company

But not sexual attention.

Sex is the furthest thing

From the mind of the man

Who moans. He’s alone.


The penis no longer works. It

Doesn’t even perform its

Primary function, which

Is pissing. Even that is an ordeal.


Hey, this is real.


The man moans for all that’s gone,

Including his once sharp mind.


The ease of pissing goes first,

Then the brain.

The combination is discouraging.

You can’t piss and you can’t remember where you laid your



Some cry.


I never do. I moan.

[David is lost in Japan. He is a smart, kind man who writes amazing poetry. We are thrilled to have him writing for Sudden Denouement. He is one of us.]

David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River in New York but grew up in Memphis. He graduated from U.C., Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia. He teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, and served as drama critic in NYC and LA for His plays have appeared in the UK, Switzerland, India and, most recently, in Croatia. In a Newark Minute and Sperm Counts were translated and produced in Estonia (2016). His poetry can be found in The Rats Ass Review, Softblow, The Blue Mountain Review, Otoliths, Sentinel Literary Quarterly and Quarterday.  Recent fiction can be read in Crack the Spine and at He is currently writing a memoir of his years living in Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea and on the Persian Gulf.

[Photo:  Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita]