I don’t think they know

HJD writes

Grayscale Photography Of Topless Woman

envy-stained drawing of a pin-up model in front of me
tear easily, like waxed paper asks me how I knew I was a woman
illusion / equal, maybe even superior
stalk yell touch herded into corners of the schoolyard where the teachers couldn’t see me
me, woman, or woman-to-be
first time catcalled – age of 10 / advances by older men but still a girl fiddling around being a cock-tease
I was going to be a woman, push-up bras and strings, eyelashes pitch black, get powdered and pinned down covering myself in “yes” like a perfume. learnt womanly sentences by heart – yes, yes, I don’t mind no really thank you for the compliment that’s so sweet of you (I was seventeen.)
I get what I create the papillae on my tongue melting into words that seem starved once they reach my fingertips
laughs and threats and gazes pats on…

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Contrition

An explosion of talent. Much love for this unflinching voice.

Pure Ultraviolence

Sometimes, in the dark, I can still feel your name on my wrist, burning through the skin. The insignia of guilt.

I always knew we wouldn’t survive.
From the start, I knew we’d never quite fit together. Inevitable. But, red flags never really mattered as long as you gave me shelter.

I knew you back when my playlist was half indie and half pretentious. I miss the way your eyes would glaze over when I’d talk about fucking someone famous. I miss how you didn’t shrink away from my awkward immaturity. You saw me: girlish, sometimes vapid, hopelessly out of touch. You didn’t bury me under some modified, false image. Your honesty bordered on brutal, but you never asked me to change.

I knew you could love the hurt away. At times clumsy, stumbling, stammering, and imperfect- but still love. My heart was ruined. Ugly from falling apart so many…

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That’s so OCD.

HJD writes

grayscale photo of woman flicking hair

I used to murder my family before I went to bed
woke up around 3 AM and murdered them a couple times again omg lol
every time I walked the street there was a body left behind
charged with so OCD how do you plead?
my body’s a pest spreading lmao
the clock keeping me awake
someone rubbed their cheek on the carpet
left poundings on the walls
(the damp eats them)
forgot to chain the door
and we’ll probably be at war tomorrow
#obsessive compulsive disorder? xD
haven’t slept alone for 7 years smh
my pillow reeks of thoughts
what if I miss my own funeral
what if I was supposed to be somewhere else
what if it is time to wake up
what if I still want to sleep?

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Merlot

Making up for lost time.

The Writings of Jasper Kerkau

halloween-reading-anton-lavey-s-1967-press-release-for-the-first-satanic-baptism-in-history-3

“I dread cemeteries and public restrooms,” I lean in slightly, wondering if I am hearing her correctly.
“Perhaps I was looking for something different,” trying to find the words. “I know—instead of telling how you don’t like awkward conversations in restrooms, why don’t you tell me something you do like?”
“Hmm.” She puts her finger on her chin. “You know it is all so confusing.”
“Confusing?”
“Perhaps.” She holds up her empty wine glass, looking for a waiter.
“Interesting.”
“This fucking waiter,” adjusting her dark frames. “I don’t know why I am even doing this, I hate Merlot.”

[Jasper Kerkau is a writer, publisher and editor for Sudden Denouement. His writing focuses on fragilty, bad conversations, and lingering doubts.]

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I Beg Her Pardon

The Writings of Jasper Kerkau

sexy-women-boots-vintage

I beg her pardon, a sleight hand pushed under skirt, into the moss with tinge of necessity, a lower magic, a form of essence and hunger. “You seem so serious,” I hear her breath on my skin, fingering the darkness, a different memory, a different never again will I be so stupid. I slide foot into shoe, fall floorward, over pile of slumped-up laundry, tangled jeans. It is worse than before, a new forever, the walking away, the forward motion toward isolation that isn’t as cute as it was last time.

Jasper Kerkau

[Jasper Kerkau is writer, publisher, and editor for Sudden Denouement Publishing and Literary Collective]

5/3/19

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Desultory

Mick's Neon Fog

Adjective

Not getting anywhere because you’re moving in arbitrary, haphazard directions.

“The idea had been Denver, but Neil was a desultory driver and we spent days in St. Louis before stopping in Memphis to call on Lisa.”

“Our desultory conversations hatched fantastic plans that had nothing to do with Denver and everything to do with not staying in one place for very long.”

(Note: Merriam-Webster lists “disappointing in progress, performance, or quality” as a third definition, but that’s shit usage for a great word. Consider this example:

“The first two games, desultory losses at Denver and Chicago, certainly validated the camp that feels the Seahawks’ era of dominance has ended.” (The Seattle Times)

Here, desultory means disappointing and gives the noun no new qualities. If you’re going to use a great word like desultory, use it in a way that connotes a new quality.)

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Static

by Nitin Lalit Murali

I called my father today and told him that his death

will give me closure.

“Why don’t you jump off the balcony

while I’m talking to you? You’ll do us all a favor,”

I said, seething with rage.

Echoes of abuse never become whispers;

the past lies mangled like the hind leg of a deer

in the mouth of a lion,

the future is as cut up as paper put through

the shredder,

a voice in the dark

that’s as sharp as a blade screams, “Injustice!”

But does that give me a right to become the very man

I detested growing up?

A tormented, tortured, theatrical fool,

a disgruntled, discontented, disgusting do-nothing,

an uneasy, unstable, unsettled madman.

I wish there was more to life than

looking at my shattered reflection,

I wish there was more than drowning

in a green abyss of self-loathing and hate,

I wish there was someone who’ll love me

unconditionally and help me purge the

anger out.

But I’ve realized that this arid valley of dry bones

is the only place I’ll ever know.


Nitin Lalit Murali is a poet, flash fiction writer and essayist from Bangalore, India. He also enjoys reading literature of different genres and listening to jazz and neo-classical music. He started writing seven years ago and art has consumed him over the years. He blogs regularly at Fighting the Dying Light

Interzone

by Jimmi Campkin

I remember she once told me; the funny thing about endings is that they never happen.  By the time you reach it, you’re already past it. Likewise we can never experience tomorrow, it is always just out of arms reach.  She was always saying stuff like this; it sounded profound but then she once told me that only men die, women just sleep until it is time to wake up.  I was having a panic attack at the time and this apocalyptic vision of women emerging out of a cemetery did nothing to help.  

I hurl another rock into a jet black ocean.  She’s running late but I have a comfortable spot, several small stones and pebbles, three pathetic little flowers clinging onto the pier and a few thousand miles of uninterrupted empty horizon to stare into.  

I dangle my feet over the edge and feel a vertiginous swelling in the pit of my stomach, up my esophagus.  I feel top-heavy as though I might topple forwards, and I’m aware of my shoes being loose on my feet. The stones of the pier sink into the silt below and I think I am sliding forwards so I grab hold of the ground either side of me and cling on.  Below me the water laps, disinterested in one more fragile little soul. No birds in the sky today, just heavy bloated clouds fighting through a film of brown pollution.

When I stare at the sea for too long I see faces in the waves.  Often they protest or cry out, so many drowned sailors and regretful suicides, but sometimes I see a beatific face beaming out, inflected by the rays of an underwater sun, a soul at peace with itself and its journey.  When the wind whips across from the frozen North the faces sink away for the white horses to gallop and crash, falling over each other and throwing their jockeys into the ether.

She tells me often that my eyes are like the sea; still and grey or furious and white.  She cups my hands, blows warm air into my palms and kisses my forehead. In those moments I forget that I have ever felt cold in my life.  When they arrive I run to the storms to watch the sea clawing at the land, allowing huge waves to crash over the defenses soaking me, and I feel the warm furnace beating inside my ribs evaporating the water from my body and leaving a film of salt.  In those moments I am untouchable, unsinkable, invincible.

I throw another rock and I see faces scrambling to devour it like so many hungry fish.  The ground feels steady now and I am brave enough to rest my hands in my lap, to kick my legs freely knowing that I won’t lose my shoes.  To my left I can hear the crunch of a pair of sneakers approaching. A pair of legs appears in my peripheral vision and a familiar hand tousles my hair and strokes the back of my neck.  

Crouching onto her haunches she asks me; what are you thinking about?  

Nothing, I lie.  


Writer, photographer and creator of SANCTUARY. https://jimmicampkin.com/

“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process” – Vincent van Gogh

Jimmi Campkin

Doping in shadow

by Oldepunk

doping in shadow

is it love or just thirst

I’m feral, impotent

turn, turn, turning

I am a quark

I am nothing until

counted

all the feels, like Lana,

so wretchedly exquisite.

razor-bladed surroundings, blank

faces pass so fast they blur

into Van Gogh ukiyo-e

hey you, still life

scrape away this Vernier scale

leave mass alone to ponder

weight, levitate

expensive conversations

feed the souls of our lonely

bottom feeding in retro

too young to know better

too old to care

bite into that scripture

mad dog driving

rushing home to….screen

divert, deviate, masturbate

unchained, infringed

so many fences

out of dollaz

but take no quarter(1 of 4)

doping in shadow

when you get this down, push

no matter the cost

is it hate or just hunger

you are unbroken, potent

let us begin

to explore(abhoreadore?)…..love or hate

thirst or hunger

in the end, we will

know.

introduce me to your

particular kind of damage

I like to hurt.

let’s do it in the light.

you can carve

your scars onto me

so you don’t feel all alone


An old punk trying to make sense of what I see and hear and think and feel. Words pulled from the ether. Introverted agoraphobic explorer.  Hockey and food junkie(snob).

Editor, Contributor and supporter of Sudden Denouement, a literary collective.

image courtesy of Pinterest