Bath time-The Hero’s Inferno

Knockout write from The Hero’s Inferno

The Hero's Inferno

Lying in radioactive blue water
No bubbles but they say it’s good for the skin
I slide back and forth like a water park
Trying to mix the hot and cold
I rocked the boat
Cracked the ceiling
I dropped straight down to the floor
No where to land nothing to catch me
My parents sit stunned by the Christmas tree
I wake up in a bed
IV drips drips up my arm
I wonder if you’ll visit me now
What will you think
The bathroom tiles marbled in my face
I suppose you’ll never steal another kiss
I suppose it will never be just us again
It was always my skin you loved
Not anything that lied beyond

My eyes blink open to the same blue water
I check the mirror
All a dream
A perfect angel looks back at me
And I still I think it is the…

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fourteen years and a half – Fallen Alone/ Ari Purkayastha

Magnificent writing from Fallen Alone’s ari purkayastha

Fallen Alone

my rhythm,

fourteen years and a half has passed
yet somewhere your beat
still resonates,
for i remain not much
but a collection of stories
bound in a novel of erased memories.

you echo.

i remember neither the sound of your laughter,
nor the way you whispered my name.

or how ever our air bent to collect your voice
and deliver, the cherished baritone
of your lips,
unscathed and treasured
within my years

for i like a fool, failed to revere words,
whose absence today
haunts me.

you pulsate.

we remain truly torn
yet i find myself tangled in these strings,
bearing the throb of your veins
like a drum, rolling upon my skin,

and i shiver for those million whips
osculate the blood within,
and they rise
to match your tempo.

you reverberate.

an autumn wind
beats against barren branches
whence no leaves dance to,
and I am engulfed…

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Don’t Over Text Me-Georgia Park

“I’m commitment phobic and I actually like you. I want to text you all the time and eat you out for hours and cook you dinner.”

“Please do not over text me, I’m too busy.”

“I’m gonna do it right now.”

“That’s silly. I’m standing right here, and I refuse to respond.”

My phone vibrates, and I don’t touch it. He smiles at me. It’s very awkward. I have a giggle inside me that I’m hiding, for good reasons.

I look at him sternly, exhausted.

[Georgia Park is creator of Private Bad Thoughts, curator of Whisper and the Roar a feminist literary collective, and a writer for Sudden Denouement. She is a wonderful poet with an enormous heart. We can’t imagine this journey without her. Please check out more of her wonderful work.]

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 managing editor and writer for Sudden Denouement and editor and writer for The Writings of Jasper Kerkau.]

A Furious Ascension-Nicole Lyons


She watched stiff-backed

girls in snow-white paper

dresses flying,

their speckled kites

low to the ground,

and she called

for the great gusts

of angry winds

to blow in and catch

the corners

of those dresses

and their kites,

and take them

all, tangled together

into stormy places

behind her eyes.

Sweep them

into deep places

where held breath burns

against walls of lungs

before sighing

into ecstasy.

Leave them

in dark places

where terrified screams burn

the backs of throats,

and rip pain

into pleasure.

Bury them

among stark bones

that found their lustre

in the depths

of her own mind.

A Charlie Brown Christmas- David Lohrey


Could there be anything worse?

Linus plays well but it’s too slow.

The air, thick with smoke, stinks.

Nostalgia is philosophy without hope.


Christmas with cartoon characters

Is like a funeral with mannequins.

Looking back isn’t anything more

Than an admission of guilt.


Mos Def would know what to do.

If you add motherfucker to every hallelujah

The patrons cheer up. We miss the past

Because we’re not good enough, not for yesterday,

Never mind last week.


We’re like high school drop-outs

Returning for graduation, there to

Watch our friends take a giant step.

We’re a nation on the sidelines,

Gentiles at a bar mitzvah.


We haven’t done our homework;

We never study. We’re going through the motions,

Attending class but not arriving prepared.

We left our books in the locker. Sorry.


The losers have been getting prizes.

The experiment is over. Limos

At 6th grade graduation count for nothing.

The hundred dollar bill divided by one thousand

Doesn’t cut it.


Some are convinced we’re on a winning streak,

But we missed the start. Now we’re talking

With our lawyers about a second chance.

But the winner’s already been declared. We lost.


[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf.]



the reader

Fabulousness from Lois E. Linkens

lois e. linkens

the reader.jpeg

the writer sculpts his mind-world with paper splashed in ink
he paints his spirit’s trail from front door, to chair, to sink.
wide-eyed, the reader follows – hypnotised and blind,
seduced and sucked by words on white, some gentle – some unkind.
he hears an easing voice through the hollows of his head,
led down unfamiliar corridors, and laid in unfamiliar bed
he treads unfriendly stairs, looks through windows once unknown
onto other-worldly gardens is his helpless mind’s eye thrown
as the brittle pages flicker to the story’s tender end
he grows to know the rooms and halls as if they were his friend.
then consciousness strikes – his world of words he pours outside
trembling, he tells his neighbour with a stupid beaming pride
he beckons, ’come and see! come and see the land i know!’
yet on entering the house – he finds nothing left to show.

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