In my world
the woman is deathless
a thousand light years
to feed your god
swallow your testimony
zip up your confidence
tuck in these words
safely underneath Adam’s rib:
no you’re not
in love with me anymore,
but I still am
and when the light
of this destruction
we may have been dead
for a millennium
[Please follow Henna on Twitter @HjdPoetry. Her poetry can also be found at HjdPoetry.]
Henna Johansdotter, the goth girl next-door. Aspiring author. Monstrophile. Horror enthusiast. She writes to cope with mental illness and everyday experiences.
[Photo: Maud Gonne]
‘Rise, rise’ they shouted – ‘In the worldly affairs,
least you wish to perish in the abyss, dragon-braved one’
My meanings forged out of iron, died one after another
Smashed mine enemies one by one
My purpose coined with great intent, died one after another
Dug my enemies trenches under my walls
My dreams and visions belittled the envious scourge
Cuth the roses my enemies and mixed it with dung
My life a torturous wheel, holding guard of a diseased mind
Every day for a new illness, of mind, heart and soul
Now that I emerged from wars and battles of years’ countless toils
A spit on the pathetic without pity, desiring none
Both the enemies and windmills mock me, they disappeared.
As I withdrew with scorn from the life-disease
No one is to believe how I passed the citadels of hells
Armed enemies shattered my pride and dragon-spine
Princes of hell and corpse-juices of witches poisoned me
Black Brotherhoods brought terror and contaminated
What was the remnant of a cadaver’s love
If belief would be of any worth to me,
I would say: ‘Believe it or not, my epitaph is not for thee’
A dead man gazing with a triumphant smile.
A kill that hunted for years now after it has won
Simply wants to forget and hang, a rope, a tree
And a whisper: ‘May Gods take me back, I hated all
may this life be-gone!’
‘May those yelling ‘rise’ be cursed, along with
vermin obstructing the call’
What a jesterly demeanour: To promote and to destroy
A mortal shelled coil that without fire and scales
Is half-way a crippled ape with a pretense of a Deity
Yet until this life lasts
With wrath, scorn and loathing, disarmed vampyric corpse and a weakling’s mind (good enough for Tyrants, but not for me!) I need to find my inner tranquility.
They Say What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
Isn’t gaining character a process?
A cancer diagnosis will flaw you
Your daughter who doesn’t visit breaks your heart
Having an authority break the law against you
makes you vulnerable
Ears that won’t hear you defeat you
Impunity can torture you to death
Despots ignore human rights
Your voice ignored breaks your spirit
Hope deferred makes the heart sick
Pining for love will break your heart
A confidence betrayed destroys trust
Rejection wounds the soul
No boundaries make you insecure
Solitary confinement can make you insane
Terrifying experiences give you flashbacks
No affection makes you anybody’s
Rape will twist you inside and haunt you
To grow stronger we need time and space
Being listened to and accepted
Sometimes many of these things come to one person
Inside they want to die, give up the ghost
They seem strong from the outside
But you cannot judge a book by it’s cover
Chrissie Morris Brady
Chrissie is much traveled and has lived and worked in several countries. She gained her degrees in psychology at USC and worked with recovering addicts in the LA area for four years. She now lives on the South Coast of England where she writes, having worked in more therapeutic roles. Chrissie has been published by Ariel Chart, Bournemouth Borough Council, Plum Tree Books, Mad Swirl, Anti Heroin Chic, Dead Snakes, and other publishers of poetry. Her articles appear in Novel Masters, Democracy Now! and other newspapers.
The Invention of Arson
Who started the fires? Many are drawn to the flames – men and women
in equal number. They clamber to get closer. They take off work to travel:
the flames climbing higher, engulfing, filling the skies. The smoke gets in
everything; there are ashes in the houses, on the carpets. Many stand still
and hold out their tongues. They tear off their clothing. They crave the heat. They’re excited by the smell of ruin. They’re delirious.
The fires mean trouble. The people can’t tell the difference
between fireworks and flames. They welcome the fires with tribal dances.
The women bare their breasts. It excites the men. The logs in the fireplace
have rolled into the living room but the people are too drunk to push them back. They’re laughing. They’re excited that something’s finally happening.
They’re so bored the thought of burning the house down makes them giddy.
The gals want their backsides smacked. The men get close
enough to the flames to singe their body hair. The women shriek.
The parents no longer watch the children. Many die running into the flames. The parents shrug. What’s the difference? The children carry fiery
logs about and throw them into the cars. They take hot sticks and poke
out each other’s eyes.
The parents don’t know what to do, but declare with a sense of urgency
there is nothing to be done. It’s all beyond them; it’s fate.
They move closer to the fires. They’ve burned all their clothes.
They have nothing on. They push the children away and commence
to fornicate in the ashes. The men relieve themselves on the hot coals.
Many children catch fire.
They move back to the caves when the fires burn down. They remove
the paintings from their frames to use the wood as kindling.
The museums are ransacked. Libraries are emptied. They desperately
raid the theatres for wood from the stage floors. In short order,
there’s nothing left. The fires die out. The men and women crouch
in their earthen holes and cry.
Some brave women venture out but quickly regret it.
Most hide themselves deep within. Much if not all is lost.
The fires burn out. When there was fire and music,
nudity seemed sexy, but now the women are cold.
They feel ugly like insects. The men don’t caress them;
they kick them. The sexes are not equal.
[David Lohrey is from Memphis, where he grew up, and now lives in Tokyo, where he teaches and writes for local travel magazines. He graduated from UC Berkeley and then moved to LA where he lived for over 20 years.
Internationally, his poetry can be found in Otoliths, Stony Thursday Anthology, Sentinel Quarterly, and Tuck Magazine. In the US, recent poems have appeared in Poetry Circle, FRiGG, Obsidian, and Apogee Journal. His fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Dodging the Rain, and Literally Stories.
David’s The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th-century literature, was published in 2016, while his first collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was released in September 2017. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Collective.]
[Art courtesy of @cypherchthonic]
The original vision for Sudden Denouement was a platform for divergent art. Literature will continue to be the focal point of SD, though we will be featuring artists who share the vision for pushing the boundaries of the status quo. We will be accepting submissions from visual artists. Any submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also be reached through DM at instagram.
Today we announcing first of 5 photography contest finalists. The others will be announced and be narrowed to top 3.
[My name is Brad Skiff, and I travel the backroads of Eastern Washington State looking for abandoned farms and homesteads. I like to photograph my discoveries with an infrared filter on a Canon 70D.]
by David Lohrey
One doesn’t think of poets as money managers.
It must be nice to see one’s work issued by the government.
You have to give her credit for it, she made an industry
out of having had a hard time of it, even if today she lunches
with the likes of Oprah and Jessica Mitford.
Had there been enough good parts, she could have
made a fine actress. She would have made a powerful Josie
Hogan, you know, from that play by Eugene O’Neill, or that
haunting wife of Macbeth, or, better yet, Hamlet’s dear mother.
Instead, she became a bestselling poet.
Something about her reminds me of a circus, a tented
carnival with a snake-man called Scaly and a three-breasted
lady. Step right up and hear her tale of unparalleled woe.
Avoid the door on the right, or you might get her confused
with the tattooed midget in yellow tights and his aqua tunic.
Tell the tale of your miserable past: how
you were beaten and mistreated, and how
you experienced unwanted advances. Why not
explain once again what it was like to have to eat
barbecued bologna on Christmas morning?
Now there’s human suffering.
The royalties mount beyond anyone’s count.
Rake it in while it lasts. There’s the 5-bedroom townhouse
in a fashionable part of Harlem, the mansion down
in swampy Carolina, a wee property along the Hudson
and, rumor has it, a pied-á-terre in a posh section of Paris.
The newest new book is just coming out in a new
waterproof edition. The text, it is said, glows in the dark,
so it can be read underwater, or you can get one that floats.
It is scheduled to appear later this month in coordination
with her new show, Big Woe, the new Broadway Musical.
Have your say, as they say, but be sure to count your earnings.
Some might say it is too much to dare. When you wear earrings
and things from Tiffany’s, it gets harder and harder to ask for
sympathy. You might wind up like some of your devoted readers,
much too rich to notice a little girl in need of affection.
David Lohrey’s plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and Lithuania. In the US, his poems can be found at the RavensPerch, New Orleans Review, Nice Cage, and The Drunken Llama. Internationally, his work appears in journals located in the UK, the Netherlands, India, Malawi, and Hungary. His fiction can be seen at Dodging the Rain, Terror House Magazine, and Literally Stories. David’s collection of poetry, MACHIAVELLI’S BACKYARD, was published by Sudden Denouement Publishers. He lives in Tokyo. You can read more of his writing at Writing, Musing, Poetry
by Jonathan O’Farrell
How can I describe this left hemispheric madness?
Well try this,
first came delicate filigree amoeba,
followed by blue green algae?
But less blue, more green
with a hint of burnt umber?
It remained so for sometime.
I hoped to bode it farewell.
I bade my time, waited.
As per usual you wake up one morning and it’s,
it’s gone! Oh, what was that?
But no, it came at me again,
bloodged, bludgeoned itself into my conciousness;
thicker, inkier and then locusts
as if from afar,
covering from horizon to horizon,
up and down,
above and below.
Locusts, swarms of them
doing what swallows do,
only not so prettily.
They stir up in their wake indeterminate fog
and it banks and it swirls
and it impinges.
And so I rest upon my one, good, in inverted commas,
right eye and it works harder
and I work harder,
maintaining slices of routine.
amidst all those banks of fog.
Morningtide, I pray, eveningtide, I pray.
I think for now, that’s all I can do
and hope, the good hope.
“I guess you might describe me as a semi-nomad, at the moment . . . and in the moment, I might change. I am transitioning into a creative life, blogging, photography and, significantly, the publication of my first two photographically illustrated poetry anthologies, this year.”
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