Pieces of You- S.K. Nicholas

These lazy afternoons are made of bones and tiny pieces of your nose and the image of your outie belly button laced with sugar and a length of string lassoed around a tooth or it could be the moon. Depends whether we’re on talking terms or not. Gonna have a beer and shave my pubes and then place them in an envelope and send them to you sealed with a kiss plus a photograph of me as a kid back when my hair was more ginger and I was a hyperactive dick, as opposed to now when I’m just old and strange. I’ve got sunburn and I’m all out of rolling tobacco and my teeth hurt and there hasn’t been a terrorist attack in months and I’m worried that when I next take the train I’ll be caught up in one and end up as some body outlined by chalk available to view on the internet in just a click so I’m walking through this field and it’s so hot and I see flesh and birth and wombs and honey and the sea and the sea it calls to me and even though I don’t know what to say I’m sure there’s a response in me just waiting to get out so on Monday Wednesday and Friday I do these squats and pretend I’m fucking a supermodel I wanna be just like Bundy wanna be wrapped up in infamy but boredom will no doubt get the better of me and the sweet taste of whiskey is enough to render anyone dumb, especially me. Might grow my hair and blow my brains out but not before I do the dusting and drink a cup of tea while doing my best to fall off the edge because sometimes falling off the edge is just so sweet so maybe come round and fall with me. Should put this in a letter but I’m too tired. I used to be such a romantic, or at least I think I did. Now I’m just bored with everything but there are times when a little light comes through. Not often it must be said, but now and again it happens, and life feels better for it, specially when I write about your smile and how it flares in my mind like an explosion in the sky, like that of a falling satellite, or an angel kicked out of heaven for its love of mirrors and André Previn.


S.K. Nicholas is the creator of Myredabyss.comas well as author of two novels A Journal for Damned Lovers Vol 1 & 2. Both of these books are availableon AmazonAdditionally, Nicholas is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

Excerpt from Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective- Haunted House/ Nathan McCool

The doorway
has become dissociative. Things may
enter or leave without being taken notice
of in the slightest.
They will come to find the piano shuddering,
it’s teeth chattering and it’s body oddly
formed into a fetal position all huddled up
in a cocoon of drunken catharsis.
The paintings, they have become severely
bipolar and are beginning to melt
like naked candles fused to the window
looking outside and offering the false perception
that it is safe to wander between these walls. The Walter Anderson’s and the Dali’s,
the Van Gogh’s and the junkyard salvages; they
no longer know which expressions
are proper for making love, greeting strangers,
or for killing with their bare hands. And
the skeletons that hang from the
ceiling, they are entirely hysterical. They sing
long echoing lullaby’s and longer goodbyes
through a bass amp buried below them
and are often interrupted by laughter at
their small plights – their sexual organs
turning to dust and the chaffing of the
string that tethers them to this place.
Somewhere here there is a bed
plagued with anxiety and night terrors.
And on it a man with a guitar plays
a song about suicide
with a beer bottle as a pick. And any tears
in this moment, spilling even down to the
tattoos that beg you to read their ideals,
they are the purest of things; the least
haunted by disease or disorder.

I am the cracked walls and leaky ceiling.
I am the vengeful specter.
I am everything here.

Visitors are so fond of saying what resonates in this domain
is either ghostly or sibylline.
But, if you were to know the history
of this ancient vessel,
you would know it is only sublimely human
in all its love
and its capacity for great suffering.


[Nathan McCool is the dark lord over on Instagram at God Of Dregs.]

Surface Dweller – 1Wise-Woman

Prison of promises
Delusions for the damned
Lies and betrayal
Death comes in intervals
Layer upon layer
Until all that is left are
Living dead
Shuffling round my head
Knocking at the door
Needing more
Offering less
Say you will save me
Whispering I love you
Behind my back
Fingers crossed
Soul stealer
Contradictions collect
In cranial crevices
Where absurdity blurs
Redundant reality
Devil keeps me company
Tap tap tapping claws
On protruding spine
Reciting rhymes
Psalms of sacrifice
Fracturing fault lines
Interrupting time
Minutia mocks me
Days become weeks
Become months
Become hell on earth
Eroded
Dusted eyes
Search ashen skies
Stifling cries
Regurgitated hope
Assures every ending
Begets a new beginning
Rueful rebirth
I’m waiting
Gunpowder on my breath
Surface dwellers
Feign faith
While I die my last death


[1Wise-Woman: “I am living, fighting, and thriving with mental illness and chronic disease and a need to express myself. Writing eases some of the weight I carry.” When she isn’t yanking shadowy strands of leathery clumps of unconscious, and tenderly placing them into word documents, she is creating at A Lion Sleeps in the Heart of the Brave.]

Death Knell – Sarah Doughty

“Then, like a death knell, you arrived.
My monster. In the flesh.”

It was the thump, thump, thumping of your uneven steps, as you made your way in my direction. I knew those footfalls like they were alarm bells going off during a fire drill. They pierced my eardrums like thunder. There was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. And there I was, helpless to do anything about it. So I did the only thing I could.

I counted the steps — thump, thump, thump — each one growing louder. Closer. By the time I counted to ten, the night seemed darker. As if the stars closed their eyes and refused to shine. Twenty. With every beat, my heart pounded, pumping battery acid through my veins faster and faster — thump, thump, thump — until the last step. Thirty.

Then, like a death knell, you arrived. Thump. My monster. In the flesh. Darkening my doorway. It was then that my torment would begin.

© Sarah Doughty


 

[Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.]

Haunted House – Nathan McCool

The doorway

has become dissociative. Things may

enter or leave without being taken notice

of in the slightest.

They will come to find the piano shuddering,

it’s teeth chattering and it’s body oddly

formed into a fetal position all huddled up

in a cocoon of drunken catharsis.

The paintings, they have become severely

bipolar and are beginning to melt

like naked candles fused to the window

looking outside and offering the false perception

that it is safe to wander between these walls. The Walter Anderson’s and the Dali’s,

the Van Gogh’s and the junkyard salvages; they

no longer know which expressions

are proper for making love, greeting strangers,

or for killing with their bare hands. And

the skeletons that hang from the

ceiling, they are entirely hysterical. They sing

long echoing lullaby’s and longer goodbyes

through a bass amp buried below them

and are often interrupted by laughter at

their small plights – their sexual organs

turning to dust and the chaffing of the

string that tethers them to this place.

Somewhere here there is a bed

plagued with anxiety and night terrors.

And on it a man with a guitar plays

a song about suicide

with a beer bottle as a pick. And any tears

in this moment, spilling even down to the

tattoos that beg you to read their ideals,

they are the purest of things; the least

haunted by disease or disorder.

 

I am the cracked walls and leaky ceiling.

I am the vengeful specter.

I am everything here.

 

Visitors are so fond of saying what resonates in this domain

is either ghostly or sibylline.

But, if you were to know the history

of this ancient vessel,

you would know it is only sublimely human

in all its love

and its capacity for great suffering.


 

[Nathan McCool is the dark lord over on Instagram at God Of Dregs.]

‘ This mess we’re in ‘ – Collaborative – S.K. Nicholas & Samantha Lucero

 

   the lights are always on now, no one ever sleeps.

   i am one of those dreamless alien lights; one of those nobody’s cradled in the teeth of a high-rise window. my building’s a fang that pierces an eye of god. i loved you more because you turned away from me.

   i stare at my reflection until i become the memory of you; until i am become death and stones in pockets, and the formless outside in the velvet dark. you, the ghost that rushes in the corner of my eye, the reason i wear lace when it rains. i’m trying to read your mind, wherever it’s gone, but i can’t. i try to unearth the sandalwood smear of you on my walls and in between my fingers, but you’re not there. i’m not there either, not anymore.

   and so i’ll go to the hudson where they sell fire for your throat when you can’t weep or scream, where there’s bad news in the laughter and they find you floating the morning after.

   this mess we’re in will be over before it can begin.

   With a rock in my hand, I lay you down and taste the sweetness of your lips. I make you pretty and breathe in a scent that tickles me just right. With my fingers around your throat, I squeeze them tight and tell you that I want so much to believe. Among a bed of roses in a part of town others have no need to tread, I watch over you as the sun is replaced by the milk-white moon that makes you look like a porcelain doll my sister used to own. You, my beautiful secret. You, my only regret. You, the only one who knows me for how I am. Sit with me a while and hear my reasons. Give me a little time to tell you how this came to be. Speak some truth to heal these sins. Say something that will ease our passage to a place we were never meant to resist.

   With a rock in my hand, you move with such speed. Like a cat, you twist and turn as I stumble trying so hard to make it known that despite my deeds, I am indeed a good man. But the more you fight against it, the harder it is. The more you move away the closer I come until the only way I can make you understand is for you to see a part of me I try so hard to hide. Hitching up your skirt and sliding down those tights, I smear your lipstick and kiss your throat. Touching you where I feel God the most, I whisper to you knowing there will be no answer. Pulling your hair and sinking my fingers into the ground beneath your head, I hear no birds. I sense no movement at all as the world we used to know turns without us.

   This mess we’re in will be over before we know it.

   i could be the smooth arms of angrboda.

   i could hunt the heat lost in you somewhere like a tremble of life, find the skeleton key that unlocks all locked doors. i could keep one dying secret down in flames. i could birth in kerosene the chained wolf-child, your half-dead maid, an immense snake that cradles the sea. we could be the myth. we could be the end, for fragments like us to fit in life’s hands, full of dirt.

   i’m spit miscarried on grass, i’m all the things i thought, except the thing i could’ve been. i’m lost in my head, and you want me here. swallowing all six red seeds, I still starve in spring. i like it in the dark, with you believing, and you want me to believe in good men, when they would bury vestals alone with a lamp. leave me on a road that i can hitch hike to hell on and think, think… !

   think about a time in red converse. stepping on your toes just to get a close up, listen low so no one else can hear, fuck them, late night in a leather jacket and a pin with a gold tooth and vampire fangs. warning label. 2 packs of american spirits until we’re dry, and anne boelyn’s ghost in the tower of london. a grin of blood they never found on the wall. hell can be real. it’s here; but your face in my hands, watching me cry, that’s worth it.

   “time is a flat circle.”

   if we have one moment that matters,

   this mess we’re in can happen over and over again.

   With a rock in my hand, I use the other to cradle the base of your skull. You used to be my woman. You used to be my girl, but you just wouldn’t be tamed. I never wanted to clip your wings. No, I never wished to see you like that at all, but you never gave me a choice. I could’ve been your man, could’ve been that someone to watch over you when you needed a friend. I was here to give you all of this, yet you went a different way. You gave yourself to those who know only how to betray. It should never have come to this, but what was I supposed to do? Just allow it? Just let you fall further from grace? I’m not a monster, I’m a poet, and all I ever wanted was for you to know it. It was your choice to make.

   With a rock in my hand, I dig the soil with the other. You speak to me but it’s too late. I’ve made up my mind. And yet this isn’t the end. You are the seed that shall be planted. You are the nucleus of what I shall become. You will be mother and lover, and as I lay you down and watch you grow, the past and the future are already dancing on the same page. You have this voice but it needs to be silenced so I can hear what you have to say. You have this beauty but I need to cover it because others will surely come and attempt to sniff you out yet again. Y’know, I’ve never been this open with anyone but you. Never had the chance to be so close. It’s not how you wanted it, I’m sure, but with time you will understand, I can feel it in my bones.

   This mess we’re in gives birth to everything.


S.K. Nicholas is the man at a haunted hotel, alone on a snowy night, trying not to have a drink at My Red Abyss, and Samantha Lucero is the crumbling, lone grave on a hill poking out like a little rotten tooth at Six Red Seeds. ]