[Sudden Denouement is proud to announce that ESP (Esprambles) is now a member of the Sudden Denouement Collective. He is a powerful, unique voice and we are honored to call him one of our own.]
The black hole soul
Every sound, every act, every scene
is drowned by a sigh that still echoes
long after the hearts have broken,
the ones you left in the vacuous ruins,
lost like the howl of the proverbial wolf
that never existed except for its curious moon.
It sounds like the laughter you often hear
one without a purpose or a reason,
defying everything you stand for and believe in,
shaking the tree of your life that somehow stands,
but you keep searching for its missing roots.
A spring breeze tries to carry the autumn leaves,
those dead leaves take flight but settle around,
like undying memories haunting your busy days
and every time you close your eyes for a respite.
The stars you see are familiar
as you remember how they say
that the dead become stars,
but you know it is love, friendships, dreams
and such beautiful things in your life
that you gave up aspiring for stardom
which haunt you in your dark sky of conscience.
Unlike the dead and the buried,
the stars will die once they burn up
the last remnants of their story,
as every atom of your past gets fused,
releasing energy that fights gravity
of your implosive thoughts
and brings sanity to your subconscious.
The light beams that keep you awake
in the moonless, cloudless and sleepless nights
seem faint because you have gone distant
and probably are the vestiges of the once
bright and brilliant feelings, elated emotions
which are dying or already dead
for even light travels at a speed slower than
your ruminations and reconstructed sights
in these restless but fateful nights.
But you keep living with the knowledge
of an imminent death, vying for immortality,
you wish that everything that is you,
and that defines you, will once become a star
in the unending night and emit a light
that will hopefully meet the beams
sent by your past and resonate
before plunging into the spectacular black hole
that is the universe condensed in your ubiquitous soul.
[ESP’s writing can be found on Esprambles.]
The inspired photography of Paulo Paixao.
#paixao_bw #bwphotography #bw #photography #monochrome #monochromatic #art #suddendenouement
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
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.]