Introducing the “I Knew. . .” Response Collaboration

Being a member of a writing collective has many benefits. One of these perks is the opportunity to write with other amazing writers, which is both creatively stimulating and challenges us to write our best work.  Collaborations are something we do very well at Sudden Denouement and we have some very exciting collaborations coming up for our readers in August in honor of reaching our second anniversary on WordPress.

Many of our collaborations are planned but sometimes the most amazing things can happen organically among writers. Earlier this week,  Kindra M. Austin wrote a piece for Blood Into Ink, which inspired Aurora Phoenix to write a response poem for Whisper and the Roar, which then inspired a group of really talented writers to keep writing.  The Editors at Sudden Denouement think that this informal collaboration is something really special and we would like to share this group of powerful poems with you today. We hope that you are as inspired by them as we were.

If these amazing pieces inspire you to write your own response, please submit it to submissionssuddendenouement@gmail.com. You may just find yourself published on SD!

Are You Fucking New Here?- A Weyward Sisters Collaboration

You dropped by today

dissected my verse

thoughtfully pointed out

all the ways I could

smooth out my edges

improve flow

to slide more gently past

your discerning eyes

you must be fucking new here

if you think

I was asking for it

not a fan of unsolicited advice

my “friend”

I like my truth

raw

bloody

with a hint of lemon for acidity

that stings going down

(Christine Ray)

Oh, hello,

I didn’t see you there

although I can already tell you like to stare,

as if it is your obligation

to females everywhere.

And everywhere you seem to be.

You’re the type who lingers in keyboards,

assaulting our letters

with ones you would never dare to speak.

You’re the type who visits galleries just to sigh,

point out the vulvas in the petals

and tut at a landscape you’ve never visited.

You’re the type who slumps way down in the theatre,

feigning sleep during her monologue

because it is ‘feminist and shit’, and yet

she’ll be the only one on your mind

when you reach down tonight.

Oh, how do I know this? 

Why, because you always come back for more.

For more of my letters, pretty letters,

your coeliac stomach cannot wait to reject.

(Kristiana Reed)

You stab me with a misplaced comma’s edge,

expect me to bleed ink, but I blossom gold

leaf, like pages of a holy tome, and your

lines of prose crackle in my burning gale.

I am more word than woman, you see

and I am truth, your haunting just ghost

of all those who said no, who pushed me

down stairs of paragraphs, but I got grit,

I grew wings of paper, from you I fly.

(Allie Nelson)

hey you there –

with the pursed lips

and furrowed brow

click-clacking

your studied

critical analysis

of these driblets

of my life’s blood.

you must be fucking new here

if you mistake

the penning

of my soul

upon the page

as a request

for literary critique.

this, here

is the juice of my carotid

scrawled with fingertips

as I apply

tourniquet and poultice.

your worded attempts

to package my agony

into neat and tidy

boxes

are ill-advised salt flakes

poured into my wounds.

(Aurora Phoenix)

Soft upon the scene

He entered

Mushy odorless rambling

Entailed:

“Darling, how are you faring?

Your words are dancing in my soul

Your star shines upon my dreams.”

Going after me

Feeling my every words’ step

With a presumptuous club

White and black penned music

That clawed silence to my ears:

“You are the brightest…

Fade away, you heartless beast!”

(Iulia Halatz)

i picked up my pen and out came all of me.
it poured and poured,
filling space with untrained words and anarchy,
sharpened love, feelings bent,
a keenness breathed without judgement,
ink balled with mercy
into something of me that might speak in truth.
but you sat and held your cup,
and watched it spill.
you put it in your cabinet
with a yellow note: ‘could do better.’
i would those curling lips
might taste the poison in the teacup
between your eyes;
that is where the horror really lies.

(Lois E. Linkens)

You must be new here, because tact and common decency seem lost on you. You see, it is not okay to call a woman by any other name than the one she has given — so don’t call me Baby and I won’t call you Tiny. It is not okay to insert yourself in my life and assume I need your sage advice — if I want to know, I will ask. Do not presume to know what I am thinking, or what my heart is trying to say — because you can be damn sure that if I wrote the words, I meant each and every one of them. I’m not perfect, and I never claimed to be, but I don’t need a lecture on semantics or grammar — I’ve had more than enough schooling and experience to know my own mind. But, if you really are new here, remember this one simple rule: if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
(Sarah Doughty)

You enter my house and

manhandle my verse. You

wonder why my

heart spurts crimson with

every heavy beat—

pressure me for information.

Why so mocking?

Why so angry?

Why the foul language? Bitch,

you must be fucking new here

if you expect an

explanation.

Cos I don’t answer stupid

questions.

Grow a brain, and

get a clue.

(Kindra M. Austin)

 

Deontological Doubts – Aurora Phoenix

a1cf8e49b5dfca41ae035e3b414e7734--silent-film-stars-vintage-romance

Deontological Doubts

I run barefoot
past the bronzed statues
idols of deontological divination.
I am a rule-following rebel
tracking muddied toes
between the pews
in which I have long since
refused to kneel.
I gave up self-flagellation
for Lent
the year I was sixteen
though those reflexes
to don needless
sackcloth and ashes
twitch, regenerative,
and the hair shirt
constricts
my free spirited
flights of fancy.
I labor
toward fictional salvation
yoked under twined heritage:
an inexhaustible work ethic
protesting
my non- Protestant roots
while I lug the chiseled tablets
writ with my Catholic guilt.

I have walked the straight and narrow
heel just beyond toe
slow and steady
concentrating
hands held just so
contriving delicate
equilibrium
quivering –
the fallen branch is wobbly
surging water below
frigid, if not deep.
that limb I went out on
felt a mission
no lark nor miscreation.
there was vine-shrouded rot
a shattering fracture
my immersion
was fire and ice
and long cold days in hell.

my moira is yet spinning
in threads of silken sterling
burlap intertwined
shimmering as it scrapes
defenses from my skin.
invisibly tethered
to the spindle and its webbing
I meander on my way.
there is play in the line
so I run barefoot
past the patinaed busts
effigies of deontological deities
laughing with windswept hair
trailing violet petaled poems.

[Aurora Phoenix is a wordsmithing oxymoron. Staid suburbanite cloaks a badass warrior wielding weapon grade phrases. Read more of her confabulations at “Insights from Inside.”]

 

 

 

Subterranean Novellas – Aurora Phoenix

he is sleeping
fetally curled
as the narrow bench allows
hairily bedraggled
a forlorn green bean
hopelessly lost in a crisper corner.
insensible to the hubbub
lurch oblivious
sea legs unconscious.
his story has uncracked bindings
though I inescapably
draft this chapter
unimaginatively entitled
“homeless”
subtitled
survival strategies for bitter blustery days

they wear their privilege
like their pancake
precisely overdone
accentuating blemishes
it purports to mask.
like spanx in overtime
containing wayward bulges
they convulse in paroxysms
suppressed schoolgirl giggles
as they selfie mock him –
these southern belles
similarly lionizing
life’s half century
in the city
that will never sleep

do I,
in the crushed velvet burnout
that is my poetic soul,
bear closer resemblance
to an urban misfit
escaping frigidity
cloaked in congealed
eau de shame
than I do
the pungently judging
glam squad clique
clicking and cackling
in cringe-worthy
mean girl couture?

I hope,
fervently as the guillotine bound
damned
pray for salvation
that I do


[Aurora Phoenix: I spent over 2 decades as a clinical psychologist, prior to the decimation of my world when I was suddenly incarcerated 2 and a half years ago. My writing was born in that caged existence – not a choice but a soul-saving necessity.  I write as Aurora Phoenix at Insights from “Inside”]

Fall Flings – Aurora Phoenix

th (4)
Fall Flings – Aurora Phoenix

autumn
fickle lover
you tease an aging summer
fill her weary lungs
with the heated breath
of your lost abandon
toss your fiery colors
crinkled casts
of your passionate embrace
at the feet of her sun-soaked journey –
gold threaded vermillion carpets
cushion the heartache
of her grand exit.
your fingerling breezes
caress her flushed brow
dapple sour apple kisses
upon bronzed shoulders
stencil erotic promises
beneath the sinews
of her marching thighs.

autumn
tantric temptress
you entice a nubile winter
fill his cavernous pockets
with polished talismans
of your smoke- breathed vitality
denude yourself of finery
an offbeat up-tempo
strip tease
shivering limbs outstretched
quivering in anticipation
of a lovers’ blanketing.
your razor nailed gusts
race in vixen bursts
grazing his arched spine
entice his withered furor
with amber beams
of half hooded coquetry
lingering languid
upon the clouded steel
of his stealthy advance.

[Aurora Phoenix: I spent over 2 decades as a clinical psychologist, prior to the decimation of my world when I was suddenly incarcerated 2 and a half years ago. My writing was born in that caged existence – not a choice but a soul-saving necessity. I write as Aurora Phoenix at Insights from “Inside”]

Nom De Guerre – Collaboration of A. G. Diedericks & Aurora Phoenix

 

in art
I come alive
when I put my pen down
it’s all uncharted territory
obfuscated scriptures
obstruct my script
with indecisions
and honed inhibitions
I vomit
unintelligible words
ineligible to decipher
paraplegic
cryptic
paralysis in my analysis
a jargon
too far gone
from consciousness
I thrive
in poetic nooks
inhaling the sustenance
of literary lore
I shrivel
when my fingers
relinquish their perch
click-clack pecking the keys
I lose my footing
skid and wander
meandering Neanderthal
grunting monosyllabic
monotonous monotone
bungled from gnarled
arthritic fingertips
aching hips
collide coccyx
cogitating
insensate sensibilities
incongruous
in a house of congress
homo sapiens
barred from sapience
I am a refugee
seeking refuge
in the allure
of a nom de guerre


 

A.G. Diedericks is a cinephile in the midst of being gentrified into a bibliophile.. Colonized by mediocrity; He moonlights as a clandestine writer. You’ll find him in a dark alley over at the cuckoo’s nest; where he often lays to rest in Cape Town, SA. ]

&&&

[Aurora Phoenix: I spent over 2 decades as a clinical psychologist, prior to the decimation of my world when I was suddenly incarcerated 2 and a half years ago. My writing was born in that caged existence – not a choice but a soul-saving necessity.  I write as Aurora Phoenix at Insights from “Inside”]

Evolution – Aurora Phoenix

I was a corporal corpse

disposable

I thought I was a woman

flawed

yet substantive

solid

quivering with fear

clotted cream cellulite

I had plotted a course

plodding

methodical

 

the world split up

and I was no more

not woman

not human

no longer actual

factual

incarnate

just the antagonist

in a surreal nightmare

 

I ceased reviewing

past portfolios

threw wide the sashes

shuttering the future

I am no longer myself

not woman

not human

incarnate

I am elemental

bounteous

essence of munificence

reviving as I flow

redolent

of jasmine and petrichor

scented essential

 

 

 


 

[Aurora Phoenix: I spent over 2 decades as a clinical psychologist, prior to the decimation of my world when I was suddenly incarcerated 2 and a half years ago. My writing was born in that caged existence – not a choice but a soul-saving necessity.  I write as Aurora Phoenix at Insights from “Inside”]