Excerpt from Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective- Dream catcher never understood the bus schedule/Mick Hugh

The library has been converted into classrooms for fifth-year students. Shelves emptied and rearranged to fit rows of desks, projector screens, faculty offices and the Office of Student Retention. My exam is running late to complete. I am tapping fingers on the desktop nervously rapping away. My feet twitch uncomfortably. I scribble out essays and vague answers to questions I can only half-read. I don’t have the time. I don’t have the time and this afternoon you’re boarding a bus for a move to LA. It’s your mistake; you’re my mistake: I let you mistake me. I’m coming with you. I should. I spring from my desk and let the stapled papers fly apart through the air at the professor’s head. The race is on skip the elevator and dash the stairs, leave the books behind at the counter I’ll come back for them later if they really mean that much to me. I burst out the doors and check the time on my phone – bright fresh sun, and the aluminum numbness creeping deeper in my lower gut; I know I’m going to be late. I hustle across campus and halfway there double-back the other way; in my haste I made the mistake of trying to cut through the campus construction. But all I find in the other direction are new dormitories and expansions under construction for the new Department of Student Retention and I cannot find the god damned parking lot where it used to be.

Out of breath sucking wind through the sweat and jello’d legs, the aluminum numbness has crept up and blossomed into wilting fireworks of frustration and shame – standing alone on the curb sucking wind, just in time to see the bus trail away. Just a moment too late.

Dream catcher, forever just a moment too late.

I’ve awoken at a desk. Lifeless fluorescent lighting and drool puddled by the keyboard. The office is a warm fuzz of processors and clacking keyboards. Assignments due before the evening commute home, and three hours wasted in a sleep-haze fading out and in, out and in – lonely headlights passing through fog of an empty exurban town. I am standing at dusk at the bus stop with an aluminum numbness curdling my gut. I don’t know the time. But I don’t know the time. There was something I missed, and it still runs unleashed from my grip, ten years now past my prime. I don’t know if the bus is late or if I missed its final run for the day. I may not be home tonight. I may not ever be home again

in time to pay our taxes, or to consolidate our student debt.

Or to find a house to live in,

to keep us off the street.

In time to see the kids grow up,

or in time to grow old with you,

I can’t come home again. Ten years of shame and pain puts no hope to death by stone. Alone, and ripped at the heart, I will sit on this bus stop bench and wait for the late-night bus ride back to the dreams that could’ve been.

Available at Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, Amazon Canada, Book Depository, and other major book retailers


[Mick Hugh is the creator of Mick’s Neon Fog. And an all-around bad ass.]

Minotaur – lois e. linkens

minotaur.jpeg

minotaur (lois e. linkens)

should i burn for you?
sacrifice myself for you?
leave behind my friends for you,
become something i’m not for you?
eat away my heart for you,
wrap my soul in cloth for you,
be a real woman too,
a real woman, through and through.
should i be a bitch for you?
make up pretty lies for you?
convince my mum i’m fine for you,
just because you want me to,
stay behind the line for you?
at your feet i pay my due.
on grazed knees await my cue,
desires and whims i must subdue,
i owe my everything to you.
in death, in life, i’m chained to you,
polished, prepped and preened for you,
i am the other half of you.
we make a pretty pair, we two,
a minotaur we are, us two,
man and bull, stuck up with glue.
i am the bull that leads us through,
i am the head and frontal view,
all i want is to please you.
all i want is to please you.
all i want is to please you –
and you, in turn, will love me too?
for all of our forever, won’t you?

We hope you enjoyed this classic piece of writing from the Sudden Denouement archive.


Lois describes herself as a “confused English student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins

Vagabond – Mitch Green

With an omen in an
open dress, I am stranded
south of home with her
grey weight now purple;
flushed elusive.

You can see it,
in the whites of her eyes.
The propaganda bowl,
colorless and vain;
a vagabond carved out
of frame.

Cursing curses
with reading wrists,
she is now the
maker of noise.

Aloud and allowed.

 

{Mitch Green founded Rad Press Publishing in September of 2016. He is an avid artist in visual design and literature. Published in various literary journals and magazines: The Literary Yard. The Penmen Review. Vimfire Magazine – Mitch aims to seize the narrow line between all artistic mediums.

A few of his known poetic titles are: “Flesh Phoenix” “Monsters” “The Wolves Howled”.

Offering his hand in graphic direction – his book design portfolio can be found here.

Follow Mitch and Rad Press Publishing on Instagram.}

‘for e. d.’ Lois Linkens

 

the city glitters after dark,
busy busy night-owls
shuffle and scuffle
in their white-glass nests.
and we watch,
tired eyes and heavy bags
on a faraway train

we are sexless soulmates
and brotherly brides,
platonic partners pledged
in the ink of mutual need
and searching hearts

sisters in arms,
rosy-cheeks and high-school charms;
my curly-haired comic

heads full of homework,
a makeshift skyline
of yet-to-be
paints itself across the dark,
as young love
rings it’s soon-forgotten bell

confused youth;
a cloud-grey gosling
peeks its ugly head
through the bulrushes
to see the swans;

we are cast-away boats
in stormy seas,
just looking for a place to land.


[ Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins.]

Shiny Things – 1Wise-Woman

Untied and unraveled

Grab hold of a golden thread

Scared scavenger

Ruptured revenger

Look what you’ve done

You just can’t have nice things

Pick up the pieces

Of crystal hope

And amethyst words

Woven into ruby rope

Twisted around your neck

Wrung and hung

Out to dry

Distorted and deadly

Burning throat

Sporadic heart beat

Flailing to get your feet

Back on solid ground

Due penance

For ornamental existence

Old bones get weak

Bend and break

Under the weight of hate

Burden of your broken body

Baby bird tossed from the nest

Just like all the rest

Feather bed

Skeleton head

Feeding off the dead

Rip away the drip

Seeping into my bloodstream

Coagulated dream

Unexpectedness of living

Coming out of nowhere

Opacity and silence

Fill empty spaces

Everything changes

A thousand miles away

Smiling over my shoulder

A breeze rustles the leaves

As I tuck a feather

In my shiny tiara


 

[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.]

Never Yours – Sarah Doughty

“I was never yours to do with as you pleased.”

[Trigger warning from Sarah: the following may be too much for victims of sexual abuse or assault. Continue with caution.]

My mouth wasn’t yours to silence. It wasn’t yours to fill with words that were not my own. It wasn’t yours to taste, or to swallow what you gave me. My mind wasn’t meant to be manipulated. To be broken. My emotions didn’t exist for you to dictate. How I should love you. Worship you with blind devotion. Or how I needed to fear you. My skin wasn’t yours to beat into submission. To scar like a brand that bore your signature. Or to enjoy in whatever way you saw fit. My hands weren’t yours to train. Not yours to be enjoyed like a lover’s caress. My body, not yours to educate. To move in the way you liked. To feel you in a way no child should feel. To accept your invasions like a ravenous beast only thirsting for more. Like a good girl would do. Your girl.

You might have created me, but I was never yours to do with as you pleased. I was never yours to break for life.

© 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.]

Introducing Aurora Phoenix – ‘The Uprising’

there is a primal roar

building within her

founded on the

atoms of dirt

scrounged by grappling-hooked toes

scavenging salvation

from precipice’s

teetering edge

as they curled

in orgasmic throes

of borrowed ecstasy

 

the rumble surges

up exasperated tendons

above scabbed knees

upon which they forced her

failed to keep her

despite repeated bloody

bludgeonings

 

the portending implosion

reverberates cataclysmic

through hallowed

and maligned walls

of her invaded

as yet unvanquished

vagina

 

the latent blast

rises roiling

beyond belly churning

beset with tormented butterflies

swallowed under duress

with teaspoonfuls of shame

taking her medicine

 

the gathering blast

trembles with the

accumulated heartaches

of feminine generations

spasms aortically

spurting crimson

crushed inequities

 

the impending cosmic levitation

upends flustered follicles

as lightening

bolts of righteous rage

flash incendiary shafts

from eyes and lips and tongue

 

the lacerating howl

tears her asunder

unleashes her tether

to a byzantine past

shreds constraints

denudes her quivering

purest soul

 

 


[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”]

Rebuild A Heart-valve – Mick Hugh

The rain had beaten holes in our backs and it was my idea to come here. 2,000 miles from home. You owned a Mazda and I owned a dream, and together we had $40 and no place to sleep. So we did what we always did best. We scrounged, rags and happiness up and down the sidewalk. New friends, old acquaintances, same familiar taste for bum wine. No mattress but a pile of blankets on an old neighbor’s floor but the walls were hard and hid our dirty fucking well. Drunk on rooftops, drunk in alleys, drunk in bars, drrrrrrunk in the library ‘cus it opened at 7 just after the sun and had couches in the stacks to hide our bum lovin’ selves. Towers shined downtown. Neons shined crosstown near the arena. Eyes shined tits shined cocks shined. Dreams hid behind clouds. Nose bled. Knuckles bled in drywall. Hunger struck well. Fever came to days flush red with sun baking without a drop on the promenade. Dry-out, please just dry-out. Uptown sprints to catch delivery trucks, clandestine missions lifting cases of cans. Rowdy downtown. Rowdy uptown. Rowdy ‘cross the college campus getting sex out of wild freshmen. You were talking ‘bout New Jersey and the hills you grew up in. You moved our blankets to the far side of the floor. Leave me stranded, will you, just lock the god damn door? Sail off in your pretty cloud ship, leave the wasteland far behind. You had the keys and the gas and the paycheck I couldn’t steal, a heart I couldn’t hear. I’ll guide you to the alley and watch you beg for bread. Hike up those legs and shut the god damn door. Shut the door and let me wander and close your eyes till I get back. Let me see it from a distance.

I’ll come back sane.


[Mick is a writer/editor for Sudden Denouement, as well as being creator of Mick’s Neon Fog. He has been published in various publications, most recently in Junto Magazine.]

 

bogged, buried, bridgewatered-Lois E. Linkens & Malicia Frost/Malicia’s Malebolge

I was fourteen, and starting to decompose faster

the water spilled

over the years,

over her body

like a plague of ants.

Already kneeling in the mud

I could feel my body being stretched out 

nipples aching, labia swelling

it drove its way in,

with a silent battering ram

and swords of silk.

you were the first time

I felt the touch of death 

between my legs

oh, hateful –
but grateful she was
that the stone struck when it did.

a cry of despair,
like when I was nine,
lying on the hard parquet floor of the living room
cupping my breasts,
trying to push the knots back in
I’m just a child! I’m just a child!

she lifted dead hands
in praise of her protector,
for protect her he had,
and as layers of dirt built up,

I threw rocks after boys
who came yelling my name

she pitied them,
Leave me alone! Leave me alone!
And oh,
didn’t you know?
You’re supposed to bleed

bound to lie
in pungent darkness
that she only made danker.

Year by year,
as my body sank down in the bog
I grew more and more desperate
searching for ways to cleanse myself
an orgasm,
a reckless mascara plump on the cheek,
a slit wrist,
an aching need
for affirmation
the summary of an entire childhood,
tucked into a bra

the sores on her skin
filled with soil,

all girly things are good,

the scars on her arms

bright in the black of the bog

all girls to learn how to play nicely

how to decay without a sound

compressing yourself into a fossilized smile,

a blindfold

and a constantly repeating

“yes, I forgive you”


Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and we ask you to take a second to look at more of her wonderful work.
Malicia Frost, or Henna, is a hobbyist writer and an aspiring novelist from Finland. She enjoys surrealism, sci-fi and horror, and her works often deal with mental illness. More of her works can be found at her personal blog.]

The next addiction – Bishop Hermes

aleistercrowley

The next addiction – Bishop Hermes

Oh that we create addictions

for ourselves and for others

blissful euthanasias we so leisurely strive for

oh create another so that i may

add yet one more habit to my repertoire

we deform to preserve life

as it lackadaisically slips through our hands

and we endeavor not to become statistics

yet most die to be another one

the impatience is killing me

how long shall i wait for my next addiction

[Bishop Hermes is an exceptional poet/musician who came to Sudden Denouement with strong recommendation from Sperantia Zavala. We are excited to have him contributing and feel strongly about his poetic vision and look forward to a fruitful collaboration.]