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.
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.]
I called my father today and told him that his death
will give me closure.
“Why don’t you jump off the balcony
while I’m talking to you? You’ll do us all a favor,”
I said, seething with rage.
Echoes of abuse never become whispers;
the past lies mangled like the hind leg of a deer
in the mouth of a lion,
the future is as cut up as paper put through
a voice in the dark
that’s as sharp as a blade screams, “Injustice!”
But does that give me a right to become the very man
I detested growing up?
A tormented, tortured, theatrical fool,
a disgruntled, discontented, disgusting do-nothing,
an uneasy, unstable, unsettled madman.
I wish there was more to life than
looking at my shattered reflection,
I wish there was more than drowning
in a green abyss of self-loathing and hate,
I wish there was someone who’ll love me
unconditionally and help me purge the
But I’ve realized that this arid valley of dry bones
is the only place I’ll ever know.
Nitin Lalit Murali is a poet, flash fiction writer and essayist from
Bangalore, India. He also enjoys reading literature of different genres
and listening to jazz and neo-classical music. He started writing seven
years ago and art has consumed him over the years. He blogs regularly at
Fighting the Dying Light
Devika Mathur, a poetess from India is a published poetess and is a lover of everything dark and surreal. Her work has been previously published in Sudden Denouement, Visual Verse, Dying dahlia review, two drops of ink, Madswirl, The rye whiskey review among various others. Find more of her musings at https://myvaliantsoulsblog.wordpress.com
I am playing with knives again sharpening them lovingly against brown leather strap admiring the way hair splits cleanly upon the well-honed edge (Christine E. Ray)
Listen! Sounds like a violin– fine strings ‘gainst steel bow I play concerto splitting hairs (Kindra M. Austin)
I’m trimming those frayed ends sharpening those pointy convictions giving them a sharp edge a serrated opinion, ready to pierce you where it hurts you more (Megha Sood)
Cold steel on skin, I blossom, stare down the line take aim at friend, foe and fortune with my throwing knives; multiply and divide, split and survive. (Kristiana Reed)
I like a razor but xyraphi sings to me of shreds, edges, ends sweeter than any cutlery. An x is an eraser, that’s why I draw it long to keep it clean and short and shave me complication. Oh, how I love a razor! (Basilike Pappa)
There was a shadow crowd And a circle of light. Sawdust stank Beneath my feet like dirty salt hair And the thud Against the board Came like the footsteps of God. Ribbons of air and time and space Gathered round my ankles, Coils of blue light. Looping and curling and purring, They crooned my power, Sharp to draw blood from stone. (Lois E. Linkens)
the slice was white lightening lacerating flesh from bone in the moment of searing truth. I slash and gnash my teeth barbed and keen well-oiled from the feast of my rotting soul. I chop at the edges of yesterday’s sorrow but the pain! I feel it not only the blinding sting of my wayward might (Aurora Phoenix)
All the time in the world Pressing down Sharp as the obsidian Black night You relinquished me To oblivion Surviving on Insidious pain Of yesterday Tapered to the edge Of no tomorrow (1Wise-Woman)
I aim at dreams knife them as trophies on my wall. I can always take one down quench the thirst of a turbulent wound with tainted endearment from the poisoned well We dug and drained under the wing of One night. I’m in love with a stabbed dream. (Iulia Halatz)
The blade cut into the night and flashed silver against the moonlight. And even though my ears heard no sounds but the thundering of my heart, I swore I could hear the sharp metal singing it’s high-pitched tune as it sliced through the air. It slipped through my skin like it was warm butter and at first I felt nothing. I wondered if maybe it was shock or disbelief. But then the pain started. Like someone injected gasoline into my bloodstream and lit a match. I watched as the thick, red liquid poured out of the fresh wound and begged for death. And as he stood over me, he licked my blood from his dagger and smiled down at me in a show of blood-stained teeth — right before everything went black.
When I awoke from the nightmare, I reminded myself that I was alive and the true face behind my fears liked it when I called him Daddy. The only comfort I found was knowing that death came for him first. Too bad he didn’t take the memories with him. (Sarah Doughty)
Started this poem in transit between my home and manic states. Continued it somewhere between drunk sleep and barely awake. Dedicated to my darlings killed for cheap Friday night thrills, kissing in the backseat of a Chevrolet, I write this poem between being broken and telling myself it will be okay.
I write this when I’m swatting every memory of you away, stuck listening to words which wish to stay. And breathe on the pages of relationships I hope won’t sink. The fledgling fragments take flight in the bath; when I’m naked with half a glass, full and empty. This is how I write best, chasing the sun set in tepid water, foolishly believing every good thing lasts.
I wrote this poem between flowers and their glass vase, shattered on the floor like my million shards of shame. I wrote this for my loves, only for the sentiment behind it to fade, as they became ghosts in the static, FM radio waves.
And maybe this poem will see the light of day, pulled from the confines of my ebony heart. It only looks this way because I like to sit in the dark, and hide from the blue it has beaten for you. I write and I’m pulling apart the crumpled edges of loneliness while driving in my car; straddling the curb to spill the lifeblood of another three ghosts I’ve allowed to stay with me for the hour.
I write this poem from a perturbed place, between deafening silence and awkward bass. Thrill of the chase with tears down my face, facetious and simultaneously lacking faith. I write this clusterfuck in wait of something better, despite knowing nothing could be more remote.
You see, I wrote this between you and I. So even if they love me and I learn how to fly, I’ll never let go of tucking a daisy behind your ear and watching the earth disappear in your eyes.
Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet, and the creator of Free Verse Revolution. He has published several poetry books, as well as a novella releasing this July. Nicholas supports and engages in conversations around mental health and social welfare, preferring strong literary voices and self-expression to traditional narrative and poetry. He lives in Ottawa with his young daughter, where he runs FVR Publishing and works on a million projects at once.
Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.
I knew the dealer
and we chuckled a few times,
he being street and me
being neater than the rest.
I knew them once too;
back when their mamas
fucked all the daddies
and I was too much
like my mother.
I knew them, the slink
and the oils of them
spread out for the gang
banging the doors
down after the nanny
cashed her cheque
and flew home to Mexico.
He took that ten-cent
off the dollar blow
and he cut it
with bleach that burned
the high class right
out of society,
and he funnelled it too;
into dollar store bags,
variety store bags, stamped
with pink lips and diamonds,
and he cranked that shit
up 499% and we laughed
and laughed and said a toast
to those designer bitches
as we slammed
drinks on their dimes
while they bled
from the eyes
in the center of the VIP
we were too street to enter.
We lived large
in the basement
and they paid
to push in the hallways,
and now I write poetry,
and they still hit
the best of the west,
sucking and chucking
the bucks for free.
I Am A World Of Uncertainties Disguised As A Girl is available at Amazon.com, Amazon Canada, Amazon Europe, Book Depository, and other major book retailers.
Paperback, 140 pages/Published November 9th 2017 by Sudden Denouement Publishing
Nicole Lyons is a force of nature disguised as a writer, a social activist, a voice for the downtrodden, and a powerful poet with a delicate touch. She is a best selling published author, poet, and also a consulting editor for Sudden Denouement. You can read more of her writing at The Lithium Chronicles
Max states: “I write about the things going on in my life. I am a feminist, humanist, cat loving musician bound by whimsy and the incessant analysis of hyper-vigilant observations. I am obsessed with words and rhythmically woven wordplay.” We are honored to have him as a member of our tribe. He writes at Max Or Not
Sudden Denouement Publishing proudly announces the release of Rachel Finch’s stunning book of poetry, A Sparrow Stirs its Wings. Finch is the powerhouse behind the Bruised But Not Broken community on Facebook, which provides support and healing for trauma survivors. She is a symbol of hope and light throughout the world.
“Every now and then, when the world seems to be rocked in chaos and people are screaming without listening – vile words and cries for help climbing on top of and over each other – a single voice stands out, and that voice is pure in its truth and stunning in its wisdom.
Rachel Finch, and her debut book, A Sparrow Stirs its Wings, is that voice right now. Turning her heartbreaking abuse into heart-wrenching prose, Finch writes her truth and gives her strength to every unnamed victim turned survivor.” Nicole Lyons, I Am A World Of Uncertainties Disguised As A Girl
“A mark of a great poet Is the ability to make emotional connection with their audience, and Rachel Finch does exactly that.” Faye Brown, Black Orchid Poetry
Rachel is a UK based writer that originally started using poetry as a way to accurately express herself after a number of traumatic experiences in her young life. She is the founder of the online community Bruised But Not Broken which was started with the purpose to raise awareness of abuse and trauma and to provide a place of comfort and support throughout the healing process. She firmly believes that it was with the support of this community that she was able to recover from sexual abuse. Rachel is mother to four young children and dedicates her time to her family and to guiding others on their own healing journey.