Vicki Wilson “Sleeping Beauty”

Once upon a time
Along a path I wandered
As a fallen leaf does wander
Lain upon a stream
… as though dancing
… as though careless
… as though young
Wherein dark woods I stumbled
Ensnared by fallow spindle
Which bade me kneel my sacred ground
And I bent my back upon the point
Until impaled… and unbeknownst
Cursed with waking sleep
Stitched shut within a shroud
Despite the mirror and the mist
Muted
And subdued
And fifty shades of greys
Bleeding into grey
Like some tawdry love story
If tawdry is worn and caked with grime
And the love story… benign
And expected
And engrained
In glass funnels
Always upended
With the perpetuity
Of a spinning wheel
Each turn bought with youth, all but spent
Until you kissed me
Full on the mouth.
Like a slap.

© Vicki Wilson

I am an amateur poet, published author and professional technical analyst… all of these things mean I basically solve puzzles for a living, and to keep from dying. I know this because I died once. Metaphorically. Six years of a slow death by industrialised decision making. In the end I was so numb to living I ceased to exist. But burn-out has a silver lining, you wake up and all you have left is steel and the rich black of sticky charcoal to make your mark. I am still learning how to hold a pen, how to form words into a living thing, but my scratchings are mine, they are made with the corpse of who I was. I offer them as evidence I exist.

I have recently published a children’s book – written and illustrated by myself – under the banner of dragonflypublishing. You can find me there writing my next one: https://www.facebook.com/dragonflypublishing.au.

Henna Johansdotter “Nebula”

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In my world
the woman is deathless
stellar gazes
delayed by
a thousand light years
don’t forget
to feed your god
swallow your testimony
and
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
reaches you
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.

The Invention of Arson David Lohrey

fuller

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.]

 

Static

by Nitin Lalit Murali

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

the shredder,

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

anger out.

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

Doping in shadow

by Oldepunk

doping in shadow

is it love or just thirst

I’m feral, impotent

turn, turn, turning

I am a quark

I am nothing until

counted

all the feels, like Lana,

so wretchedly exquisite.

razor-bladed surroundings, blank

faces pass so fast they blur

into Van Gogh ukiyo-e

hey you, still life

scrape away this Vernier scale

leave mass alone to ponder

weight, levitate

expensive conversations

feed the souls of our lonely

bottom feeding in retro

too young to know better

too old to care

bite into that scripture

mad dog driving

rushing home to….screen

divert, deviate, masturbate

unchained, infringed

so many fences

out of dollaz

but take no quarter(1 of 4)

doping in shadow

when you get this down, push

no matter the cost

is it hate or just hunger

you are unbroken, potent

let us begin

to explore(abhoreadore?)…..love or hate

thirst or hunger

in the end, we will

know.

introduce me to your

particular kind of damage

I like to hurt.

let’s do it in the light.

you can carve

your scars onto me

so you don’t feel all alone


An old punk trying to make sense of what I see and hear and think and feel. Words pulled from the ether. Introverted agoraphobic explorer.  Hockey and food junkie(snob).

Editor, Contributor and supporter of Sudden Denouement, a literary collective.

image courtesy of Pinterest

The noise of this brain

By Devika Mathur

And so I crumble in my own jaw line

Leaking from the iris,

A stoned mahogany stuck

Beneath the frivolous sky,

I lie like a pond, open and scarred,

Rummaging through your eyes,

To seek something that belongs to my lip.

I fail.

I fail the second day as well.

My mind talks pills and potions

A volatile adamant touch of burps.

A ripple lost and secured.

My mind is insane, forever.



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

Sharp- A Weyward Sisters Collaboration

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)

Between You and I-Nicholas Gagnier and Kristiana Reed

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.

Excerpt from I Am A World Of Uncertainties Disguised As A Girl: Designer Drugs-Nicole Lyons/The Lithium Chronicles

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

pendulous plumes- Max Meunier

solitude sleeps
at a slow summer’s wallow

in madness
I muster

to miss you

will lost,

summoned chimes

in the clasp
of our past imposition

we splayed

into static imposters

what life is
in laughter

when farewells are left

and release
rends
but loose-leaded contrivance

returned
us to dust

swept

and rebelled

as the sun swore its vestigeof vengeance

the west burned

to weakness
before we could leave

sable clouds came
to wrest

and I
in this clement

caressed none


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