Glass Ceiling – David Lohrey

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Anya: she’s a cheerleader for the downtrodden.
I know because she’s ambitious.
The higher she wants to go, the more she cares.
As she fills out applications, you can hear her crying.

Oh, Anya, how she weeps for the poor.
She wails for the disabled. She loves
above all else to wag her finger. She prides
herself on her outrage, she thrives on indignation.

What Anya craves is power. She longs to join
Mothers of the Disabled. After distributing
pamphlets to the masses, she’ll drink toilet water.
She’s on the same wave length as the desperate.
She hangs a portrait of Mother Teresa over her bed.

What the fuck, she wants to be President.
She’s determined to get that promotion,
enough to hug a leper, but first she’ll read
to the blind. She’ll distribute clothing to the homeless.
She wants street cred; it’s the only way to the top.
She wants to be compared to her idol, Lady Di.

Not so long ago, the poor piano player was told
to try drums. Today the little girl is told to keep playing.
Anya has seen to that. The fat girl is encouraged
to join the ballet. The not so very bright boy is sent to law school.
This is the world she hopes to dominate.
The triumph of empathy is the next big thing.

There’ll be no stopping her. There are billions to be made off
mediocrity, a thousand times more than what’s been
made off talent. The triumph of failure. She’s tapped
into the voice of despair. Today the losers are on the move.
Everyone gets in. They’ll get a certificate for breathing,
a degree for trying.

They’ll attend graduate school on Skype from prison.
No one gets left behind. By the year 2029, 89% of the
American people will have a Ph.D. Now that Anya’s
President everyone on earth can attend Harvard; they’ll
learn to turn their despair into dread, like Franz Kafka.
The American dream is fulfilled; everyone’s a fool.


 

[David Lohrey is the author of Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing. He is also an editor for Sudden Denouement and a mentor for me personally – Jasper Kerkau]

David Lohrey’s Machiavelli’s Backyard

David Lohrey's Machiavell's Backyard

Sudden Denouement Publishing is excited to announce David Lohrey’s collection of poetry Machiavelli’s Backyard. Lohrey’s poetry is rife with dark humor, biting social satire, and paralyzing honesty. His work illustrates that now more than ever, in a world overrun with vapid pop culture, shortened attention spans, and loss of a collective sanity, there is a need for voices that speak truth, spreading light in the darkness–poetry is alive! All is not lost.

Lohrey is a brilliant artist, a visionary with a keen command over the English language, an ability to make fire out of rock and wood. His collection is available on Amazon and The Book Depository.  October 1st, his book will be available on Amazon Kindle. A pre-order is available for the Kindle version.

If anyone is interested in writing a long-form review, please contact me for a copy of the book. In the process of publishing, I have learned that reviews are an important part of the process. I would ask anyone who purchases the book to go to Amazon and Goodreads and leave a short review.

Jasper Kerkau

Co-Founder Sudden Denouement

 

Jasper Kerkau talks with Dustin Pickering about Rana Kelly, David Lohrey, and Sudden Denouement

Dustin Pickering, of Transcendent Zero Press, and I were interviewed by Z.M. Wise. We discussed Dustin’s new book Frenetic/No Contest,  Rana Kelly’s Superstition, and David Lohrey’s forthcoming book of poetry Machiavelli’s Backyard.

Please check out Z. M. Wise’s YouTube Page, as well as Transcendent Zero Press.

Staff Picks – David Lohrey

I don’t want the staff to pick for me.

I go to the other side of the store, looking for a good remainder.

I don’t even like getting books for Christmas.

I don’t want anyone to make a selection for me.

I don’t want to wear underwear bought by my mother.

I prefer to cut my own meat.

I don’t want to smoke a cigarette lit by a stranger.

I don’t want to wear a tie that’s been chosen by a friend.

I don’t want to use a fork that’s been in someone else’s mouth.

I can’t share a tooth brush, can you?

I’m like Madonna: if it were up to me, I’d just as soon sit on a brand new toilet.

I’d just as well not flush for you; and whenever I forget, I regret it.

I’d just as well clean up after myself. And I sure as hell don’t want to clean up after you.

I don’t want to smell another man’s breath on my wife, but that’s something else, isn’t it?

I’m sorta funny that way, but I’d prefer not to share my cookies.

I’d just as well leave my leftovers left over, and not picked over.

I like being on my own.

I never liked tearing my sandwich in two, not even for my friend.

I never liked it as a kid when another kid mooched my potato chips.

I’ll take the check, just the same. Thank you kindly.

I don’t want to be alone, but I want to be left alone.

I don’t like it when someone sips my drink or wants to try my dessert.

I couldn’t bear it if my wife ate my ice.

I just don’t trust a man who can’t dress himself. I’m just saying.

I’d prefer to wipe my own nose.

I don’t want anyone to pick things off my plate. I’m like a dog; I snarl.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll get back to work.


 

[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and he is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. His latest book, The Other Is Oneself: Postcolonial Identity in a Century of War: 20th Century African and American Writers Respond to Survival and Genocide, is available on Amazon. A book of his poetry, entitled “Machiavelli’s Backyard” is soon to be released.]

First Look: Machiavelli’s Backyard by David Lohrey

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I just received my proof copy of David Lohrey’s new book Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing. It is beautiful book. We will have copies available in the next week. It is a very exciting week for SD. I would like to think those who have purchased Rana Kelly’s book Superstition. We will have the Kindle edition available any day now. We will also be giving away copies of both books. Though we have a lot to learn, we are on our way to becoming a serious publisher of divergent literature. This process has been the culmination of a year’s work. It could not have happened without the love and support of so many wonderful writers/editors.

Jasper Kerkau

Rana Kelly’s New Book Superstition

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Rana Kelly’s New Book Superstition

I have just received proof copy of Sudden Denouement’s first book Superstition. Rana is the author of Until Her Darkness Goes. We anticipate having the book ready for publication in the near future. I am very excited for Rana, who is a brilliant writer and a good friend. We will do a pre-order as soon as the book becomes available.  David Lohrey’s book of poetry will soon follow. The Sudden Denouement Anthology is being work on as we speak. I am very excited about the transition to publishing. I am so blessed to be in the company of so many wonderful writers.

Jasper Kerkau

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Tokyo Express: Poem from Machiavelli’s Backyard by David Lohrey on SD Publishing

Tokyo Express – David Lohrey

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Tokyo Express

That man there used to be my father.
I recognize those blue-veined arms on that corpse riding the
train with me from Shimokitazawa to Chitose-Funabashi.
That’s the corpse of my father, I swear to God.

I recognize his receding hairline and his pale skin.
It even has curly hair and wears glasses. That’s dad,
all right, sitting there beneath the sign for special seating.
That’s exactly where he’d sit if he were alive.

Dad saw himself as disabled and in some ways he was.
He was an emotional cripple, that’s for sure.
He flew into rages over nothing.

I once got up the courage to point out there were no other cars on the road but he was cursing. He was ranting. He looked out the window and stopped. When I was eleven, he’d have turned around and smacked me on the head. He was always threatening to trounce me.

Dad was a bully. When I was little, mother asked me to get dad an aspirin to go with his pickled herring and his dry martini. Years later, dad once said, “After two martinis, I’m not afraid of anything.” I like that.

Like a lot of monsters, he had a heart of gold. Like Frankenstein and all his monster friends, he scared the neighborhood children but felt lonely. Like many bullies before him, what he needed was a blind man to make
him a cup of tea. It was precisely because people were not blind that he hated them.

Oh, but how well Edward Albee understood him. What he wanted above all else was love: L.O.V.E. Just like an alcoholic, but he didn’t drink. No, his father drank enough for two generations. He once said, “You think you’re a big shot, but you’re nothing but a big shit.” I like that, too. I used to pick cashews out from father’s dish of mixed nuts. Amazingly, it didn’t make him mad. It amused him.
I did that from his lap.

That old Japanese guy sitting across from me reminds me
of my father when he was alive. The old man there looks
very thoughtful, looks intelligent. My father, too, had that look. I wish I did.

That man’s flesh is as white as a frog’s belly, so pale I can see his blue cheesy veins. I could see my father’s, too. It made him look frail. He’d get cross but with no power. He became pathetic, especially when he smelled of urine.

It’s hard to control other people when you stink.
It’s impossible to run the show when you’ve sprung a leak.
It’s hard to frighten your son when you have to wear pampers. Fear goes but love lasts. Now there’s a line for Machiavelli’s Prince. I learned that from my father. Or is it the other way around?

From the forthcoming book of poetry Machiavelli’s Backyard via Sudden Denouement Publishing.

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