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.]

‘ This mess we’re in ‘ – Collaborative – S.K. Nicholas & Samantha Lucero

 

   the lights are always on now, no one ever sleeps.

   i am one of those dreamless alien lights; one of those nobody’s cradled in the teeth of a high-rise window. my building’s a fang that pierces an eye of god. i loved you more because you turned away from me.

   i stare at my reflection until i become the memory of you; until i am become death and stones in pockets, and the formless outside in the velvet dark. you, the ghost that rushes in the corner of my eye, the reason i wear lace when it rains. i’m trying to read your mind, wherever it’s gone, but i can’t. i try to unearth the sandalwood smear of you on my walls and in between my fingers, but you’re not there. i’m not there either, not anymore.

   and so i’ll go to the hudson where they sell fire for your throat when you can’t weep or scream, where there’s bad news in the laughter and they find you floating the morning after.

   this mess we’re in will be over before it can begin.

   With a rock in my hand, I lay you down and taste the sweetness of your lips. I make you pretty and breathe in a scent that tickles me just right. With my fingers around your throat, I squeeze them tight and tell you that I want so much to believe. Among a bed of roses in a part of town others have no need to tread, I watch over you as the sun is replaced by the milk-white moon that makes you look like a porcelain doll my sister used to own. You, my beautiful secret. You, my only regret. You, the only one who knows me for how I am. Sit with me a while and hear my reasons. Give me a little time to tell you how this came to be. Speak some truth to heal these sins. Say something that will ease our passage to a place we were never meant to resist.

   With a rock in my hand, you move with such speed. Like a cat, you twist and turn as I stumble trying so hard to make it known that despite my deeds, I am indeed a good man. But the more you fight against it, the harder it is. The more you move away the closer I come until the only way I can make you understand is for you to see a part of me I try so hard to hide. Hitching up your skirt and sliding down those tights, I smear your lipstick and kiss your throat. Touching you where I feel God the most, I whisper to you knowing there will be no answer. Pulling your hair and sinking my fingers into the ground beneath your head, I hear no birds. I sense no movement at all as the world we used to know turns without us.

   This mess we’re in will be over before we know it.

   i could be the smooth arms of angrboda.

   i could hunt the heat lost in you somewhere like a tremble of life, find the skeleton key that unlocks all locked doors. i could keep one dying secret down in flames. i could birth in kerosene the chained wolf-child, your half-dead maid, an immense snake that cradles the sea. we could be the myth. we could be the end, for fragments like us to fit in life’s hands, full of dirt.

   i’m spit miscarried on grass, i’m all the things i thought, except the thing i could’ve been. i’m lost in my head, and you want me here. swallowing all six red seeds, I still starve in spring. i like it in the dark, with you believing, and you want me to believe in good men, when they would bury vestals alone with a lamp. leave me on a road that i can hitch hike to hell on and think, think… !

   think about a time in red converse. stepping on your toes just to get a close up, listen low so no one else can hear, fuck them, late night in a leather jacket and a pin with a gold tooth and vampire fangs. warning label. 2 packs of american spirits until we’re dry, and anne boelyn’s ghost in the tower of london. a grin of blood they never found on the wall. hell can be real. it’s here; but your face in my hands, watching me cry, that’s worth it.

   “time is a flat circle.”

   if we have one moment that matters,

   this mess we’re in can happen over and over again.

   With a rock in my hand, I use the other to cradle the base of your skull. You used to be my woman. You used to be my girl, but you just wouldn’t be tamed. I never wanted to clip your wings. No, I never wished to see you like that at all, but you never gave me a choice. I could’ve been your man, could’ve been that someone to watch over you when you needed a friend. I was here to give you all of this, yet you went a different way. You gave yourself to those who know only how to betray. It should never have come to this, but what was I supposed to do? Just allow it? Just let you fall further from grace? I’m not a monster, I’m a poet, and all I ever wanted was for you to know it. It was your choice to make.

   With a rock in my hand, I dig the soil with the other. You speak to me but it’s too late. I’ve made up my mind. And yet this isn’t the end. You are the seed that shall be planted. You are the nucleus of what I shall become. You will be mother and lover, and as I lay you down and watch you grow, the past and the future are already dancing on the same page. You have this voice but it needs to be silenced so I can hear what you have to say. You have this beauty but I need to cover it because others will surely come and attempt to sniff you out yet again. Y’know, I’ve never been this open with anyone but you. Never had the chance to be so close. It’s not how you wanted it, I’m sure, but with time you will understand, I can feel it in my bones.

   This mess we’re in gives birth to everything.


S.K. Nicholas is the man at a haunted hotel, alone on a snowy night, trying not to have a drink at My Red Abyss, and Samantha Lucero is the crumbling, lone grave on a hill poking out like a little rotten tooth at Six Red Seeds. ]

 

Guest Blogger: Sook Samsara, “Driving into the Sun”

Driving into the sun
Hands over my eyes like a child
Afraid of the future’s big face in mine
Playing games of peekaboo and scream
Natural causes working always incorrigibly behind the scenes
Bringing knees to concrete
Staining out the colour in my cheeks like mum’s washed jeans
Feeling the movement of the bitumen under me
Measuring time by how the white lines merge to one
Life recapitulates death
Recapitulates life
And again
There’s no such thing as time
Just the body falling back to dust
Eating itself alive
The best bits first and then hungrily the crust
Inner mechanisms causing scabs of ugly rust
In the destruction of husked cells
The days have gone quick
—I guess I binged on them too


 

[My name is Sook Samsara and I’m an icon of the universe. I reside in the year 2017 within the confines of the Australian continent. If anyone cares to find me they can look into the darkest part of their shadow, the part that’s cast in the middle of the night when you’re standing under the bathroom’s halogen after waking up from a dream of falling. You can talk to me there. I am a man and the hourglass has already been turned. I am aging without grace or respect. I have never managed to successfully escape the demon’s that rely on me like useless friends. I am worthy of love but have just temporarily forgotten why. I write poems and upload them to https://koalabeartea.wordpress.com When I’m not writing who am I? Just another scared boy.]

Guest Blogger: This sunflower wakes starved for light and rain’-S Francis

This sunflower wakes starved for light and rain.

Its shield edged with razor blades.

Its eye dried to spitting seeds.

Starved beyond satiate, dug up and burnt

Far from the compost bin, no utility to be found.

No better than a weapon that cannot harm. No worse

Than a flower that forgot to count its steps to the sun.

 

This soil wakes starved for rain and weeds.

Its womb dry like beached sand.

Proud rocks pulverized by a persistent tide

Into stubborn grains sticking to feet being cleaned

By the one needing to be saved. No nutrient to be found.

No better than a garden that died fallow

Suffering the relentless beating of a lonely sun.

 

The sun wakes starved for seed and dirt.

Its rays linger too long wanting to be expected.

Trapped under chemicals denied existence

Creates wealth inside a tomb we will all be buried.

The compost bin will not save us.  No hope to be found.

Nothing better than an apocalypse to redefine the vision

Of this sunflower now replanted starting to count its steps.


S Francis writes at SailorPoet and is the creative alter ego of a career naval officer.

Diorama-Max Meunier/Dissociative Void

i stepped into a diorama

walking through pellucid clouds

 

the air was tight

sky was shallow

voices, still, in static freefall

 

the light of day was overshadowed

jilted, lumbering eclipses

 

an atmosphere so stifling

 

like starfish lost in the sahara

 

fear had strung the leash that tethered me

to the abandoned mine

 

overhead were expectations

looming like the unseen eye

 

quietly, i moved below

like fetid water seeping

from a broken fridge at midnight

 

had i drawn their consciousness

my words would have become subverted

 

so it was, my tongue did stay

 

never would such thoughts again

beset my addled mind

returning to the ocean and the sand whence i arose

 

for i could not recall my name

 

every eve as death awaited

 

watching from a borrowed window

 

perched upon the impasse

 

of the broken wing of time


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 Meunier Dissocative Void

Am I Still Here?/Jasper Kerkau & Nicole Lyons

jn1 (1)

Emaciated by tortured flowers,
Bored expressions of expired emotions.
Stinging, charred words
dangling in thick air,
poisoned by expectation
Withered and violated
by meaningless conversation
he speaks softly,
vapid illusions
she lingers,
listens,
slowly decaying—
death beckons

I am still
here, pacing
through doorways
under a fluorescent sun.
My battle
cries flat,
pulled to hang
grotesquely
from cracked lips
plied into
an accommodating smile.
I am still
here, existing
behind shadows
inside a false twilight.
Or perhaps
I have eclipsed.
I am still.
Am I still here?

They don’t see me
swallowing knives as
they dance and laugh,
popping balloons while
I ingest their poison,
burning with acidic words
stinging the back of my throat,
I smile and nod to the world
look past the back-slapping
and soft kisses,
I disappear while they dine
on superficial conversation,
slivers of gold mixed with
trivial condiments smeared
over their delicacies.
The belching laughter hides
my diseased thinking,
the self-loathing that is divided
unequally.
They don’t see me
in the weak hours, meandering
down hallways with funny hats,
withering in their jovial retorts,
longing for someone to share
my portion, to starve themselves
on the nothingness I stab with dull
knives
They don’t see me dying, emotionally
decayed, fumbling in the dark places,
longing for an understanding embrace, but
there is only nothing, bitter nothingness.

Nothingness greets me
with twisted smiles
and happy laughter,
pouring from a mouth gagging
on the truth, and I feel again.
I feel the cold chill of terror
and death coming,
to raise the hair
on the back of my neck
as if I was a cat,
arching before
an offensive growl,
low to the ground.
I will spring and fall
into this abyss,
dance circles around
nothing, sway naked
with death, down
the scuffed floors of these halls,
writhing to the beat
of the screams they buried
in my head.
And I will arch my back
and throw my head
high
enough to drop
this slick sickness
from within and leave it
in the bones of this place,
of their place,
and it will ring,
through the walls
out and in
to the pockets
of every soothsayer
and handshaker that has fed
off the fat
of my back.


Jasper Kerkau is a managing editor and writer for Sudden Denouement and editor and writer for The Writings of Jasper Kerkau.

Nicole Lyons is creator of The Lithium Chronicles, as well as being an editor and writer for Sudden Denouement. As always, we are honored by her presence.

Deaf – Howl Davies

I came back for the silence,
for the roots that were reclaimed
after being torn out the earth
a dozen times, it’s a lonely place,
but that’s all I really look for,
the slack jaw greeting of the mute,
the sense of nothing to hide
like a glass house filled with ghosts,
the kind that don’t frighten me,
there’s a tone deaf dial tone
humming next to my first marital bed
from the last time I was here,
and I keep it close,
for now,
blind to the haram
of undisclosed queries,
away from those constantly
trying to know one another,
but no one knows anyone,
ever,
that’s just life.
I’m better here,
in this oasis I’ve built
for myself, with the shrine
on my fathers deathbed
which I still don’t touch,
I’m breaking the silence
with a kick at the door,
or the drop of a glass,
just to ensure I haven’t gone deaf.

 


[Howl Davies is the ringleader at The Sounds Inside.]