Amoebas, Locusts, Fog

by Jonathan O’Farrell

How can I describe this left hemispheric madness?

Well try this,

first came delicate filigree amoeba,

followed by blue green algae?

But less blue, more green

with a hint of burnt umber?

It remained so for sometime.

I hoped to bode it farewell.

I bade my time, waited.

As per usual you wake up one morning and it’s,

it’s gone! Oh, what was that?

But no, it came at me again,

bloodged, bludgeoned itself into my conciousness;

thicker, inkier and then locusts

as if from afar,

covering from horizon to horizon,

up and down,

above and below.

Locusts, swarms of them

doing what swallows do,

only not so prettily.

They stir up in their wake indeterminate fog

and it banks and it swirls

and it impinges.

And so I rest upon my one, good, in inverted commas,

right eye and it works harder

and I work harder,

maintaining slices of routine.

Maintaining fronts,

amidst all those banks of fog.

Morningtide, I pray, eveningtide, I pray.

I think for now, that’s all I can do

and hope, the good hope.

Listen to spoken word reading of this poem

“I guess you might describe me as a semi-nomad, at the moment . . . and in the moment, I might change. I am transitioning into a creative life, blogging, photography and, significantly, the publication of my first two photographically illustrated poetry anthologies, this year.”

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Upon This Hill – Christine E. Ray

upon this hill 2

From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble online, and other major online book retailers

the pages of
the calendar
remain unchanged
old
outdated
too much effort
required
to remove it
from the wall
I no longer wear
a watch upon my
pale wrist
no need to measure
minutes
hours
by the passing
of a hand
before my face
hourglass sand
trickles grain by grain from
fractured glass bulb
onto the copper table
I write my name
upon the surface
a eulogy
time has gained
a boneless quality
become a black sea
I no longer swim in
a twilight land
where stunted sunflowers
dwarf versions
of their former selves
strain on anxious stalks
reach for stingy rays
of an indifferent sun
their petiolate leaves
grab hungrily
at my bare feet
calves
anchor me in place
I stand frozen
for an eternity
before I sink slowly
silently
into cool loam
my pockets
lined with pain
stuffed with
memory shards
fragments of dreams
the fragrance
of crushed rosemary
lemon balm
weigh me down
I am so tired
so very tired
it is so lovely here
I surrender
to the stillness
the peace
this moment offers
and I. . .
let go
my blood will
water these flowers
the calcium of my bones
will nourish this soil
tender new shoots
will wrap around the
trellis of my ribs
new life will
flourish here
butterflies
luna moths
adorn this burial mound


You can find Christine lurking about Brave and Reckless and Indie Blu(e) Publishing.  She is the author of Composition of a Woman and The Myths of Girlhood.

The knight of infinite resignation – Nitin Lalit Murali

The knight of infinite resignation

I’m the knight of infinite resignation. The puppet on a string that never grasped the abstract like Abraham, the champion of faith did. I came close and perhaps almost touched faith, but vultures of guilt swooped down and plucked my flesh, leaving me screaming in pain and angst. Now, a walking cadaver, one of the undead, I’m lost to apathy with an occasional paroxysm of acute melancholia gripping me. Waves and waves of ditch-water green sorrow crash against the surface of my calloused heart, softening it for a moment, before receding, leaving me mute again like a forgotten chipped-off bar stool in the corner of a discotheque.

I’m a fatalist, the puppet soft and humanoid, but not free. I dance to the whims of a vengeful sovereign when a fantasia of dour, dolorous and despondent notes play. My dance is awkward, clumsy and slow like a virgin attempting to make love like an expert when he knows nothing. Trash, used red bull cans, pants I’ve shagged in, and cigarette buds litter my room. The stench is nauseating, and it parallels me. Pornography takes up most of the space on my computer. The women come, and the women go, finding the sadness initially alluring and then repugnant.

I don’t have cuts on my wrist because I don’t parade my misfortune with embellishments like the pseudo-depressed, ‘there’s a blue elephant in the room,’ status message posting for the likes, ‘I’m getting by,’ people do. I am who I’ve become, and there’s no remedy, and even if they put me in a time capsule and send me six years back when I looked good, and watched the stars, and fathomed the distance between them with a quixotic mind, I’ll end up becoming the man I am now.

I know horror intimately like Whitman knew his bedfellow. I’ve seen, I’ve heard, I’ve screamed, and I’ve run. Now, a melange of prescription medication keeps me breathing, but doesn’t stop me from asking if it’s worth it. The sunrise kills, and the sunset terrifies. I snatch sleep between the aubade and the curtain call, but even then, demonic dreams haunt. I’m not your source of inspiration. I’m not your Joel Osteen, white Chiclet toothed preacher of this being your ‘best life,’ but neither am I a prophet, or a soldier of wrath. I’m death personified. Not the taking of lives death, but the death that comes for a few who still breathe.

So, I don’t ask for your sympathy and empathy is never given without a clause. I only ask for your understanding.


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

 

Sudden Denouement Welcomes New Collective Member Nitin Lalit Murali – Us

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We’ve been through the same routine, you and I:
me, coming home in a prescription haze with slurry speech
and a numbing nonchalance,
and you, broken and infuriated
to see me ‘waste my life away.’
But what’s there to ‘waste away?’
Hasn’t life heaped piles and piles of sorrow on us
like arachnids poured on a Fear Factor contestant,
lying in a tub?
You yell. You scream, ‘I’m leaving you!
I’m not going through this again!’
and in that moment of semi-consciousness
when my mind only whispers – the thoughts circling my mind
like the breeze from a slowly moving ceiling fan –
I barely nod, and that agitates and burdens you more.
Soon, you aim arrows of curses at my core,
hoping they’ll pierce my callousness,
make me admit that I’m a promise-breaking hypocrite
who crosses his heart
before plummeting into an abyss
so dank and deep where speech
fumbles and becomes a string of neologisms,
and sudden blindness possesses
like the abrupt fading-to-black ending of The Sopranos.
But what you don’t see are
the moments I spend with myself,
leaning against the bathroom wall,
cigarette in mouth,
tears streaming down
because of the guilt
that unsettles, unnerves and unmans.
But that’s no excuse.
That’s no justification for the man I’ve become
after seeing a perpetual Autumn
with the sights, sounds, and smells of decay.
I looked for Spring
or even a Winter that will urge me to find warmth,
but sorrow clandestinely woke me one morning
using mind control,
making me a zombie on his leash,
made to go, ‘Woof!’ when he commanded.
The only way out was to poison myself.
To escape, and so, I did,
imbibing pill after pill,
taking a page out of
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Moshfegi
and flushing our marriage down the toilet.
Sorrow didn’t mind because he knew
he still retained control
and I’d only constructed an illusion of escape.
But I’ll reiterate that
there’s no excuse for the pain I’ve caused you,
there’s no justification for the hurt,
there’s no remedy to who we’ve become,
and since, I’ve always been a coward,
there’s no final act on my part that will paradoxically
offer you catharsis and anti-catharsis,
so, leave now,
and don’t look back in grief, anger or angst.

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

A Stable Life

by Mick Hugh

For three years I’ve sat up in my tree,
in the shade of dreams,
and the roots have slowly
been drying up.

For three years catching wafts
of the vinegar and rotted fruits,
of our American Dream,
recessive trait of responsibility.

Who knew at the age of 22,
hot-blooded crotches
and itchy skin for sunshine,
that a Fortune 500 would be their Jubilee?

What pederast had it out at 18
to be a financial manager
at corporate Walgreens?

The treelimb you sit on breaks,
and the fall takes a few months.
Rat cages and sychophants
fed twice as much for listening.

The heroics of monotony.

Remember your days
reading textbooks at your desk,
group projects and algebraic thinking:
Little Davey you’ve been cultivated for this.

No need for you to sweat callouses and rough hands,
they’ve got another desk for you.
Pear-shaped where the body-fat masses on their seats,
little economic engines-that-could.

Genetically modified flowers
blossom without sunlight,
without color or stamens;
a horse without nuts
makes an easier ride.

Have a house,
have a kid,
be well-fed.
Pad your stable.

The American frontier
is a corral on Main Street,
Maple Street
and daydreams of Carnival Cruises.

Masturbate on lunch break,
a few white tears
in a bathroom stall.

Life lived,
life lost,
100 million limp-necked stiffs
have cordoned-off unnecessary risks.

Welcome to your stable, kid.



Mick Hugh is a writer for Sudden Denouement, and the groundskeeper at Mick’s Neon Fog.

Cohen, Cave, and Joy Division Crash This Bar

by Nathan McCool


I gather up abandoned bottles kissed with

cherry lipstick and cigarette scents – bring them to my lips and eavesdrop on the white noise inside.

“Come on back in, one more time, for the encore of “The Butcher Boy”; come in for

the closed viewing of PSR B1919+21.”

And this is when the boredom of barrooms

comes alive.

Right at the moment I emit pulses

that tell the masses I am not part of them. I’m sending you a signal, you tiny, little world.

See me here spinning and burning in my own

mind. I hop on stage to sing you a melancholy ballad and follow it up with “Tower of Song”.

That’s where I am. Another hundred floors below Hank Williams

and screaming to tell you,

“It’s the loneliest down here.”


Nathan McCool is a member of Blood Into Ink and the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. You can find the haint, dusk, and sizzling of his concrete snares on his blog, Mist of Melancholia.

Bubble Gum Under the Table-David Lohrey

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How many canes can one observe without finally exploding?

He walks with a cane and smells like a mouse.

He has food caked on his sleeves.

There are stains on his cuffs. He smells of urine and old socks.

His wife attacks him; she berates him.

The old man will die of emphysema.

My mother promised to leave. “Why would you go to his funeral?”

She didn’t want a priest or a minister, she wanted show girls and fireworks.

She wanted to humiliate him. She ended up disgracing herself.

She’s glad he’s dead. Glad he’s gone. “Hallelujah.”

 

He begs not be resuscitated, but she forgets.

He wants to die in peace, why not?

She is asked but is silent. The paramedics smash out his teeth

and jam a pipe down his throat. He lives for days.

He keeps a lock on the door of the den. He runs in there to hide.

She’d slap him in the face. She’d kick him. She’s a drunk.

She gulps a few glasses of white wine and wants to tell her tale.

It’s a story of abandonment, an empty nest. “Get out!”

She refuses to get his meds. She tells him to get them himself.

He can’t walk. He can’t drive. She is too busy: “I have a life, too!”

 

He is deaf but she accuses him of faking.

It is true that when we talk about money, his hearing comes back.

Suddenly, his hearing is perfect. When I mention money,

he understands the figures.

He smiles when he gets a bargain. Money talks.

When she complains, the batteries stop.

He can’t make them work. He turns them off.

He’s grown tired of listening.

Sixty-one years. That voice. The rage. The badgering. The nagging.

She wants him to wipe the shit off the toilet: “You clean it!”

 

Unhappiness is intolerable.

When does it turn to hate?

Why does it turn to hate?

 

She drinks white wine from a tumbler.

She calls her cousin in Kingston

and says she hopes he’ll soon die.

He is 67 but looks 80.

She wants some love before she dies.

She wants some male attention.

“I thought we were going out for dinner. I’ve been waiting.”

“You’re drunk. I can’t go out with you now.”

She can barely stand and stinks. She’s been drinking all day.

Booze makes her hate. It brings out the rage, the loathing.

 

She is ready to die to make a statement.

Oh, it boils over, like a chemical reaction: quick lime and water.

She overflows with self–hatred. It is volcanic.

My arrival sets the fuse. The hatred can’t be contained.

She belongs to the IRA. She is ready to die for a cause.

He sits on the floor in front of the heater giving instructions,

making judgements.

The body goes. He is cold.

When she says she has a friend who has offered to go down on her,

I take my cue. It is time. Where is the exit?


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.com. He is also the author of Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing.

Excerpt from Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective- all the beds are made/samantha lucero

when did you keep god under your tongue,
like
an uninvited pill
from that plastic nurse behind a wall,
masked
and reaching out to hand you an orange
mood
in a paper cup made in L.A.

for whom did your milky eyes blur,
or from whose unseen stare did the water
of your ribs buckle and hide
when you knew that worship was a mask we
wear,
that rituals and skin
give us a tendency to forgot how to say no?

i was born in a summer cage that sold
whispers to me
in body-sized trash bags, flung at donation
trucks where you wait and
where you drive up and pry a hole, pull out
unwanted secrets you can take home
and cherish as yours from other people’s
unglamorous lives; a boy scout’s book
on how to make a fire.
a girl scout’s book about how to cook on it.

my heart’s in a shot glass that says
‘i ❤ san francisco.’
on the floor by a fireplace
in his basement.

and i think that’s where i swallowed ‘god.’

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


[Sam does sixredseeds.]

Leaden Skies- Olde Punk/RamJet Poetry

leaden skies

Come

Come and lead

Me on

Past the sallow

With leaden eyes,

Leaden cheeks

And leaden mouths

Heaving leaden words

At our backs beneath

Leaden skies

Come, come and find me

Down in the gutter

With the elixir still heavy

On my ragged breath

Call me to the gathering

With your voice like

Tambourines, drowning

Out the drawing of midnight

And the ringing of bells, pulling

Me towards the grey spaces

Where the Ankou waits

My golem is coming closer

Dead eyes seeking to take mine

Come, come and guide me

To the places where your sun

Blinds the darkness I wear

My funeral shroud already in place

I clutch it selfishly, growling curses

I will resist you, as you know I must

For I dwell in the houses of sorrow

And she is a lustful creature, despair.

Still I pray for you when lucidity

Finds me.

To come

Come and lead me

Far away from here.

Image courtesy of Pinterest


Olde Punk is an editor of Sudden Denouement and the curator of Ramjet Poetry.  Hockey, food and punk rock junkie.  Total sci-fi/fantasy geek.  He writes, right?

1. – samantha lucero

a city map is sewn in the scalp;
+++looped in the goat-milk, or spit out,
tongued in silky blades of stomped
+++down grass.

i’m crowned with high-pitched fingers
+++clenched in fur.
in octaves only shades can bear, i simmer
+++in their holy cradles.
i become the roughened corner of a mouth
+++grinning at its own joke.

there, the receding home in ranch-style polaroid’s of a dirty blond stranger and my mother squinting in the sun; some home not mine or yours.

ventricles, which
+++in a woman’s left grows tiny,
and in a man’s more supple.
+++i keep alive by milking goats.

some like lifelines, some like ulcers
the city streets are braided in my hair.


Samantha Lucero writes at sixredseeds.