The Shining.- S.K. Nicholas

The soothing sounds of the waters of her womb and the sight of fresh snow to ease the dull pain of a hangover not unlike so many that have gone before. Stovington blues and a horseshoe nebula just below her bellybutton. Below. The great below. Like the guy from King Crimson, Adrian Belew, and those fingers of his that work a guitar as if it were a wet clit upon a bed of leaves slipping down the stream of life. Leprosy and the stagnant waters of a womb that’s seen plenty of action but never known true love. Tennis balls down fallopian tubes and the steps it takes to walk to the moon and the feel of a searching tongue gliding around my crown until it’s time to taste a strange wonder. Strawberry kisses and the blah blah blah of a poorly heart caught between the thumb and forefinger of an ex-lover who’d be better off dead. A witch in a bathtub and scratchy pubic hair that gives me a rash and this neck is yours and what’s yours is mine and this wine is here and I am there and the lights of elsewhere shine bright for a while before drifting as they so often do. Damp hair and painted toenails and stretchmarks that speak to me of birthmarks and the shame of a woman who doesn’t want to be a woman because men are like the gunk between sweaty toes and yellowed nails broken from attempting to dance the dance of life but failing miserably. Maybe another glass of the good stuff followed by sketches of bruises between milky legs and the tears that cling to a slight chin before dripping down to the nip nips and the right buttock or maybe the left I can’t remember and I don’t quite care. Lake. As in Greg Lake, the guy from King Crimson who sings Moonchild to me in my dreams. More womb. Free drinks at the bar before these bony fingers of mine slide all the way in. Bourbon in the glass. Some reflections. Mostly old. Many faded. Leaves. Cobwebs. Deadlights. Inner fears and redemption that never comes. A pack of matches to light a fire between us. A road that comes and a road that goes, this way and that, from beginning to end, always, and forever. Yours sincerely, some kinda illusionary.


S.K. Nicholas is the creator of Myredabyss.com, as well as author of three collections of prose: A Journal for Damned Lovers Volumes 1, 2, & 3 (available on Amazon.) Additionally, Nicholas is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

Jesus and the Wolves- Kindra M. Austin

Amazing Grace! How deaf—
silence,
wet wool wrapped ‘round
my head.
I’ve been saved, but not by you.

Jesus is just alright—
won’t sleep over,
he complains of bellyaches and
flies home early.
Maybe my snacks are too bitter tasting.
I’ve given up sweet wine.

My blessings are colored black and blue;
they come with the taste of dirt,
and the blood of gnashing teeth.
My blessings sing like a choir of wolves—
alive inside my rib cage,
I’ve saved myself.


Kindra M. Austin is a very sweary indie author and editor from mid-Michigan (you can find her books here). She’s also the co-founder of Blank Paper Press, a founding member of Indie Blu(e) Publishing, founder of publishing imprint, One for Sorrow, and a writer/managing editor at Blood into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. Austin cut her poetry teeth in April, 2016, and joined the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective in 2017. You can find more of her foul mouth at poems and paragraphs.

To Quote Walt Whitman

by Mick Hugh

 

whitman

Are there pastorals in a pixel?

I’ve heard it said so.

That a perfect moment holds life’s memories…

yet the playback waits for death.

 

No better than the world

in a meek man’s hands:

show me the roses growing naturally in the graveyard,

or a romance with a wick for the years.

 

We can get high enough

if we run the old Buick

with the garage door shut.

 

We can get high

walking the Lincoln Tunnel,

or gasping for breath

from a Newark overpass.

 

A thousand office faces

find their dreams in computer screens,

still glowing when the day shuts its lights.

Wither the aortic valve,

just from a lack of use.

 

Lazy eyeballs,

cataracts,

myopic Coke-bottle glasses.

The smoke-stacks in a Cezanne.

Mesothelioma

in the gold mines of a wedding ring –

are we done yet?

 

Febrile seizures on a death-bed

awaken his famous past:

canyons in the skin

that ran the red of roses.

 

He’d take his books for walks

till his legs got lost,

down by the waterfront,

down Washington Street.

 

The clamor of half-built high-rises,

soot of the tent towns

under the highways:

the fast clacking of sharp shoes on the sidewalks,

a briefcase to withstand the bullets.

 

Strange creatures that lurked down the streets,

mange and tendon and quiet whisper.

The dog with chopped ears

pawed the Plexiglass shell,

and whimpered,

as the clerks and the lawyers brisked past.

 

A daisy grew in a pavement crack.

A daisy grew and the seasons churned

on a playback twice as fast.

Stop.

 

Stuck at a stop in the traffic-thronged street was a truck,

hauling concrete to the next empty lot, being filled.

The driver could barely be heard:

the hum of idling traffic,

the overpasses rumbling above;

 

beneath the sounds of airplane thrust

and the debates of World News Tonight,

the truck driver,

red faced,

barely heard,

shouting out,

“I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass!”

 


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


 

Dyserotica-Basilike Pappa

He wants me to play dead in a clearing on Hymettos, under the open sky. I lie down on a flat rock surrounded by anemones and chamomile, and he spreads my hair in a fan shape.You are so pale,’ he says, as if he sees me for the first time. He arranges my limbs in different positions, and I can assure you his touch is clearly academic. He walks around the rock to look at me from different angles, talking all the time about aesthetics. His vowels are precise, his sigmas soft and his nus ring of the best education money can buy.

He drags a finger over the childhood scar on my knee, asks how I got it. I could invent a heroic story; but the rock is smooth, the sun gracious, the breeze carries the scent of thyme, so I just tell him the truth: I don’t remember. He’ll think I’m lying anyway.

His finger now follows my veins, starting from my wrist and traveling upwards until he reaches the web of angry blue that spreads on the inside of my elbow. Blood test, clumsy nurse. I don’t go into details. This is all about the skin, not what’s happening underneath. There is a stinging gleam in his eyes when he asks if it hurts. His thumb presses slightly on the bruise; I give him an exaggerated flinch and he withdraws. He suspects that if he really tried to make it hurt, I’d be making ribbons for my hair out of his face.

He lies on top of me, fully clothed, flat like a plain. ‘Pale,’ he says, ‘cool-skinned and with a heartbeat so faint it’s almost dead.’ Mouth against my ear, ‘Vrykólakas‘ he whispers. Even though his breath is warm, his sigma snakes through clenched teeth and bites. A tiny muscle twitches on my upper lip.

The next moment I laugh so hard and wide the mountain echoes; birds stop their chirping and take flight. ‘Impale me then,’ I say, shaking with laughter. ‘Why don’t you?’

He rolls away from me, thinks we should be going. I don’t do him the favor though before I show him by my own hand what an orgasm out of sarcasm is like. When I’m done, I put my clothes on with deliberate slowness – a reverse strip tease. Then, without another glance at his faint, lifeless face, I take the path down to where we left the car. He follows like a good boy.

It’s a quiet winding drive down to the city. He keeps his eyes on the road; I look out the window. As we reach the outskirts of Kessariani, the sky starts to pulse. Gold flows into the blue, making it transparent. Tides of gold over the white of buildings and sidewalks, pink glinting off side mirrors, glaring off glass doors. We stop at traffic lights. From the car next to us the first notes of Debussy’s Rêverie unfold, and we look at each other. We smile luminous. Smooth and easy. Together. And I think I feel. I think I know.

He wants to take me home; I say I’d rather walk.

We promise to call each other soon, but we won’t.

As a gift.


 

Basilike Pappa lives in Greece. She likes her coffee black, her walls painted green and blue, her books old or new. She despises yellow curtains and red tape. She can’t live without chocolate, flowers and her dog. Places she can be found are: kitchen, office, living room. If she’s not at home, I don’t know where she is. You can find Basilike up late with a notebook in the Silent Hour.

Pieces of You- S.K. Nicholas

These lazy afternoons are made of bones and tiny pieces of your nose and the image of your outie belly button laced with sugar and a length of string lassoed around a tooth or it could be the moon. Depends whether we’re on talking terms or not. Gonna have a beer and shave my pubes and then place them in an envelope and send them to you sealed with a kiss plus a photograph of me as a kid back when my hair was more ginger and I was a hyperactive dick, as opposed to now when I’m just old and strange. I’ve got sunburn and I’m all out of rolling tobacco and my teeth hurt and there hasn’t been a terrorist attack in months and I’m worried that when I next take the train I’ll be caught up in one and end up as some body outlined by chalk available to view on the internet in just a click so I’m walking through this field and it’s so hot and I see flesh and birth and wombs and honey and the sea and the sea it calls to me and even though I don’t know what to say I’m sure there’s a response in me just waiting to get out so on Monday Wednesday and Friday I do these squats and pretend I’m fucking a supermodel I wanna be just like Bundy wanna be wrapped up in infamy but boredom will no doubt get the better of me and the sweet taste of whiskey is enough to render anyone dumb, especially me. Might grow my hair and blow my brains out but not before I do the dusting and drink a cup of tea while doing my best to fall off the edge because sometimes falling off the edge is just so sweet so maybe come round and fall with me. Should put this in a letter but I’m too tired. I used to be such a romantic, or at least I think I did. Now I’m just bored with everything but there are times when a little light comes through. Not often it must be said, but now and again it happens, and life feels better for it, specially when I write about your smile and how it flares in my mind like an explosion in the sky, like that of a falling satellite, or an angel kicked out of heaven for its love of mirrors and André Previn.


S.K. Nicholas is the creator of Myredabyss.comas well as author of two novels A Journal for Damned Lovers Vol 1 & 2. Both of these books are availableon AmazonAdditionally, Nicholas is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

Fio Country Kitchen and bar- Aakriti Kuntal

A tangent across day. A tooth, a pointed tooth. Setting against the creased loaf of olive skies. A finger slips into the thread of dusk and reaffirms its own existence. A moment escapes and the tender pockets of clouds roam in the mouth. Rudiments and ash. Nothing is quite as spectacular, as beautiful as that which has ceased to exist. That which roams neither in memory nor along the eye but traverses into the unknown, the uncertain joy that sweetens the corners of the dreaming mouth.

An unnamable leaf twirling, the continuous passage of time across bones, across flesh, across eye. A day conveniently forgotten, carelessly strewn, a day, now nowhere to be found, neither desired not abandoned, a day curling around the round ear, the listless flute of being.