Modern Heat- Mick Hugh

What are these ghosts that hide in our dreams? The smiling beasts that stick in the shadows while we sleep? A bed sopping sweat in August heat, fuse blown, waking up to hangovers in the middle of the night. Reach for the bedside reservoirs of Excedrin. Reach for the bottles of water beneath the mattress, reach for the joint half-spent in the ashtray. Pace the living-room, pace the kitchen. What are you doing here? This city has us in its grinder. What are we doing here? Looking for dimes on the sidewalks, tallying our dollars and paying student debts to the bar. We’ve lost interest in the good life, ferris wheel of office jobs and part-time gigs. Counting days to eviction, reading beatniks by candlelight, fucking ourselves raw flushed with wine and the ache that everything spent is never fully paid for: smiles full of good teeth, bank tellers who don’t post Closed signs when we’re next in line, maybe a home we can have a dog in. The simple things: to forsake the verdant lust of the jungles, the rush of air into the mouths of caves buried for endless ages in the nights of our cities; like every fool to tell ourselves the horizons are forbidden, to enjoy such simple assurances against inevitable death: a blender, a functioning television, prime-time dramas and a car with four tires. Hide me in your bosom: we feel safest naked and wrapped in the sweat of our quickest moments. Liquor bottles in the cabinets, liquor bottles in the freezer. Short memories of verbal abuse in the sweltering third-floor apartment, cancellation notices tacked to the walls. Grab your purse, doll, we’re going to the bar. We’re going to the bar to drink until the earth becomes what it is, fleeting and vague and full of promises we can only keep to our hearts. We’ll see the faces in the stars and the beauty of strange conversations, beauty of transients we meet in the streets. And when we’re done and have had our fill, to sleep heavily and pleasantly in the flea-infested bed we share, soaked with sweat, August heat, and the crushing teeth of this god-damned city of fear.

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

Time and Sticks

By Aakriti Kuntal
Time and Sticks
My legs elongate
into uncertainty,
their uneven shapes masquerading
a rather even formlessness
Prickly clouds hang
with shaven heads
and Clot
the artery, the pace,
the rhythm of this slovenly existence
I tap the round edges of my calves
and meet the rising color of age,
a darkened maple hue,
accumulation of multiple days
cemented boundaries of blurring worm cells
fountains of tension and pain
Occasionally I think
I could bury myself in space,
Swallow vacuum like food and create a gaping hole,
a minute, a day, a lifetime
Anything that spells ‘ Okay ‘
Occasionally I think
I could burn onto the side table
and nothing will take notice
not the cold sheen of blue curtains
not the clocking lights in my room
That nobody will take notice
And suddenly I will be sliced into two,
two equally nonexistent dimensions of time and space

image courtesy of Aakriti Kuntal

Aakriti Kuntal is a 25-year-old emerging poetess from the country of veritable colors and stratified rainbows, India. A Network Engineer by profession she has been writing for over a year now. She enjoys nature, music, all things geeky and all things art.  Aakriti writes for the Writings of Aakriti Kuntal, and her work has been published in 1947 Literary Journal, Duane’s PoeTree blog, Visual Verse and Indian Periodical among others.