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.

Say Yes-S.K. Nicholas/A Journal for Damned Lovers

Nose on nose on a balcony that overlooks a disused garage that swims with rats and pornos and junk. Black eyeliner, black tights. Red lips and a ponytail that swings like a pendulum. The smell of your hair and the feel of you pushing yourself against my groin in those hours that escape us upon waking. We sleep outside to be closer to the stars and because when we make love and taste God you want him to see you as a soul and not just a body. Pyjamas not skirts. Flirtation not chitchat. Tigers, dragons. Sushi bars and wet lips. Dimples and your smile and the absence of you when you’re not around and you’re never around but I have my words and my words will become you and that’s just how it is. The evenings are beer and wine and the warmth of your breath against my neck in the back of a taxi and then your arm around my waist in some bar with paintings on the wall I could paint with my dick. Nearly falling off your chair, you snort with laughter and bite my ear. What’s the worst thing about getting old? My hair going curly. The second worst thing? The knowledge that my mind and body are two different things and that the older I get the more conflict there will be between the two. Arguments. Frustration. To sleep. Would you sleep with me? Would you let me take off your socks and massage your feet while we sit in silence too drunk to do anything other than picture ourselves as different people? I hope so. Tears that stain the pillow. The beginning, the end. A writer, a fool. A hand around your throat. A doorway that could be a vortex that could be a portal that could be an opening to something those we have known our entire lives have never come close to. Do you remember when we were strangers? Can you recall the time you caught me staring at your mouth in the canteen at work not long after you first started? You asked me if I was okay, but I was lost in the future that danced upon your lips and although I didn’t want to be crude, I knew already what was to follow and it caused me to become lightheaded. Two hearts. One mind. That night we were under the stars and I wrote GN-z11 on your arm with a pen and urged you to get it tattooed- you never knew what it meant and I never told you. Well this is the place we shall go after we die and there we shall be free. Free to love without the presence of prying eyes. Type it into Wikipedia, and tell me you’ll say yes.


S. K. Nicholas is blogger at myredabyss.com and author of A Journal for Damned Lovers.  To learn more about S.K. and A Journal for Damned Lovers read Jasper Kerkau’s interview with S.K. and his review of A Journal for Damned Lovers.

Atavistic Vital Signs-Mick Hugh/Mick’s Neon Fog

There’s a whole city downtown we’ve been meaning to check out. It sounds cool. Bars, clubs, art galleries, several eras of architecture set in stone and glass. It seems exciting, to think of the lives bustling up and down elevators, and in and out of boutiques. Eating $100 plates of steak and whatever that dessert is they use a blowtorch for. There’s entire sub-cultures there, lost kids reading poetry and obscure guitarists at open-mic nights. I’ve heard about dub-step and the venues they pack four nights a week. There’s a popular jazz club open till 6am. And an all-night diner where the drunks and the burned with the glazed-over faces sit half-asleep waiting for something greasy to eat, and then just looking at their plates before leaving. We could be living down there with cafes right across the street, walk over in the mornings or the afternoon late at night to meet some stranger who reads Camus as much as I do. We could run ourselves up and down city blocks every weekend and never see the same thing twice. We could run those same blocks any Tuesday night and have just as much fun seeing those same things we’ll never see twice because light never touches anything in quite the same way — that’s just physics. We can meet all our new friends on any street corner any time and visit apartments till we find molly to buy. We can stay up late till long after the sun’s rise and just talk, just talk. Lay in the grass in the park and just talk and just know what the other is feeling and thinking and stand up at the same time without a word between us and decide to try the diner for breakfast. We can stroll the waterfront and sit beneath the 5th Street bridge to watch the people run by and eventually fall asleep at a friend’s near Goodale. We can fuck like we used to when life felt eternal and death was a distant age that scared the shit out of us. We can dance at the festivals again. We can leave the city behind every summer and watch the hunters take down mallards till we hear the far-off ocean call our name, and we go and find a new friend to give us a ride. We can be scared again. We can be scared to death that life will pass us by.


[Mick Hugh is the creator of Mick’s Neon Fog. And an all-around bad ass.]