Faith Don’t Lie- Christine Ray & S.K. Nicholas

Before you, the days blended one into another, each one as empty as the day before. Hell on earth.  A month of Sundays forced to my bare bloody knees to the cold, hard stone floor by a congregation of pious sleepwalkers, of judgmental sheep. You’ve met their kind. The ones who can’t see. The ones who can’t feel. The ones who worship their shiny toys like idols and pray at the twins altars of willful ignorance and empty contentment. They pointed their fingers at me, sewed a red letter on my chest, called me a heretic for wanting more. For declaring you a true prophet.

My faith don’t lie, so why should yours? At times like these I feel both dead and alive, and this is how I get my kicks. The knife I twist brings with it the lips of those I wish to kiss above all else. May they kiss me under and may the blade take me to another plateau so I can be at one with God, far from those who resemble what I wish never to resemble. Too many days pissed away. Too many hours left hanging by a thread. Just too much time pretending those wrapped in flesh and sin were like me, but they never were, and neither are you. You know it. I can see it in your eyes. Can feel it when you cry as your world comes tumbling down because the faith you seek is in them and not within.

You baptized me in the woods with the wine and the words of burning truth that bled from your mouth. Told me to dig my fingers deep in the rich earth, feel the hum of life all around us. As the bonfire blazed, you molded the shadows and revealed the secrets of your death and resurrection to my open eyes. I could hear the copper sing in your blood. Taste your holiness on my tongue.  I was filled with the crimson gold light of the spirit deep in my marrow.  I knew the excruciating glory of rebirth.

My faith don’t lie, so why should yours? They spit at the sky and claim the rain falls only on them. Them and their desperate need for affection never giving so much as a thoughtful ear in return. They see shapes while we observe miracles. They hear noise while we hear songs as old as the universe. Yet all they do is try convincing us the magic in our bones is mere illusion. That what we’ve got to give don’t mean shit. But we know that’s not true. We’ve known right from the start. It’s in our hearts and these visions that push us further away, but if we’ve got each other, the more adrift we become the better. So take my hand. Take it now and let’s find a beautiful place to get lost.

We turn our backs to the unbelievers, with their deaf ears and eyes that choose not see.  It is not our work to proselytize to the masses.  We will minister to ones like us, who cannot settle for the stale, tasteless bread, the white picket fences.  Those with fire in their blood, those who hunger.


Christine Ray is a writing, editing tornado who touches down at Brave and RecklessSudden DenouementSudden Denouement PublishingWhisper and the RoarBlood Into Ink, the Go Dog Go Cafe, FVR Publishing, and Indie Blu(e).

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.

 

A Righteous End- Christine Ray

i woke in the place
where you play god
naked upon the white
marble sheets
stigmata roses
blooming crimson
in my palms
across my breasts
and sex
a fragrant garland
of my sins
left to adorn
this shrine
the holy spirit
dripped slowly
into my eyes
from where you
impaled me with
the crown
of thorns
you placed
upon my brow
crystallizing the visions
tasted of spiced honey
when it fell upon
my torn lips
parched tongue
you had roared
blasphemy
accused me of
taking your sacred
name in vain
when I declared
that you were not
my true god
merely an idol
a token
you tried to
baptize me
in the fire
cleanse me
of my affliction
but you are the one
smoldering in a
dark corner
all rage and ashes
while I resurrect
with the dawn
of the sun

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest


Christine Ray is a writing, editing tornado who touches down at Brave and Reckless, Sudden DenouementSudden Denouement Publishing, Whisper and the RoarBlood Into Ink, the Go Dog Go Cafe and Indie Blu(e).

Painted Fingernails- Jimmi Campkin

Everytime I go to bed, I can see the stain of green hair dye on the low ceiling, where you cracked your head whilst vigorously riding me – yelping, eyes clamped shut and a gaping smile on your face, sucking up all the oxygen in the room and leaving me gasping for spare atoms.  Of course, you were thinking of someone else the entire fuck, I knew that even at the time, but beggars can’t be choosers.  I didn’t choose to worship you.  I’m an atheist.  I didn’t plan on worshiping anything.

But as something tangible, you seemed a better bet than a concept designed to keep a feeble species in line.  You kept me in line.  And as feeble as I may also be, at least I could run my fingers down your stretchmarks; I could drag my nail over the little serrated dimples on your thighs; I could play with that mole on your hip and wonder at how it is surrounded by several smaller ones, a little solar system almost permanently hidden by the elastic of your underwear.

My deity was flesh; three day old mascara, a taste of cigarettes and last night’s bourbon and coke, with dark circles under your eyes from dancing your legs down to the knees, and the smell of the smoke machine in your greasy hair.  After the end, I spent many evenings in that club, dancing with other girls whilst watching you over their shoulders – dancing alone, happily not giving a fuck.


Born in November 1983, I have been writing in some form or another for most of my life, but I began to take it seriously as a career around 2003/2004.  Since then I have produced a novel, a novella and a series of short stories some of which are loosely linked into an overarching anthology.
Most of my stories come under the wide umbrella of ‘general fiction’, but I have experimented with genre pieces.  My short stories tend to be bittersweet, nostalgic, sometimes melancholic and (on occasion) examine the darker side of human nature and obsessions.
I welcome you to my site Jimmi Campkin, and I hope you find something here to please you.  If not, below you’ll find a big picture of me to scream obscenities at.

Can You Feel the Winter Coming?- Allie Nelson

Kneel for the Alfather, in standing stone,
bloody runes on the boulder and crawl in,
soak in mead and honey, tangle your hair,
it is golden in the dark cave, burn burn.

The firmament churns like Urd makes butter,
Frigga spins flax and cards heavenly wool,
I make rainbows out of Heimdall’s breath,
but the Wild Hunt does not ride my Bifrost –

No, my path is for the dead, past Helheim,
in unions in darkest earthen cauldrons,
slick with the dew of Ymir’s icy wastes,
I am alone in Ginnunungap, paltry salt.

I am Mordgud Blood Maiden, I am bell toll.
Watch me weave my arteries on my spine,
pay my ferrywoman price, tithe your Hel
I will offer you to Her, nothing more.

Nothing less than a table at Hela’s dry
feet, the dust bread of dead, silence.
Down here it is cold but no one wants.
Down here it freezes, but we don’t feel.

Can you see Her spread Her fingers aloft
in the vines of veins, veins of leaves,
ribs of trees, trees of the nine worlds?
Winter is coming, Odin does not own it.

Winter is coming, and Fenrir howls high.
The moon is eaten by wolves, the sun bleeds
gold then darkness in Hati’s lupine womb,
plant seeds in beast’s black after harvest.

Winter is here, Hela walks as ice maiden.
Autumn just a passing fancy, and Valraven
rots on a yew, corpse bloated and swinging,
in Dying He is more alive than the Living.

Know the secrets of Hela Half-Rotted, see
the pennants of flesh on her corpse breast,
smell the compost and dirt of Her skin, kiss
Her bone hand, and sleep until springtide.

Sleep, dream, die, it is all the same to me,
for I have dreamed and died and eaten ashes,
She was sweet to me, He was a thunder strike,
in autumn He and She make a secret only I know.

What is the secret of Bolverk and Loki’s Pride?
It is sweet Balder on a shiply pyre adrift to
seidhr waters, golden Nanna enflamed, safety
is only found after Ragnarok, wouldn’t you know?

Winter came for Balder come mistletoe’s kiss.
And Odin rides the worlds for His son’s ghost.
Sweet Frigga weeps tears of sapphire, then snow.
And Hela and Nanna talk long by the hearth-side.

Winter comes for us all, even the gods, even
Death will Die, and in Dying, Live Again,
Anew, Life Eternal may be found in snow.

 


Allie is a rather bubbly blonde that currently attends grad school for science communication, has a rather useless degree in biology, and works in the environmental field. She can usually be found hugging trees, eating green curry with tofu, or exploring the wilds of D.C.. Allie is an avid poet, aspiring author, meme queen, speculative fiction enthusiast, and alien centaur aficionado. She also has about 600 lipsticks.

You can find her at Dances With Tricksters

‘Far From Any Road’ – Collaboration II – S.K. Nicholas & Samantha Lucero

When I looked into your eyes that time not long after we first met, I told myself that if I was given the chance, I would go ahead and do it. And such a thing would really impress you and make you want me even though I was just a zero.

Because the black light has been here since the beginning.

When I first discovered what you were in the early hours of the morning while drunk and on the brink, you reached inside of me and brought me back. Sounds melodramatic, I know, but before I found you it was as if I were the only one and that being a zero was all I was good for.

And it’s been burning a hole for so long.

When I swallowed what you had to say, I found a truth that had been denied me my entire life by those who had never even pretended to care. In that gaze and in your hand, there was a woman I could call mother and lover unlike any other that had come before. I could feel it in my bones and in the cold night air down every street that had housed your ghost.

And that’s what brought us together.

Whenever we want, we can be without form, for our images have long since been removed along with all traces of what remains of our former lives. This vision we share, it’s of being at one with nature with no need for the insects that spend their days doing whatever they can to cling. And this nature- it’s our drink and our line of coke. It’s our needle and hand around the throat. Through its influence, we can be both pleasure and impulse.

It spoke to us when we were children.

Together, we are bitemarks and Nietzsche spinning in fields that are empty of life but full of the essence of who and what we really are, and this is why we roam far from the useless crowd doing only what we can do. This is why we seek the limits that are forbidden because only there do we come close to taking a glimpse through those doors that offer perception where the rest offer only cheapness and the drip drip of ideology that pleases the many but disgusts us.

It put the images inside our heads while we slept.

In each and every letter, and in each and every thrust of our hips we know we are nothing and yet we revel in the control that passes between us. When it lingers in our breath, we take a bite out of each other and in our kiss, we are demons writhing in the sands of Gomorrah looking for kicks that extend beyond time and space. In our flesh, we are bound to bodily delights, but what we are is something pure and something more.

It showed us the door we were both seeking.

They wouldn’t even know where to start looking, for those that have seen us at our most beautiful have long since gone to where we too will go, but only when our bones can no longer take the weight of our souls. Beneath a blanket of stars and as naked as we were born, we sink our fingers into the soil to touch the faithful departed.

And it showed us how to find it.

These are our footsteps, and these are our secrets that will carry in the wind long after the two of us have left this place behind. But we’re in no rush, for there’s so much more that we can do. I hope you agree with what I’ve had to say, because this whole thing makes me feel like God.

Yes, but who’s like God? ‘My world was christened in a stream of milk.’

Was our world blessed with crowns of barbed-wire thorns, in sheltering the quiet soil like corpse worms gone moon-cold, till the blue water left and dried the hot skin. The air paused like Sunday’s pastor during angers sermon, saliva-foam huddled in the corner of a mouth; for effect, for suspense it stayed and spat, baptized the world in a pool of breast milk, they said, and it tasted like its own doom.

We can become a laugh sipped in a cup that we share, dumped over the overpass of whirring cars onto ghostly windshields like scarecrows, become the bellowing storm rattling ribs in darkrooms where smiles like ours rest alone like dreaming tigers WHO once wanted to be warm like wolves in snow packs, but were crowned in that barbed-wire, bred into a dying lung. Let’s BECOME the eye; I was the trapped eye in the wall, in the bones smoking at 3am, up with the red sky in a silky morning sliding down a pole and a thousand other pieces of people we’ll leave behind. Only fighters left alive, no lovers.

OUTSIDE I want the wild like glad animals in oily furs crave flesh, which taste a sliver of hare-blood in the breath between their teeth. I want to sip at eagle feathers in an old Norn’s horn, palms heart-lines engraved in heart-lines, mirror-image superstitious we can press together like funeral-flowers between pages of our favorite books, in passages our failing lives desire never to forget, but will. We will be the lavender and the rose, and then the pink gum turned black on the pissed-on sidewalk.

Or we will be the slender fingers of rain that ooze from the skies through seams in the clouds, like cold memories left unthawed from asteroid belts. Be drunk on watery soup for winter rituals, hummingbird songs, and rush to hear the tight-lipped drums of braided tribes our shivering northern ancestors once followed to 9 worlds. You say let’s be without form; I say let’s erase form, Voltaire, physical pleasures are fleeting, they die out; it’s the delight, delight of the heart that matters? Or the withered husk in a mortar ground with graveyard dirt and hag-spit, where a heart could’ve lived and died, but did both backwards. We are all alone, born to die, born to live, to die. Our wailing birth-mothers knew this, my mother, your mother, the all-mother in a room that’s a pennyroyal cage hung upside down to dry for spells for little girls’ mistakes, that’s a star pulse, that’s a whisper in a place I wish I knew the noise of still. When next you see the mirror folding into itself, the steaming woman heart-shaped in the glass, remember, she is life or death, a mask.

THEMSELVES
ARE
TRULY
SET
FREE

Who will see the tears and dirt that fill my mouth with mud when I smile, or the heartbeat living behind my right eye that could kill me in a blink, but you. Winter never stays long enough, and summer never ends. And we walk until our clothes fill with steam, or I’m the steam now, and my clothes are just anyone, or maybe I’m you anyway, and I could be anyone but you. Or we could just be me. I could conceal just one dusty memory of you when I die someday, pin it against velvet with my last breath, let it glow like the last neon day of a Luna moth. If I could live with it, I could live forever. In a fluttering trance, a twitching shadow, where there’s no form, no image, no mirror, no hands, no mothers.

Yes, but who’s like God? I wasn’t christened in a stream of milk.


 

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. ]

Us – S.K. Nicholas

There’s junk food in my belly and a book on Ian Brady in my hand. Blinking my eyes, the pages are stained with sweat and splashed with spit. Remember when I would take you from behind and how I’d lean over and tell you to turn your face and look me in the eyes? How I’d get you to open your mouth so I could let a stream of saliva drip onto your tongue? You don’t? Well, shame on you. Somewhere in my mind, the smell of stale beer drifts to me across playing fields. It’s autumn, and the leaves are crisp and crumble in my hands before falling to the floor like confetti. There’s a chill kick in the breeze that pains my face whenever I shave. There are bus journeys and newsagents that sell sweets and magazines with free toys attached to their covers. There are coffee shops and pet stores and underpasses where children from nearby schools paint pictures of the world they live in. After a drunken night out in town with friends, I walked home alone and took a leak in that underpass, and as my yellow stream of piss splashed the colourful buildings they had painted, I laughed until my stomach hurt. That book on Ian Brady, I keep it in my bag and read it in the shade of trees and weeds far from the presence of others. His voice is one of existence, and as such, it reminds me that I exist. In silence is where I grow, and yet in your arms is where I’m alive more than ever. I’m not sure how that works, and that’s part of the problem. There’s a cigarette to ease my troubles and to make my head spin. There’s a song that connects us even though so many days have been and gone in between our last kiss. For some, the meaning of words is a thankless one, but for me, God is in every letter. This poetry. This sense of glory. There is nothing that comes close save for the image of you leaving footprints on fresh snow, or the taste of your neck as we do our thing while trying so hard to resist the breaking of dawn. And to think of all those buildings where our ghosts dance in silence, and to think of those fields where I would carry you because it was too muddy and you didn’t want to get your shoes dirty. Those dead cigarettes of mine, they are still there somewhere, along with those empty bottles of wine I would fling into the mouth of the quarry. And that hairclip you lost- that too is there. Everywhere we go and have been, there are artefacts that hold so much meaning the rest will never be able to fathom. What’s gone is not lost, and what’s not lost is with us every step of the way.


[S. K. Nicholas is creator of  myredabyss.com and author of A Journal for Damned Lovershis first novel. He is a brilliant writer and a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. 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.]

Need for a sick bag – Nathan McCool

I’m a rare coated stag. Gut shot for sport and
forgotten in a field of
painted moonlight.
The hunt is over, the storm is here. Beauty
all sheathed inside a gun barrel…
I think I’m dead now. I need a new scene.

I’m the out of tune keys on a piano, that
some rusted god keeps playing before he
heads off to a bookstore
where he constantly asks,

“Got any remedial shit with no substance?”

“Yeah. Check any shelf” the faceless
pseudo-librarian says back.

And the more he reads and the more he reads and
the more and more…
it’s just more hope he loses;
arms just getting tired of holding pages
burdened with
cliché poems and redundant stories.
(Have I read this before?)

“But really? You cut down a tree for this shit?”

It had more real poetry beforehand.

Now the rusted god goes to sleep and
now I am the rusted god.
And the only thing either of us still hopes for
is that if I publish a book it never comes here.

Not to visit.
Not to fuck.
And especially not to die.

***

Tucked away behind some shit book
about learning to love yourself I find
Nick Cave’s “Sick Bag Song”…
Now that’s a god damn jewel!


[Nathan McCool is the dark lord over on Instagram at God Of Dregs.]