Island Thoughts and Ship Songs – Nathan McCool

Call me down from the star splattered sky
of another opiate morning,
from bad dreams of your sails burning and
my body of wind passing through
uncatchable.

My limbs still shake from faltering flight
and the total absence of rapture’s acceptance. But fear,
I think it only finds home in the idea that you may
one day long for me only to feel my
fingers as morphine injections;
taste my breath as methadone.

So what if all I want is to walk the sea shore with the
solitary rose I harvested from your mouth,
collecting bowl shaped shells for holding
that nonexistent kiss;
your lips – a wreath of phantom accelerants.

I’m sinking way down to gather enough salt
from this ocean
to blanket pictures of old wounds.
An arm still reaching wide to hold hope,
a neck still turning to see our ideals of goodness.

You can have my wounds and salt, my dear. My
small amount of goodness that looks like
a corpse filling picnic baskets with
flashing images and blinding murmurations
of color.
I’m still an uninhabitable island in moon’s long
light. What else can I say, baby?
“Come sail your ships around me.”


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

the heart asks pleasure – samantha lucero

when you become a parent,
you become less 

a p p a r e n t.

until i disappear completely,
i can weep into the liquid face of a mirror
and speculate about who used to dwell in
my iron & carbon skull, before i was
the me that faded.

i held onto me like a movie ticket
in the back of my wallet
the one we all keep
that just becomes a tomb
like a placeholder in our hearts
for a special day we end up
forgetting.

i’m perfunctory now, roiling,
knocked up by rainstorms
and lightning writhing down like a noose
on his red beard, drinking snake oil

maybe the world’s a cat’s eye and i am shattered faith
my shoulders a hewn epitaph of hopes
am i lucid dreaming, i never fell asleep.
these days, i lie down in a trance
and never wake up.


[ Samantha Lucero is the phantom haunting six red seeds. ]

Oscar Wilde Is Back/David Lohrey

At all costs, be nice.

Your job is to make people feel good.

You’re a defender of the status quo.

You agree with Stalin:

everyone should be happy.

The first to stop smiling gets the axe.

The first to stop clapping, disappears.

What’s all this doom and gloom?

The Democrats are the party of good cheer.

The Republicans represent darkness.

Oscar Wilde – were he alive – would be

easy to place; he never had anything nice to say.

We know what he represented. We

don’t need to read his stories.

His books don’t deserve reprinting.

Take them out of circulation. I’ve got it:

let’s distribute the works of a dedicated progressive

instead: Obama’s memoirs along with the yellow pages.

We’ll make them mandatory reading, like

Slaughter-House Five for incoming freshmen.

We’ll not only not read Oscar Wilde, we’ll

arrest those who try to keep him in print.

We’ll listen in on their conversations. We’ll

have anyone who looks unhappy picked up,

anyone who’s not delighted, arrested. Progressives

are happy. We’ll make sadness against the law,

beginning with Mr. Wilde, who was a notorious complainer.

He demanded a dialogue when we know

happy people prefer to talk to themselves.

Saul Bellow said that: an unbroken record,

an incantation of jolly thoughts, a forced smile,

or even a perpetual dance fits democracy best.

Wilde dared to ask for open

discussion. He wanted the young

to think and debate; he spoke

like a Sophist; every student of Plato knows there’s

only one truth. Our professors know a thing or two,

beginning with the desire to see Wilde banned.

Let’s drive him off. Hell, we’ll

put him in prison, once we

deprive him of a living. The

editors at Simon & Schuster should

be picked up, too. At least they deserve

to be boycotted and picketed – driven out of business,

for daring to give freedom a greenlight, for

giving that faggot an open mic.

He says he’d be happier in prison anyway, so let’s do

him the favor. We’ll make dialogue against the law,

not just a forbidden custom, like masturbation. We’ll censor

discordant voices. We’ll start with that loudmouth from England.

We’ll get him off television and run reruns of Downton

Abbey for Anglophiles, something wholesome about

heterosexual families, not a vile-mouthed homo spouting trash,

like his hatred of conformity and political correctness.

Who the fuck does this guy think he is?


[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 is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. Also, he’s freakin’ awesome.]

Introducing Nathan McCool – Let the Devil Wear Black

If my cup runneth over it is because its contents
are boiling – but my true spirit has evaporated
and now only moves like vapor swallowed freely into nature’s lungs
before growing tired
and rigid under the bear’s matted fur. Send
back home now, my grandmother’s aching
heart. So I
might take it with me into night’s viscera – before
I am crucified, not entirely either whole or
wholesome. 

In a cemetery I roll over between stones,
and wake in a sudden shudder…
thinking I may be the least alive of the things
here. Sleep deprived, still holding onto
fiends from nightmares. Still holding onto
morning’s severed hand.
Still holding onto dead children.
Still holding onto feet dangling lifeless.

When I return to the civilized world, I am so aware
of not belonging. So aware
of how petty it all is. I say, “Fuck your money.
Fuck your authority. Fuck these
same old rehearsed days.”
If any of them only knew the way I would smite
even the air that they breathed in before another
worthless and unanswered, “How are you?”
How when the lightning comes I cringe at its distance;
think of sinking my teeth into its throat, ripping it apart, and
casting it back.

And when I do, like any true animal, my words
come out in a growl.
“Something answer me now god dammit.
What the fuck do you want from me?”


[Nathan McCool does Instagram at God Of Dregs. He’s the winner of the SD March Madness contest, and a fucking genius. Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, we accept him, one of us!]

Misery – Sarah Doughty

Sometimes all I want is for you to hold me. Let me feel your strength. Let me smell you, feel your arms around me and know you’re real.

I want to tell you how much you mean to me.

But, instead, I’m frozen in silence. And it’s only in those moments when I think you won’t really look at me, and see how much I’m feeling — how much I’m hurting — or hear me if I say something, that any sounds escape my lips.

The words you do hear are often apologies. Beneath the hundreds upon hundreds of I’m sorrys, what I really want to say is that I wish it could be better for you.

Because you don’t deserve to share my misery.

You shouldn’t have to be my savior.


Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

HUSH By Nicole Lyons

HUSH written by Nicole Lyons, is a searing collection of poems that takes the reader on an emotional ride, through the tunnel of mental illness and reckless love.

Nicole Lyons’ voice undulates from pain to ecstasy, at breakneck speed. Erotic, soulful and authentic, Nicole has written a raw memoir encapsulated in poems. Stepping off the cliff, delving into HUSH, readers will find themselves breathless and wanting more. -Julie Anderson

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 HUSH

The first book from Nicole Lyons is now available here.

Hush cover design: Sherri Smith
Hush cover model: Julie Anderson
Hush cover photo: Paul Empson Photography


You can read a glowing review by Jasper Kerkau here, and if you’re interested in reading some of the galaxy’s most liberating, moving words, I recommend that you follow the amazon link above. Nicole Lyons is the creatrix of The Lithium Chronicles, as well as being a consulting editor and writer at Sudden Denouement.

 


 

Quit Your Job and Become a Poet

            This poetry collection has a beginning, middle and an end. It covers two months’ worth of misadventures in the life of an embittered and slightly arrogant young woman who decides to quit her job to become a poet out of spite after being called a few choice names. Sometimes you will like her, sometimes you may not. Sometimes you may laugh or cry or want your money back. But life’s not very fair that way, now is it?

             This is a coming of age story, and that age is almost thirty.

 

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Georgia Park is creator of Private Bad Thoughts, curator of Whisper and the Roar a feminist literary collective, and a writer for Sudden Denouement

A brief, rave review by Jasper Kerkau can be found here. And if you’re interested in witnessing one of earth’s most epic poets in motion, you can invest in her work here.