Foundations – Jimmi Campkin

Foundations

I salute the trees.  I am not magnificent but I can see everything grow.  I hear the grass chattering and laughing.  I stare at the oaks as they stretch like old hungover drunks after a binge.

Kicking my way through an old memory, I sit down on a bench and watch a young mother playing with her child – she lets go of the kid’s shoulders and this little fat bundle of limbs wobbles and trundles into a loving pair of arms.  I light a cigarette and look over their heads towards a crumbling brick wall where I came in thirty seven seconds – a gloriously brief but exhilarating moment of savagery that left me needing three stitches in my shoulder thanks to the razor sharp teeth of an utterly destructive angel.  For five nights afterwards, I would lift my head from my pillow and find one of her brunette hairs lying next to me, either tangled up in my own or left as some kind of spiritual offering.  I didn’t wash until my sheets left an imprint of my twisting torso.

In the cold the hot ash lights up my eyebrows, and I feel the smoke rumble down inside me.  I am just a stranger now, in a place where we left so many imprints that we wrote in a language too complex for future generations to understand; or too simple.  Perhaps everything just moves on from our messages, our little totems to what a future could be – liberal, relentless in our pursuit of sensations, dogmatic in our chasing of the wind and of love, emphatic in our use of drugs and alcohol but sensitive in our presentation.  I remember walking a five block diversion to avoid following a nervous young lad, who kept looking over his shoulder at the wasted behemoth shambling and crashing behind him as our paths continued.  It only took a bottle of whiskey to give me a night so intense I could drink the stars, and yet leave an impression on this youth that I was somehow a danger to him rather than a revelation… or more probably a self-indulgent indifference.

When I close my eyes the world turns black and white and I see, like a filter, what was once and is no more.  I recognise footprints in grass that has since been cut and mown a thousand times, because I can still lay down and hear the echoes in the soil and the worms gossiping about the underwear we flung high into the canopy of the trees – bras, panties and boxers like flags on the backs of warships.  I remember warming my hands inside your cunt and you gripped my stiff cock like a hot chip as our breath mingled under a trillion years of entropy.  Under the Milky Way you promised that we would remember this moment for the rest of our lives.

I wonder.  I remember this moment but I don’t know where you are now.  I don’t know what you think or what you feel.  I don’t know whether you sit on this bench, look at that wall and remember sinking your teeth deep into my shoulder enough to dribble my blood down your chin.  I don’t know if you remember my cold fingers deep inside you or whether you see the footprints through the filter.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter.  Perhaps you are focused instead on better things, more important things.  Perhaps you are this mother, focused so intently on her little baby as it shuffles through the grass desperately trying to maintain its balance long enough to be embraced tight.  Maybe you look to the light in someone else’s eyes rather than to the light above us, as it shines down on our best and worst crimes.


Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com

Morning Mist – Iulia Halatz

Grace-M.-Ballentine-Morning-Mist-1948
The mist that
covers my heart
is thick
numbing mornings
and evenings
with the sagacity
of a cubist artifact.

It comes in layers
clinging with fetid fingers
on to the gargoyles
of the old mansion
our love has become.

No surprise from
any shadow
No brush
with velveteen
vulnerable
acts of tenderness.

Dragons and starlings
seem nearer
in the dancey mists

Love is uncovered
in a smile
at first light…
Is that enough?


“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.

Sudden Denouement Welcomes New Collective Member Nitin Lalit Murali – Us

buildings-123780_1920
We’ve been through the same routine, you and I:
me, coming home in a prescription haze with slurry speech
and a numbing nonchalance,
and you, broken and infuriated
to see me ‘waste my life away.’
But what’s there to ‘waste away?’
Hasn’t life heaped piles and piles of sorrow on us
like arachnids poured on a Fear Factor contestant,
lying in a tub?
You yell. You scream, ‘I’m leaving you!
I’m not going through this again!’
and in that moment of semi-consciousness
when my mind only whispers – the thoughts circling my mind
like the breeze from a slowly moving ceiling fan –
I barely nod, and that agitates and burdens you more.
Soon, you aim arrows of curses at my core,
hoping they’ll pierce my callousness,
make me admit that I’m a promise-breaking hypocrite
who crosses his heart
before plummeting into an abyss
so dank and deep where speech
fumbles and becomes a string of neologisms,
and sudden blindness possesses
like the abrupt fading-to-black ending of The Sopranos.
But what you don’t see are
the moments I spend with myself,
leaning against the bathroom wall,
cigarette in mouth,
tears streaming down
because of the guilt
that unsettles, unnerves and unmans.
But that’s no excuse.
That’s no justification for the man I’ve become
after seeing a perpetual Autumn
with the sights, sounds, and smells of decay.
I looked for Spring
or even a Winter that will urge me to find warmth,
but sorrow clandestinely woke me one morning
using mind control,
making me a zombie on his leash,
made to go, ‘Woof!’ when he commanded.
The only way out was to poison myself.
To escape, and so, I did,
imbibing pill after pill,
taking a page out of
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Moshfegi
and flushing our marriage down the toilet.
Sorrow didn’t mind because he knew
he still retained control
and I’d only constructed an illusion of escape.
But I’ll reiterate that
there’s no excuse for the pain I’ve caused you,
there’s no justification for the hurt,
there’s no remedy to who we’ve become,
and since, I’ve always been a coward,
there’s no final act on my part that will paradoxically
offer you catharsis and anti-catharsis,
so, leave now,
and don’t look back in grief, anger or angst.

Nitin Lalit Murali is a poet, flash fiction writer and essayist from Bangalore, India. He also enjoys reading literature of different genres and listening to jazz and neo-classical music. He started writing seven years ago and art has consumed him over the years. He blogs regularly at Fighting the Dying Light

Wasps – Jimmi Campkin

From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon


Open up my skull and you will find her inside, in a tatty striped dress and muddy Doc Martens.  Every bedroom, every hotel room, every airport lounge, train and coach I sleep in she is there, smiling and licking razor blades.  When I shower I look into the steamed mirror and see a pair of blue eyes staring back at me.  Neither of these eyes belong to my partner.  She is still there, with a red flowing tongue and a black choker.

This is no guardian angel.  She is guilt and sex and violence, with greasy hair and furry teeth – not brushed since her last remembered birthday and she always forgets her anniversaries.  Years later, lying in bed next to my partner, ‘the woman I love’, I wait until I hear gentle snoring before I rest my head on the pillow and close my eyes.  I know that I talk in my sleep, and all I think about is Her, with a mouth full of blood and bacteria.  In my lucid dreams I feel the hairs on my face lift to receive that sour taste.  I feel my pupils expand, opening like bank vault doors to a secret code.

As teenagers together, she took me to her secret place – a single tree in a circle of thick thorn bushes.  Like a ballerina she danced up to a noose tied to a low branch, launched her head inside like a basketball three-pointer and thrashed – piss streaming like river deltas down her soiled, writhing legs as I watched, frozen in a moment of incredulous horror.  After a few moments she lowered herself down and her barefoot heels touched terra firma.

She stood before me, at her full height, the rope now slack at her shoulders.  There was no danger, it was all a game.  Removing the noose, she walked towards me.  You never even tried to save me she smiled, and kissed me hard.  It tasted disgusting.  And then she kneed me firmly in the groin.

I sank to my haunches; coughing and farting, with a stomach ache billowing through my insides.  Looking down at the floor I saw brown leaves, dead twigs and ten toes with ten filthy toenails.  I thought to myself; I wonder if my tongue could clean these grey stumps?  A few minutes later, I knew the answer….


Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com

Sudden Denouement Classic: Gag Reflex- S. K. Nicholas

Triptych personality and a taste for the beaten and crushed. Favoured positions. Preferred imagery including a crushed butterfly placed so sweetly on her navel- the one that swims with my seed. Specks of blood on the bed sheets from our collision- the one I try denying but keeps happening anyway. In lipstick upon the wall, I scrawl my desires in lowercase. I spell out what I mean to say which always seems to escape me when she’s gagging on my fumes. I’m a good guy at heart, but a single droplet puts me in a rage like you wouldn’t believe. Shards of glass and portals. Lonely roads and stories gathering dust, but there will come a day when everything makes sense. There will be a moment when the end is not the end and an exit is not an exit but a door to a river where resides the girl who started it all. I go in and out- I pass through on the off chance she’s around. Lights and nipples and stretch marks. Torn lingerie and tourniquets. Vampires, lovers, killers. A painter, a writer. There exists celluloid imagery of my actions. There are photos of body parts and vials full of hair which fuels the fantasy more and more. There was once a golden light but it was snatched away and now I take from others because my future was taken from me. Souls and slaves. The ties that bind. Scenes missing until she’s wrapped in a blanket because this world doesn’t care and although my hands are cruel I do it because I care and no one cares as much as me. She is mother and enemy. She offers salvation and torment but the more I do it the less I can tell which is which. Flowers pressed in a book. Numbed fingers from two bottles of wine as she shaves her pubic hair at my request. She is not her own woman, she is my girl. The girl by the river who visits me after I pass out in the early hours of the morning halfway up the stairs. She flickers in the eyes of those who get too close. She dances in the mirror and kisses my neck when the right scent ignites what’s left of me. That cherub heart, it’s been gone for years and no matter what I do, and no matter how many times I try bringing her back, it won’t beat again.


S.K. Nicholas is the creator of My Red Abyss.comas well as author of two novels A Journal for Damned Lovers Vol 1, 2 & 3 (available on Amazon). 

Sudden Denouement Classic: Everything Wasn’t Enough – Jasper Kerkau

Laughter echoes down long hallways, gives way to arguments and eventually more giddy children’s laughter. Plastic toys are left in my restroom, socked feet bouncing on beds, falling down and I scream from the other room. There is silence that eventually erupts again with the delight and carefree abandon of childish glee. I bury my face in my hands at my desk, waiting, waiting, always waiting for everything to change, for the laughter to eventually stop, the shadows to take over, the long unwinding of a life built on endless toil–nothingness.

The sword of Damocles looms over me. My skull anticipates the shattering strike; blood and fragments of bones mixed in a concoction of death.  My fate sealed by icy hands. Alas, they have come to purge me of what is left; they have come for my children. They have come for my words; a blind witness, left with the bloody rags of silence, childless, suffering for the sins of my oppressors. Blood upon blood upon blood. They relish in feasting on my fear and devour my heart, desperately trying pull the fruit of my loins from my bosom. Am I vanquished?

Splayed on cold table, I am pulled apart slowly. My eyes affixed on the past, the mistakes left in closets among unmatched shoes and discarded summers. It all rolls off of me as the they slowly drain my life, whisked the children away, leave my words fatherless, left as an empty vessels that once held such promise. I could have been better. I could have been better. They smirk and guffaw, standing over me with forks and knives, waiting to dine on my soul, exposing their vicious appetites. Will everything be enough?

There is something inside me that is immune to their illicit desires. I hear the hymn of sacred souls, the chorus of magnificence sang from distant places, songs of hope and sorrow. Each voice carries its own unique message of personal salvation. I am not alone; they cannot destroy my sacred vision, the words sewn with the sinews of travail and perfect love into each verse. I am a writer and a father, with undying affection for my children; the words create divine tapestries which can never be wrested away from me. They will live long after I am gone.

I stand steadfast in the light, accompanied by the remnant chosen for the articulation of suffering, their special dispensation due to the ability to speak the secret language of the universe, their affliction decoded and turned into consecrated arias. The shadows will eventually flee, leaving me vindicated, left to tend to my words, nurture my children, guard them from the profane hands which seek to drag them into the dark places, strip them of their beauty and joy. There is nothing that can stand against truth, innocence, and pure love. I hear a voice in the darkness, fingers intertwined with my own: “I love you daddy.”


Jasper Kerkau is a founder of Sudden Denouement and editor and writer for The Writings of Jasper Kerkau.

Sudden Denouement Classics: For Your Kiss – Max Meunier

i lay the braided stars
before your precious countenance

that you may walk
the path of light

where gods
no longer dwell

for we are but a figment
of ephemeral affectation

reflecting in the tear
that wells
in worlds
wont to forget

the season of surrender
shall not plunder my resolve

to beckon at your call
under the restless moon’s fluoresce

awakened…

stripped and strung

in astral flecks
that flickered with foreboding

the myths depicted
in the dithering
of days foregone

still haunting,

as your fragrance wafts
into the garden
florid waifs found desiccant

wistful sentiments
entwine me
in an urgent yearning

for your kiss


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 Or Not

Sudden Denouement Classics: Daffodils-Olde Punk

Daffodil

The smell of rotting agendas always waft in your wake.  I’ve grown accustomed to your sand storm daffodils.  It’s not what you once were, but what you could be that still intrigues me.  Potential, potentially terminal, with velocity.  Sniper taking aim, the looks you throw with abandon.  I lie still sometimes and pretend I can hear the screaming in your eyes.  I would have given it all for you, you know.  I do not think it would have mattered to you.  You are the song Reptile by The Church.  I can see you sauntering and stalking in the sun by the beach every time I hear that song.  Which is often, ’cause I like to pick at open wounds.  The bloody mouth of puckering pink skin attempting to heal is such a turn on and a visceral reminder of your violence, my violet-skinned lecher.  Your Krispy Kreme coochy-coos hardening my arteries.  And then, slow syrupy suicidal sex. Something in me went dormant when you left.  I vaguely remember why, but it’s fuzzy like flash backs from a blackout or a bad trip.  Which I only had once or twice, but that was more than enough to keep from doing it again.  I would for you though, if you wanted to.  Crashing around in the forest at dusk under deep November skies and yelling fuck-all to the universe.  You were always the spark that started Devil’s Night.  A goddess of Bacchus’ loins.  There was nothing I would not have done for you.  I died when you left.  The husk remains, with the frozen portraits of your jack o’lantern smile burned into my retinas.  My skin still shudders with the traces of your touch.  My gypsy witch, evil love cursing the hearts around you like a speedball on fentanyl on meth that is the last run of the roller coaster and heart is pounding and I will be with you soon and my veins are flame and my heart is a jackhammer and I will be in you soon and I will kill you soon and soon I am coming for you my beautiful malady with the melody of death on my lips… and a fistful of sand storm daffodils.

 

image courtesy of Pinterest and Awkward Family Photos

Let This Be Our Byre – Jonathan O’Farrell

 

Not to remain in any shape,

removing the real flesh,

body,

actuality

of the warmth

of my exhaled breath.

Seeing to it

that

I cannot

and will not

now be confined

to a box

within another’s life

like, let me see –

a fondly remembered

dead pet.

 

As you took

my breath away,

so do I

now.

You have provided well

and amply,

regularly,

assiduously,

dry material.

Tossed in from time

to time,

a spark,

even flame.

But how could it catch

a heart still aflame itself?

 

I have unwillingly

and in a retardent fashion

taken now little pieces

and so,

laterly,

unwittingly,

too long,

scraps.

And the chafe

of your intent;

chafing,

It rubs.

Heating yet cooling

in the reality of this,

half life,

I fatigue

like a light alloy,

metal.

Half,

something else,

darkened and tarnished

love.

 

Now,

let this

be our byre.

Let’s willingly ignite all,

past, present, future,

in one last conjoined,

strong and resolved

breath

that meets

and greets,

gladly.

The source,

the truth,

of this fire

is a last loving act

 

Toss it all in,

in one moment,

consumed utterly,

rising smut be us.

Heaveward acension

and free to go which way

or that,

with the four winds,

embracing something

so much greater,

than the two,

as was.

 

Now,

as then;

Phoenix,

two wings strong,

ascendant.

 

“I guess you might describe me as a semi-nomad, at the moment . . . and in the moment, I might change. I am transitioning into a creative life, blogging, photography and, significantly, the publication of my first two photographically illustrated poetry anthologies, this year.”

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter, with writing, photography, healing garden project updates and travel journals:

https://misterkaki-writer.substack.com

 

 

GI Distress

By Kindra M. Austin

definitely you.

Don’t be stoopid. It’s not me—

1.

Shush, now.

I know

break-ups are rough. Tough like

Rawhide.

Ever watch a dog chew on processed cow skin?

That shit’s indigestible; causes intestinal

swelling and diarrhea, etcetera.

Funny,

some relationships are (un)just

oversized break-ups in-waiting,

glazed with meat flavoring for optimal taste.

2.

I used to lounge with you

outside in the summer dark.

Under the stars,

we’d swig bottles of Miller Lite

and inhale Marlboro tobacco;

two Alphas trying

to cancel each other out.

3.

Shush.

That’s a goddamned lie.

I

never had int’rest

in your use-less

competition.

Now you howl by yourself,

wondering

who will clean up your vomit.

It’s not me—

definitely you.  


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.