Guest Writer: D.B. Devilliers “The Only Good Poet is a Dead One, and I am Not That”

1960s-fashion
yes hello it's a pleasure I'd say except
look where we are
and how the fuck did I get here
guess that speaks to the reason why I
am here
you too huh
same old story why tell it
differs largely just in names dates other such
uninteresting particulars it's
an impact and oh yeah oh fuck yeah it's
happening here we go it's another
ethanol-fueled escapade a jet ride to
oblivion hard landing read: a crash
see you don't get to survive when you
strike at five hundred and thirty five
miles per hour so bail bail bail
before the hard stop before the zero
what's the co-pay on a parachute
a question I didn't ask when I saw the
ground racing up at me
oh shit I went and did it again
no more job no more girl just this
bottle and me
fickle companions we are
and onward goes the story
excruciatingly boring if I'm being honest
each chapter same as the last
copy paste change the date
do it again
do it again
what a waste it feels
to spend more words
on this

well then why not say goodbye
fond farewell to all the good times
the not good ones too
the printed labels promising proof
but none to be found there
or anywhere else for that matter
just pain
but the words
fuck the words
if this all means they'll never
come like that again then
I hope they never do
they'd be a small small price to pay
for so much.

D.B. Devilliers

About

Rediscovering Georgia Park: Private Bad Thoughts

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[Photo: Georgia Park]

The Sudden Denouement community, and many others from around the world, have been charmed with the brutal honesty and unique poetic vision of Georgia Park. If you have not read Georgia Park’s poetry, please take a moment and look at her website Private Bad Thoughts. She takes us all on the journey through her life, into her mind as she weaves through the daily struggles and triumphs, which she articulates in a manner that is simplistic and deeply emotional. Her writing is as simple as it is complex. In a landscape of cliches and poetic uniformity, Georgia Park is truly original.

Her writing can be found at Private Bad Thoughts.

Guest Writer: Colin James “THE CONTESTANTS…”

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THE CONTESTANTS DESPITE ALREADY HAVING BEEN CAUTIONED STILL DISPLAY AN IMPERVIOUS CONSPICUOUSNESS

                                    The slide is particularly greasy
                                    hard to stay on never mind score.
                                    Long robotic arms torture,
                                    blinding and tearing great chunks
                                    of flesh and hair, debilitating.
                                    Masses of bodies lay at the bottom
                                    until a siren announces a pause,
                                    then the playing field is cleaned
                                    hosed down with impotent salt water.
                                    Those that are cognizant affect
                                    a worse demeanor than is.
                                    They gain an advantage, stall
                                    walk slower back to the steps
                                    perhaps grab a conspicuous limb
                                    already bloody and precipitant.
                                    Can’t get the grass rug down quick
                                    enough for them, without that
                                    improvisational need for showmanship.
Bio:
Colin James was born in the north of England near Chester. He spent
most of his youth in Massachusetts before moving back to England
and working as a Postman for The Royal Mail, then as a Trackman
for British Rail. He met his American wife, Jane, in Chester and
they currently reside in Western Massachusetts. He is a great admirer
of the Scottish landscape painter, John Mackenzie.

 

Peripheral Visions – David Lohrey

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Peripheral Visions – David Lohrey

 

They’ve outlawed torture because it doesn’t work,

but they forgot to tell my little brother.
I went to Madrid and wanted paella but all I found

was frozen pizza.
I traveled to Saudi Arabia and knew exactly what I wanted,

but found the road to Mecca closed to outsiders.
Americans claim to be welcoming. The kids in Tibet cry “hello,”

but when the Chinese visit Brooklyn, the kids shout “Fuck you.”

It’s the only language they know.
The kids in Harlem are no globe-trotters. They’ve never

even crossed the street.
Their female teacher doesn’t wear underpants, but her neighbor,

a man, wears panties. They claim it is the children who have a lot

to learn.
When the infants say they are not ready for anal sex,

their teacher makes them sit by themselves in the corner.
The six-year-old is sucking her thumb is told in no uncertain terms

to remove her thumb and find a boy to satisfy.
We’re heading for Broadway to watch a play with the provocative

title, Rotten. The actors throw tomatoes at the audience, after checking

first to see how they voted.
Righteous indignation supplants despair. Feeling superior sure beats

finding fault with oneself. The world is so stupid.
Diversity works like this: first, we take over. Children of the Empire visit

and are told they’re wonderful.
After the bombing, we legalize gay marriage. Napalm in the morning,

but the bathhouses are to remain open, announces the Pentagon spokesperson.
The President is trans. Her name is Annabelle. The debate question

she couldn’t answer was how it is she manages to look so fabulous.

She bursts out laughing and then begins to sob. After a break,

she gets a standing ovation.
It has been announced that everyone in the country lives in one city,

Houston, coast to coast; zip codes may vary.
Why bother with different names like LA and Atlanta. The whole

country is one big Houston: the bars, the malls, the adult bookshops.
Now that it’s been outlawed, kissing between men and women,

there are fewer law suits. There is no population growth. What have

we learned? Men can’t get pregnant.
Houston, Illinois has higher taxes than Houston, Texas, but New York’s

Houston is the worst. People there no longer keep addresses. Their

official residence is in Puerto Rico.
I was born David but call myself Dawood, Princess of the Desert.

I like getting my nails done. What I hate is driving in the slow lane.
And my husband likes to slap my ass. I won’t go into it. First,

he bites it.
I feel diminished by modern life. The lifestyle is belittling.

How can I develop an ego? Start by killing a mosquito.
People come to Memphis seeking Elvis. They leave having made

fools of themselves. Elvis did not die in vain.
The train leaves out of Union Station at 3. Get yourself a paper.

The toilets are certain to be broken.
I never wanted anything more than love. That’s why I’ve come.

You’ve come to the wrong place.
She may be rich, but she is bitter. She wants the nurse to wipe

thrice not just once.
If only my mother had been well taken care of. She lived ‘til 93

but could have made it to 105. I’m suing. She died on the way

to the hospital.
I just want love. My lips are luscious. My dick is huge. My nails

are dazzling. My bum is plump. What the fuck is wrong with me.

 

[David Lohrey is from Memphis, where he grew up, and now lives in Tokyo, where he teaches and writes for local travel magazines. He graduated from UC Berkeley and then moved to LA where he lived for over 20 years.

Internationally, his poetry can be found in Otoliths, Stony Thursday Anthology, Sentinel Quarterly, and Tuck Magazine. In the US, recent poems have appeared in Poetry Circle, FRiGG, Obsidian, and Apogee Journal. His fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Dodging the Rain, and Literally Stories.

David’s The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th-century literature, was published in 2016, while his first collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was released in September 2017. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Collective.]

Sudden Denouement Seeking Submissions for New Writers

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Sudden Denouement started a little over three years ago with a vision of creating a platform for divergent voices. We have grown tremendously and have been gifted with amazing talent from around the world. We are now soliciting submissions for new writers. If you are interested, please send a sample of your work, along with a short bio. We are interested in those who write poetry, short fiction, or any form that lends itself to the format.

If interested please send submissions to:

suddendenouement@gmail.com

 

You’d done the same. Henna Johansdotter

untitled
Isn’t it easier to be
defeated?
to beat the world to tainting your name?
the hospital says they won’t have me
no one wants to nurse a grenade
suffering is a shield I will wed it if I have to
now it seems strange for a person so obviously in love with words
not to know a single way to say “stay”
I was never art until I learned how to hurt
I’m an attentive student I lick the words I eject
to see if they still taste of you
the flavor of Revenge:sickly sweet:
people will tell you our story is about love
I say it’s about survival
each defeat hands me a choice
and in the end
I always end up saving myself

Henna Johansdotter, the goth girl next-door. Aspiring author. Monstrophile. Horror enthusiast. She writes to cope with mental illness and everyday experiences. Find her at https://hjdpoetry.wordpress.com/

 

Absconding – Joey Gould

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Absconding

When I left my job I folded my apron like always, tucked

into my hat. Six months since the supermarket rows–apples

stacked once twisted & picked–I check into a dive hotel

in Chelsea with a room the size of my body but free apples

at the desk. At the ferry, a storm culls the sky like a produce knife.

Rain, rain, passing front, then stars: belligerent dappling apples,

sparkling cider in dark sky over Governor’s Island, Lady Liberty

bright as a promise. Squint long enough & any tree will bear apples

or maybe they’re given us to sample on arrival at the farm

in the sparsely-paved pinelands, Maine, littered with unheard-of apples,

varieties that drip summer when sliced, cry & bleed sugar—

cold mustering a nor’easter backstage for after apple

season, the pond cool enough to sting skin while dragging

the dock from its posts to the boathouse. Andy takes an apple

but leaves a basket of late peaches. Uncle!

I had lost my admiration for you. I’m sorry, dear apple,

for leaving you in fascist rows, for the poorly-cut quarters

for the bruised side hidden under a PLU sticker. Apple:

I remember being a mouth full child. Let’s get there sweet,

because we’re all going somewhere to be apple-

sauce. To the loud world, its musty-colored figs, riding the long

whalebone skeleton people marry under, apple

orchards when out of season. Gaunt capillary networks

dull white as a Macoun inside, bone-core of an apple

thrown out the car window on I-95, radio blasting Lady Lamb

on a cyser-crisp Sunday, singing: you are the apple.

I’ll carry my past in a tucked-away apron pocket. We all do, we all

secret away what we found: a kiss, a glimpse, an apple.

I’ll never leave the store. Or my heart won’t, that bloated, red

goat. How I run from it. How I should hold it soft like an apple.

Joey Gould is a long-time contributor to Mass Poetry who has twice been nominated for Bettering American Poetry and once for a Pushcart Prize. He has performed in The Poetry Circus, Elle Villanelle’s Poetry Bordello, and The Poetry Society of New York’s Poetry Brothel. He writes 100-word reviews as poetry editor for Drunk Monkeys. He’s working on a website: joeygouldpoetry.wordpress.com

You can follow Joey on Twitter @toshines

Nuance of Damage – David Lohrey

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Nuance of Damage
I.
Hope is faster than light,
its speed beyond measure.
It’s alive, today, but what about
tomorrow? Easy come, easy…
I need something to build up
my courage.

One advantage is sleep, an endurance test:
a locomotive or a pillow. We learn to calculate
the commotion. Suck the straw, hang out, hit the hay.
Who’s to say? One cedes territory, one
establishes boundaries, one signs along
the dotted line. Some choose Southern exposure.

Gross indecencies stare us down. Our calm is our
rebellion. It’s the last frontier. Benumbed, confounded,
lost in space. We escape confinement like water, searching,
but what of our aversion to chaos? Our taste for the
tranquil. Must we be held in contempt for despising
aggression, our preference for the impassive?

It’s massive: jest. Or condescension. We cultivate superiority;
we celebrate death: theirs, hers, his. Inoculation. Innocence.
Quest. It’s a matter of combining ingredients, the right balance,
justice. Too much won’t do. There’s much too much parsley.
One less grain of sand. The handyman’s muscles are too big.
The phone keeps ringing. Where’s the drain?

There’s anguish in repetition. I prefer hilarity. The monks won’t go.
Offer them a martini. Thelonious learned to tread lightly
as one should. Deer in the headlights, grizzly bear, a flamingo: there.
Notoriety ruins everything. Ask the Princess. I like to stay in bed.
Back to basics. Sunny-side up. He refuses to remove his boxing gloves;
he grunts and the world stands still. Rebellion begins with rest.

II.

Who started the fires? Many are drawn to the flames – men and women
in equal number. They clamber to get closer. They take off work to travel:
the flames climbing higher, engulfing, filling the skies. The smoke gets in
everything; there are ashes in the houses, on the carpets. Many stand still
and hold out their tongues. They tear off their clothing. They crave the heat.
They’re excited by the smell of ruin. They’re delirious.

The fires mean trouble. The people can’t tell the difference
between fireworks and flames. They welcome the fires with tribal dances.
The women bare their breasts. It excites the men. The logs in the fireplace
have rolled into the living room but the people are too drunk to push them back.
They’re laughing. They’re excited that something’s finally happening.
They’re so bored the thought of burning the house down makes them giddy.

The gals want their backsides smacked. The men get close
enough to the flames to singe their body hair. The women shriek.
The parents no longer watch the children. Many die running into the flames.
The parents shrug. What’s the difference? The children carry fiery
logs about and throw them into the cars. They take hot sticks and poke
out each other’s eyes.

The parents don’t know what to do, but declare with a sense of urgency
there is nothing to be done. It’s all beyond them; it’s fate.
They move closer to the fires. They’ve burned all their clothes.
They have nothing on. They push the children away and commence
to fornicate in the ashes. The men relieve themselves on the hot coals.
Many children catch fire.

They move back to the caves when the fires burn down. They remove
the paintings from their frames to use the wood as kindling.
The museums are ransacked. Libraries are emptied. They desperately
raid the theatres for wood from the stage floors. In short order,
there’s nothing left. The fires die out. The men and women crouch
in their earthen holes and cry.

Some brave women venture out but quickly regret it.
Most hide themselves deep within. Much if not all is lost.
The fires burn out. When there was fire and music,
nudity seemed sexy, but now the women are cold.
They feel ugly like insects. The men don’t caress them;
they kick them. The sexes are not equal.

III.

My guardian won’t let me out to play.
She told me to amuse myself in my room.
She doesn’t want me to get wet.
She’s afraid the neighbor’s dog might bite.
I have some games I can play all by myself.
My guardian is always worried.

It’s been raining now for several days.
The traffic’s slowed to almost a stand still.
The newscaster warns people to stay indoors.
The house is insured against flooding.
A boy last year drowned in the local river.
I was told to get up on the roof in an emergency.

It’s been 7 years since they outlawed music.
My guardian told me to stop humming.
Girls are advised to always dress in layers.
The marauders use giant nets and even carry bug spray.
The men look for frightened girls like me.
I was captured and sold to my guardian six years ago.

I always wear leotards and my bathing suit at the same time.
My guardian scarred my face so I wouldn’t look pretty.
You can hear the firing squads in the distance.
Girls must avoid detection at all costs.
I can pass for a boy from a distance.
My guardian trained me to fight with a sharp blade.

We’ve been living like this for as long as I can remember.
The police dress entirely in black now and cover their faces.
If pregnant, they line you up and shoot you.
There’s an escape route my guardian talks about through Alaska.
They threw my boyfriend off the bridge and into the water.
The toxic spray they use is so strong it induces labor.

I remember hearing my mother sing.
My guardian says I could pass for a boy.
They say we have a 20% chance of survival.

IV.
Shelter in place: this is the advice one needs.
After a life of turmoil and defeat,
it’s best to stay indoors. Hide. Place your head
between your knees. They’ve been telling
us this for years, but I never listened.
I was too busy trying to take over.

Genghis Khan with a phone I was called; now,
all I wish is to get along. I just want to be free.
Don’t involve me. I’d just as well not come, thanks.
I’m content to stay, lay back, kick it. Let the world go by,
along with the riff raff. My God, what a sight. My mother
was right not to let me play with the neighbors.

What happened to the innocence? We were kind, don’t let them
tell you otherwise. These are lies. We were true blue. And
sweet, I kid you not. We were John Wayne’s children. We were
Frankenstein’s playmates. We made cakes with our mothers.
We even ate mommy’s lipstick. We sipped grandma’s elderberry
wine, but I’ll tell you this, we never took the Lord’s name in vain.

We hated our gym teacher, but we never called him a motherfucker.
It never crossed our minds. I can remember the first day that word
was introduced to the American people, the very first day it was
used in public. We said golly, gosh or darn, not shit. We said we were
sorry and bent over to bare our bottoms. We took our punishment
like a man. We didn’t sue. We didn’t curse. We never pursed our lips.

Now we have to hide. The news reporter announced that all the world’s
troubles could be traced back to us, yes, that means, you and me. The
social justice warriors, once known as scavengers and marauders, are
on the hunt; they’ve been trained in name-calling, finger-pointing, and
manufacturing nerve gas. Our well-wishers have fled the country.
They’re living in Canada with the Eskimo. They kill seal and eat caribou.

We’ll have to keep the lights out. Our teacher has piled the chairs against
the door. She’s asked the gunman if he would please let us live. He said,
“Shut the fuck up.” He’s a nervous wreck. His eyes are glazed over and he
foams at the mouth. He called our dear teacher a stupid cunt. “Open up!”
He’s determined to kill us all. He wants to make the world a better place.
He’s fighting for justice. “We are the world now,” he says, “not you.”

Machiavelli’s Backyard is Available at Amazon.com, Amazon Canada, Amazon Europe, Book Depository and other major book retailers.
Paperback, 106 pages/Published September 1st 2017 by Sudden Denouement Publishing
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 he is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. His latest book, The Other Is Oneself: Postcolonial Identity in a Century of War: 20th Century African and American Writers Respond to Survival and Genocide, is available on Amazon.com. He is also the author of Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing

Excerpt from Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective- Inky Rivers./Ra’ahe Khayat

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Inky Rivers.

He mourned moons with
moans of muttered courage,
through lips of lost lovers,
and draped himself in
forbidden shadows
hidden from the suns.

There were no perhaps or maybe,
just the absolute ticking of time
that sang to his mind;
too numb from
the last bottle of Jack,
or cheap tequila,
and coke.

For his blood was poisoned
from an unavenged rage,
and an addiction, to the blood of the man
that raped his mother,
his sister,
his daughter.

And he drank away, to the sight of
those photographs
stained from the careless moments
when the bottle had slipped, and the
liquid remembrance
flooded his childhood.

The world blurred into
the black and grey pages of calendar
that turned and merged
into faces engraved
on the inside of his closet,
while he stared at them; their tears
-shining in the fluorescent light of that
damp ghastly room-
filled his half full glass.

Even death looked away,
for he held a red knife of indifference
on the throat of life,
and read the Bible,
all the while a skeleton
washed his hands
and kissed the silhouette of his neck
in prayer,
for he played the role of God,
in this Godless world.

The winds never breathed,
when he wrote poems on the graves
where the dead could chant the words of dead,
shrouded within the cries of the Lord,
as he wept under the disguise
of the raining nights.

He fucked strangers
standing in middle of the storm,
and came, to the sound of the hurricanes
howling menacingly into his ears,
in rivulets of sorrowful ecstasy
that the torrents couldn’t wash away.

Betrayed demons of his
were buried in coffins,
and those coffins he inhumed
within his soul.
And six-feet under,
he sleeps peacefully- breathless,
for he lived years without breathing.

Jagged scars crossed his eyes,
under the headlights of cars,
begging silently to those burnt rubber,
to crush the weight on his bones
upon himself.

Those lines revealed-
in the charged air of thunder
when a certain gentleness
settled within him,
for then his thoughts
found themselves clear,
to drown in the inky rivers
flooding his being.

Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective is available at Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, Amazon Canada, Book Depository, and other major book retailers.


Ra’ahe Khayat is just another wild person with wilder thoughts, who thinks that writing them down might mean that the people around her won’t realize how out of touch with reality she really is, but she tends to write random gibberish in the randomest of places, so most already know. She likes words, and weirdly surreal metaphors, and sad songs, and has a sick sense of humor (depends completely on how you interpret sick). You can catch up with her on twitter at @ryekayas or just check out her blog, Fallen Alone.

Eavesdropping on an Anarchist’s Monologue at the Post Office – Introducing Josh Dale

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Eavesdropping on an Anarchist’s Monologue at the Post Office

Here you are,
fumbling for change in your early 60’s,
to get the fucking technology to work
Shouldn’t you be in Orlando with a beer gut?

(Copy machine fails to cooperate)

Corporate America, pssh!
I’m minding my own business at the kiosk,
listening to the Republicans taking over shit for the next 30 years.
Are you an anarchist, sir?
Or have you been left behind?
Fucking Americans, wake up!
Mid. Term. Elections. Are. The. Most. Important.
I do want to vote,
will you, honestly, dear sir?

(He’s still fumbling around with an early 00’s copy machine)

I know the woman mailing Christmas
heard your fucking shit and goddamn Democrats.
I did,
and I’m not even trying to, sir.

Will you throw your torch into the pyre
or is that asking too much?
You’ve had your whole life to tear the system down,
why is the baton covered in dirt?

I wish I could just mind my own business
and get your fucking papers in check.
Maybe a coffee.
Maybe a Guy Fawkes mask.
Something.

Because your curmudgeon self
makes me think the deck is fixed
and you’re exactly where they wanted
you all along.

www.thirtywestph.com/masthead

jdalewrites@gmail.com

[Josh Dale holds a BA in English from Temple University and has been previously published in 48th Street Press, April Gloaming Publishing, Black Elephant, Huffington Post, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Your One Phone Call, and others. If he’s not petting his rescue Bengal, Daisy, he is perfecting his stir-fry recipe, hunched over in the dark like an alchemist. He is the founder and current editor-in-chief of Thirty West Publishing House and Tilde: A Literary Journal. He calls Norristown, PA his second home.]

Links to Poems, A Short Story, Interview, and Press

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/theres-always-a-reader-for-every-writer-josh-dale_us_5a157f71e4b0f401dfa7ec34

http://waxingandwaning.org/index.php/2017/03/05/3-poems-by-joshua-dale/

https://youronephonecall.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/upon-the-mirrors-edge-by-josh-dale/

https://www.scarletleafreview.com/poems6/josh-dale-poems

www.thirtywestph.com

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