Our Dissolving Omnibus (Pages to Pulp)- N. Ian McCarthy

Had they, at that time, yet mined the rock salt from
the rich, wide ducts of your fugitive tears? In that far
afternoon, you sat curled around the rim of your ringed
fast food cup, dragging its lame hockey puck with its

tepid three inches of black ocean across the mournful,
textured tabletop—assembled with man-age mortar to
linger, disconsolate and amputated, five hundred years
past the white, mute February of the last human bone.

Where, then, to deposit the porous clay figures of our
talks? We spoke keen rondels, shaped to pry apart the
floor planks of passion and the pathology of degenerative
arthritic knee joints. In the vacant, beige tote that

is a dawn without thumbs, hunger gnaws, and similes,
out which French doors exit all the stories? And when
the unwinded flute of your face cannoned out the big
picture window, over the dishwater lake, sinking deep

into the yielding groin of a low wave, I am humming
(internally) the cremated melody of an old sea shanty
whose gold hoop has never pierced my left earlobe.
I have tied no sturdy knots in hemp rope. My father

was not he who swung the sloping Irish foothill of a hot
sledge at Ford axles like orange glowworms, capped in
a Dutch oven’s steel sinus until the egg timer cave-in of
his trestled arteries. I knew none of those spilled pink

sea monkeys who diffused their reshuffled molecules
into the smoldering blue of the Coral Sea. I only prune
the spear tips of your limpid eyes as butterfly pins. I am
a dag of cardboard—a box marked for uncoupled shoes.

 

Image courtesy of Getty.


N. Ian McCarthy lives in the southern United States, where he writes poetry and brief prose. His works have appeared on cocktail napkins and in bifold restaurant placemats since the early 2000s. He believes in the principle of essential human worth and in the incomparable value of stories and experiences; he hopes that by attempting to understand better, we attempt to be better. He’s been fascinated by outer space since boyhood, though he has an irrational fear of gas giants. He maintains a small blog at Mad Bongo Maze.

Minotaur – lois e. linkens

minotaur.jpeg

minotaur (lois e. linkens)

should i burn for you?
sacrifice myself for you?
leave behind my friends for you,
become something i’m not for you?
eat away my heart for you,
wrap my soul in cloth for you,
be a real woman too,
a real woman, through and through.
should i be a bitch for you?
make up pretty lies for you?
convince my mum i’m fine for you,
just because you want me to,
stay behind the line for you?
at your feet i pay my due.
on grazed knees await my cue,
desires and whims i must subdue,
i owe my everything to you.
in death, in life, i’m chained to you,
polished, prepped and preened for you,
i am the other half of you.
we make a pretty pair, we two,
a minotaur we are, us two,
man and bull, stuck up with glue.
i am the bull that leads us through,
i am the head and frontal view,
all i want is to please you.
all i want is to please you.
all i want is to please you –
and you, in turn, will love me too?
for all of our forever, won’t you?

We hope you enjoyed this classic piece of writing from the Sudden Denouement archive.


Lois describes herself as a “confused English student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins

vogue- Lois E. Linkens

pages, pages, pages
dripping in incongruity;
train tracks, and European travel nudging
the green hills of England.
renovations, renovations
– ‘i am so, so pleased.’ 
my splendid white house sings virtue. 
you must be one way, just this way
madam, see
these women
with Betty bangs and bobs,
who write about the Mona Lisa
and dream of being her,
there is a lotion for that loathing,
it pays for the print.

 


Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins.

Fragility- Introducing Liz McLeod

Fragile egos,
Crushed like eggshells
Dropped on the floor,
Spilling their insides.

A simple challenge,
A contrary word
Meant for discussion,
Or clarification.

Instead it is viewed
As a knock to the expert,
A refusal to submit
On terms they require.

This is not equality.
This isn’t understanding.
This is a simple wish
To bend another to your will.

Willow-strong, pliant
I will bend to a point.
But then I bounce back
To continue my growth.

Why is every question
Such a threat to so many?
Why is there only
The expectation of bowing?

Are we always so fragile,
We can’t accept and relish
Being pushed and nudged,
With another’s experiences?

I can sit on the floor
At another’s feet, if and only if,
My past is acknowledged,
As it can only reflect on my future.

I am human, humans learn.
My learning has been fraught
With challenges, frustrations, loss.
Issues abound, but so do gifts.

My gifts are discernment,
A very good ear,
Passion, interest in life,
A relatively quick mind.

I have a caring heart,
An appreciation for beauty,
A love of learning more.
I could have made you curl your toes.

I can listen to your past,
Can you listen to mine?
Can we acknowledge each other
And the paths we have traversed?

Or are we doomed to continue
The age-old dance
Of loneliness and isolation,
Wrapped in our cocoons of pity?

I don’t want that,
So, I will seek elsewhere.
I will ask questions,
Expecting thoughtful answers.

I want to constantly question,
Continuously search and understand.
I want to acknowledge and seek
Good and bad, up and down, here and then.

If that is such a challenge,
Then you are right…
We are not for each other
In any form whatsoever.


Liz McLeod is a science fiction and fantasy author as well as a poet, living in the great and beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. She is also a Managing Editor at Sudden Denouement. You can find more of her writing Liz McLeod Musings on the Day!

Deontological Doubts – Aurora Phoenix

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Deontological Doubts

I run barefoot
past the bronzed statues
idols of deontological divination.
I am a rule-following rebel
tracking muddied toes
between the pews
in which I have long since
refused to kneel.
I gave up self-flagellation
for Lent
the year I was sixteen
though those reflexes
to don needless
sackcloth and ashes
twitch, regenerative,
and the hair shirt
constricts
my free spirited
flights of fancy.
I labor
toward fictional salvation
yoked under twined heritage:
an inexhaustible work ethic
protesting
my non- Protestant roots
while I lug the chiseled tablets
writ with my Catholic guilt.

I have walked the straight and narrow
heel just beyond toe
slow and steady
concentrating
hands held just so
contriving delicate
equilibrium
quivering –
the fallen branch is wobbly
surging water below
frigid, if not deep.
that limb I went out on
felt a mission
no lark nor miscreation.
there was vine-shrouded rot
a shattering fracture
my immersion
was fire and ice
and long cold days in hell.

my moira is yet spinning
in threads of silken sterling
burlap intertwined
shimmering as it scrapes
defenses from my skin.
invisibly tethered
to the spindle and its webbing
I meander on my way.
there is play in the line
so I run barefoot
past the patinaed busts
effigies of deontological deities
laughing with windswept hair
trailing violet petaled poems.

[Aurora Phoenix is a wordsmithing oxymoron. Staid suburbanite cloaks a badass warrior wielding weapon grade phrases. Read more of her confabulations at “Insights from Inside.”]

 

 

 

An Existential Exposé – A.G. Diedericks

Pardon my self-aggrandizement
in the existential exposé of my life
for what i have to offer you today
is naught
but melancholy which percolates
my spirit with a constant test of my stoic resolve

I thought that i had given up emotion
buried the empath in me
5 feet under
until poetry reared it’s ugly head
and exposed me

As a mage of words
filling my glass up
till i couldn’t see how empty it was
on the inside

I had grown too comfortable in this specious skin
that i added layers to draw
a truth that resonated with you
in ways it never will with me

And now i stand here
as a pseudo-intellectual
undressed in public by simplicity;
chained to my reality
for once i am bereft of pretty answers

 


 

A.G. Diedericks: “‘write what you know’ are the four most soporific
words I’ve ever heard. I am a divergent writer who couldn’t give 2
fucks about striving to be the best. To write only what you know, is
to play it safe. Art is imaginative rebellion. I am engaged with the
versatile risk takers, the ones who are not afraid to take their shoes
off & get dirty. I write & curate at Morality Park.”]

Multicultural Sushi – David Lohrey

What Europe needs is more Asians.
England will never be the same and dear
Katie can’t wait. She wants Liverpool
to look like Calcutta. Her dream
is a world of heterogeneity. Her idea
of bliss is Los Angeles everywhere.
Kuala Lumpur in Germany. Italy
without Italians, brimming with
Somalis; that’s the ticket. Germany
without whites.

Syrians will build Mercedes, according to sweet Katie. The
Algerians can bake the Stollen. Refugees from
Afghanistan will make the watches.
The Iraqis want to design Cuckoo Clocks;
get rid of the Swiss, the Germans, Swedes,
and the Danes. What do they know? They’ll be fine
in downtown Nairobi.

But Katie also likes Tokyo. She loves
the buzz and the sushi. What she likes above all else
is how safe it is for women. She can walk the streets
after midnight. But, here too, she celebrates
diversity. Bring in more Asians, Katie declares.
Welcome Filipinos and Chinese by the millions.
Why wouldn’t you? But she doesn’t wait for an answer.
She rushes to fling open the gates. Let’s erase the borders.

Yes, nothing less than 30 million will do.
If the US can take 1, 000, 000 Mexicans – and we know it can –
Japan can easily handle half of China. Throw in Manila.
Why ever not? If you dare to argue, you’re a racist.
If you express a doubt, you’re a Nazi. The more the merrier.
What is there to lose?

I ask…

If Merkel can’t get the Greeks to work 60-hour weeks,
how is she going to convince refugees from Sierra Leone to do overtime?
Is it true that economics is color blind?
Do Moroccans read Max Weber?
Do Ugandans have a work ethic?
Do Filipinos commit suicide when they’re wrong?
Do Americans have a sense of shame?

What of honor?

Japan without Japanese is China.
America is an airport with an annex.
It’s less a culture than a location, a living space.
Do we really want more and more of Houston?
A Dallas that stretches from sea to sea is bad enough.
Must it now be exported to the rest of the world?
The Japanese give up Kyoto but get Colorado?
A sea of homeless people. Mexicans without Spanish?

And the streets will remain safe?
Why ever not? Katie laughs. I wouldn’t try it in New Delhi.
Only a fool would in most of Chicago, not to mention Tijuana.
She doesn’t believe it. She knows better.
“If you’re nice to them,” she sings, “they’ll be nice to you.”
Diversity is marvelous, I’ll agree to that,
but I can’t see how a diverse Japan remains Japan.
Japan without Japanese isn’t Japan; that’s all I’m saying.
What it becomes might be great, perhaps even better, I won’t deny it.

You’ll get a better world perhaps, but you’ll sacrifice the sushi.
Have you tried the tacos in Los Angeles made with kimchi?
Many find them delicious – it’s a fair point – but remember this:
The Japanese don’t drink their tea with sugar.
When you add peach flavoring to green tea,
it ceases being Japanese and becomes garbage.
So, open the gates and cry welcome but don’t tell me
you love Kyoto. Tell me you want to live at Kennedy Airport,
in Terminal 9; the sushi there is marvelous. Try it with salsa.


[ 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.]