Dawn – Howl Davies

[A note from Howl: Inspired by a piece of autobiographical haikus by Christine Ray of Brave & Reckless. She reminded me how fun haikus were, and how they’re a great solution to a full on creative block.]

I admire the way
the dawn rolls and recreates
adjacently blind

To the half-drunk boys
and the half-heartbroken girls,
trying to forget

The gristly encore
it’s delayed in its showing
yet it comes around

Not before a glimpse
of the spotlight matinee,
le Cirque du Soleil,

Cleansing rituals
to please the gods of the day
to polish the soul

Justification
belongs in daylight, just as
transgressions, the night

And dawn pulls the rope
lifting curtains for each act
blind, deaf, and silent.


 

[Howl Davies is the ringleader at The Sounds Inside.]

Guest Blogger – Liz McLeod, “Fragility”

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. You can find more of her writing HERE! ]

The next addiction – Bishop Hermes

aleistercrowley

The next addiction – Bishop Hermes

Oh that we create addictions

for ourselves and for others

blissful euthanasias we so leisurely strive for

oh create another so that i may

add yet one more habit to my repertoire

we deform to preserve life

as it lackadaisically slips through our hands

and we endeavor not to become statistics

yet most die to be another one

the impatience is killing me

how long shall i wait for my next addiction

[Bishop Hermes is an exceptional poet/musician who came to Sudden Denouement with strong recommendation from Sperantia Zavala. We are excited to have him contributing and feel strongly about his poetic vision and look forward to a fruitful collaboration.]

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.]

SD now accepts guest-blog submissions

While SDLC (who wants to type that all out, all the time?) can’t take on too many ‘official’ writers for the collective at a time, we are ALWAYS accepting submissions for guest blogs.  This is not a hit on an individuals writing ability, or their appeal — there just isn’t room, or not enough editors yet. 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Make sure that the subject line reads: Guest blog: Name of poem. (Example: Guest blog: When I pee in the sea.)
  • Send up to 3 poems in either .rtf or .doc. attached to the email, to include a brief cover letter (example: Hello, my name is Charles Baudelaire! I love absinthe and dark corners, here are some of my poems!) Although we prefer unpublished, we will consider published work so long as it has ONLY been published on a blog. No e-zines, e-mags, e-presses, e-books, printed works.
  • Include a brief bio in the body of the email and a link to your website/where you write/where you want people to go if they’re interested in more of your writing/your books.
  • Understand that you will not be paid for your submission. We are a small collective, and can only offer support in building your platform and showing your work to our own audience.
  • Understand we do not own the rights to your work, the rights are yours and yours only. We only publish your piece once, with potential to reblog.
  • Allow up to 4-6 weeks for a response.
  • If you prefer to send a blind manuscript, do not include your name or a cover letter in the attached document, only give it in the body of the email.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a review of your poetry book, just send an email with the subject line ‘Review pitch’. Tell us about your work, attach a piece, and we’ll get back to you in 4-6 weeks. If we decide to do a review, a copy of the book will be required (preferably digital.)

Send all submissions to suddendenouement@gmail.com

Find all of this information on our submissions page from now on.

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!]

Am I Still Here?/Jasper Kerkau & Nicole Lyons

jn1 (1)

Emaciated by tortured flowers,
Bored expressions of expired emotions.
Stinging, charred words
dangling in thick air,
poisoned by expectation
Withered and violated
by meaningless conversation
he speaks softly,
vapid illusions
she lingers,
listens,
slowly decaying—
death beckons

I am still
here, pacing
through doorways
under a fluorescent sun.
My battle
cries flat,
pulled to hang
grotesquely
from cracked lips
plied into
an accommodating smile.
I am still
here, existing
behind shadows
inside a false twilight.
Or perhaps
I have eclipsed.
I am still.
Am I still here?

They don’t see me
swallowing knives as
they dance and laugh,
popping balloons while
I ingest their poison,
burning with acidic words
stinging the back of my throat,
I smile and nod to the world
look past the back-slapping
and soft kisses,
I disappear while they dine
on superficial conversation,
slivers of gold mixed with
trivial condiments smeared
over their delicacies.
The belching laughter hides
my diseased thinking,
the self-loathing that is divided
unequally.
They don’t see me
in the weak hours, meandering
down hallways with funny hats,
withering in their jovial retorts,
longing for someone to share
my portion, to starve themselves
on the nothingness I stab with dull
knives
They don’t see me dying, emotionally
decayed, fumbling in the dark places,
longing for an understanding embrace, but
there is only nothing, bitter nothingness.

Nothingness greets me
with twisted smiles
and happy laughter,
pouring from a mouth gagging
on the truth, and I feel again.
I feel the cold chill of terror
and death coming,
to raise the hair
on the back of my neck
as if I was a cat,
arching before
an offensive growl,
low to the ground.
I will spring and fall
into this abyss,
dance circles around
nothing, sway naked
with death, down
the scuffed floors of these halls,
writhing to the beat
of the screams they buried
in my head.
And I will arch my back
and throw my head
high
enough to drop
this slick sickness
from within and leave it
in the bones of this place,
of their place,
and it will ring,
through the walls
out and in
to the pockets
of every soothsayer
and handshaker that has fed
off the fat
of my back.


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

Nicole Lyons is creator of The Lithium Chronicles, as well as being an editor and writer for Sudden Denouement. As always, we are honored by her presence.