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!

HOLLYWOOD HIGH – Collaboration – A.G. Diedericks & Samantha Lucero

Heathers and jocks, flock together
You and I tethered to Glocks & black
leather
Clocks broken, shot
into a myopic future
We meditate on bloodlust
of a murdered adolescent reverie,
besotted with living forever
The colour of Mondays changed
when I tasted the insidious guile on
your lips; glossed in Carrie-red
you needn’t incentivize this perilous
heart of mine
for you I would cut off my misanthropic
parchment
and illuminate the dark matter
’cause all that I bleed
is you

coiling in a house where hymns burn
hair
damp or dirt, or fire walk with me.
daddy is a watershed in dallas, mommy
is a wire hanger bent out of shape.
the world is an open wound,
and i am the trace.
you are the knife and the wail.
the wide awake.
the boulevards red myths, sight and
sense,
names in squirming lights, and seeds
on the flashing ground.
west coast skinned knees
elastic mouths and bodies
oily eyes in topaz and
gold canines in the skyline.

Ghosting their covenant of wisdom
Parked at the intersection of
dusk & dawn
Up on Mulholland Drive
We succumb to it’s lecherous stratosphere
with Hotel California on the radio
lighting smokes out of a trophy of ashes and tossing it into a hedonist zephyr
as L.A.P.D sirens start to sing in the background
Our fingerprints dusted by
the Chinese Theatre…
Hollywood as our alibi

you can see the wit of vanishment in a
wag of night
spirit and vein and wet, the pacific
rehearsing
my longtime name in the paunch of a
sand dollar where
a lover’s walk will stall with age and
wilt.
with the creek of it to your auricle, it’ll
sail in your ear.
but we are bionic serfs in an electric
city,
cordoned by chapters and eyes
sallower in the dark
dark, dark. can we pry open the
stillborn to find landmarks.
how deathlike are the lights.

Pop culture studies us
The media pine for answers
Clogged with a 60 minute survey
– Did their parents love them?
– Do they have a mental illness?
We side-step their clichés
and break the fourth wall;
Gravitating to the camera with verve
’cause we had a cause to be caustic
when faced with their plastic personas
stalking Beverly Hills fat cats
like taxidermists
And we won’t depart until our followers up stage Manson
Charles or Marilyn, its all the same in Tinseltown
where we carve out billboards
with a paramount question…
Why do you fear the children you’ve raised?

to be continued…


 

[ 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. ]

&&

[Samantha Lucero writes books and poetry, short stories, is a historian, heathen and philosophically speaking, an absurdist. Sisyphus being the ultimate example of the absurdity of human existence. She occasionally writes things at sixredseeds.]

BECAUSE I’M A WHORE WHO ASKED FOR IT – Kindra M. Austin

I quite like the dark side, dear.

Show me your shadows, those

Phallic phalanges, and

Feel up my female.

 

I quite like the fusty spoors of

Spirits, and semen, and plundered

Blood

Fixed to my skin.

 

I quite like the emptiness settled in the pit of me—

The sharp taste on my tongue as I lick the edge of abyss.

 

Because I’m a whore who asked for it, simply by breathing.

 


 

Kindra M. Austin is an author (information on her book can be found here), artist, and a Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan—Go Detroit Red Wings! She likes her drinks corpse stiff, music loud as fuck, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs. ]

Kindra M. Austin has just published a poetry book.
Click HERE for more information!

Subterranean Novellas – Aurora Phoenix

he is sleeping
fetally curled
as the narrow bench allows
hairily bedraggled
a forlorn green bean
hopelessly lost in a crisper corner.
insensible to the hubbub
lurch oblivious
sea legs unconscious.
his story has uncracked bindings
though I inescapably
draft this chapter
unimaginatively entitled
“homeless”
subtitled
survival strategies for bitter blustery days

they wear their privilege
like their pancake
precisely overdone
accentuating blemishes
it purports to mask.
like spanx in overtime
containing wayward bulges
they convulse in paroxysms
suppressed schoolgirl giggles
as they selfie mock him –
these southern belles
similarly lionizing
life’s half century
in the city
that will never sleep

do I,
in the crushed velvet burnout
that is my poetic soul,
bear closer resemblance
to an urban misfit
escaping frigidity
cloaked in congealed
eau de shame
than I do
the pungently judging
glam squad clique
clicking and cackling
in cringe-worthy
mean girl couture?

I hope,
fervently as the guillotine bound
damned
pray for salvation
that I do


[Aurora Phoenix: I spent over 2 decades as a clinical psychologist, prior to the decimation of my world when I was suddenly incarcerated 2 and a half years ago. My writing was born in that caged existence – not a choice but a soul-saving necessity.  I write as Aurora Phoenix at Insights from “Inside”]

Lost Voice – Christine Ray

siren’s golden voice
once dropped confident syllables
into air
as naturally as breathing
now stifled in constricted throat
that struggles to swallow
six-sided anxiety
hot, sour bile

college ruled notebooks
once full
of manic scribblings
compulsively captured in black ink
before inspiration could swirl down the floor drain
collect dust
sigh from disuse

pen now held in death grip
fingers have lost their grace
their nerve
fertile mind now an empty room
where silence rings
torturous tinnitus

blindfolded by fear
weight pressing down on shoulders
by the weight of giant
unseen inquisitor’s voice barks
Have you reached the bottom of yourself
are you so shallow
so barren?!
Or is truth so deeply hidden
that you must dive inside
hand to elbow buried into slippery entails
to reach it?

surgical implements laid out
with precision on a stainless tray
slide into view
no hesitation picking up sharp scalpel
with shaking fingers
a writer’s way is
always to bleed


[Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.]

Nathan McCool – Divine

It’s all been Russian roulette and the game 

was rigged from the start. So,

you dear and distant god, what am I to 

make of these small moments between 

the hammer and the head?

 

Allow me this thought:

The clouds that are expelled from me

into winter’s dusk no longer take the form

of myth or fancy as they are painted 

against a dying sun. They are cotton candy 

caricatures of a man in the act of

self immolation.

I believe perhaps all of this has been a walk

down Saigon Road, and I’m now coming to sit calmly

without movement or sound at this intersection 

 

The world I have seen is a nuclei, and 

I am an electron in sporadic oscillation all around it.

I may leave at any given moment to bring 

the clouds of another world to wholeness

or part from them to expose them to the 

ultra violence of ultraviolet light.

 

Because I no longer know what I’m really staying for.

To witness war or the loss of love?

To watch children absorbed into the earth

or for them to wander off from innocence 

into the people they will become?

 

At this point I no longer truly think of ends,

just the momentum of the moment. 

I’ll one day have a grave like a laceration 

upon the flesh of the earth,

and you’ll all pour me in like salt.

But that is a moment with no meaning for me.

 

But in existence,

where misery takes up residence in my bed

so often I’ve taken to calling her “baby”,

I am an entity and an element.

In existence, I have lost more than I have

ever received; and carry more demons 

than I do pores of my skin.

 

Nothing out there cares if I got my druthers,

but I’ll let you know:

If you were to force me to live this innumerable times,

I’d sink these jagged teeth into life 

all over again.


 

x-posted

[Nathan McCool is actually so cool, I can’t stand it. You can find the haint, dusk, and sizzling of his concrete snares on Instagram, or at his blog, Mist of Melancholia.]

time who kills – samantha lucero

who kills, father time?

time who kills:
all things.
startling with the drip of a chrysalis stuck threading in a tapered night that once slurped on breast milk and sour bread. a man where clearwing moths have suckled in.
though he peals in fishnets, loud in a mouthy reservoir of silk,
cum is mud, and mud-worms next to a flaring wing, flowering on a spectral chin, making a seedling.
he’s supine underneath the antlers of his boney hands, he’s castrated
or perhaps submerged in the deepest pore of hell. his sons are the immaterial sky, the apathetic sea, the under-dark.
parents, handfuls of dirt, the bleeding ulcers inside the intestines of earth.

time who kills
father time, luxuriating in an oblong sludge, in chianti bottles marked vintage,
“vintage has to be over twenty-five years,” that cunt would squawk, “antique has to be over 100.”
where are the unwashed dishes shattering in his back molars, reheating last weeks dust.
he leaves his sails in the oven now where they can start a fire.
let it all fucking burn,
“whore never cooked.”

father time,
time who kills, alone in an unmarked bed, opening himself like a spider, projecting a tense movie on the popcorn ceiling of his nostalgic mind.

time who kills the woman ambulating in an uncanny valley, a fisted note in her pocket with red ink: love is dead, it was never born. there is no god. marriage is misery. the baby’s breath in your dreams, the rigid blue hydrangea and promiscuous rose on your white day, better left arranged at a funeral.

“…throw roses into the abyss and say: ‘here is my thanks to the monster who didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive.’”- Frederick Nietzsche

[Samantha Lucero writes stuff sometimes at six red seeds.]