Time and Sticks

By Aakriti Kuntal
Time and Sticks
My legs elongate
into uncertainty,
their uneven shapes masquerading
a rather even formlessness
Prickly clouds hang
with shaven heads
and Clot
the artery, the pace,
the rhythm of this slovenly existence
I tap the round edges of my calves
and meet the rising color of age,
a darkened maple hue,
accumulation of multiple days
cemented boundaries of blurring worm cells
fountains of tension and pain
Occasionally I think
I could bury myself in space,
Swallow vacuum like food and create a gaping hole,
a minute, a day, a lifetime
Anything that spells ‘ Okay ‘
Occasionally I think
I could burn onto the side table
and nothing will take notice
not the cold sheen of blue curtains
not the clocking lights in my room
That nobody will take notice
And suddenly I will be sliced into two,
two equally nonexistent dimensions of time and space

image courtesy of Aakriti Kuntal

Aakriti Kuntal is a 25-year-old emerging poetess from the country of veritable colors and stratified rainbows, India. A Network Engineer by profession she has been writing for over a year now. She enjoys nature, music, all things geeky and all things art.  Aakriti writes for the Writings of Aakriti Kuntal, and her work has been published in 1947 Literary Journal, Duane’s PoeTree blog, Visual Verse and Indian Periodical among others.

Chicken Dinner – Nicole Lyons

We crossed that bridge
the second you came upon it,
beach blankets soaked
and the lovers’ notes
carved a generation before us
had seemed entirely too heavy
until that night when I sat down
to undercooked chicken and overcooked rice
served with an unconditional side of love.
And I remember feeling sorry for the chicken
at that moment in all of my wise teenage years,
and having an epiphany right there
at the dinner table next to an alcoholic
control freak who called me stepdaughter
and walked upon me to seal it
like the gummy flap of an envelope
stuffed with unloved letters,
and a mother who wore exhaustion
hidden inside her navy pumps.
Death, no matter how it is served
will always precede dinner
unless breakfast beats it to lunch.
And I thought myself wise beyond my years
in that moment, still warm
from the glow of your summer love
and giddy because you and the chicken
filled the pit in my stomach
that always seemed to pound
when he cleared his throat.
And when I heard him gag
behind the ball of his fist and blame it
on the weather and too big a gulp,
I almost didn’t wish he would choke
on chicken or the spite hidden beneath it.

Nicole Lyons is a writer/editor for Sudden Denouement and the creator of The Lithium Chronicles.

Death Knell – Sarah Doughty

“Then, like a death knell, you arrived.
My monster. In the flesh.”

It was the thump, thump, thumping of your uneven steps, as you made your way in my direction. I knew those footfalls like they were alarm bells going off during a fire drill. They pierced my eardrums like thunder. There was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. And there I was, helpless to do anything about it. So I did the only thing I could.

I counted the steps — thump, thump, thump — each one growing louder. Closer. By the time I counted to ten, the night seemed darker. As if the stars closed their eyes and refused to shine. Twenty. With every beat, my heart pounded, pumping battery acid through my veins faster and faster — thump, thump, thump — until the last step. Thirty.

Then, like a death knell, you arrived. Thump. My monster. In the flesh. Darkening my doorway. It was then that my torment would begin.

© Sarah Doughty


 

[Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.]

Sudden Denouement is seeking new writers

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Writing is often a solitary vocation. Sudden Denouement is a community of like-minded individuals who strive to promote each other’s writing. We offer a community of best writers in the world, and also offer the option of publishing. Please send a sample of your writing to Jasperkerkauwriting@gmail.com.

Jasper Kerkau

 

‘Shoo, fly.’ – Collaboration – Kindra M. Austin & Samantha Lucero

Fly guy—bar fly with Roman nose and sake soaked tongue buzzing in my ear; shoo fly, don’t bother me.

 

like a sip instead of a gulp,

the spider is on the cliff of my knee,

it spreads no further with

its unshaven jowls scratching the walls

of my mind; i remember camel turkish royals,

hard pack, you thanking me after i sucked

your dick,  

begging me to stay when i said goodbye.

men just want a woman in their bed, any one will do.

and i like pooling alone, like a puddle of rain outside,

dreaming my chaotic dreams.

 

You’d followed me out to the parking lot

after my Karaoke set; ‘Rolling on the River’ was my best yet.

I let you feel me up, under the bra, under lights catching bugs,

while my hands worked overtime, pulling down your drawers.

 

and what wet dreams may come on the upper lip,

against graffiti on a basement wall

or into a fireplace or all over my young,

stupid skin – in cupid’s bow – where you

press a finger, and say shhh.

like a benediction in the dark.

the broken arrow, the watery eyes

and lies i combed through my hair.

i keep them like an amulet.

i loved those lies.

 

Men are feeble characters in constant

requirement of a woman’s sustenance,

but too damned proud to kiss the ring

and swear fealty.

So they advertise their cocks, their prowess in bed,

and make us believe we need them.

You’d followed me out to the parking lot,

and told me I was pretty.

 

that dark matter hisses between us like static

in the stomach of a black hole, invisible as your

love, boiling on my brow, california as my religion.

the world going bang inside my ribs. 

my hands still empty from what you stole,

and when i stare at them i wonder how i

ever loved before, how i hadn’t noticed

that love’s dead. it fell off the tree, popped like

an ornament on the floor.

it drown inside distilled water with baudelaire on a sugar cube,

trickling over a latticed spoon into a neon throat.

 

I’ve wept into my wine, oh!

Red, red, bittersweet, the taste of your tongue

clinging to my buds, and the fusty scent left to

stain my nipples that you sucked raw, like an

infant clinging to life—I’d wanted to swaddle you

in the fine fibers of my being. But you are not a babe;

you are a man-child with a predisposition,

and I am a grown ass woman worth more than you have to offer.


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.]

 

&&&

Samantha Lucero likes… uhhh… cats, and can never think of what to say about herself, she writes at sixredseeds, sometimes.]

Writin “Burnin Down the Box” – Nathan McCool

I’m real sick of all the normal talk in this town.

So dig this:

 

I stroll into a convenience store wild-eyed

as any nightmare; and I trade

a satchel of moirai eyes and could-be prophecies

for the cheapest, darkest beer I can pry

from the cooler’s scary fingers

at this late hour.

 

By the time I get home my heart’s bluebird

is already drowning.

Just a damn lightweight these days. Or so my fates say.

 

As usual, the violin and the guitar have been into

another tuning fork fight over why the

power for the amp won’t come on.

And one of em popped a string before

cracking the other’s head.

It’ll get nursed with apologies splattered on

a pill-shaped pillow tonight while I

find the loneliest room in the house

to write a very long metaphor in story form

on the ethics and morality

of the mass acceptance of social stigma.

 

I cast Lemmy’s Rickenbacker as the main protagonist.

I pit it against an angry village of cereal

all armed to the teeth in a riot

and ready for another attempt to march

on a Frank Zappa album.

(Damn cereal never stood a chance.)

 

As I go to write the musical score

I stretch wide above the piano;

drunk, lanky, and weary

like a dope fiend scarecrow

in the fields around Greenwood, MS

waiting to croon with Robert Johnson.

I lean in and tell her,

“There’s a wolf in my heart for you, baby.”

 

I write a real slow song and end it like this:

“Sorry dad,

but I really ain’t no prodigal son.

I ain’t nothing to be proud of

when the day is through.

But you and mom are gonna be alright

and I’m sorry I won’t make it home again.

But there’s just a lot in life I gotta do.

And if you won’t cry when you think of me

I’ll smile when I think of you.”

 

And then I nestle myself way down into

the hole in my acoustic guitar.

Down where the light never reaches.

And I do what anyone does

when they don’t believe in a damn thing

and they got no one to pray to…

I wait for nothing.


 

[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.]

‘A BRIMFUL OF GRIM’ – Collaborative – A.G. Diedericks & Kindra M. Austin

I walk the streets, brimful of grim

a former empath, deformed

with a Stephen Hawking-sized

black hole in my chest

 

At night I chisel the cemetery of us

blurred visions leave my veins with an incision

I siphon the blood back into our old skeletons

reprieve my solitude

 

The moon is a phantasm—

a projection of you

Your cold white face casts shadows

of me against these cobblestone streets

and up the sides of Tudor buildings—

I am a colossus,

brimful of grim   

 

In an L.A. riot, I lie quiet

under a monochrome sun,

and listen to the unison of us—the way we were, uncanny

The earth vibrates underneath me; defibrillator, ascertain my heartbeat

 

Ever since you left, every woman I meet plays her part in a ménage

á trois with your mirage

Cosplay lovers;

I think you would love the homage

 

The sun’s beams envelope me,

a yellow shroud melting

Saturate my winter soul—

memories of you coagulate

in my arteries, thick cholesterol

You are my heart disease

I crave the taste   

 

Insatiable, the revenant of you

I climb into your climate

A masochist, unable to resist—tie me up, let me hang,

suspended in the mist of you


 

A.G. Diedericks is a cinephile in the midst of being gentrified into a bibliophile.. Colonized by mediocrity; He moonlights as a clandestine writer. You’ll find him in a dark alley over at the cuckoo’s nest; where he often lays to rest in Cape Town, SA. ]

&&&

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.]