Idiom – Joey Gould

It’s right where you left it

the radial arm
saw, even though mum moved. The deep
cutting 12” blade, the chopped-out fence,
the bench that held every deck board.
Better it should stay in your cave, I an apart-
ment dweller then, watching moths land
on my scotch glass fourth floor studio.

I ran wood through for Ade’s changing table
when I could. The biscuits glued to my fingers.
Now it’s a dresser & drawn on, a child’s possession.
Up & down go the drill-pressed adjustable shelves:
books, clothes, thank god no more diapers.

I have your grip—the screws I torqued
into solid maple hold doors flush.
The stain still refracting walnut. All the measures
we take to finish our work, patience for geometry
& the bottomless screwdriver drawer. I am

the magician now, already was when you called
from the kitchen: where the pry bar, the hammer,
where the jar of 3” interior screws? Sighing, & down
the three-riser skeleton of the steps
& into your workspace, picking whatever
thingy up & plopping it at your head
as you, jackknifed, bent in prayer
to the broken pieces of my childhood
home: it’s right where you left it.

Photo by Ian D. Keating

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

Ripe – Jimmi Campkin

When I stand on her footprints my shoe engulfs them, but the memory swarms across me like low autumn shadows. Her goosebumps are Braille to me, without them I am blind. Without my fingertips dancing across her arms, and down her back, I am lost. I live for touch and scent. I cannot feel her bony shoulders anymore. I cannot smell the incense and cigarettes when we bathe in the sun. I long for long greasy hair, bad breath and sweat packed against the shoulder-blades.
I fell in love with her through violence, and I think she would’ve appreciated that. Grabbed by the lapels by a stranger to me, pressed against a wall, staring into eyes wired and unfocused by cocaine and disappointment, I was told; you have to do this….you’d be a fool not to. But I am a fool; always have been. And I always choose not to.
When I run my hands down the contours of her flesh, it is not foreign to me. I know every dimple, I know every crease and I know every fold even as my fingers explore unknown territories. That thrill; the new and the familiar, pulses through me even as all the blood rushes confused like commuters at a station closure between the mind that races and the witless organ that twitches and throbs. I long to lick those teeth, and I long to drown in those thoughts, and I long to be useless next to someone who can activate me.

Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com.

Karaoke Blues – Nicole Lyons

I don’t think you want to know me

like you say you do

I don’t think you want to know how

my hips ache with the weight

of women crumbling

under angry men

and bridges painted whiter

than any Holy Spirit

asked them to be

I walk with the stumbling grace

of a wounded soul stretched

and ready to burst

against the aftershocks

I have placed in my pockets

 

I don’t think you want to know me

I think you want to duck and jive

and convince the women

in my pockets to sidle up

under neon lights and press

their hips against smudged rails

while they powder their noses

and sit pretty until they are asked

to dance or you get five fingers in

and begin telling the story about the time

you watched your mother burn.

You will never find salvation here,

but I like the way you keep coming back

with your fists full and asking forgiveness

knocking on honey-coloured jungle wood

toes sealed tight inside crocodile tears

still wet, and tap-tap tapping slow

to a beat that hums in karaoke blues

 

Nicole Lyons is a force of nature disguised as a writer, a social activist, a voice for the downtrodden, and a powerful poet with a delicate touch. She is a best selling published author, poet, and also a consulting editor for Sudden Denouement.

 

Georgia Park (pictured) also writes poetry and consults for Sudden Denouement in addition to being extremely good looking.

Gallifrey Is Gone

by Nathan McCool

gallifrey

My home is at the heart of nomadic wandering.

If you were to understand

this kind of isolation, you too would

have to be the lone survivor of

ancient desolation.

All the wars now are fought endlessly

among my triple brain stems.

These wars that will take all my love.

These wars that time and dimension

cannot escape.

These wars that will leave me alone –

the last thing walking in the shadows.

My dearest friends, my greatest loves…

You know me. But you can not know

what is in me. That I see everything

at all times;

even at the ruination of the world

and the resurrection of my body.

How the beating of my two hearts

elapses in the lacuna where dual suns shine;

echoing with all the death in my wake that could

engulf all of time and space.

For all my love and good acts,

there is perhaps an even

greater vulnerability.

Because I’ve seen it all.

And I can tell you that I am alone.

Gallifrey is gone.

 


 Nathan McCool is a member of Blood Into Ink and the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. You can find the haint, dusk, and sizzling of his concrete snares on his blog, Mist of Melancholia.


 

To Quote Walt Whitman

by Mick Hugh

 

whitman

Are there pastorals in a pixel?

I’ve heard it said so.

That a perfect moment holds life’s memories…

yet the playback waits for death.

 

No better than the world

in a meek man’s hands:

show me the roses growing naturally in the graveyard,

or a romance with a wick for the years.

 

We can get high enough

if we run the old Buick

with the garage door shut.

 

We can get high

walking the Lincoln Tunnel,

or gasping for breath

from a Newark overpass.

 

A thousand office faces

find their dreams in computer screens,

still glowing when the day shuts its lights.

Wither the aortic valve,

just from a lack of use.

 

Lazy eyeballs,

cataracts,

myopic Coke-bottle glasses.

The smoke-stacks in a Cezanne.

Mesothelioma

in the gold mines of a wedding ring –

are we done yet?

 

Febrile seizures on a death-bed

awaken his famous past:

canyons in the skin

that ran the red of roses.

 

He’d take his books for walks

till his legs got lost,

down by the waterfront,

down Washington Street.

 

The clamor of half-built high-rises,

soot of the tent towns

under the highways:

the fast clacking of sharp shoes on the sidewalks,

a briefcase to withstand the bullets.

 

Strange creatures that lurked down the streets,

mange and tendon and quiet whisper.

The dog with chopped ears

pawed the Plexiglass shell,

and whimpered,

as the clerks and the lawyers brisked past.

 

A daisy grew in a pavement crack.

A daisy grew and the seasons churned

on a playback twice as fast.

Stop.

 

Stuck at a stop in the traffic-thronged street was a truck,

hauling concrete to the next empty lot, being filled.

The driver could barely be heard:

the hum of idling traffic,

the overpasses rumbling above;

 

beneath the sounds of airplane thrust

and the debates of World News Tonight,

the truck driver,

red faced,

barely heard,

shouting out,

“I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass!”

 


Mick Hugh is a writer for Sudden Denouement, and the groundskeeper at Mick’s Neon Fog.


 

Introducing Joey Gould: The One Time You Take Her to the Lake

It is easy to love one who stares so hard.
She speaks to the breaking water,
eyes ninety degrees away .

You know the vowel structure,
the tongue tuck, the flick of lighters,
the grey solution slowing your veins—

alternately, there grew the lump
in her chest. Then she flew away
from sureness, pale sojourning.

A speedboat’s wake splashes here by a private dock
neither of you owns. Neither of you owns
much. As for any sort of kissing, she
is beautiful but already swimming away
into a blinding sunburn cooked into the pond,
into the flesh-gap between the stories
inked into the skin of her narrow shoulders.
She needs them touched up. She once had

much longer hair, when she forgot
for seven years—consider yourself
also a side-effect of the chemo.
You never learned to swim.

This story poets tell you to read,
it is beautiful & aloof, it runs out
of pages, will not listen to you begging.

Someday you will see her
finally in the ocean, too far away,
too unconcerned with the jagged shore.


Joey Gould is a long-time contributor to Mass Poetry, for which he assists the Poetry Festival Planning Committee, leads workshops for Student Day of Poetry events around Massachusetts, writes web articles for MassPoetry.org, & judges slams for Louder Than a Bomb MA. His work has been printed in Paper Nautilus, Drunk Monkeys, The Compassion Anthology, Memoir Mixtapes, & District Lit, amongst others. He has twice been nominated for Bettering American Poetry and once for a Pushcart Prize. Since his first public reading as a fellow of Salem State University’s Summer Poetry Seminar, he has performed in The Poetry Circus, Elle Villanelle’s Poetry Bordello, and The Poetry Society of New York’s Poetry Brothel. In addition to his Mass Poetry work, he has taught workshops for the Salem Poetry Seminar & Salem Lit Fest. He coedits Golden Walkman & writes 100-word reviews as poetry editor for Drunk Monkeys. Most important, he likes Pusheen & painting his nails.

You can follow Joey on Twitter @toshines

Lettered jailer – Iulia Halatz

You look so sane

potentially careful and serene

Smirk-at-arms

atoning for

the perfumed gaiety

and colorless skies.

The fire in the autumn

dictates the ice in the new moon.

My love,

When are you going to make up your mind?

Set me free

word upon word

I throw in your face

unsubmissive of your bars…

When are you going to break the gloom?

Sorrowless

is your world

You grow your stamina

from my pain…

Minstrels sing of legendary lands

You sing of the legendary cavern

lettered for me.

Some words are

like the spring wind

building with

cherry blossoms

the library

of scent…

Some words

tell

the snows of June

makeshift

a gilded cage

Lit only by a shadow…

Your words are the haze

that glimmer in the distance

Dystopian love

ruling

over eight kingdoms.

One day

I am walking

in a field of poppies

with a sun

that clears

a golden path for me.

The next day

I am bleeding

on thistles and thorns.

You are betrayer

of words

and pilferer of dreams…

Your love expires

every time we drink

the shade of the evening

and the rumours in the stars.

 

“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.