Sudden Denouement Classics: Battle of Boredom – Henna Sjöblom

There was a war that day
indisputably
although, nobody talked about it
you would see them walking by a little faster
their funny hats tilting from side to side
Sometimes the sky would shatter above us
And bleed neon blue
the drains would flood
the cats drown in screeches
what good is having nine lives
if you don’t know how to stay afloat

People are all the same
Everyone would unfold their umbrellas
Hoping for the weather to clear
The shards of metal and from the air
they stay cramped in their corners
watching their toes rot away from the humidity

Under-dressed little girl
strutting about, singing
dead men can walk
madness her name
lost her little mind
in the deluge
the acid raindrops
digging trough her temples
like a poem
and when the streets eventually dried up
she would be found crying
in the sewer
bent over the smeared ink stains
the disfigured body
of a paper print lover


Henna Sjöblom,  the goth girl next-door. Aspiring author. Monstrophile. Horror enthusiast. She writes to cope with mental illness and everyday experiences. Find her at H.JD Writes

Sudden Denouement Classics: To Quote Walt Whitman- 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.


 

SORROW-TELL HEART – Iulia Halatz

 

I was a pet of some exotic breed

I couldn’t sing above the ground.

Tamed, wounded, half born

Under the dark moon.

It was he

Who taught me

To unsing

Undream

Unbelieve

To him my humane body

Had been a fiery husk

Flickering 

Against closed walls.

The garden was above

Dank meadows looming.

Everything I saw in my mind

I could perceive

With the eyes of

A wound,

Pulsating

Festering

Could I still feel the scent

Of night

in the carousel of pain?

 

I wanted to break

This corrosive perception

And listen to songbird…

Everything that shimmered

In my ears

Was crackling crows

Fruits of mauve trees

Against amber twilight…

In the sundown realm.

The blood of the stars

Had engulfed it…

My heart used to have roots

Into the feeble beams of autumn

After lilacs grew them stronger…

Can you pull me into April?

Or any month

wearing blue odors

And tawny lights…

Pending July

he would be felt on my skin

Like Spring rain

Without Spring.

Sophisticated

Abrasive

Pet

of one color…

I was allowed to contemplate

The flawed days only

through barbed windows…

 

You lived,

But somewhere else

The black moon turned away

Sheltered steppe

Had no need of garbage flowers

The zest for life

Is fortitude, work

Dream

Of a plain new world

Swept in the ascending

Web of Truth.

 

“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.

Sudden Denouement Classics: star gazers – lois e. linkens

stargazers

we drove all day, and into the evening
and when it got too dark to drive,
we parked the van on the roadside
and opened up the back doors.
the moon looked over
the scattering of stars,
like a mother hen.
and in the sun’s absence
all barriers dropped.
our curtains fell,
and all we had on
dissolved into warm ecstasy.
the sky melted into pools of dusky grey,
gathering on the horizon
like water drops down a frosted window.
throwing the doors open
lifted the latch on us.
was it the shimmer of the moon
or the intrusive breeze?
was it the smell of the leftovers
in their tupperware box,
or the ache
from the hard leather seats?
something in the air
led us through the doors and out,
onto the grass to walk about.
you leant on the wooden fence,
and gazed
at the sequin studded ceiling.
the stars had come out that night,
extra bright,
as if they knew
i held you, pressed my face against
the heat of your back.
i tucked my arms around you
and held you.
as the night lay quiet,
your heart beat through me,
loud and strong.
a bass drum in a marching band.
you were more alive than me
more alive than anything.
your body breathed into mine and
took me somewhere
made for me,
where i would be the only guest.
we saw orion’s belt, and
you were proud of me
because i spotted it.
there were legends in the sky,
stories and survivals,
dreams and departures,
histories and hand-me-downs.
you knew their names,
you told me.
‘there is no number created
that could count the stars
and make me tired
of stargazing.’
do you remember when you said that?
you know, my darling –
God could fling infinite stars across the heavens
and still my gaze
would be fixed
on you.


Lois is a poet and student from England. She is studying the literature of the Romantics and hopes their values and innovations will filter through into her own work. She is working on longer projects at present, with a hope to publish poetry collections and novels in the years to come. She is a feminist, an nostalgic optimist, and a quiet voice in the shadows of Joanne Baillie and Charlotte Smith. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at  Lois E. Linkens.

Let This Be Our Byre – Jonathan O’Farrell

 

Not to remain in any shape,

removing the real flesh,

body,

actuality

of the warmth

of my exhaled breath.

Seeing to it

that

I cannot

and will not

now be confined

to a box

within another’s life

like, let me see –

a fondly remembered

dead pet.

 

As you took

my breath away,

so do I

now.

You have provided well

and amply,

regularly,

assiduously,

dry material.

Tossed in from time

to time,

a spark,

even flame.

But how could it catch

a heart still aflame itself?

 

I have unwillingly

and in a retardent fashion

taken now little pieces

and so,

laterly,

unwittingly,

too long,

scraps.

And the chafe

of your intent;

chafing,

It rubs.

Heating yet cooling

in the reality of this,

half life,

I fatigue

like a light alloy,

metal.

Half,

something else,

darkened and tarnished

love.

 

Now,

let this

be our byre.

Let’s willingly ignite all,

past, present, future,

in one last conjoined,

strong and resolved

breath

that meets

and greets,

gladly.

The source,

the truth,

of this fire

is a last loving act

 

Toss it all in,

in one moment,

consumed utterly,

rising smut be us.

Heaveward acension

and free to go which way

or that,

with the four winds,

embracing something

so much greater,

than the two,

as was.

 

Now,

as then;

Phoenix,

two wings strong,

ascendant.

 

“I guess you might describe me as a semi-nomad, at the moment . . . and in the moment, I might change. I am transitioning into a creative life, blogging, photography and, significantly, the publication of my first two photographically illustrated poetry anthologies, this year.”

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter, with writing, photography, healing garden project updates and travel journals:

https://misterkaki-writer.substack.com

 

 

Flinch – 1Wise Woman

in utero

she assimilated

a rabid reflex

to flinch

at sharp voices

sudden shifts

in the sacrificed she

sans escape

an embryo

devoid decision

embedded dna

blind baby syncing

with heartbeats

elevated

perpetuated panic

locked doors

tarnished hearts

tainted marrow

scanning memory

for pretty pictures

but fear is liquid

fire erasing fancy

it’s terror

in the air

choking

without exception

finding a way in

entering quiet

quick breathes

seeping through pores

staking claim in

undeserving souls

and it stays

stays and takes

takes time

time and time again

till tormented babes

begin to transform

without terms

terminate

term life

slight and slender

like shadows

that follow

and she flinches

still

it’s her give away

she’s gone away

drunk and disorderly

armed and dangerous

but sinners thrive

when all else dies

and she needs

needs

to rid herself

exorcise

escape

a lifetime

of that

fucking

flinch

 

[1Wise-Woman: “I am living, fighting, and thriving with mental illness and chronic disease and a need to express myself. Writing eases some of the weight I carry.” When she isn’t yanking shadowy strands of leathery clumps of unconscious, and tenderly placing them into word documents, she is creating at A Lion Sleeps in the Heart of the Brave.]

Post-Partum Depression David Lohrey

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Post-Partum Depression

There’s been no birth but I am suffering from post-partum depression.
Do you know the feeling? Something’s been taken away.
I am a passéiste; I do not have my eye on the next thing.

In the garden, the Delphiniums are in flower.
We’ll do everything together; we’ll change the world.
We’ll abolish all private property except my house.

I said in my last poem that everyone should eat popcorn, but that’s not
because I like it. I just like the sound of my voice. My fantasy is to live
in a Faulkner novel but that doesn’t mean I refuse to wear underpants.

I wanna get me an emotional-support peacock and move into Flannery
O’Connor’s old house. They prefer moist, cool summers and do not fare well
in hot, dry weather. One does still hear dreadful stories.

The greatest birthday present I ever got was a potted tomato plant from
Armstrong’s on Azusa. It cost $.79. There is nothing on this earth
as delicious as a cherry snow cone.

Who takes advice from a poet? Tamara is soaking. Robin betrayed me.
Now hear this: I don’t think women should be allowed to vote. How’s
that for a blast from the past?

I saw my first film by Truffaut in the Mission; got my first piece of ass on
Craigslist. I’ve been trying to sell the same radio play for 25 years.
I’d prefer to live in Arcadia and drive an Audi.

The plants also dislike sudden winds or rain. Except for the dwarf perennials,
most delphiniums need staking. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Who’s afraid of red, white, and blue?

Heavens to Murgatroyd, that’s about it. This is our common tale of woe. Some
thrive in the present, others not. It all comes down to the Tootsie Roll.
Things will never get better as long as we think FDR was a nice guy.

[David Lohrey is from Memphis, where he grew up, and now lives in Tokyo, where he teaches and writes for local travel magazines. He graduated from UC Berkeley and then moved to LA where he lived for over 20 years.

Internationally, his poetry can be found in Otoliths, Stony Thursday Anthology, Sentinel Quarterly, and Tuck Magazine. In the US, recent poems have appeared in Poetry Circle, FRiGG, Obsidian, and Apogee Journal. His fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Dodging the Rain, and Literally Stories.

David’s The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th-century literature, was published in 2016, while his first collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was released in September 2017. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Collective.]

 

Short Circuiting- Ms. Georgia Park

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What if i recklessly wrote three or four poems a day
and sent them into the void of cyberspace
where anyone from my little brother to my exes could read them
until i was picked clean like the carcass
of the rotisserie chicken my aunt sent me home with last weekend
and what if i then found spiderwebs in my pantry
and boiled a bone broth with it – would i be all
water with shiny oil spills fed to the masses
at the homeless shelter i almost wound up at

or should i instead demand a little privacy
when the car of my body stops short and my brain
reels back and jolts violently against my skull
until i am irrevocably damaged? should i put on display
for the purpose of a science i dont understand
the spots where i am worn thin and short circuiting

or should i grow out my hair to it’s natural color
and pile it on top of my head, donned in sweatpants
do yoga, think about the best exercises for an aging woman
go to therapy, read thick novels, think of children
and bake my very first contribution to Thanksgiving?
Just a pumpkin pie, nothing fancy. Could i possibly
forget what happened to me (was it me, really, even back then?)
or at least stop talking about it and just go quiet
could i pass for a brain that’s not short circuiting?

Georgia writes for Sudden Denouement, Private Bad Thoughts, and is the creator of Whisper and the Roar: A Feminist Literary Collective.

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.