Only One of Us Gets to be a Martyr Part II-Sarah Doughty and Nicholas Gagnier

It was the defiance in your gaze that caught my eye at first. The way you did the opposite of what anyone told you, for the sake of proving them wrong. Sometimes you succeeded, and sometimes you didn’t. But it never stopped you from being you. Down to the core. Making your own way, on your own terms. Maybe that was what fascinated me for so long. What left me in awe. Maybe it was some of the things you said. What left me speechless.

(But I’m restless, 
full of 
condescension, 
ruling my own city without mandate or 
consensus, putting up 
fences, making 
contestants of 
first 
impressions,
taking something so breakable as penance
and helping it
be bent
in pieces.)

Being alive is not a competition, but death calls to my indecision.

I didn’t know how to respond to such a comment. Indecision was never a part of who you were. And I knew, in that very moment, that I would happily die in your place, just to rekindle those fires that burned inside you. Because a world without your fiery passion is not a world I want to live in.

(And yet, I’m obsessive 
with my tenses, past & future,
as ghosts of
the present 
debate
the 
metronomes that 
menace every last
paragraph
and 
sentence, 
trying to mention 
events without
saying
your
fucking name,
and I’m reckless, shaking
rowboats and the
dust from
sarcophagus
serenades) 

So, darling, let
me be
the martyr.

You deserve to rise and become so much more.


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.

Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet, and the creator of  Free Verse Revolution. He has published several poetry books, as well as a novella releasing this July. Nicholas supports and engages in conversations around mental health and social welfare, preferring strong literary voices and self-expression to traditional narrative and poetry. He lives in Ottawa with his young daughter, where he runs FVR Publishing and works on a million projects at once.

Two Parts- Erich Michaels and Sarah Doughty

She was a breath of fresh air
He grew up in the tenements
She was a mountain range
He was that sweet something
After too much saltiness
She grew up listening to country
He was her first taste of jazz

She was his first night under the stars. His first taste of the wild. She was the reprieve he needed from the concrete and smog. He brought her excitement and city lights, but still danced with her under the moonlight. He showed her that there was more to her world, just as she did for him. At last, they felt like two parts made whole.

Unfortunately, time has a way of making even mountain ranges nothing more than a tattered backdrop at a rundown portrait studio. Even jazz can become background noise—Muzak in a department store. Two completely different suits in the deck can become just cards, just as he and she, spring and fall, became seasons that never seemed to touch.

But that was what made them work. That was what kept them together all those years. All those things became the backdrop of their lives, and the glue that held them together.

Stanzas 1&3 © Erich Michaels

Stanzas 2&4 © Sarah Doughty


Erich Michaels describes himself as  “just trying to share the human experience.”  He has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, but find himself writing SOPs (lather, rinse, repeat) in order to make a living, which can be detrimental to the creative process.  You can find him on the road to recovery at Erich Michaels.  Every journey begins with a single step, right?

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.

Coming Soon from Sudden Denouement Publishing- Pantheon by Eric Syrdal

“I won’t spoil the brilliant conclusion of this novel, suffice to say, if it is your desire to read something astoundingly original, from a writer who is not only a truly breathtaking author, deft with supernatural words and ideas, but a dreamer of worlds, who will blow any preconceived notions you have away and leave you shell shocked by the sheer power of his mind, then I cannot recommend Eric Syrdal and his novel Pantheon more highly. “I built this beach / and the stars / and the moon …. I turn back the wheels of heaven / and make time stop and rewind / over and over ….. Because I don’t know how to tell him / A machine had a wish.”

Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock

Bereft- 1WiseWoman and Sarah Doughty

I’m parched
A pariah
Desolate
Dehydrated by lack
Of human touch

No matter how surrounded I am by all the warm bodies, I’m bereft. Longing to be held. To be seen. To be touched. By you. But, here I stand, desperate for a drink of contact with no drop in sight. 

Drowning in dry desert sand
Tethered by rope
Stretched taught with hope
That it may snap
Sending me into your orbit
A melancholy mirage

Coughing through every grain that falls into my mouth, I gasp for air, hoping against hope that I’ll find you in the dark. This rope — my hope is all that’s left of me, I hold on as hard as I can. With my life. 

Not meant to be marooned
Amongst the masses
A single star pulsates
Through callused hands
Resonating with echoes
Of my name

With the beacon as my guide, I pull my way through the din, searching for its source. I keep telling myself over and over again that I’ll make it. I have to. My life depends on it. And as I gain some ground, seeing that light growing larger by the second, I know I will make it.

Stanzas 1, 3, & 5 © Laurie Wise
Stanzas 2, 4, & 6 © Sarah Doughty


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

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.


 

Ita and Tom-Jimmi Campkin

DSC_0160 1.JPG

The town surrounds the hill like a doughnut, and we are the hole.  We lay side by side, staring at clouds like nature’s Rorschach.  Here are warriors with spears and here are fucked up dolphins with five tails.  There is a strand of DNA being broken apart with pliers and there is a dick with three balls.  Three balls.  She observes it dispassionately and says, dryly; enough to give anyone a stomach ache.  Then she claps her hands a few times and shakes her head.

We endure below the waterline with the scum and the fools, but on this hill we can exist, and stroke the feet of angels.  She tells me to splay my fingers out wide and to comb them through the clouds, to feel divinity in the webs.  I half-heartedly swat at thin air and she stubs a cigarette out onto the back of my hand.   Raising one shoeless foot she traces out her name, lets out a fart with a wince and demands another cigarette.  I feel my phone vibrate but this hill has rules.  No technology.  No distractions.  No unnecessary conversation.  I wish I could live my life the way I live on this hill, staring at frozen water and being burned alive.

In the nearby churchyard she has a favourite grave.  A young Italian couple died on the same day over thirty years ago.  The tomb is expensive but forgotten – once pristine marble now dirty, a bunch of rotting artificial flowers in the honeycomb vase, slowly sinking into the ground head first.  I ate her out on the cold stone, looking up at that glorious landscape – the round thighs, the scarred rolling tummy and through the gap in her tits to that gasping, eye-rolling face.  But then my eyes lingered on their names, rusting and bleeding onto the off-white slab… names chosen by parents for children, and I couldn’t muster any enthusiasm anymore.  Rolling off, I told her I had a sore throat and she didn’t speak to me for a week.

This is all memory to me now.  She sleeps somewhere beyond where angels and demons sleep, a special place where she connects to the planets in far off systems and keeps them turning.  The hill is no more and the hole is filled.  There are no clouds, and I swipe my hands through a vacuum.  I try to make shapes out of the nothingness, and I just end up trying to marry specks of dust into sculpture.

Just before the end, we lay in a trembling embrace.  She hadn’t stood under clean water in three weeks and her hair stuck to her skin at every opportunity.  I would do the same.  She looked at me through gelatinous eyes.  I’m just so tired… and she smiled sadly.  I’m terrified because I’ve never seen her cry before.

A few years ago the town planners bulldozed the church and built a supermarket over the graveyard, the dead trapped under the aisles.  I hate it but I tell myself; it’s just the next logical step.  God creates Man.  Man creates Walmart.  Walmart destroys God.


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.

Sudden Denouement Publishing Releases Composition of a Woman By Christine E. Ray

Sudden Denouement Publishing is proud to announce the release of Christine E. Ray’s book Composition of a Woman.

“Poet Christine Ray’s first printed collection of poetry, Composition of a Woman (Sudden Denouement Press, 2018) is a striking, fearless foray into the psyche of womanhood, both highly relatable and intensely personal for female readers and achingly candid and fascinating for male.”
Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock

Composition of a Woman is now available at Amazon.comAmazon CanadaAmazon Australia, Amazon Europe ( Amazon.co.ukAmazon.deAmazon.frAmazon.it, and Amazon.es,) as well as other major retailers.  Signed copies are available in the Sudden Denouement Etsy Store

Composition Of A Woman - Christine E Ray - CS.indd

Excerpt from Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective- A letter to someone’s saviour/Oldepunk

aletterto
Hey you.  Allah

I feel nothing anymore

If I do, I can’t tell

is it supposed to be this way?

Hey you.  God, why am I

screaming at the fact that you’re aware of my failure which I see sitting demure at a table sipping espresso as the aftermath of the encounter thickens the air and afterwards no one knows what to say and I want to sneer at our confusion but find I can only shout fears in tongues at the matador in front of the corner store

can you spare a holy smoke?

You know the man who said he knew you tried to teach us

he liked to play with the little boys in the parks after dark

my parents decided that he probably didn’t know you but must have had some good lawyers cause he packed up his show and moved on to the next town

anticipating sundown.

I need a cleansing

I wrote this for you.

Christ,

I thought I left ’em all behind

those friends I never knew

and the women I never loved

the things I’ve never done

and the truths I’ve never spoken

those tears should have dried

those emotions should have died

Buddha,

I should have left when I had the chance

and now I am alone and stoned and cold

no longer so bold, I wish I would have walked away

from those lies I’ve never told

pain I never endured

People I’ve never needed

friends I never saw die

the escape route always eluded me

draining my will to try

Do you offer a resurrection

for those of us who got it wrong

will you truly offer me a chance to start again

or was it bullshit all along.

if it’s really a redemption song

then maybe I too could sing

and see what  your new tomorrow

may bring

maybe, If I can be strong

it has got to better than this

Warmest Regards,

I was Wrong

Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective is available at Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, Amazon Canada, Book Depository, and other major book retailers.


You can read more of Oldepunk’s poetry at RamJet Poetry