Proper Disturbia – Mick Hugh

Endstation Sehnsucht / Streetcar Named Desire, A

I’ve again picked the wrong major, ten minutes into the second class I can already tell that – this isn’t the scene for me. Black cashmere, Eddie Bauer plaids; retro Doc Martens, soft spoken emotions: your poetry better enunciate pulpy vulnerabilities. The Professor has asked me to share my thoughts and my diaphragm spasms a smile. I am trying not to laugh. Because what I’ve written down is absurd and too honest to be expected, my thoughts here transcribed for our homework assignment. My thoughts on Tennessee Williams’, A Streetcar Named Desire. The room is silent and serious in its all-ears respect of my turn to speak. I am having a hard time not laughing. I compose myself. I begin to read.

“A Streetcar revolves around the personal absurdities of three individuals forced to live in close quarters. The main protagonist, Blanche, is [silent laugh] definitely a lunatic.” I bite my tongue, deep breath quivering stifled laughter. They are expecting something serious, intellectual, insightful [inward laugh]. I sigh and compose myself, begin again.

“The reason we find this drama an authentic representation of human life [pause to suppress laughter] each character is defined by contradictions,” which reminds me of the absurdity at the bottom of the page [face twists to hold in laughter]. BIG BOLD phrases towards the bottom of the page. Breathe, clear my head, begin again.

“The entire drama is founded on the dichotomies of social stratification, intra-personal relationships, and psychological,” [laughter, uncontrollable childish laughter shaking my body]. I am screaming, roaring red-faced boisterous laughter. I am being stared at, glared at, all the more to laugh at the unexpectedness and disapproval of this laughter I’ve kept bottled.

“I’m sorry [laughter, tears-on-my-face laughter]. I’m sorry I can’t [indomitable laughter]. I can’t help it!” Why so serious? Hahaha! Hahaha!

“Mr. – ” starts the professor. “If you have to excuse yourself – ”

I collect my books and notebooks into a pile on my desk, peals of laughter coming to a rest: I feel now almost blissful from being caught in this cataract of unyielding laughter. I think – they have no idea what I find so funny and this laughing so flies in the face of expected decorum that it’s –

Tremors in my diaphragm I begin to laugh again. My head bangs back, bright clouds of laughter to the ceiling frame a word bubble: “He blew his head off! [laughter like bursts of flak] Her husband! She was this [laughter] precious Southern Belle [laughter] inadvertently [laughter] she inadvertently made him [laughter] blow his fucking head off!” [laughterlaughterlaughterlaughter].

I am no longer taking English 106.

We hope you enjoyed this classic piece of writing from the Sudden Denouement archive.


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

 

Can’t- pbbr

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Can’t sleep lately. Everything’s too bright. I’m not used to serenity; I am comfortable in the moss, under a rock, in the onyx flames of ill repute. Where light burns black with a perfect pitch, a neglected bastardized stinging glitch, oily but warm. Someone came along and snuffed the blackness. It’s too bright in this room. I want to go back to sleep, but not for as long as I will if I do.

Can’t breathe lately. The air’s too clean. Septic breath of a lurid death is what I crave. Putrid stench, nostalgic days. Comfort food like mom used to make, wasp nest chili and seaweed pizza. The old familiar sting of glass in broken nostrils, coppery fragrant like dead wood. Stink of shit and honeysuckle. But someone came along and brought fresh flowers with them. Not the offensive ones; the gorgeous odor of peace. And they make me uneasy.

Can’t talk lately. Not much to berate. I was a stuttering forlorn chicken in a filthy cage, squawking frothing castrated rage. But someone came along with lozenges. Nothing left to scratch and bark. I’m afraid of silence. I’m afraid of mellow golden diatribes, the lack of violence. What happened to screaming at a wall? You’re safe inside, and you know it. And I can’t get to you, and you know I regret it.

Can’t love lately. It’s a stagnant slab of cheery smiles, a vagrant loft of airy lies, laid out before me. Everyone is happy. Let’s all be sociable. Let’s dance with other people’s wives to bubblegum pop, not too close. Leave a void between, the façade of trust and happiness. The empty spaces where attraction used to fit. Deceit, defeat, unseat, complete. Treat me to a stabbing orgasm of penile snap. What the fuck is this trust shit.

Can’t die lately. And it’s making me uncomfortable.

We hope you enjoyed this classic piece of writing from the Sudden Denouement archive.


Based in the piney woods of East Texas, pbbr is a founding member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. He is a technical writer by trade and the author of The Scale of Savages under the pen name Patrick Brendhan, available on Amazon.

Painted Fingernails- Jimmi Campkin

Everytime I go to bed, I can see the stain of green hair dye on the low ceiling, where you cracked your head whilst vigorously riding me – yelping, eyes clamped shut and a gaping smile on your face, sucking up all the oxygen in the room and leaving me gasping for spare atoms.  Of course, you were thinking of someone else the entire fuck, I knew that even at the time, but beggars can’t be choosers.  I didn’t choose to worship you.  I’m an atheist.  I didn’t plan on worshiping anything.

But as something tangible, you seemed a better bet than a concept designed to keep a feeble species in line.  You kept me in line.  And as feeble as I may also be, at least I could run my fingers down your stretchmarks; I could drag my nail over the little serrated dimples on your thighs; I could play with that mole on your hip and wonder at how it is surrounded by several smaller ones, a little solar system almost permanently hidden by the elastic of your underwear.

My deity was flesh; three day old mascara, a taste of cigarettes and last night’s bourbon and coke, with dark circles under your eyes from dancing your legs down to the knees, and the smell of the smoke machine in your greasy hair.  After the end, I spent many evenings in that club, dancing with other girls whilst watching you over their shoulders – dancing alone, happily not giving a fuck.


Born in November 1983, I have been writing in some form or another for most of my life, but I began to take it seriously as a career around 2003/2004.  Since then I have produced a novel, a novella and a series of short stories some of which are loosely linked into an overarching anthology.
Most of my stories come under the wide umbrella of ‘general fiction’, but I have experimented with genre pieces.  My short stories tend to be bittersweet, nostalgic, sometimes melancholic and (on occasion) examine the darker side of human nature and obsessions.
I welcome you to my site Jimmi Campkin, and I hope you find something here to please you.  If not, below you’ll find a big picture of me to scream obscenities at.

Introducing N. Ian McCarthy

A Drift of Dead Comics
by N. Ian McCarthy

       You lay, balanced flat across the colonnade of my fingers. A lower-left corner wags with the intervallic oscillation of a floor fan—the limb of a cotton bed sheet, straddling a clotheswire in the wind. You are almost a breathing thing: the impulse of a contracting diaphragm. You are the sucking gill of an angled fish, one who cannot oxygenate without water. My wax lips strain around the vowels of an invented dialect, during the seventh minute of my resistance to pick at the flat-folded staples that run up the split of your faulted spine. Do I engender a quake that will defoliate your season of autumn? Can I scatter your sheets like loose cedar shavings, as mulch for the bed of my own Silk Road?

            I am the yellow-eyed cat, lean and starved, who ladles the spoon of his tongue into the dish of the remainder of your souring cream. I mount a low mangrove branch to bay into the charcoal square of your nighttime doorway. Come not for me or for anyone. You are a reliquary of mutable fictions, and you behoove no further corporal appearances.

       Are you more than the sum of your linearly arranged innards—this cardboard box lined with plastic sleeves and white splints to keep your keepsakes from creasing? Are you only your cut-to-fit pages printed in four-color process? Value is a future thing, fuzzy, until the future appraises it. I hold you by your edges and delicately, like a cautious amateur rolling through brittle Egyptian papyrus. And, in the ball of this lamplight, I become a tonsured vulture who stabs the vice of his beak into a gob of your dried rib meat.

       Six years ago, I misplaced my hat at a bar ringed by soot-black acres of potato dirt, where notes of vinegar from a nearby canning plant punctuated the inferences of my nose. It was a driving cap, sewn with a damask label boasting Donegal Tweed on the bowl of its belly. The memory of its passing is an ash steeped in smudgy tumblers of neat whiskey—as all things that transpire while drunk are contractually forfeited upon embarkation. The recently tangible became only a murmur in the chill of my morning baldness. Am I more than those thick, raspy hands? The ones that likely scrubbed over its green-and-brown woven fibers? Is there any molecule of me still stitched into the band of its fit? Or do I become a novelty, minus all personal history, as is the fate of any found and inherited thing? Do I exist in a green garbage pile, awaiting my delivery unto the heap? Or am I hung lightly on a wood knob, in the corner of room buoyed by festive music?

       May the serialized volumes of my being—like yours—be bound in clear plastic sheaths and filed horizontally by issue number, their values cataloged and fondled by speculators. In my collection, a body-warm cap, tumbled from the crown of a quite common skull. Worth is a fuzzy thing, indeterminate without precise coordinates in space and in time. Permanence is a windblown page printed in chalk.

 


[ N. Ian McCarthy lives in the southern United States, where he writes poetry and brief prose. His works have appeared on cocktail napkins and in bifold restaurant placemats since the early 2000s. He believes in the principle of essential human worth and in the incomparable value of stories and experiences; he hopes that by attempting to understand better, we attempt to be better. He’s been fascinated by outer space since boyhood, though he has an irrational fear of gas giants. He maintains a small blog at Mad Bongo Maze.]

The Glass Castle In A Vase (or perhaps Franklin or Einstein or Gauguin or your local sub-bridge bum)- Mick Hugh

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The Glass Castle In A Vase (or perhaps Franklin or Einstein or Gauguin or your local sub-bridge bum)

I find myself in one place: it’s too intuitive to be real. A man of stature and possibility beaming a light that shines no farther than the wall. Certainty is absurd said Voltaire. Yet I am certain I have four limbs and a set of ribs and a cock between my legs. I am certain I have a career, if I think long-term enough, and I am certain to have good graces of God if I keep my posture up. The calendar marks the days in the blank way of its empty boxes sliding by. It is now October: in a month the insects will be frozen dead. And next June I’ll find myself still building bones for a fortune they call a pension. From my office walls working for a pension. Life is great when your last 10 years are finally free. What a predicament to find yourself in. Children starving, wife crying, the mold creeps up the walls. Do or die comes wrapped like crepes harder to swallow as the years burn on. Morality sits like an empty vase too fragile to disturb lest it break. And what breaks isn’t the spirit it’s the table it sits on beside the door in the tall foyer. What breaks isn’t golden it’s a god damn disease, it’s the glitter and glamor and 8000 pixels on the precious TV. What scurries are the rats in the walls; and what throbs ain’t your cock if haven’t your balls. And every day I sit still in my gray-decored room is another the world passes always darker in gloom – For the sun doesn’t shine if a face doesn’t feel the energy warming its skin. What a madness to find yourself in. How after a stress-fest at work beneath surveillance lights I am punching a steering wheel in traffic. What hurts it’s just golden glimmers. What bleeds doesn’t matter. And by the end of the drive to sit in a parking lot while the local station gets the Led out: the pitter-patter of Bonham’s drums and the freedom I held dear. Just to find myself in every place, to know that it’s all there.

(Do children still make good wandering beggars?)
(I don’t know.)
(Have you ever kept ferrets as pets?)
(I have not.)
(Okay. Because those you can leash and teach tricks for
tips. I was
wondering if children were the same.)
(You seem to’ve lost your mind.)
(I have not.)
(But you’ve lost your cock.)
(Hey – who’s asking the questions, here?)


 

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