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.]

I Survived the Storm – Jasper Kerkau

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I Survived the Storm – Jasper Kerkau

I survived the storm. Watched everything explode and evaporate in the slow waters of time, billowing out of the dirty earth, inching up sidewalks, devouring curbs, and quiet lives. It all goes away so quickly, the boring conversations, the Sunday afternoons, and fried chicken, the little lives of misery, heaped into the darkness, left silent in dusty rooms, soaked and miserable. Civility and comfort are all so fleeting. I shed the rain, the moon, the failures and regrets, bury heart and words under the pillow. I give them their leisure, and I take a million crosses and deformed shrines, puked up the unnatural pleasures and, alas, have all the pain.
I survived the storm. Molding my stars, peeling off the television and cycles of vomit and bile filtering through every fiber of my being. It is theirs; it is not mine. I will run in circles for eternity, eat fire, and resign myself to the arms of a beautiful girl with a big heart. I stuff mediocrity and resentment in empty potato chip bags and give back to the earth, hoping it will be recycled the next time around. A one-thousand-year event. A speck in time. A sneeze and cough on the big toe of forever. I will eat the water out of hand, starve no more. Drive away dark clouds and find the golden rainbows in my heart. Everything will be okay this time. The sun will come out, and it will all go away.

[Jasper Kerkau is co-creator, editor, and writer for Sudden Denouement, as well as the creator of The Writings of Jasper Kerkau.]

Shell Beach – S.K. Nicholas

In the boot of your car, there are several bottles of wine and a shovel of which we use to bury our secrets with because the world has no place for the likes of us. In your pocket, there are filters to block out the voices of those we once resembled, filters your childhood self would be shocked and alarmed to see. Much the same as how my younger self would be shocked and alarmed in coming face to face with the abstraction of what I’ve since become. In a field away from prying eyes, I place the blanket on a spot of flush grass and together we admire the unspoilt view of miles and miles of nowhere and everywhere with an ocean of blue sky above us that leads to an ocean of water as my hand slides beneath your top caressing your waist. And then it’s your breasts and then it’s my mouth and teeth on your neck and then you push me down upon the blanket and we roll and rock in ways none of them will ever be able to measure. In the distance, a city rumbles like a belly full of booze and not much else. In the hidden soil, all that we have ever lost is regained with each kiss. This globe is a tiny one, and yet we do what we do as if we weren’t mere humans but entities, like those on the moor up north, y’know, the one where Heathcliff and Cathy play? We taste these kicks and dig our fingers in pretending it’s not how it is but it’s exactly that which is why we’re here, kissing without the need for anyone else to ruin our vision. Your lips are cherry, and the way your hair catches the breeze, it’s a memory of London, and it’s a memory of paint on canvas and the quietness of my life before you made yourself known. We were always meant to find each other, and we were always meant to come undone in each other’s embrace. There was no other way. As my fingers touch yours and you whisper those words into my ear, I tell you to close your eyes and picture us stood at the end of a pier throwing stones into the sea. It’s a place we can go where they’ll never come looking. Where our love will remain as pure as the night when everything else crumbles. We discovered it almost by chance, and when it gets too much and we lose sight of things, all we have to do is go back, and our souls align themselves once more.


 

[ S. K. Nicholas is the creator of  My Red Abyss and author of A Journal for Damned Lovershis first novel. He is a brilliant writer and a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. To learn more about S.K. and A Journal for Damned Lovers read Jasper Kerkau’s interview with S.K. and his review of A Journal for Damned Lovers. ]

Glow-in-the-dark Annuals – Mick Hugh

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Glow-in-the-dark Annuals – Mick Hugh (Mick’s Neon Fog)

You were sitting outside the bar on the patio, picking petals from the daisies in the planter on the railing. I was seated at a separate table nearby, because you had asked me to find another seat. We weren’t speaking for the moment: the conversation had been high-tide with an undercurrent I was too stupid to avoid. I told the waiter I was buying your drinks, and had him fill the table with rum-and-cokes until finally he said Enough; my credit card had been declined. Last week we had left for a festival, driven an hour outside of town, just for you to decide you no longer wanted to go. I turned the radio loud to drown you out and you opened your door and I skidded to a stop on Route 70. You got out. And of course I turned around half-an-hour later and found you pouting in the dust the tractor-trailers kick up along the shoulder. We didn’t speak, but we weren’t angry. I had a difficult time being angry — we met when you were picking sunflowers in the park, and when I finally caught your eye you had irises as thin as mine. Your skin was as thin as mine, and it only took us a matter of minutes to shed our skin and expose the blood vessels that bubbled the beauty into our lives. The little pinches of flesh on your arms and the nape of your neck, soft as dawn and golden. You could sing like Janis Joplin and illustrate the poetry of the pouring rain, and when I reached inside of you I found home and the hillsides I’d dreamt of roaming as a kid. Your mother was a hippy, your father itinerant. We had everything in common in a box of mismatched shoes. And when I held your hand I had looked inside, and saw a little black star in a palm full of rising light. I admit, I was immensely drawn and intrigued. There was nothing for us in this timeline. I bought a trailer on the edge of the city because you were the first I could tell myself I loved. You let it last for four beautiful months. Yet I had seen the timeline. I had seen the fistfights and the holes in the wall and I wasn’t surprised to witness my fears come to life. But what I wanted more than ever was to crawl inside of you. There was a beauty there, and even deeper, something darker true. By summer you came and went as you pleased. Days gone to god knows where, cryptic text messages from the shadows of dawn. I ripped apart your nostalgic doll and left you no choice but to sleep in my car. Cry out your eyes and let me find the reason why I could ever be so stupid. Drink myself into a stupor, you drove me to it. Every night for a week listing names of my friends and every little thing you did with them.
But then again, I knew both of your parents were dead — still, I needed to see the blackened centers of the sunflowers.

[Mick Hugh is a writer/editor for Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Sudden Denouement Publishing.  He is the creator of Mick’s Neon Fog.]

The Weyward Sisters: Back to Black/ Collaborative Amy Winehouse Tribute

Rana Kelly/2nd star to the Left, straight on ’til morning

Oh, Amy

Whenever I go walking

In my stilettos,

I hear you talking.

Dream me up a way

Of swishing my hips

And pursing my lips

And singing your riffs

So that I find beauty

Like you.

lois e. linkens

she puts her black dress on
in the dark,
anxious nails red and messy
in their early-morning artistry.
he left the candle burning
in the winter window –
vanilla and cinnamon
on a Sunday evening,
tears and vodka
on a Monday morning.
last week’s relief
breathes
into tonight’s regrets,
but the shadowy smear
on the glass
is all that is left of him.

Aakriti Kuntal/Writings of Aakriti Kuntal

Rummaging through

black air,

nauseous red nails bearing oily seas

Suffocating

existence with conversations,

conversations

with glittering nail cutters,

cracked moons

laughing hysterically in them

Conversations

of fallen boyfriends, of fallen love

Fallen being

the new being

Aurora Phoenix/Insight From Inside

She scrawls lines

up the back of her fishnet stockings

wiggly-lined intoxicated rebellion

strutting down memory lane

flirting shamelessly with self-destruction

as if, in seductive self-abasement

she may reclaim

love from a wayward lover

and from self

Kindra M. Austin

Kohl black kitty cat

Eyes

Lines stiletto sharp

Tongue dipped in honey

Wine(house), oh, Amy

Slay me

Rachel Finch/Bruised But Not Broken

Night chimes, a ringing to remind her,

She can sleep the day away, but the dark

still draws the Soul from the body.

Stars reflecting off bottles, empty, their

contents alive in her throat.

She is midnight, waking the world.

Sarah Doughty/Heartstring Eulogies

I remember how you carried your beauty like body armor, letting the world see a smoke screen, that many didn’t notice. I remember seeing the sadness beneath those wings on your eyes, the way your mouth curled into a devilish smile. I remember seeing your hair down, with those curls that lasted for miles, and how much I wanted just a tiny piece of your beauty. Your essence. Even a little piece of your ability to hold the world in bated breath. I remember your courage to stand in front of a million people and hold them under your spell. But what I remember the most is how you wore your heart on the outside and how pieces of it were broken away and lost over time, exposing you. Like a nerve within a broken tooth, you tried to insulate, but nothing could fix what you’d already lost.

1WiseWoman/A Lion Sleeps in the Heart of the Brave

Hiding in plain sight

Black song bird

Aching to be heard

Darker than the darkest shadows

Praying sacrificial hymns

Will carry away your demons

Hungry hearts rapture in melody

Enchanted with your euphony

An intentional symphony

Desperate on bended knee

Longing to be set free

Blood and wine

Cherry lipstick stains

Broken bottles

Crooked lines

Sing for us

One last time

Zelda Raville/A Sea of Illusions

Our biggest tragedy
was that
our love,
no matter
how much
there was of it
could never
draw you out
from a fatal attraction
to the depths
of your ferocious hunger
for love itself.

Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless

You shot across our heavens

a piercing silver whiskey light

your pain-soaked voice

etching a pin-up girl tattoo on our souls

We died a hundred times with you

Donning our mourning colors

we are left to only say goodbye with words

as your heartbreaking beauty

fades into black

005-amy-winehouse-theredlist

Your Writing Wanted: Whisper and the Roar

Do you like the writing of Georgia Park, Christine Ray, David SomersetNadia GarofaloAakriti Kuntal, Nate Leland?  Do you consider yourself a feminist?  Consider submitting your writing to Whisper and the Roar.

The theme of submitted work need not be feminist, but the writer must be.

Submission Guidelines for Whisper and the Roar:

  • Send up to 3 pieces of original writing in either PDF or Word document attached to an email that includes a brief cover letter (example: Hello, my name is Charles Baudelaire! I love absinthe and dark corners, here are some of my poems!) Although we prefer previously unpublished work, we will consider published work as long as it has ONLY been published on a blog. No e-zines, e-mags, e-presses, e-books, printed works.
  • Include a brief bio in the body of the email and a link to your website/where you write/where you want people to go if they’re interested in more of your writing.
  • Understand that you will not be paid for your submission. We are a small collective, and can only offer support in building your platform and showing your work to our own audience.
  • Understand we do not own the rights to your work, the rights are yours and yours only. We only publish your piece once, with the potential to reblog.
  • Allow up to 4-6 weeks for a response.
  • If you prefer to send a blind manuscript, do not include your name or a cover letter in the attached document.
  • Send submissions to: whisperandtheroar@gmail.com

Your Writing Wanted: Secret First Draft is accepting guest submissions

Are you a fan of 1Wise-WomanOloriel Moonshadow, Aurora PhoenixHudson Biko Mwalagho, Christina Strigas and  Zelda Reville?  Do you like Secret First Draft‘s new look and attitude?  Consider becoming a guest blogger.

Submission Guidelines for Secret First Draft:

  • Send up to 3 pieces of original writing in either PDF or Word document attached to an email that includes a brief cover letter (example: Hello, my name is Charles Baudelaire! I love absinthe and dark corners, here are some of my poems!) Although we prefer previously unpublished work, we will consider published work as long as it has ONLY been published on a blog. No e-zines, e-mags, e-presses, e-books, printed works.
  • Include a brief bio in the body of the email and a link to your website/where you write/where you want people to go if they’re interested in more of your writing.
  • Understand that you will not be paid for your submission. We are a small collective, and can only offer support in building your platform and showing your work to our own audience.
  • Understand we do not own the rights to your work, the rights are yours and yours only. We only publish your piece once, with the potential to reblog.
  • Allow up to 4-6 weeks for a response.
  • If you prefer to send a blind manuscript, do not include your name or a cover letter in the attached document.
  • Send submissions to: secretfirstdraft@gmail.com