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

Daisy Heir- Nicholas Gagnier

Pushing dandelions in

defiance of dying roses and 
their body 
count of thorns. 

You wanted my final form 
like some daisy to adorn and 
I could ogle like 
neat whiskey and nostalgia 
goggles. 

Baby, we’re just drunk off old ambience (the taste is God awful). 

So pour me your best, let’s ward off the impossible, faults in our Zodiacs and other stars we can hobble with long odds. 

One more for 
the road, to warm the 
bones one becomes  as 
the underdog of 
flora. 

In this diaspora of roses, you’re the flower I clutch 
closest when I’ve sworn off beauty like booze, 
hungover from the human interaction of being given something to lose.

And yeah, I’m pushing the lesser ideal; wild oats over discipline, trading aesthetic for carnal sin, 
but that’s the appeal-

true love on a whim ain’t pretty in the morning but you always tell
her she is.


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.  

All the little deaths and beautiful scars- erroneouschoices

Holding on tightly to the hand written letter, I looked out at the growing world and the birds were silent, watching too maybe. As my heart pounded a little in anticipation, I read the script on the outer part of the fold. “Read me gently” in his crazy penmanship that I remembered immediately. Sort of like the way he spoke, rough around the edges but his vowels were crafted to perfection.

I smiled at the first few sentences, “Hey love, I know this finds you beautiful but I hope this finds you well too. Do you remember when I told you that one day I’m going to finally have enough money to buy my house on a mountain where I can live peacefully alone? That I’d have an enormous library and someone that comes once a month with supplies and more books. There would be a little cot near the cliff where I can drink, and smoke, and read, and look down at some sad little village trying to make unendable ends meet. I’ll have paper so I can write to my hearts content. Maybe some can visit, but stays are only short. People taint you. Well, they taint me, and I bleed when I’m not in my own colors. Well…. I’m there kid, I’m there.”

We had spent so many long nights where nothing made sense but our hearts wouldn’t stop talking. And in the end we decide we had to kill Netflix or concluded that the trees only whispered and then we’d muse at what the world would be like if they only shouted. Once he told me he was about to make ribbons out of my dress with his teeth as my heart melted around his soul. This man, he was a love affair between a word and the meaning it masks, how the word helps the world stay hidden.

The sky is a bruise and coffee is godly. I wouldn’t ever say I didn’t miss him, even the birds were quiet for a bit while I wished him. But we had our time and now he has his dream. I love my letter, I put it to my face and inhaled deeply. Maybe it was my imagination but I smelled him. I kissed his words lightly leaving a tiny hue of pink over them.

The sky is a tempest and the coffee is divine. I took out my pen and wrote a few simple words, took a deep breath as I folded it and made it ready to send. Life’s like this. And people, well I’ll be damned if people that touched my thighs and my life hadn’t left indelible marks inside my heart.

Id love to be a bird on his shoulder and watch him smile as he read my note. “I have words in me that are in the shape of you.”


Read more at Choices in Error

Logic Fails- Introducing Nicholas Gagnier

I’ve been reflecting on my place in the universe, a
sense of worth from all these travels. I’ve been resenting the
berths between us, the mirth
of mania so eagerly
unraveled,
yet never malleable enough to close the gap.
I’ve been obsessing over how to make this last,
doing the math to make you stay,
but all the variables are based in
miscalculation,
barely equations in name.
I’ve been dissenting, instead, embracing my
wrath, for the day all
logic fails and arithmetic won’t hold us
back, considering how five figures
amount to jack, and
sound out the solutions we were once unable to
articulate.
I’m out of pieces to divide among you, at long
fucking last; no methods to madness, just
riddles and
relapses, a
hypothesis to
redact.
It wasn’t always going to be
this way, but I know
no part of
you still
believes that.

Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet, and the creator of Free Verse Revolution. He has published eight books of poetry and will release his debut novel in 2019. Nicholas is also a mental health advocate, music lover and whiskey enthusiast. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and young daughter.

Pink Flamingos- Daffni Gingerich/Daffniblog

I huff and puff and walk out. Stamping to my car I sit behind the wheel and curse him. I go to find gas station pizza, the two pack of Hostess’ vanilla cupcakes, annnnd possibly a pint of ice cream that claims to be over loaded with fixins just to try and calm myself. I hate it when I walk in on him with other women. I mean I do disappear, no phone calls, and sparse emails with a few shallow lines of poetry to let him know I’m still breathing, but fuck put a sign on the door. And don’t think of me when you’re with her cuz that’s just weird. Even though many times I’ve done it, even closed my eyes to seal the deal, but that doesn’t matter. I tried to picture him beneath me, so vulnerable so fragile. And completely mine because I’ve straddled him and lassoed his thoughts so he’d never have to say he loved me out loud. But when I heard it echo through my brain I finished him off and left without saying goodbye. It was entirely too real. And we’d only seen each other a good 5 times outside of professional walls. Or maybe that was the first time, who’s keepin track these days. I could only think of how large I’d felt and how such a manly man could shrink so small beneath me. Not his cock of course, that grew. What kind of woman would I feel like if it didn’t. Then there’s erectile dysfunctions and that makes me feel a kinda shitty too. So anyways he was rock hard and I was wet because it was my first time straddling him. I leaned in and placed my forehead on his after telling him I could read his mind. But he already knew and had I love you at the forefront, just behind his skull where all the executive stuff is supposed to happen. So when I connected my head to his I felt entirely too much power. A man’s life isn’t mine to hold.


Daffni Gingerich says simply that she “is a writer.” You can read more of her mesmerizing prose at Daffniblog.

Into My Arms- Nathan McCool

The place where I gathered all our hopeless dreams

only to bear witness to each of them devouring another.

My arms that always failed

to protect the things I cared about.

All of it was useless in the end wasn’t it?

 

I would take back the mistakes if I could.

I’d run through the world to come and 

kick down your door,

just a torrid, dreaming vagabond 

smoking lithium from a lotus flower.

I’d say, “I’m here, my darlin. I’m here for good.”

 

But things never turned out the way we thought they should,

and our hearts are still just opposite horizons 

torn in half by the same savage splinter of lightning.

 

I still dream of you swaying to my music

as you balance yourself on this piano.

I am still haunted by all the things in this world

that remind me of you.

I still sing songs 

that offer you my melancholy love

and the hope that this world does not change you, 

my dearest.

And if I could, Virgo, 

I’d bring you into my arms

and tell you that I always did love you.

I’d tell you that, no matter the paths we take,

I always will.


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.

i woke in good time of that cursed bell- Lois E. Linkens

i woke in good time of that cursed bell
that juts across the path of shimmered stone
and wrenches minds from warm sleep’s gentle swell. 
i woke amid the covers quite alone—
my love was gone. but ne’er to keep away,
i rest in calm assurance of this truth. 
he dozes miles north and hours too, 
for now i tumble from his palace roof
atop his hillock green. An ample hue
to paint pastoral dreams that sooth and calm,
but oh! i would i’d rest upon his arm
and let that cruel ring of loud alarm
awake us two, from easy peace or fright
and leave the tempest raging to the night.


Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins.

By Her Implore- Max Meunier

even in this wintry wake

she whispers words untrue

 

still, i can see

far beyond the walls

 

where once i knew her

 

waging wars

within her arms

 

i could not walk away

 

beholden

to the fragile child

 

who wept

in shades of fury

 

these preambles never fade

from light

 

found in the aftermath

 

branded by the searing touch

of cruxes

 

born to bear

 

no more

do i hear my own voice

 

echoing

through time’s collapse

 

having been eclipsed

by her implore

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest


 

Max states: “I write about the things going on in my life. I am a feminist, humanist, cat loving musician bound by whimsy and the incessant analysis of hyper-vigilant observations. I am obsessed with words and rhythmically woven wordplay.” We are honored to have him as a member of our tribe. He writes at Max Meunier

 

Sibilant Nonsense- Olde Punk

 

I feel I’ve listened
To something
That means nothing
Yet everything
I will leave you
Before you leave me
The mountain calls
And her heart
Is bared
The wind cries my name
Over and over and over
Do I dare answer?
I should go….
I’m lost and cannot find my way back
Is there anyone who can guide me?
Drive my hand into the treasure of despair
Let’s talk business
I don’t think you will ever understand
Just exactly what it is I am trying to say
I don’t think anyone will
I need something I can taste
Moonlit sun
Gasping
I dreamed I was alive once
Only to awaken comatose
Adrift on a sea of sorrow
I contemplate the tomorrow….

Looking for silver
In the sands of time

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


Olde Punk is a writer/editor at Sudden Denouement and the force behind RamJet Poetry

Lilacs on Leaving – Nicole Lyons

 

 

I look for you,

still. Reaching

through sound waves,

blaring, to pluck you

from nothing

back into existence.

I wait for you,

still. Walking

blurry lines of almost

there and crossing too

far gone.

I smell you,

still. Scraping

lilacs down metal

along shortcuts
to easy.

Prying life

out of the jaws

of a crash,

you used

to call home.

 

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


Nicole Lyons is a writer/editor for Sudden Denouement and the creator of The Lithium Chronicles. 

She is the author of Hush and I Am A World Of Uncertainties Disguised As A Girl