AFFLICTION – Kindra M. Austin

What do you mean to me? No

goddamned clue. But I know I’m

in deep blue like with you, boy,

when you stand on the corner

of nineteen hundred

and eighty-seven,

wearing black kohl eyes, and that

Robert Smith hair.

 

Toss me a menthol ciggie, then

take me by the hand;

pull me straight out of myself,

and into the back alley where

your beast heart beats. 

 

Let me smear your painted lips

with my gin soaked tongue—

you’re so fucking pretty.  

 

Make me the object

of your affliction.


 

Kindra M. Austin is an author (information on her book can be found here), artist, and a Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan—Go Detroit Red Wings! She likes her drinks corpse stiff, music loud as fuck, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.]

‘A BRIMFUL OF GRIM’ – Collaborative – A.G. Diedericks & Kindra M. Austin

I walk the streets, brimful of grim

a former empath, deformed

with a Stephen Hawking-sized

black hole in my chest

 

At night I chisel the cemetery of us

blurred visions leave my veins with an incision

I siphon the blood back into our old skeletons

reprieve my solitude

 

The moon is a phantasm—

a projection of you

Your cold white face casts shadows

of me against these cobblestone streets

and up the sides of Tudor buildings—

I am a colossus,

brimful of grim   

 

In an L.A. riot, I lie quiet

under a monochrome sun,

and listen to the unison of us—the way we were, uncanny

The earth vibrates underneath me; defibrillator, ascertain my heartbeat

 

Ever since you left, every woman I meet plays her part in a ménage

á trois with your mirage

Cosplay lovers;

I think you would love the homage

 

The sun’s beams envelope me,

a yellow shroud melting

Saturate my winter soul—

memories of you coagulate

in my arteries, thick cholesterol

You are my heart disease

I crave the taste   

 

Insatiable, the revenant of you

I climb into your climate

A masochist, unable to resist—tie me up, let me hang,

suspended in the mist of you


 

A.G. Diedericks is a cinephile in the midst of being gentrified into a bibliophile.. Colonized by mediocrity; He moonlights as a clandestine writer. You’ll find him in a dark alley over at the cuckoo’s nest; where he often lays to rest in Cape Town, SA. ]

&&&

Kindra M. Austin is an author (information on her book can be found here), artist, and a Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan—Go Detroit Red Wings! She likes her drinks corpse stiff, music loud as fuck, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.]

Faucet Clock – Georgia Park

It’s just easier sometimes
to say no hard feelings
than to point out the
disgusting oozing

To gesture wildly
at all the park benches we sat on,
the jovial conversations
the drunken escapades
(Oh, what was I thinking…)
the time, so hard won
for you to get,
so utterly wasted

The trust I was building
out of soluble materials
thoughts unspoken
feelings misspent
on some scapegoat or another
never the answer
and he never told me anything

In the sink, stupidly,
with thoughts so ridiculous,
so logicless such as
“so as not to make a mess!”
I built it
under a forever leaking faucet
sounding like a clock
tick tock
drip drop

Persistently becoming
the one thing you can rely on
I listen to my faucet clock
drip drop
tick tock
and this is how
I foster trust
I know it will never be fixed
so long as I’m in charge of it

It’s just easier sometimes
to say no hard feelings
than to cry out
“You’re a fraud!”
That way it’s all wrapped up
and I just think, anyways,
well, of course he was.

That was just as inevitable
as the next drip or tock
from my forever leaking
faucet clock

 


 

[Georgia Park is the creator of Private Bad Thoughts, curator of Whisper and the Roar a feminist literary collective, and a writer for Sudden Denouement. She is a wonderful poet with an enormous heart. We can’t imagine this journey without her. Please check out more of her wonderful work.]

A Convenient Marriage – Lois E. Linkins

we sleep in separate beds,
to clear our clouded heads.
we keep our secrets wrapped
in gaudy signatures and glasses cracked
over organ flourishes.
we have rooms upon rooms,
some shortage of love
made up in statement wallpaper and bespoke furniture.

the sweeping staircase
holds centre place,
a marble decoy
feels as cold as the flesh
behind the welcome and the wine;
we keep our hands apart,
modern art
stands for wedding photos developed unseen,
money sadly spent
on a white pretence
that fill so many baby dreams;
tradition screams.

mais oui,
it seems that playground jests
have found their poorest manifest
in our little life of theatre.

mama, he thinks our homespun play
is swallowed like tequila,
he believes the empty nursery unnoticed,
sitting in his claw-foot bathtub
with a beard of bubbles,
oblivious to the pool of mockery
in which he is submerged;
mama, it would not take much!
oh, for some sweet humour with the help…
yes, i could be content.

 


 

[ 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.]

‘Far From Any Road’ – Collaboration II – S.K. Nicholas & Samantha Lucero

When I looked into your eyes that time not long after we first met, I told myself that if I was given the chance, I would go ahead and do it. And such a thing would really impress you and make you want me even though I was just a zero.

Because the black light has been here since the beginning.

When I first discovered what you were in the early hours of the morning while drunk and on the brink, you reached inside of me and brought me back. Sounds melodramatic, I know, but before I found you it was as if I were the only one and that being a zero was all I was good for.

And it’s been burning a hole for so long.

When I swallowed what you had to say, I found a truth that had been denied me my entire life by those who had never even pretended to care. In that gaze and in your hand, there was a woman I could call mother and lover unlike any other that had come before. I could feel it in my bones and in the cold night air down every street that had housed your ghost.

And that’s what brought us together.

Whenever we want, we can be without form, for our images have long since been removed along with all traces of what remains of our former lives. This vision we share, it’s of being at one with nature with no need for the insects that spend their days doing whatever they can to cling. And this nature- it’s our drink and our line of coke. It’s our needle and hand around the throat. Through its influence, we can be both pleasure and impulse.

It spoke to us when we were children.

Together, we are bitemarks and Nietzsche spinning in fields that are empty of life but full of the essence of who and what we really are, and this is why we roam far from the useless crowd doing only what we can do. This is why we seek the limits that are forbidden because only there do we come close to taking a glimpse through those doors that offer perception where the rest offer only cheapness and the drip drip of ideology that pleases the many but disgusts us.

It put the images inside our heads while we slept.

In each and every letter, and in each and every thrust of our hips we know we are nothing and yet we revel in the control that passes between us. When it lingers in our breath, we take a bite out of each other and in our kiss, we are demons writhing in the sands of Gomorrah looking for kicks that extend beyond time and space. In our flesh, we are bound to bodily delights, but what we are is something pure and something more.

It showed us the door we were both seeking.

They wouldn’t even know where to start looking, for those that have seen us at our most beautiful have long since gone to where we too will go, but only when our bones can no longer take the weight of our souls. Beneath a blanket of stars and as naked as we were born, we sink our fingers into the soil to touch the faithful departed.

And it showed us how to find it.

These are our footsteps, and these are our secrets that will carry in the wind long after the two of us have left this place behind. But we’re in no rush, for there’s so much more that we can do. I hope you agree with what I’ve had to say, because this whole thing makes me feel like God.

Yes, but who’s like God? ‘My world was christened in a stream of milk.’

Was our world blessed with crowns of barbed-wire thorns, in sheltering the quiet soil like corpse worms gone moon-cold, till the blue water left and dried the hot skin. The air paused like Sunday’s pastor during angers sermon, saliva-foam huddled in the corner of a mouth; for effect, for suspense it stayed and spat, baptized the world in a pool of breast milk, they said, and it tasted like its own doom.

We can become a laugh sipped in a cup that we share, dumped over the overpass of whirring cars onto ghostly windshields like scarecrows, become the bellowing storm rattling ribs in darkrooms where smiles like ours rest alone like dreaming tigers WHO once wanted to be warm like wolves in snow packs, but were crowned in that barbed-wire, bred into a dying lung. Let’s BECOME the eye; I was the trapped eye in the wall, in the bones smoking at 3am, up with the red sky in a silky morning sliding down a pole and a thousand other pieces of people we’ll leave behind. Only fighters left alive, no lovers.

OUTSIDE I want the wild like glad animals in oily furs crave flesh, which taste a sliver of hare-blood in the breath between their teeth. I want to sip at eagle feathers in an old Norn’s horn, palms heart-lines engraved in heart-lines, mirror-image superstitious we can press together like funeral-flowers between pages of our favorite books, in passages our failing lives desire never to forget, but will. We will be the lavender and the rose, and then the pink gum turned black on the pissed-on sidewalk.

Or we will be the slender fingers of rain that ooze from the skies through seams in the clouds, like cold memories left unthawed from asteroid belts. Be drunk on watery soup for winter rituals, hummingbird songs, and rush to hear the tight-lipped drums of braided tribes our shivering northern ancestors once followed to 9 worlds. You say let’s be without form; I say let’s erase form, Voltaire, physical pleasures are fleeting, they die out; it’s the delight, delight of the heart that matters? Or the withered husk in a mortar ground with graveyard dirt and hag-spit, where a heart could’ve lived and died, but did both backwards. We are all alone, born to die, born to live, to die. Our wailing birth-mothers knew this, my mother, your mother, the all-mother in a room that’s a pennyroyal cage hung upside down to dry for spells for little girls’ mistakes, that’s a star pulse, that’s a whisper in a place I wish I knew the noise of still. When next you see the mirror folding into itself, the steaming woman heart-shaped in the glass, remember, she is life or death, a mask.

THEMSELVES
ARE
TRULY
SET
FREE

Who will see the tears and dirt that fill my mouth with mud when I smile, or the heartbeat living behind my right eye that could kill me in a blink, but you. Winter never stays long enough, and summer never ends. And we walk until our clothes fill with steam, or I’m the steam now, and my clothes are just anyone, or maybe I’m you anyway, and I could be anyone but you. Or we could just be me. I could conceal just one dusty memory of you when I die someday, pin it against velvet with my last breath, let it glow like the last neon day of a Luna moth. If I could live with it, I could live forever. In a fluttering trance, a twitching shadow, where there’s no form, no image, no mirror, no hands, no mothers.

Yes, but who’s like God? I wasn’t christened in a stream of milk.


 

S.K. Nicholas is the man at a haunted hotel, alone on a snowy night, trying not to have a drink at My Red Abyss, and Samantha Lucero is the crumbling, lone grave on a hill poking out like a little rotten tooth at Six Red Seeds. ]

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. ]

Daffodils

By Oldepunk

Daffodil

The smell of rotting agendas always waft in your wake.  I’ve grown accustomed to your sand storm daffodils.  It’s not what you once were, but what you could be that still intrigues me.  Potential, potentially terminal, with velocity.  Sniper taking aim, the looks you throw with abandon.  I lie still sometimes and pretend I can hear the screaming in your eyes.  I would have given it all for you, you know.  I do not think it would have mattered to you.  You are the song Reptile by The Church.  I can see you sauntering and stalking in the sun by the beach every time I hear that song.  Which is often, ’cause I like to pick at open wounds.  The bloody mouth of puckering pink skin attempting to heal is such a turn on and a visceral reminder of your violence, my violet-skinned lecher.  Your Krispy Kreme coochy-coos hardening my arteries.  And then, slow syrupy suicidal sex. Something in me went dormant when you left.  I vaguely remember why, but it’s fuzzy like flash backs from a blackout or a bad trip.  Which I only had once or twice, but that was more than enough to keep from doing it again.  I would for you though, if you wanted to.  Crashing around in the forest at dusk under deep November skies and yelling fuck-all to the universe.  You were always the spark that started Devil’s Night.  A goddess of Bacchus’ loins.  There was nothing I would not have done for you.  I died when you left.  The husk remains, with the frozen portraits of your jack o’lantern smile burned into my retinas.  My skin still shudders with the traces of your touch.  My gypsy witch, evil love cursing the hearts around you like a speedball on fentanyl on meth that is the last run of the roller coaster and heart is pounding and I will be with you soon and my veins are flame and my heart is a jackhammer and I will be in you soon and I will kill you soon and soon I am coming for you my beautiful malady with the melody of death on my lips… and a fistful of sand storm daffodils.

 

image courtesy of Pinterest and Awkward Family Photos