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

Introducing Kindra M. Austin:

THE ARCHER AND THE SCORPION

I found a photo of us, eight years old, stored in my ‘sent messages.’ We’re sat at Tokyo smoking a cigarillo, looking utterly chuffed with ourselves. I thought I had destroyed all evidence of the Archer and the Scorpion union. Goddamn, darling, we made a fucking stunning couple when we stepped out dressed in gangster black, and with a dirty day drink buzz-on. But we were stunninger in the dark, when you worshipped at Church of Me; your platform bed served well as altar. 2 a.m. moon soaked Liturgy, my sweet heathen, you were no atheist sheathed in my silk.

 


 

[Kindra M. Austin is an author (information on her book can be found here), artist, and contributing editor and writer for The Bridge Magazine, as well as a fucking valkyrie Sagittarius. She can be found filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.]

Gear – Rana Kelly

I wipe the blood

From my nose

And massage

The sore needle holes

Dive back in

To overdose.

There are no more faces

Like yours.

So I try to smear your photo

From my mind.

So that even while

You dig into my head

When I’m lying in bed,

I’ll be able to forget you

And sleep for a week.

Maybe.

You’ll be a secret I keep.

Pushing away.


 

[Rana Kelly was born and raised in the Deep South, and now resides in the Southwest.  Her poetry, personal essays, short fiction, and photography has been published in anthologies and literary magazines far and wide over the years, ]

Breath-is-relative-to-time by Aakriti Kuntal

Wind presses against my feet

Crevices are moments too

moments of walking, walking,

running, grinding, running

I dreamt that I’m a treadmill

Life running with her long legs 

Her long legs too long for my retreating skin

You said that time is convoluted

Like a robin in frenzy, scissors binding skin

You said, across floating dreamless states

of my rotating head, you said that time 

is a disaster, that everything is already washed

Blank white, crepe folding in fingers, 

fingers outrunning air, always trying to grasp at inevitability 

You said with cerulean lips, diamonds engulfing skies

amidst shores of blue, sparkling blue, sitting inside a stray boat,

humming inside grand oceans

You said that all life is just a long heavy breath

Go slow


Aakriti Kuntal is a 24-year-old emerging poetess from the country of veritable colors and stratified rainbows, India. A Network Engineer by profession she has been writing for over a year now. She enjoys nature, music, all things geeky and all things art.

Aakriti writes for the Writings of Aakriti Kuntal, and her work has been published in 1947 Literary Journal, Duane’s PoeTree blog, Visual Verse and Indian Periodical among others.

lois e. linkens – upon realisation that perhaps i am completely sure

stonehenge.jpg

you weave your woollen whims
to surround me
in the garbadine of our gandering

you trample the simplicity
of tea-cup games and teddy bears –
playground grazes know none than this

damp shirt and glasses;
i’d switch my eyes for yours
so you could see
beneath the ocean

still, ride the blackwaters
with socked feet sodden;
put your records on
and leave paw prints around my petticoats

take me to the dock,
where the walrus wail
and seagulls cry.
let us know the purity of instinct

the purity of art
that transcends education,
memory or muse

you are scars and sculptures,
skin and silver

stonehenge me


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 we ask you to take a second to look at more of her wonderful work.

‘ This mess we’re in ‘ – Collaborative – S.K. Nicholas & Samantha Lucero

 

   the lights are always on now, no one ever sleeps.

   i am one of those dreamless alien lights; one of those nobody’s cradled in the teeth of a high-rise window. my building’s a fang that pierces an eye of god. i loved you more because you turned away from me.

   i stare at my reflection until i become the memory of you; until i am become death and stones in pockets, and the formless outside in the velvet dark. you, the ghost that rushes in the corner of my eye, the reason i wear lace when it rains. i’m trying to read your mind, wherever it’s gone, but i can’t. i try to unearth the sandalwood smear of you on my walls and in between my fingers, but you’re not there. i’m not there either, not anymore.

   and so i’ll go to the hudson where they sell fire for your throat when you can’t weep or scream, where there’s bad news in the laughter and they find you floating the morning after.

   this mess we’re in will be over before it can begin.

   With a rock in my hand, I lay you down and taste the sweetness of your lips. I make you pretty and breathe in a scent that tickles me just right. With my fingers around your throat, I squeeze them tight and tell you that I want so much to believe. Among a bed of roses in a part of town others have no need to tread, I watch over you as the sun is replaced by the milk-white moon that makes you look like a porcelain doll my sister used to own. You, my beautiful secret. You, my only regret. You, the only one who knows me for how I am. Sit with me a while and hear my reasons. Give me a little time to tell you how this came to be. Speak some truth to heal these sins. Say something that will ease our passage to a place we were never meant to resist.

   With a rock in my hand, you move with such speed. Like a cat, you twist and turn as I stumble trying so hard to make it known that despite my deeds, I am indeed a good man. But the more you fight against it, the harder it is. The more you move away the closer I come until the only way I can make you understand is for you to see a part of me I try so hard to hide. Hitching up your skirt and sliding down those tights, I smear your lipstick and kiss your throat. Touching you where I feel God the most, I whisper to you knowing there will be no answer. Pulling your hair and sinking my fingers into the ground beneath your head, I hear no birds. I sense no movement at all as the world we used to know turns without us.

   This mess we’re in will be over before we know it.

   i could be the smooth arms of angrboda.

   i could hunt the heat lost in you somewhere like a tremble of life, find the skeleton key that unlocks all locked doors. i could keep one dying secret down in flames. i could birth in kerosene the chained wolf-child, your half-dead maid, an immense snake that cradles the sea. we could be the myth. we could be the end, for fragments like us to fit in life’s hands, full of dirt.

   i’m spit miscarried on grass, i’m all the things i thought, except the thing i could’ve been. i’m lost in my head, and you want me here. swallowing all six red seeds, I still starve in spring. i like it in the dark, with you believing, and you want me to believe in good men, when they would bury vestals alone with a lamp. leave me on a road that i can hitch hike to hell on and think, think… !

   think about a time in red converse. stepping on your toes just to get a close up, listen low so no one else can hear, fuck them, late night in a leather jacket and a pin with a gold tooth and vampire fangs. warning label. 2 packs of american spirits until we’re dry, and anne boelyn’s ghost in the tower of london. a grin of blood they never found on the wall. hell can be real. it’s here; but your face in my hands, watching me cry, that’s worth it.

   “time is a flat circle.”

   if we have one moment that matters,

   this mess we’re in can happen over and over again.

   With a rock in my hand, I use the other to cradle the base of your skull. You used to be my woman. You used to be my girl, but you just wouldn’t be tamed. I never wanted to clip your wings. No, I never wished to see you like that at all, but you never gave me a choice. I could’ve been your man, could’ve been that someone to watch over you when you needed a friend. I was here to give you all of this, yet you went a different way. You gave yourself to those who know only how to betray. It should never have come to this, but what was I supposed to do? Just allow it? Just let you fall further from grace? I’m not a monster, I’m a poet, and all I ever wanted was for you to know it. It was your choice to make.

   With a rock in my hand, I dig the soil with the other. You speak to me but it’s too late. I’ve made up my mind. And yet this isn’t the end. You are the seed that shall be planted. You are the nucleus of what I shall become. You will be mother and lover, and as I lay you down and watch you grow, the past and the future are already dancing on the same page. You have this voice but it needs to be silenced so I can hear what you have to say. You have this beauty but I need to cover it because others will surely come and attempt to sniff you out yet again. Y’know, I’ve never been this open with anyone but you. Never had the chance to be so close. It’s not how you wanted it, I’m sure, but with time you will understand, I can feel it in my bones.

   This mess we’re in gives birth to everything.


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. ]