A Righteous End- Christine Ray

i woke in the place
where you play god
naked upon the white
marble sheets
stigmata roses
blooming crimson
in my palms
across my breasts
and sex
a fragrant garland
of my sins
left to adorn
this shrine
the holy spirit
dripped slowly
into my eyes
from where you
impaled me with
the crown
of thorns
you placed
upon my brow
crystallizing the visions
tasted of spiced honey
when it fell upon
my torn lips
parched tongue
you had roared
blasphemy
accused me of
taking your sacred
name in vain
when I declared
that you were not
my true god
merely an idol
a token
you tried to
baptize me
in the fire
cleanse me
of my affliction
but you are the one
smoldering in a
dark corner
all rage and ashes
while I resurrect
with the dawn
of the sun

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest


Christine Ray is a writing, editing tornado who touches down at Brave and Reckless, Sudden DenouementSudden Denouement Publishing, Whisper and the RoarBlood Into Ink, the Go Dog Go Cafe and Indie Blu(e).

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.

He films the clouds in two parts – Howl Davies

I

you spend the day
balancing on piano wire,
romancing with holy fathers,
convicts, and harlot martyrs draped
in derelict scarlet, feeling alive in
the war-torn breach,
you, the survivor,
of life and death, of hunger, strife,
I embed you
in this rendered skin of mine,
you preach and I obey, there
isn’t a night I don’t feel alone,
nor a day I don’t feel anger,
but you atone for me, ringing
brass on the shifting plates,
sifting the off-tune singing
in the base of my skull to a drone,
I always admired you,
always aspired to spread your word,
I have lost my way,
I am just so tired,
this dried blood creeping down
my brow makes this all so unfamiliar,
the gore has no source, and its
destination – unclear, it lingers,
like the ghost of a marriage, mingling,
biding time to gnaw on the stitches,
you taught me to keep myself humble,
digging ink into my fingers
for the switchblade mistress I admire
so fondly, the silent claim, the sister of mercy
I’m sure I will see her soon,
and from there, who knows?
maybe I’ll look to salvage myself,
kiss this unbuttoned pattern of my neck,
is that what you would have done?
you always had a plan,
even when the doctors pulled back your chest,
startled by your marble heart
you always had a plan.

II

you took the reckoning out of the end-game,
and as you waved goodbye,
showing the world up with a smile
you threw the fight,
we knew you were far from done,
we buried you with your camera at your breast,
you always wanted to spend your days
filming the clouds,
we left you with a dozen reels,
I hope they didn’t weigh you down,
my friend, your repast awaits you,
capture the clouds as they languish,
a backdrop for the labyrinthine streets
we paint ruby and sapphire in your image,
and coax the hinges of the boulevard,
we all miss you,
the rag-tag gathering of singed daydreams,
the ruthless and the sweet, igniting
crushed velvet, the scent of freedom,
we were so foolish,
enduring in hushed nonchalance till
we see what you captured, unfurling what
you distorted, the fly-trap paintings stained
in the vapours, double-sighted passion
in the remnants of engagement, with you
this collateral disfigurement was a delight,
no matter how my casing crept and shifted,
we couldn’t both make it out alive, time to collect, time
to set you free, set you back, set you out of the hive,
the forefront for the wretched,
don’t forget me, please,
as you bring colour to the
autopsy of saint Sebastian,
as you kick a hole in the sky,
fasting amongst seraphs,
catching your Serbian montage
in the heart of the tempest.


[Howl Davies is the spectral puppet master crawling in The Sounds inside.]

all the beds are made – samantha lucero

when did you keep god under your tongue,
like
an uninvited pill
from that plastic nurse behind a wall,
masked
and reaching out to hand you an orange
mood
in a paper cup made in L.A.

for whom did your milky eyes blur,
or from whose unseen stare did the water
of your ribs buckle and hide
when you knew that worship was a mask we
wear,
that rituals and skin
give us a tendency to forgot how to say no?

i was born in a summer cage that sold
whispers to me
in body-sized trash bags, flung at donation
trucks where you wait and
where you drive up and pry a hole, pull out
unwanted secrets you can take home
and cherish as yours from other people’s
unglamorous lives; a boy scout’s book
on how to make a fire.
a girl scout’s book about how to cook on it.

my heart’s in a shot glass that says
‘i ❤ san francisco.’
on the floor by a fireplace
in his basement.

and i think that’s where i swallowed ‘god.’


[Sam does sixredseeds.]

Meeting again in another life when we are both cats – Howl Davies

Perhaps we will meet again,
in another life,
perhaps we will come back as cats,
with nine more times to try,
pretending inevitabilities aren’t so,
that the complexities of
circumstance are merely
hexes and crystal-skull
reluctances that we can circumvent,
something that the little omniscient
man in the sky can’t always
keep an eye on, and if we can’t
do that, we’ll take his eyes
right out of the sockets,
display them on the mantle,
adorned with laurel leaves
and glow-in-the-dark
animal bones,
a prize to show how we never
needed to compromise,
nor be more wise,
that we simply needed to
be ruthless,
and take prisoners
only for ourselves.

 


[Howl Davies can be heard over at The Sounds Inside.]

Shoreline – Howl Davies

We stand like stones
beside the throes of the ocean,
beneath the gaze of
the holiest of crows
floating above the bones
and wreckage of those lost
at sea, you let your
pride swell and you sank with
an anchor at your feet,
cursing the moon
to let the water just recede,
pleading with every angry
memory,
to allow yourself to
swim out in decline,
the commotion of being
born of immaculate design,
you stand alone inside the mountain,
shouting that you want to call god
on a burner
to hide your trail,
to scorn him, to convince yourself
that you aren’t yearning for something
more, learning that there’s
no one there
to stop the drone. What are you
holding to? Solitude
asks nothing of us, and you
shouldn’t be ashamed. Scared,
maybe, but bring that to the
light and up it goes in flames,
four hours wandering
the skin of the sea,
the shoreline adores
you,
and your subtle step.


[Howl Davies is the creator of The Sounds Inside.]

Say Yes-S.K. Nicholas/A Journal for Damned Lovers

Nose on nose on a balcony that overlooks a disused garage that swims with rats and pornos and junk. Black eyeliner, black tights. Red lips and a ponytail that swings like a pendulum. The smell of your hair and the feel of you pushing yourself against my groin in those hours that escape us upon waking. We sleep outside to be closer to the stars and because when we make love and taste God you want him to see you as a soul and not just a body. Pyjamas not skirts. Flirtation not chitchat. Tigers, dragons. Sushi bars and wet lips. Dimples and your smile and the absence of you when you’re not around and you’re never around but I have my words and my words will become you and that’s just how it is. The evenings are beer and wine and the warmth of your breath against my neck in the back of a taxi and then your arm around my waist in some bar with paintings on the wall I could paint with my dick. Nearly falling off your chair, you snort with laughter and bite my ear. What’s the worst thing about getting old? My hair going curly. The second worst thing? The knowledge that my mind and body are two different things and that the older I get the more conflict there will be between the two. Arguments. Frustration. To sleep. Would you sleep with me? Would you let me take off your socks and massage your feet while we sit in silence too drunk to do anything other than picture ourselves as different people? I hope so. Tears that stain the pillow. The beginning, the end. A writer, a fool. A hand around your throat. A doorway that could be a vortex that could be a portal that could be an opening to something those we have known our entire lives have never come close to. Do you remember when we were strangers? Can you recall the time you caught me staring at your mouth in the canteen at work not long after you first started? You asked me if I was okay, but I was lost in the future that danced upon your lips and although I didn’t want to be crude, I knew already what was to follow and it caused me to become lightheaded. Two hearts. One mind. That night we were under the stars and I wrote GN-z11 on your arm with a pen and urged you to get it tattooed- you never knew what it meant and I never told you. Well this is the place we shall go after we die and there we shall be free. Free to love without the presence of prying eyes. Type it into Wikipedia, and tell me you’ll say yes.


S. K. Nicholas is blogger at myredabyss.com and author of A Journal for Damned Lovers.  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.