Steel the Whisper

by Aurora Phoenix

 

 

there is a steel band

slicing through my tongue

as I struggle to break the whisper

give voice to the rumbling rise

of my inconvenient truths

the world is burning

/it melts/

from the lava erupting

in my ston-ed heart

I felt the gripe

of your slimy eyes

infest

/molest/

my lushly fruited hips

your hand tells me

to hold my tongue

/clenched as it is/

above my future

clamping down my self-regard

you rest on the laurels of your discontent

as red, rusting

fades

there is a roar

/building/

in this chatteled vessel

the dam in my throat will burst

behold!

what ushers from these lips

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Aurora Phoenix is a wordsmithing oxymoron. Staid suburbanite cloaks a badass warrior wielding weapon grade phrases. Read more of her confabulations at Insights from “Inside.”

Falling Down Laughing – Stephen M Crow

For A.E. Pennison

The artist clears his throat and
dashes himself against
the rocks.
this world was too damn cruel.
Now his skin is showing
the effects of the artificial
light. a sallow unhealthy tone
spreads across him like a shadow
the buzzing in his ears an
unwelcome note
pulling from an unknown source
he strikes at the main
with both hands in a furious
scrimmage against sanity and taste.
The audience applauds
his disaster as part of the show.
their ignorance makes him weep.

And it’s this exercise
every night
that contributes to his misery.
this routine of piercing flesh
and vomiting words has begun
to burn his throat.
the sores are pupae
to his newest incarnation.
the hoarse projections
a new art inventing itself
from his timely
demise.

Icarus dropped from grace
and plunged like a boulder .
god took his wings
and his inspiration with the sun.
raped by the sea he plunged into .
salt water tearing
the delicate skin of his asshole
teaching the hardest lesson
just before his bones
turned to powder .

[Stephen M Crow is a writer and musician who resides in Pasadena, Texas with his wife, Christy, and their children. Interests include cooking, watching horror movies, listening to music, and spending time with his family.]

Sudden Denouement Welcomes Patrick Hart

We at Sudden Denouement Literary Collective are thrilled to introduce you, once again to Patrick Hart, and also to give him a very warm welcome into the collective.

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Patrick Hart is a writer from Hampton Roads Virginia, currently spending time in Valdosta Georgia with his wife and dog. His day job is serving in the United States Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller. His passion for writing has been present for as long as he can remember, but it really presented itself as songwriting during his youth. When he left his drum-kit for a different career path, he realized that that he was lacking an outlet; that outlet became poetry, and Instagram became his venue. “Untrained, but untamed” would be an appropriate way to describe his breadth of work. Patrick sets out to write about the truths we all have inside of us that we typically turn a blind eye too. He’s down right dogmatic about his attempts to step into the ring with melancholia, mental health, anger, and loss. His writing is self-serving when it’s therapeutic, but he skewers himself in the public eye to welcome connection.

He says, “We must write for ourselves first, but through that, and in this glorious day of technology, we can let others know they aren’t alone in their emotions. Writers and readers are typically a conglomeration of outcasts, and we’re not as rare as we might think in our darkest moments.”

Patrick Hart has an unhealthy craving for marshmallows, and good music. He collects vinyl records because they symbolize commitment. For more random facts about him, and to keep up with his writing, you’ll have to follow his IG account @workinprogress13

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Five Years and Counting – Patrick Hart

Today I am rolled over
Mauled by bitter sundown
And the amalgamation
Of sterile interaction and dulled colors

What did I miss?
Was it the phone calls?
Or the way you would have to clinch your jaw
To utter “God” through your teeth?
Was it the rusting way you would say goodbye

I was too busy honoring your strength
To acknowledge your misery

I remember the parking lot at 8pm
When you left us for Alaska
You told me to look after my sister
(Which I’m failing at)
Was the ground vibrating and I missed it?
If you come back,
I swear to God that I would feel it
I would stop you

So, today I am worn
Like the carcass of trees
And the cigarette burning
So closely
I am dried wood
I am dyed wool
And I am weak enough
To light the whole thing myself

Pennywise, smokes, and Jameson
Today is about recognizing that love
Comes in many forms
And sometimes we dirty our hands
With devotion to the glacier inside
And man, you burned so goddamn bright
That the ice melted too soon
And I forgave you long ago,
But it scares me to admit
That I understand you
That I understand ‘It”

There’s a lack in the air
Hands reach up from soft soil
As my head ascends
My body repines
Fawning eyes used to hold me
Until the things inside
Became a sadness you couldn’t teach
It has been five years and counting
It has been five years and…

© Patrick Hart 2018

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Grab a copy of Patrick’s stunning debut collection War Paint, and you can thank us later.

Faint Wilderness – Mitch Green

I see you out of the faint.
In amber embers, blowing.
The heat is new.
The air is hollow.
A damning feel.
Unfurled, you sleep;
a weighted wind.
A body made of ivy, aflame
in winter dusk.
You keep warm, the safe
danger you allow into bed.
Wake the wolf,
it howls too harshly.
Hush the lamb
buried behind a
boy’s lobe.
There is comfort in
a dead tongue,
whispering dreams
to the virgin.
A stranger’s throat is as
foreign as the wilderness.

Mitch Green founded Rad Press Publishing in September of 2016. He is an avid artist in visual design and literature. Published in various literary journals and magazines: The Literary Yard. The Penmen Review. Vimfire Magazine – Mitch aims to seize the narrow line between all artistic mediums.

A few of his known poetic titles are: “Flesh Phoenix” “Monsters” “The Wolves Howled”.

Offering his hand in graphic direction – his book design portfolio can be found here.
Follow Mitch and Rad Press Publishing on Instagram.

Sudden Denouement’s First Short Story Literary Prize – Open For Submissions Nov 1, 2018

Since its inception in 2016, The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective has had the privilege of featuring some of today’s most fearless writers. With members that span the globe and editors who share a passion for pushing boundaries, we as a collective have enjoyed reading, promoting, and watching the success of each individual artist as they have grown in their craft and left their mark upon the literary world.

Now, as writers and readers, editors and fans, we at Sudden Denouement Literary Collective are ecstatic to open up the doors to our outstanding, award winning collective, and invite you all in to pull up a chair and tell us your stories.

The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, and Sudden Denouement Publishing, are pleased to dip our toes into the waters of great literary contests and announce our first ever short story literary prize with a call for submissions from all of you.

Our theme is ‘Things Would Never Be The Same’ and our rules and regulations are as follows:

WHAT: You can submit ONE original, unpublished piece of fiction that is up to 2500 words. There is no minimum word requirement.

WHEN: The competition is open for submissions from November 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019

WHO: Everyone, everywhere

HOW: While the competition is active, submit your piece online through Submittable.

WHAT YOU CAN WIN: 

1st place:
$100 cash
One copy of every book published by Sudden Denouement Publishing
Three guest spots featured on Sudden Denouement Literary Collective
*possibility of publication in Sudden Denouement’s first short story anthology – 2019

2nd place:
$75 cash
One copy of three books published by Sudden Denouement Publishing
Two guest spots featured on Sudden Denouement Literary Collective
*possibility of publication in Sudden Denouement’s first short story anthology – 2019

3rd place:
$50 cash
One copy of two books published by Sudden Denouement Publishing
One guest spot featured on Sudden Denouement Literary Collective
*possibility of publication in Sudden Denouement’s first short story anthology – 2019

Honourable Mentions (2 places)
$25 cash
*possibility of publication in Sudden Denouement’s first short story anthology – 2019.

Check back on November 1, 2018 when submissions will be opened.

Good luck to you all, we look forward to reading your submissions.

-The Editors of Sudden Denouement

 

Faith Don’t Lie- Christine Ray & S.K. Nicholas

Before you, the days blended one into another, each one as empty as the day before. Hell on earth.  A month of Sundays forced to my bare bloody knees to the cold, hard stone floor by a congregation of pious sleepwalkers, of judgmental sheep. You’ve met their kind. The ones who can’t see. The ones who can’t feel. The ones who worship their shiny toys like idols and pray at the twins altars of willful ignorance and empty contentment. They pointed their fingers at me, sewed a red letter on my chest, called me a heretic for wanting more. For declaring you a true prophet.

My faith don’t lie, so why should yours? At times like these I feel both dead and alive, and this is how I get my kicks. The knife I twist brings with it the lips of those I wish to kiss above all else. May they kiss me under and may the blade take me to another plateau so I can be at one with God, far from those who resemble what I wish never to resemble. Too many days pissed away. Too many hours left hanging by a thread. Just too much time pretending those wrapped in flesh and sin were like me, but they never were, and neither are you. You know it. I can see it in your eyes. Can feel it when you cry as your world comes tumbling down because the faith you seek is in them and not within.

You baptized me in the woods with the wine and the words of burning truth that bled from your mouth. Told me to dig my fingers deep in the rich earth, feel the hum of life all around us. As the bonfire blazed, you molded the shadows and revealed the secrets of your death and resurrection to my open eyes. I could hear the copper sing in your blood. Taste your holiness on my tongue.  I was filled with the crimson gold light of the spirit deep in my marrow.  I knew the excruciating glory of rebirth.

My faith don’t lie, so why should yours? They spit at the sky and claim the rain falls only on them. Them and their desperate need for affection never giving so much as a thoughtful ear in return. They see shapes while we observe miracles. They hear noise while we hear songs as old as the universe. Yet all they do is try convincing us the magic in our bones is mere illusion. That what we’ve got to give don’t mean shit. But we know that’s not true. We’ve known right from the start. It’s in our hearts and these visions that push us further away, but if we’ve got each other, the more adrift we become the better. So take my hand. Take it now and let’s find a beautiful place to get lost.

We turn our backs to the unbelievers, with their deaf ears and eyes that choose not see.  It is not our work to proselytize to the masses.  We will minister to ones like us, who cannot settle for the stale, tasteless bread, the white picket fences.  Those with fire in their blood, those who hunger.


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

S.K. Nicholas is the creator of Myredabyss.comas well as author of two novels A Journal for Damned Lovers Vol 1 & 2. Both of these books are availableon AmazonAdditionally, Nicholas is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

 

Phalanx-Jimmi Campkin

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I should resist, but she has the confident glow of a seasoned drunk, smelling of cheap vodka and cherry gum.  She does handstands and I watch those filthy, unwashed baseball sneakers form an arc; just missing a string to be a devastating bow.  She hovers upside down for a moment and her arms burst with blood and sinew.  She walks on her hands, legs now bent like a scorpion, as I walk slowly and solemnly behind her like an undertaker walking to a funeral.

My friends tell me she is bad news but I like bad news.  I read about murder every day, I slow down for car wrecks, and I love how the spot on her forehead is infected and seething from being picked by grubby fingernails.  I love how she pushes rusty nails under her skin.  I love how she took up my dare to stand under the wasp’s nest in her underwear as I threw rocks at it.  Stung thirty eight times and going into shock, she still demanded I kiss her through the froth.

Maybe we are the people society forgot, or maybe we were a mistake from God – tossed over his shoulder towards the waste basket but bouncing off the rim and crawling, evolving on the floor in our own way; born out of lost bacteria in the gutter, staring up.  For my birthday last year she gave me a dead squirrel, pancaked flat from the road, and shaved my name into its decaying fur.

She finally overbalances and snaps to the ground like a sprung mousetrap.  Nearby is the old bridge, crossing a narrow but steep cut through the land.  The drop is horrible – in that middle distance between survival and death where leg and pelvic injuries are almost guaranteed.  The planks of the bridge have gaps and my challenge is to make my way under the bridge from one side to the other using just my hands and my grip.  She insists she won’t tread on my fingers through the gaps, but she’s a terrible liar.  And I know her well.  My body is raked with red scars from home-made surgeries, so much glue and stitches without anesthetic using her mother’s sewing yarn, all from her challenges.

I make my way underneath the bridge just before it falls away.  It stinks of piss and an old mattress where tramps go to convince themselves it isn’t worth trying anymore.  I put my fingers between the hold ahead of me and allow my feet to dangle beyond the drop.  I see her above, as a break in the sunlight.  And isn’t that an apt simile?  I shouldn’t be doing this.  I’m shit scared.  I should resist.  And as I am thinking these things, I go for the second hold.


Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com.