Tea and Turbulence – Aurora Phoenix

Tea and temperance

was that mercury you dolloped
by the teaspoon brimming
into the cup of my tempest teeming?

I have sipped on a brew
Weltschmerz steeped in introversion
while trouble boils and toils double
in churning unplumbed depths.

did you misapprehend my clime
striding presumptuous as you did
through the dead of my hurricane’s eye?

you skew the heated misconstrue
as my oft-bitten tongue scalds
on steaming leaves of fate infusion.

teapot not, though short and spouty
I whistle through cycles of cyclonic vision
salting the trail of your sluggish bluster

look out, quicksilver!
I’m on your tail


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.”

Sudden Denouement Welcomes New Collective Member Nitin Lalit Murali – Us

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We’ve been through the same routine, you and I:
me, coming home in a prescription haze with slurry speech
and a numbing nonchalance,
and you, broken and infuriated
to see me ‘waste my life away.’
But what’s there to ‘waste away?’
Hasn’t life heaped piles and piles of sorrow on us
like arachnids poured on a Fear Factor contestant,
lying in a tub?
You yell. You scream, ‘I’m leaving you!
I’m not going through this again!’
and in that moment of semi-consciousness
when my mind only whispers – the thoughts circling my mind
like the breeze from a slowly moving ceiling fan –
I barely nod, and that agitates and burdens you more.
Soon, you aim arrows of curses at my core,
hoping they’ll pierce my callousness,
make me admit that I’m a promise-breaking hypocrite
who crosses his heart
before plummeting into an abyss
so dank and deep where speech
fumbles and becomes a string of neologisms,
and sudden blindness possesses
like the abrupt fading-to-black ending of The Sopranos.
But what you don’t see are
the moments I spend with myself,
leaning against the bathroom wall,
cigarette in mouth,
tears streaming down
because of the guilt
that unsettles, unnerves and unmans.
But that’s no excuse.
That’s no justification for the man I’ve become
after seeing a perpetual Autumn
with the sights, sounds, and smells of decay.
I looked for Spring
or even a Winter that will urge me to find warmth,
but sorrow clandestinely woke me one morning
using mind control,
making me a zombie on his leash,
made to go, ‘Woof!’ when he commanded.
The only way out was to poison myself.
To escape, and so, I did,
imbibing pill after pill,
taking a page out of
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Moshfegi
and flushing our marriage down the toilet.
Sorrow didn’t mind because he knew
he still retained control
and I’d only constructed an illusion of escape.
But I’ll reiterate that
there’s no excuse for the pain I’ve caused you,
there’s no justification for the hurt,
there’s no remedy to who we’ve become,
and since, I’ve always been a coward,
there’s no final act on my part that will paradoxically
offer you catharsis and anti-catharsis,
so, leave now,
and don’t look back in grief, anger or angst.

Nitin Lalit Murali is a poet, flash fiction writer and essayist from Bangalore, India. He also enjoys reading literature of different genres and listening to jazz and neo-classical music. He started writing seven years ago and art has consumed him over the years. He blogs regularly at Fighting the Dying Light

The Statistics of Opinion – David Lohrey

We hate the man in the White House because he eats McDonald’s.

We hate him because he orders his steaks well-done and uses

ketchup like a rube from St. Louis. Americans have adopted

the snobbery of Princess Margaret. We expect the President

to eat popcorn in white gloves.

Yes, this is who we are. We no longer want a President. We demand

a Queen. We treasure the wealthy not the greedy. He’s too much

like us, this man in the White House. The poor love him because

he eats the way we do. He spends his money in the same way

we would if we had any.

There’s a touch of the gutter in the men we send to the big house.

Some people have too much; that’s what makes us resentful. Not

Trump. We appreciate his desperation. We understand his hunger.

He’s not at all like the rich we’ve seen before. He knows his dough

is not permanent.

They’ll tell you how much they admire TR, because everyone loves

a rich man in power, but what I loved about Teddy was his delicacy,

his appreciation of nature, his love of the outdoors, his refusal to eat

with a spoon. All this came from his childhood asthma. He could ride

bareback and use a lasso.

You can’t blame Obama for wanting to be rich. What’s $50,000,000?

Change from the bottom of Oprah’s purse. After eight measly years

in the White House, he was bidding for a basketball team. Now, he is

worth nearly 800 million. And counting. Soon, he’ll be worth over

a billion. He has contempt for people who work for a living.

You turned your face away. We are deep into a period of misrule. The

Presidents are leaving power richer than when they come into office.

Clinton, Obama: trash, bless their hearts, but both now vacation on private yachts. They look down their noses at Trump. He’s beneath them. They

know real money. They can smell it.

I don’t want anyone to come down here trying to be kind. Trump teaches

us how to embody shrewd ignorant verve. Guts, not condescension. Not

the milk of human kindness. Too much of that and you’ll be ready for death.

He’s the kind of guy who’ll tell you you’re stupid, right to your face. Let’s face it: he reminds us of our mothers.


David Lohrey is from Memphis, where he grew up, and now lives in Tokyo, where he teaches and writes for local travel magazines. He graduated from UC Berkeley and then moved to LA where he lived for over 20 years.

Internationally, his poetry can be found in Otoliths, Stony Thursday Anthology, Sentinel Quarterly, and Tuck Magazine. In the US, recent poems have appeared in Poetry Circle, FRiGG, Obsidian, and Apogee Journal. His fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Dodging the Rain, and Literally Stories.

David’s The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th-century literature, was published in 2016, while his first collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was released in September 2017. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Collective.

The noise of this brain

By Devika Mathur

And so I crumble in my own jaw line

Leaking from the iris,

A stoned mahogany stuck

Beneath the frivolous sky,

I lie like a pond, open and scarred,

Rummaging through your eyes,

To seek something that belongs to my lip.

I fail.

I fail the second day as well.

My mind talks pills and potions

A volatile adamant touch of burps.

A ripple lost and secured.

My mind is insane, forever.



Devika Mathur, a poetess from India is a published poetess and is a lover of everything dark and surreal. Her work has been previously published in Sudden Denouement, Visual Verse, Dying dahlia review, two drops of ink, Madswirl, The rye whiskey review among various others. Find more of her musings at https://myvaliantsoulsblog.wordpress.com

You’ve Been Careless with Her, and I Hate You – Kindra M. Austin

i hate you

Ravel,
unravel,
ravel…

Travel round-stuck-about;
but pain is faceless in the stoic.

You built the road she
travels,
ravels,
unravels…

She will paint her face in rage,
enraged
at last
with your infidelity.

Infidel,
you’ve made a grievous error;
for you may not enter temple, yet
refuse to pray at altar.

And she will build new roads to
those where you’re unwelcome
while you ravel,
unravel,
ravel…

Travel round-stuck-about.


Kindra M. Austin is a very sweary indie author and editor from mid-Michigan (you can find her books here). She’s also the co-founder of Blank Paper Press, a founding member of Indie Blu(e) Publishing, founder of publishing imprint, One for Sorrow, and a writer/managing editor at Blood into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. Austin cut her poetry teeth in April, 2016, and joined the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective in 2017. You can find more of her foul mouth at poems and paragraphs.

Hide and Seek – Daffni Gingerich

hide and seek

From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon


 

I have poured out the contents of my insides today. I don’t want them back but there will come a day when they’re handed back to me with side notes and red ink. And I will retreat under the bed like I did as a child during hide and seek. There’s knowledge left under beds from those who never survived hiding. My eyes would dart back and forth and my heart would race as if death was truly on the outside waiting. It was always the big brown eyes of my brother that found me. And with such a rush I’d demand he be seeker again. He’d whine and I’d ignore him until he quit and we went our separate ways. Headstrong. That’s what they call me. I’m hard to stick around because anyone without passion bores me and anyone with it, well, that’s deadly. Deadly, like hide and seek. I’ve had an insatiable craving for sweets lately. I do my best to be an adult and pair them with more salads, but that amount of eating can be too much. I’d need more than 3 salads a day, and three is quite a lot already. If only hiding under the bed brought me sweets, I’d have been more likely to give my brother a turn to hide.


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

What Are Words 4 – Olde Punk

what is love 4

From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon

Lidocaine and cold passion

Misshapen nights unfastened

A misprint in my falsehood

Driving derision in a thunderstorm

Stormborn, borne to the edge

I scorn the precepts that flood

The nights on television

With false precision, more indecision

The race is tightening, the racism frightening

When will we be of all one kind, one mind?

Whatever, nevermind to quote a sad sod

Another in passing is saying hello 2 heaven

The words live on and they say fight for

Your rights

I don’t know what right I have to say

But I tend to write these things anyway

Reproachful I pretend to be

But I so tire of the reprehensible dichotomies

We are not the lazy, stupid fools

You desire to see

I am out to sea with the Party

I wish there was another choice of tea

This one has gone cool and the aroma

Is quite drab

I’m fishing for the big one

My mood is quite glum

I hope to find

Others like me, the ones

Left behind and still alive

And fed up with the 9 to 5

And taxes and healthcare reform

I need to be fucking reborn

My kids’ heads are full of drivel and swine

Zero Trans Fats and sugar substitutes still seem

To widen my behind

Where o where is the truth?

Is it hidden under my pillow like a fallen tooth?

I beseech anyone who is reading this silly farce of prose

Am I talking out of my ass

Or did I hit it right on the nose?

Dimethocaine and rational thoughts

Mix as well as oil and water

There are some things cannot be bought

I struggle with what to tell my daughter

Poverty for the meek

Lambs for the slaughter

A kiss on the cheek

But sometimes I pray

That we all go underwater

But hey, I don’t know

Isn’t there always

Hope for tomorrow?

If not, I’ve still got

Dimethocaine and whiskey

And the love of someone smarter


Olde Punk is an editor of Sudden Denouement and the curator of Ramjet Poetry.  Hockey, food and punk rock junkie.  Sci-Fi/fantasy/comic book nerd.  Writing for years; still not any better.

Because I am worth so much more- Sarah Doughty

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From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon


“Because I am worth so much more.
I deserve better than loving
someone like you.”

Maybe, loving you was wrong. Maybe, I knew that being yours would end in my own heartbreak. But, darling, did you ever consider that I made that choice on my own? That you had no business putting words in my mouth — words I never spoke. That you had no right to force my actions. Or act upon your belief that it was in my best interest. Maybe, this has been my problem all along. Choosing to love someone that could never accept me for who or what I am. Loving someone that I knew, deep down, would never change. Maybe, I should have loved myself more, respected myself more. Because I am worth so much more. I deserve better than loving someone like you.


Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of , The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right hereTo learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her websitestalk her on Goodreads, or both.

Been Bloody – SRP

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From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon


Terror fills the streets
in dark
as we cry to ourselves
sleep at night
you don’t know me
anymore
How many days how many nights
when we pull out
hair
and scratch out
eyes
Done seen too much
the information is relentless
I didn’t have a choice
won’t make it
you gave me the gun
tried to make it
right
She was standing there
right in front of him
and all i can see
is red
red red red
And i can’t wash it
clean
i can’t take it
away
we both are
still here
bloody


SRP is co-creator and editor for Sudden Denouement.

Wasps – Jimmi Campkin

From Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, available on Amazon


Open up my skull and you will find her inside, in a tatty striped dress and muddy Doc Martens.  Every bedroom, every hotel room, every airport lounge, train and coach I sleep in she is there, smiling and licking razor blades.  When I shower I look into the steamed mirror and see a pair of blue eyes staring back at me.  Neither of these eyes belong to my partner.  She is still there, with a red flowing tongue and a black choker.

This is no guardian angel.  She is guilt and sex and violence, with greasy hair and furry teeth – not brushed since her last remembered birthday and she always forgets her anniversaries.  Years later, lying in bed next to my partner, ‘the woman I love’, I wait until I hear gentle snoring before I rest my head on the pillow and close my eyes.  I know that I talk in my sleep, and all I think about is Her, with a mouth full of blood and bacteria.  In my lucid dreams I feel the hairs on my face lift to receive that sour taste.  I feel my pupils expand, opening like bank vault doors to a secret code.

As teenagers together, she took me to her secret place – a single tree in a circle of thick thorn bushes.  Like a ballerina she danced up to a noose tied to a low branch, launched her head inside like a basketball three-pointer and thrashed – piss streaming like river deltas down her soiled, writhing legs as I watched, frozen in a moment of incredulous horror.  After a few moments she lowered herself down and her barefoot heels touched terra firma.

She stood before me, at her full height, the rope now slack at her shoulders.  There was no danger, it was all a game.  Removing the noose, she walked towards me.  You never even tried to save me she smiled, and kissed me hard.  It tasted disgusting.  And then she kneed me firmly in the groin.

I sank to my haunches; coughing and farting, with a stomach ache billowing through my insides.  Looking down at the floor I saw brown leaves, dead twigs and ten toes with ten filthy toenails.  I thought to myself; I wonder if my tongue could clean these grey stumps?  A few minutes later, I knew the answer….


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