By HENNA SJÖBLOM
Was it alive?
Does it matter? When you think about it, there’s no proof for either side. The very idea of not being is incomprehensible to the human mind. We bleed for meaning, for something to tear at, we cry in the shower while stroking ourselves, nipping the folds of salvation. We come to the thought of eternal life or eternal damnation, both irresistible to us, stirring a perverse satisfaction in our gut. We press cigarette ends to our wrists, kiss boys with white collars just to taste god between their legs, wake up with a smashed bottle of cyanide in our hands and fingerprints around our necks. We are here and we are not. The meaning of life is immaterial once we’re aware of it; to want is to be alive, to survive is to
I believe you found the core of the poodle there.
The seal of the chamber is ever unmoving. Why care for what lies beyond our sight? To perceive would eliminate the purpose. After all, what is desire but a reminder of our impending death, the grave notion of how everything just doesn’t matter? Ball and chain, pit and pendulum. Now wine drips from the veins of the sky, slashed open by insight. I saw the heavens unfolding. If this is our only chance, why, let’s dance with Mephisto tonight, let’s inhale gasoline and stick our fingers in each other, lick eternity from out chins and dip acid in our eyes. Ours is this world, ours is the piercing tongue of god.
Heinrich, my friend,
we will surely burn.
Henna Sjöblom, the goth girl next-door. Aspiring author. Monstrophile. Horror enthusiast. She writes to cope with mental illness and everyday experiences. Find her at Murder Tramp Birthday
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
from the lava erupting
in my ston-ed heart
I felt the gripe
of your slimy eyes
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
there is a roar
in this chatteled vessel
the dam in my throat will burst
what ushers from these lips
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 Publishing is thrilled to announce that Eric Syrdal’s Pantheon is now available for Kindle. The paperback version will be available over the next few days.
Eric Syrdal’s Pantheon is the novel told in free-verse that you never knew you needed to read. Epic in scope but always deeply rooted in its humanity, it defies genres and expectations.
“Pantheon is a thrilling philosophical journey exploring the depth and meaning for one passing through a metaphorical world of inner demons and dragons, goddesses of the soul, of warrior and poet. A journey that crosses boundaries of time, space, and perception. I am captured by the intimate revelations of this intuitive and sympathetic protagonist battling the dark ages of his subconscious moving instinctively forward into innerscape, relying upon and exalting the virtue goddesses that guide and deliver him from barbarity and trial by ordeal both physical and spiritually as he transports from one state of being to another, from one point of time to another”
Holly Rene Hunter
I knew the dealer
and we chuckled a few times,
he being street and me
being neater than the rest.
I knew them once too;
back when their mamas
fucked all the daddies
and I was too much
like my mother.
I knew them, the slink
and the oils of them
spread out for the gang
banging the doors
down after the nanny
cashed her cheque
and flew home to Mexico.
He took that ten-cent
off the dollar blow
and he cut it
with bleach that burned
the high class right
out of society,
and he funnelled it too;
into dollar store bags,
variety store bags, stamped
with pink lips and diamonds,
and he cranked that shit
up 499% and we laughed
and laughed and said a toast
to those designer bitches
as we slammed
drinks on their dimes
while they bled
from the eyes
in the center of the VIP
we were too street to enter.
We lived large
in the basement
and they paid
to push in the hallways,
and now I write poetry,
and they still hit
the best of the west,
sucking and chucking
the bucks for free.
Paperback, 140 pages/Published November 9th 2017 by Sudden Denouement Publishing
Nicole Lyons is a force of nature disguised as a writer, a social activist, a voice for the downtrodden, and a powerful poet with a delicate touch. She is a best selling published author, poet, and also a consulting editor for Sudden Denouement. You can read more of her writing at The Lithium Chronicles
From the moment Sudden Denouement Publishing announced the publication of Rachel Finch’s debut poetry collection, I could not wait to read it. Finch made a brave and bold entrance onto Blood into Ink, with ignition pieces like Girls are not for Beating (pg.35). I was hooked by her ability to sing fire with a bloody mouth.
A Sparrow Stirs its Wings houses this spirit of fight and flight. Flight not from fear but from the space she has shaped to soar. The structure of the collection reminds me of Alfa’s Silent Squall except Finch begins with the girl crossing her heart and hoping to die, walking on eggshells (pg.19), and ends as a woman who recognizes strength and hope in her reflection:
‘I did not notice the growth, until I had grown,
I had not seen myself changing, becoming,
until the woman I forged reflected my gaze
and held my stare with no shame.’ – Hold the Stare
In fact, I would even say Finch’s sparrow does more than stir its wings – it unfurls them in the morning sun and defies the laws of gravity.
This debut collection is more than just honest, beautifully brutal storytelling. Finch has created a collection the reader will feel compelled to return to, time and time again. Moon Breathing makes me fall in love, Heal is the advice I need imprinted on my palm and Still Smouldering never fails to provoke a visceral reaction:
‘I was reborn a dragon feasting on the fire in my belly, lit with milk teeth in my mouth’
Finch’s voice has found a home, in these pages and in my chest. She touches her readers. She tells the truth and explores hers. She leaves you with the following words:
‘You are the smell of rain before it hits the soil.’
And you can’t help but believe them.
Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.
I sent my new poem to an old friend who replied:
“I know nothing of poetry.”
Another said about the same. “I don’t read the stuff.
Sorry.” It got me to thinking.
Had I sent in a stock tip, they would have rewarded me.
I might have received a bottle of Chablis, maybe even a good one,
had I sent in trading data on Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange.
Who would have said, “I’m not into making money.”?
But one comes to learn an awful truth about one’s friends.
Not just their indifference; that’s painful enough.
No. It’s that for them poetry is something akin to masturbation.
They don’t want to hear about it. It’s an embarrassment.
My friends are always buying or selling. If I had produced a tomato,
I’d have been advised to set up a stand on the sidewalk.
The price of tomatoes is high, asparagus even higher,
but poetry is nearly worthless; like trying to sell one’s teeth.
Poetry is not a commodity. My friends are merchants.
It’s a shameful action, like going to Confession.
Can you sell your sins? How much do one’s dreams weigh?
Nobody wants to watch a friend display himself.
It’s not that poetry is disgusting. But it may be shameful.
It’s seen as a waste of time: not an adult activity, not a good investment,
something more akin to gathering pine cones or pressing leaves in an album,
i.e., kid stuff, or a hobby for little old ladies.
I feel like a cat taking a bloody mouse to her master.
As I drop my poem at my friend’s feet, she gives it a glance
and sneers: “What’s that for? It’s not very pleasant.
Your job is to please me. Go play in the garden.”
That’s the response of my once best friend. She sees herself as an artist
or at least claims to be artistic. She wouldn’t treat a painting the way she scorns poetry.
But then again you can own an oil. You can hang it.
Even better you can resell it.
Stocks and paintings are good investments, like real estate.
Cars and furniture lose value, more like a poem.
They’re best when new, but with art, the worth is in its place,
they say. It’s not just beauty; it’s location, location, location.
Poetry is a dying art, especially when the artistic disown it.
They’d rather have crème brûlée or pear mousse with walnuts.
It’s not only prettier but something sweet. Poetry is no treat, and poets
are a nuisance. They have the absurd idea that what they do has value.
Paperback, 106 pages/Published September 1st 2017 by Sudden Denouement Publishing
David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and he is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. His latest book, The Other Is Oneself: Postcolonial Identity in a Century of War: 20th Century African and American Writers Respond to Survival and Genocide, is available on Amazon.com. He is also the author of Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing