Cat Stevens: Father&Son


Black Box



You come to me often, and I can’t take it—seeing your Cheshire smile, and glittering eyes. I’d thought dreams of you would bring me peace, but those visions of you animated, and the dulcet tones of your voice, well-remembered, bouncing against the walls of my skull only cause me agony. I hold a wake with a devastated ribcage, fractured from the distension of a lamenting heart—my heart, it heaves, weeping tears of its own, crimson.


The anguish of mourning is transcendental; and necessary in the process of healing. Booze is something else that’s necessary, though arguably. My mother was a legit alcoholic, perpetually grieving. And she smoked a lot—the cheap mentholated cigarettes with the most pungent odor. She always smelled like fresh cut flowers that had been dusted with baby powder, then bundled up and tied with twine to hang dry from the sticky ceiling of an off-road dive bar.

What do I know about bars—particularly the dive variety? More than I had ever wanted my mother to know that I know. She would have been sad to learn I’m a perpetual griever. I sincerely trust she lived her life believing I was bright yellow as a full sun.

Now, my mother is dead. She’s dead, and I have never before felt my soul twisting around itself so goddamned tightly. To mourn my mother is to feel actual, inexplicable pain. I can’t get drunk enough to go numb; only stupid enough to pass out at my computer desk after I’ve written some crazy enlightened bullshit that only a griever high as all fuck could begin to understand, and appreciate.

I’m so full of shit soaked vodka, I wish someone would haul off and punch me in the face. Preferably when I’m fucking blotto, so it won’t hurt too much—until I wake up the following afternoon.

To mourn my mother is to self-loathe. I could have loved her better. She’s dead, and I’m a knapsack full of dicks and hindsight.



Another Disastrous Date: Andrea Walker


“While writing this book, I learned a few interesting things about myself. Over the years, I spent a great deal of time primping and preening for dates, dropped an enormous amount of money on shoes, and didn’t realize until very late in the game that I was the poster child for what can only be termed as Bad Choices Syndrome. So what saved me from going over the deep end? Writing. It’s definitely the poor woman’s version of great psychiatric therapy.”

Andrea Walker details the misadventures of dating with great comedic timing. Another Disastrous Date is witty, and timelessly relevant. The “characters” in this book are hilarious–truthfully, I found myself laughing so raucously, I had to dry tear drops that had fallen onto the pages.

Another Disastrous Date is now available on Amazon. If you have a shoe fetish, and/or enjoy reading comedy, please find this book for Kindle, and in paperback.

Note:  This isn’t chick lit. I know plenty of men who are Andrea Walker fans.

Subterranean Novellas – Aurora Phoenix

Aurora Phoenix on Sudden Denouement. Her use of language never fails to impress. I am constantly inspired to improve my own craft because of A.P. and the other terrific writers you’ll find at SD. Please check out the blog if you haven’t already.

A Global Divergent Literary Collective

he is sleeping
fetally curled
as the narrow bench allows
hairily bedraggled
a forlorn green bean
hopelessly lost in a crisper corner.
insensible to the hubbub
lurch oblivious
sea legs unconscious.
his story has uncracked bindings
though I inescapably
draft this chapter
unimaginatively entitled
survival strategies for bitter blustery days

they wear their privilege
like their pancake
precisely overdone
accentuating blemishes
it purports to mask.
like spanx in overtime
containing wayward bulges
they convulse in paroxysms
suppressed schoolgirl giggles
as they selfie mock him –
these southern belles
similarly lionizing
life’s half century
in the city
that will never sleep

do I,
in the crushed velvet burnout
that is my poetic soul,
bear closer resemblance
to an urban misfit
escaping frigidity
cloaked in congealed
eau de shame
than I do
the pungently judging
glam squad clique
clicking and cackling
in cringe-worthy
mean girl couture?

I hope,
fervently as…

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Death Comes as the End

As most of you are aware, I recently lost my mother. When I read this poem, I felt like Varnika was speaking only to me. ❤

Moonlighting Scrivener

Blank walls

And blank pages.

Nothing to account for

A life that was lived.

The still warm body

Looked peacefully at rest

Endowed with an eternal sleep.

Yet, still floating behind those closed eyes,

Lingering as if to prolong their goodbyes,

Were a myriad fluttering dreams.

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An Emotionless Affair

My latest on Blood into Ink.

Blood Into Ink


What you think you know of me, you’ve gleaned from pages of a yellow legal pad stained with sterile ink leaked from your doctor’s pen; it’s an emotionless affair, the goings-on between patient (me) and psychiatrist. I’m a mistress in hysterics seeking validation from just another goddamned man. If this were the nineteenth century, you’d have long sent me to an asylum, and had my womb mutilated by staff surgeons.

When I speak, you scribble, and I imagine you’re only illustrating me naked, sprawled upon the divan, jaundice skinned and lined with blue. Make me a whole person, you write (mocking me) inside a comic book word bubble inserted above my head. But I continue talking about how I feel since learning my mother had woken up dead, and the gut-fucking grief inside of me, because I do want to be a whole person.

It’s an emotionless affair…

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Gagging on Christmas

Damn, Girl. I ❤ u.

Damn, Girl. Get Your Shit Together.

It’s safe to say that my husband and I come from very different sides of the track. His upbringing was firmly upper middle class and my upbringing was firmly skipping class to go to work ‘cuz I got siblings and someone has to feed these damn kids.

It was ten years ago this winter, that I trekked up to my husbands beautiful little mountain town to spend Christmas with his family.

But first, a tale from the Ghosts of Christmases past;

I was raised between the foster care system and the streets. Most of my Christmases were spent in the faded lime green or grey walled buildings of mental institutions visiting my mentally ill mother. We used to drink dixie cups of chicken “soup” that came out of the vending machine next to the coffee and hold hands across metal tables, carefully supervised. My mother would give us bright little…

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Daughter of the Ebon Flame- Eric Syrdal

Sir Eric is da bomb.

Whisper and the Roar

Daughter of the Ebon Flame ES

in the beginning
there was dark
the only sound
was the thrumming
of the blood in my ears
a primordial rhythm
a fanfare and funeral march
announcing my mortal birth
and my immortal death
as the atoms of star dust aligned
and the seeds of love were sown
into the furrows of striated muscle
my armor was forged in the kiln of my soul
by a dark fire
by Her
clement hands
and She lives there still

Daughter of the Ebon Flame

She is
a fragment of creation
the first time my heart loved
and I feel
Her gravity
every single day

Eric Syrdal is an independent poet/author. He’s an avid gamer and Sci-Fi enthusiast. He enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy literature and spends a great deal of his writing time focused in those genres. He is from New Orleans, Louisiana, where he lives with wife and…

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Lost Voice – Christine Ray

Christine’s new piece on Sudden Denouement.

A Global Divergent Literary Collective

siren’s golden voice
once dropped confident syllables
into air
as naturally as breathing
now stifled in constricted throat
that struggles to swallow
six-sided anxiety
hot, sour bile

college ruled notebooks
once full
of manic scribblings
compulsively captured in black ink
before inspiration could swirl down the floor drain
collect dust
sigh from disuse

pen now held in death grip
fingers have lost their grace
their nerve
fertile mind now an empty room
where silence rings
torturous tinnitus

blindfolded by fear
weight pressing down on shoulders
by the weight of giant
unseen inquisitor’s voice barks
Have you reached the bottom of yourself
are you so shallow
so barren?!
Or is truth so deeply hidden
that you must dive inside
hand to elbow buried into slippery entails
to reach it?

surgical implements laid out
with precision on a stainless tray
slide into view
no hesitation picking up sharp scalpel
with shaking fingers

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