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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All in a Day’s Work

Aurora Phoenix on Blood into Ink. I welcome all of you to visit Blood into Ink and read the poignant words of survival. You can also submit to us your own writing on trauma, and surviving.

Blood Into Ink

I am weighing in

on matters of weight

and consequence

I measure my words

for breadth and depth

pour them forth

in tones of equal measure

passionate and restrained.

he hears a waspish

background buzz

drowned under

the squelching

of my sopping pudenda

as he pounds,

pounds and pounds.

I see

his erroneous prerogative

in his delusional


interpretation –

conjuring a mirage,

a wet and shimmering


beckoning his thirst,

begging for repetitive


dry as the Sahara

I burn his retinas

with the unrelenting


of my rejecting stare,


assertations of import

steadfastly comport


above (his) sea level

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Center of Night


I remember everything, a curse in

center of night,

when cat stares through me, and

clock tick-tocks

witching hour is nigh

I wait cos I remember every scene

unseen with eyes mine, a curse in

center of night

I miss you most


(image: Pinterest)



Mama, it’s too dark at

12 in the afternoon—

Elvis says he wants you.

Elvis, he says he needs you, says he loves you;

but not as goddamned badly as I do.


In this midnight daylight I feel five years old,

wondering why I can’t have you back.

I asked pretty please with sugar on top.

I promised I’d be good if you’d just wake up.


But you stay sleeping, and Elvis stays singing

the stupid fucking songs that he didn’t even write.

He’s gonna stick like glue,

because he’s stuck on you.


I’m stuck on you, too. Stuck on summers spent

in Tawas, when you wore permed hair and

smelled like Moore cigarettes. I’m stuck on

your smile, and your eyes squinted in the face of the sun.


I’m stuck on the way you would pronounce my name—

a mispronunciation most ironic.


I’m stuck on your expressions, and mannerisms.


I’m stuck on the sound of your laughter when you laughed

when you knew you not ought to.


I’m stuck on the absence of you.


And I’m lonesome tonight.

And Painted the Floor


In the kitchen

my mother was dead with no religion;

she’d bumped her head and painted the floor.


Dead head red



Mother were your eyes closed or open?

Only the cat knows

as well as policemen.


Bloated bag of bones

drained and taking space in chest of drawers…

you don’t belong there but what can I do?

I’ve never been good at saving you.


You wait for the oven that will


your wishes.

Don’t fret mother;

your girls won’t toss the dirt on you.

We will wear your body dressed in silver

displayed ‘round our necks.


No one can hurt you now.

Not your mother or your father;

not corrupt Jehovah

who’d abandoned you at sixteen years



Mama 19 again at 24;

You weren’t perfect but you were ours

and you were beautiful even at your ugliest

because we knew you loved us

so fucking hard it hurt sometimes.


You were a glorious lioness.

A fucking alcoholic, but a lioness just the same.

And I’m so angry!

So goddamned sad!


My mother is dead. And it doesn’t matter if her eyes were closed or open.

Those eyes I’ll never see again.

Those most beautiful eyes that beheld me the day I was born.

Those eyes I’ve learned to read.

The ones I’ve loved and hated in equal turns—

sometimes green grey or blue

but always true.

The ones made dull when she bumped her head

and painted the floor.