sometimes I think I am
some kind of monster,
like Charybdis, tendrils
striking the skin of
the obsidian waves
relentlessly, like an undertaker
unconditionally tending the
dead, electing their freedom
night after night.
i am in the metamorphic
and narrow stretch of the womb,
pulling any who get too close
down into the infinite
midnight of the sea,
away from any freckles of
light, deep, deep down
a million fathoms strong,
and I embrace them with
all my strength and fury,
till the feathers and rope
around my bulging limbs
tremble and glisten,
and I embrace them
until they suffocate,
and I am left alone once more,
wondering why I cannot keep
anything alive for more
than a few moments. the one

with a shoulder like a lotus,
she thrashed  against me like
Scylla, wicked limbs, slim and
sickly on the linoleum floor,
roaring that she needn’t be spared,
that immaculate design is my
resignation from humanity,
and so we writhed against each
other, in that narrow stretch, far
from the gaze of the colossus,
far from the gods of the oceans,
if we were looking at who pulled
the other down in to the frigid
nothingness, then I suppose I
won that contest, but I was wounded,
severely, and I bled like christ
into the bowels of perdition,
and I wait,
for her,
for Scylla,
to finish what she started,
to finish me off.


I watch the birds
rigid and stern,
calling out to me,
singing off the beat.
I am so tired,
so very weary,
words elude me.

Black little jade,
coaxed renegade,
sifting crystals
like glass on worn out
sand, the promised
land, the last bastion
of the hanged man,
I don’t appear on the map,
I don’t appear amongst the
fault lines, the snapping
mountains, the lapsing
glaciers, the dead sea,
the wasteland,

I wish to be far away
when I die, scatter me
in the east, rally to watch me
disperse, clinging to
the rising winds, carried on
the broken wings of
the birds, singing to me,
but thinking of you,
wishing you were here.


there is something
about being
caught out
in the unrelenting
as though god
is driving
icy nail after
icy nail
into my naked
into my weathered
trying to execute
some grand design
of deeply buried
dormant within me,
it makes me
grin, deep on
the knife point,
it fills with me
leather exuberance,
oh spectre in the sky,
oh little wisp,
filled with anger
and melancholic thunder,
i am more of a god
than you, for i
still live,
the years may
not have been good to me,
but they treated me
better than you,
and as those glacial
fragments trickle
down my nose and
cling to my beard,
as they form rivers
down my breast,
over my mother’s mark,
over the scars of
a thousand darlings,
my mind is awash
with my lovers and
enemies, honing in
on every
fragmented timeline,
and the joy of

i laugh amongst
the heathen din,
silent to your
torrent of anger,
vivid and
within my skull.


There’s a lot of hatred in the world, and sure enough, hatred doesn’t stand for anything. Hatred exists for the sake of hatred.

I have lived in London for five years now. It is a city that I love and loathe in equal measures, but my mixed feelings about the city are my own personal mantra. Despite my frequent disdain of this place, it broke my heart to see such a horrific act of hatred occur on its streets, on our streets, last week.

I was working on Saturday night when a friend showed me the report of the London Bridge attack on his phone. Our carefree attitude dropped like a stone as we read about the chaos. The friend who showed me the report works in The Shard, and I live close to the area, travelling through London Bridge and Borough daily. We were out of harm, but at the time, there was little comfort in that.

The wound from the Manchester attack is still fresh, and the news of an incident so close to home for so many of us left a rigid silence. I abhor violence in any form, but none more so than these senseless killings. This isn’t our fight. Those lives that were cut short, those that were placed in critical condition, this wasn’t their fight, yet they got absorbed by it. This is nobodies fight, but these acts of awful zealous ferocity keep occurring.

None of this is for the sake of a god. None of this is for the sake of a higher calling. This is the state of a conflict with an ‘eye-for-an-eye’ attitude. This is the state of a world in tatters.

Nothing that I have felt in my life can compare to the feeling when I hear news such as this.

We are living in rough times. Often downright scary. It’s hard to find the good in these times. Despite the abhorrent attacks on our streets, I see a unity in defiance. I see people from all walks of life going out of their way to provide whatever help they can, digging into the reservoir of human kindness that we all possess, but often lose sight of. Neither Manchester nor London are willing to back down nor live in fear. We find comfort in our friends and co-conspirators. In those around us that remind us that life is too short to live in fear, and too short to live in anxious anticipation.

Hatred breeds hatred, and to turn on others merely fuels that fire.

My heart goes out to all those affected by this senseless violence all around the world, and I pray for a better day when these atrocities cease to happen, a day when innocent daughters, sons, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours are no longer killed for the soul reason of spreading this hatred.

Short poems II


have you watched
how the cars
pass on the highway
watch all night
as they come
and go
every one significant
to you
but to them
nothing has changed


‘listen to me harry’
he took half the line
let’s talk peanuts
let’s talk the weight of a gram
i don’t want to be here.


and sometimes i am
all I want to do
is weep
with my knees pressed to my chest
and my knuckles burning white on the ground

Short poems I


every time I bite
my jaw cracks
with the sound of
a misspent youth



I could stick a knife
in your belly
and you wouldn’t blink

what are you hiding?



I breathe inches from the convex mirror
waiver on the brink
bleeding purpose into an empty pit
save me
you call out
‘come back’
‘I want you’

I think you have me confused with a better man



Sometimes I have bad days.

Sometimes I have bad weeks, sometimes bad months. Sometimes it lasts longer. I don’t question it any more, nor do I wish it didn’t happen. I can trace the first time I felt like this back to when I was twelve years old. My mother died when I was an infant, and my father remarried.  I was too young to have any memory of my mother, and believed my father’s second wife to be my mother. One day when I was twelve she disappeared. She left one day while I was at school. She left without a word. I lay in the bathtub for hours trying to work out why she did that.

I have been told by many doctors that I have severe depression, but being told that doesn’t really mean that much. When it is something that becomes a staple part of your existence it doesn’t feel like an abnormality. Being told I suffer from severe depression was like being told I need oxygen to breathe, or food to sustain myself. It just doesn’t mean anything.

I look at that memory, and it feels as though a part of me sprung a leak. Through it slowly all the good drained out of me. I tried to fill it with anything I could just to make myself feel better. Anything I used to try and plug up that leak was inevitably unsuccessful.

I believed for a long time that someone would come along and make me happy. Looking at that belief I now see that how selfish it is. I was counting on someone to replace my deceased mother. I would always feel the worst around Christmas and my birthday, which was when I would actively seek someone to make me feel better. I spent my winters with writers, architects, radiologists, dancers, artists, burlesque performers, anyone I could find who I thought could make me happy. It would work for a couple of weeks. During that time, I’d feel like I was turning a new page, but then the reality of me trying to anaesthetise my problem would kick in, and I would omit myself.

Trying to find someone to fix that drain is just as short term as the other methods. The excessive drug use, the constant drinking, the anonymous sex.

I even tried to believe in god for a few weeks.

That was during one of my most depraved chapters.

It is something that I rarely talk about. Maybe I am ashamed. Maybe I do not wish to be a burden on others. I don’t believe I would find an honest answer no matter how long I meditated on it. I have never had a conversation about it with my family, nor most of my friends. It wasn’t until a year ago that I told my best friend that I tried to kill myself when I was nineteen. I was quite happy to keep that to myself, but I felt through everything I owed him the truth.

I was worried of his reaction. I was worried he would have been angry. I was worried it would put distance between us.

The hardest part wasn’t telling him. The hardest part was telling him in full disclosure that I could not promise I would not try to do it again.

This isn’t a cry for help. This isn’t me saying I want to do it again. Once you have been fixated on that, it’s very hard to escape. I often don’t engage people on conversations about the topic of suicide as there is a conception that it is a moment of weakness. An act of desperation. In reality it is a state of mind, it is consistent and it is continuous. Even at the happiest points of my life, the points of the greatest self-development, that string of thoughts will always lurk somewhere in the back of my mind.

I didn’t expect my best friend – Henry – to understand that, but I had to tell him. He didn’t need to say anything. He just held me. We talked about growing up. We talked about the stupid shit we used to do. Our crazy hopes and dreams. He told me that one day he would like to get married, and he would want me to be there.

That resonated to my core, and years on I still feel the impact of that little phrase. We were both drunk, and I don’t think either of us knew at the time the gravity of those few words.

I shall never forget them.

He was one of the few things that ever made me feel better about myself. He made me feel like I wasn’t inherently broken, and that there was a reason to it all. I’d often become so fixated on the bigger picture, that I would ignore my surroundings and my co-conspirators.

The other thing that helped me with these feelings was writing. Sometimes during the bad weeks, I go mute. I can’t bring myself to write anything and I just endure until I can. I never really had a reason to write, so it would often take a while to start again.

Things seem different now. Writing on this platform, getting to know writers on WordPress, and especially those on sudden denouement. Knowing that there are people who read my work – it is one of the strongest motivations I’ve had. I’ve just had a shitty week, but now I just want to get on. To create some things that I can be proud of, and that hopefully others will enjoy.

It’s the kind of motivation that makes me want to be honest, and to say these undisclosed thoughts I have always kept internally.

I may fall silent at times, but the community on here gives me a reason to power through.

I am incredibly grateful for that.

a joke on you

for once I wanted
to be early,
I wanted to be dignified,
usher out the rain,
my cigarettes are
falling apart
in my fingers,
you cross the road
with out-of-tune elegance,
your fur lined coat looks
and you’re swinging bread
in rhythm with your steps,
a jaunty pace
almost lost amongst
the workers’ fluorescent jackets,
amongst the sirens and the children
crying and the mothers discussing reality
almost lost amongst
the men
and their horses and their futures,
amongst the scrabble to be
someone has to be
the bait,
almost lost amongst
the union boys left out
to dry, the immigrant vegetables
with no place in this climate,
you don’t see me watching,
you don’t see me with my patchwork
personality, my two-day-old stink of
alcohol, my cheap tobacco, my
worn-out pupils, my badge as a member of
a generation of insomnia,
you don’t see me with my crooked
teeth and weary picasso eye,
with my stained fingers,
my arms,
my flesh-burn-minefield,
my black-and-white sense of art, my empty wallet,
my empty stomach, my empty everything,
if you did see me you would see all this,
and you would want to point it out,
but the joke is on you,
I’m going to turn a corner soon,

let’s be strangers in new orleans – samantha lucero

Sudden Denouement Collective

next-day sore, fabled romance memories we’ll never have again hang themselves over the morgue of myshoulders. they sling there on the murderess hews of my collarbones like a noose. over the rubble of me like a shapeless dress, they cling. my sadness is a one-size fits all.

there’s a bad mystery of stitched up, prayer-words smothered & held hostageunderneath the humid crucifix gameof your nails. maybe we could be in love.your calloused hand, my beating throat. memories are ghosts that can physically embrace me; embrace us.

likedirt-sweat in a ghost-tour day of that hot mouth street in New Orleans, where the grinning specter-folks wanna stay like pastedgaslight posts in booze-colored hurricane beads. where there’s oiled-up candles in the balmy night lining decatur& quivering tarot cards in a sweaty palm telling me i’m meant for greatness. hail the votives for a virgin or a saint-chief, & watch palpitations at…

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