Idle hands

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It was a warm summer night

We meandered along

Down familiar streets

Finally lying in a field of grass

A small park amidst a quiet neighborhood

We were restless as teen boys usually are

Itchy skin ready to slough off

To begin anew as men

We sat in a circle, cross legged

Joe pulling out his homemade pipe

Made from brass plumbing components

He said the strain was called Buddha

It was one hit shit

Five minutes later

I’m marveling at how hands are constructed

Opposable thumbs are the shit

Joe said he wanted to guide us

To open us up as conduits

For inhabitation

He had the three of us lie on our backs

Arms out at our sides

In a velvety, therapist monotone he said:

You are completely relaxed

You are a pathway

Let the demons enter your right hand

Travel through your body

Exiting from your left foot

He repeated this over and over

I stifled my laughter

Opening my eyes just a sliver

I watched the new kid in our group

He started off twitching almost imperceptibly

In the matter of about five minutes

He looked like he was having a seizure

I glanced over at Mike, Joe’s brother

He had that shit-eating grin of his

Later me and Mikey lied

Saying we felt an almost electrical current

Running through our veins

Continuing on with our walk

Jonesing for a smoke

We’d all rifled through every pocket

Coming up short for the $1.25

Joe says how great a smoke would be

A few steps further

He stops in his tracks

Eyelids fluttering

Mouthing words from an unknown language

A smile creeps across his face

He slips his hand into the pocket of his jeans

He pulls out a five dollar bill

Praise be to Bael

We start walking

Joe in the lead, as usual

I look over to Mike

He rolls his eyes

Fawn by Jimmi Campkin. Another great piece of nostalgia at Sudden Denouement.

[Photo by Jimmi Campkin] Fawn We’d convinced the girl behind the screen to let us climb the church tower. We were both stoned beyond human comprehension – only nature could understand us now – but with her bored expression and indigo hair, we could see a kindred spirit. Arms over shoulders we talked about the […]

via Fawn- Introducing Jimmi Campkin — A Global Divergent Literary Collective

Checkout line

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Midday crowd at the local grocery

I’m grabbing ambrosia

And nondairy ambrosia flavoring

Today I decide on caramel macchiato

I’m in no hurry so I people watch

An early 30s gentleman

Whose two young sons

Are far too well behaved

I imagine favorite toys held hostage

In a skeleton key, locked closet

A mother with two daughters

In the produce section

The eldest daughter, around eight

Asks if they can have kale again, for dinner

The younger sister, gleefully agrees

Till this day I have no explanation

Aliens, maybe?

On my way to the checkouts

I watched two little old ladies

Greet each other so warmly

They were genuinely happy

To see each other

I had mixed emotions about this

On one hand I was envious

I wanted that kind of friendship

Instead of my typical introverted

Playing at being excited to interact

With people out in public

On the other hand

I began wondering

Do we begin truly valuing life

When we must surely witness death

On a much more frequent basis

Maybe they were close

Maybe they were simply happy

To be given a chance to see each other

When they didn’t know if they would ever

Get that opportunity  again

I don’t know

If I’m ready

For that

Just

Yet

Street Rats – by Daffni Gingerich at Sudden Denouement. A vignette of verisimilitude.

From the depths of my churning stomach, he pulls out my childhood and makes me puke so violently it comes out of my eyes. After wiping my face, he kisses my acidic lips. That’s when the world stops and the words start to fall out of me. The mustard plants in the vineyard across the street […]

via Street Rats- Introducing Daffni Gingerich — A Global Divergent Literary Collective

Absolute Zero

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They both worked at the factory

He was full time

She was a temp

Their journey started

At an after work get together

Drinks, music, and dancing

A connection was made

He left his wife and kids to be with her

She was a single mother looking for stability

Whirlwind romance

0 – 60 in 3.4 seconds

Coworkers loved the joy they exuded

He felt younger being with her

She was tired of youthful foolishness

She took him to all her haunts

They bonded over beers and blues

At work they smiled, knowingly

They had something worthwhile

Shift’s end couldn’t come quick enough

They could taste the beers already

He felt proud to have her by his side

She flaunted him to her usual suitors

With glass raised and a wink

Soon he wanted more

Cohabitation and a drawer of cold ones

She wanted more of the same

Clinking bottles and loud music

Even after pressuring her she refused

He wouldn’t give up on her

He followed her from bar to bar

He became a downer and a buzzkill

She wanted the endless night

And the bottomless glass

When she rebuked him a final time

Surrounded by her cohorts

His pleas to leave drowned out

He staggered out into the night

The streetlights haloed with flurries

A sad, crooked trail of footsteps

Left in the freshly fallen snow

The next day he never showed at work

Soon after he was found, frozen

On a wooded trail

That led to his lonely apartment

When the shivering stopped

Everything began winding down

Breathing slowed

Brain activity decelerated

The tears froze on his cheeks

He had given up everything for her

In the end he was an absolute zero

Winter break

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Burning cheeks

And Smokey breath

Little clumps

Stuck to mittens

Bread bags between

Socks and shoes

The air burning

Our noses

Tunnels dug

Into snow banks

Toboggan rides

Down park hills

Neighborhood friends

Charging the hillside

To take my crown

Hand-me-down

Snowsuits

Grandma reminding me

To put on a toque

Walking along

We would pretend

Our heads are

The Millennium Falcon

The fat snowflakes

An asteroid belt

Exhausted

We lay on our backs

Making snow angels

Watching the flakes

Fall from perpetually

White skies

Entire lifetimes lived

During a school break

Take

Me

Back

A tour de force by The Wandering Armadillo! Great imagery and wonderfully visceral!

if i arch my back, just so you will hear the gutteral crack of ribs splaying and thunder peal confined to a distant canyon observe the blood rivulet flow tinted crimson from rhodonite glow did you think of yourself as some indelible mark on my being? how easily I’ve erased your ochred pigments […]

via Retract — The Wandering Armadillo

Foibles

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I am a weathervane

Turned about by the wind

I’m that friend

You have to drag out of the house

I’m not the cause or a catalyst

I am acted upon

I’m easygoing, laidback, go-with-the-flow

But…

I’m an observer

A cataloguer

A video camera moving through space

I’m that friend that ends arguments

Remembering what was said weeks ago

I listen for verbal ticks and catchphrases

I watch for idiosyncratic body gestures

I listen for what you’re not saying

I read and live between the lines

Where you sublimate your hurt

I make tally marks for each micro aggression

Then…

I build worlds on the blank page

Where characters wear your traits

Like flair at Chotchkie’s

Saying the word ‘Turnaround’

In every other sentence

Chewing the skin off the sides of their nails

Shrugging only one shoulder

Never talking about their childhood

Saying yesherday instead of yesterday

Hiding the nicotine stains on their fingers

And picking the scabs

From yesterday’s

Self-inflicted cigarette burns

Intersect

Inspiration

A flash of lightning

In a state of entropy

The mind digs

It cradles the amber

Boring to the center

The rock candy blood

Of a cobwebbed understanding

Mixed with cerebrospinal fluid

Spun around the mind

With centrifugal force

The DNA mapped

An intersection of similarity

A ‘what if?’ moment

A graft taken hold

A tree of 40 fruit grows

The lightening is gone

Thunder rattles the windows

This poem, by Matt Eayre at Sudden Denouement, feels like home…in my head.

‘Subjective’ These words have no meaning. A metaphor, perhaps, an impending ice age covering the landscape while I run from the freeze. A turn of phrase, it could be, I never wanted anything to stop my destruction, and she jumped on the grenade to save me. A rhyme, to mark the time, the wind brings […]

via Subjective – Matt Eayre — A Global Divergent Literary Collective