The Body by Melita White


The body wants to move
wants to reinhabit itself
it wants to play
To bend arc writhe and double with grace and ease
The body lets go
It also gets tired
and stiff and it aches
The body takes up more space than the other bodies do
It is majestic and has presence
Full of symbolism and reference
it represents fundamental truths
cruel ironies and distortions
The body is encumbered
Yet extends beyond boundaries
The body is boundless Continue reading

Your bloody daughter – Candice Louisa Daquin

What would you tell her

The you of twenty years ago

Your bloody daughter

Wiped on doctor’s sleeve

What would you say?

Lying there with your legs open and mind shut

Would you tell her about all the false starts?

Or pick a cliché, like time goes so fast

Would you sit by the river eating damp sandwiches

And say only one thing

Don’t forget

Oh please, do not …

Because it runs out

And the music stops

You realize you didn’t find

In squirming crowd and nubile bundle of years

That self-assured hand of worship

Divination and objection

Pulling you out of horror

A soaking crimson thing

Searching for tapestry within wider weave

Throwing runes in fire pits

Eating the marrow of after birth

To discoverment

What would you tell her to look for ?

Learn the meaning before running

Barelegged catching scratches, leaving blood

Weeds pressed at their fragile necks by the thunder of your sprint

Straightening afterward, leaving no trace

Swaying all, in direction of beckoning wind

Tumbling off high rocks

Their granite faces scowling

Disapprobation carved into their carbon

As surely as your little chest heaves with the labor

Of surviving

for the things i never ask.- Ra’ahe Khayat

ari 6

i would’ve rather asked you
how many names you’ve scribbled
on the back of your hands
with needles,
and how many of them you’ve stricken out
when the bus stopped
in a screech,
and two footsteps always faltered
on the sidewalks
in a slow contemplation
of death.

i would’ve rather asked you
how many times you’ve stabbed your thighs
with razor blades
that sank perpendicularly
to your veins,
when the wrinkles on their wrists
folded into themselves,
like curtains closing
over their heart chambers.

i would’ve rather asked you
the number of ways
you’ve learned to sing her poem completely,
without ever remembering the stanza
that left her lips
in those seven mute seconds
that somehow got trapped between
your window and her door,
when she had been
choking herself on all those lifeless little sentences
that had wrapped themselves
around her voicebox
like a noose that tightened
every time your lungs skipped a breath.

i could’ve asked you to describe
every single scar on your skin
in microscopic detail-
but sometimes,
your quiet echoes vividly
when my heart falls silent
under your palm.

i live when you don’t speak.

“I’m an autumn leaf, fluttering with loneliness on a naked branch.. where I observe the world, like a specter. It’s all fleeting moments, entwined with cold mornings fading into frosted evenings. Never still, yet never moving.”

I am Ra’ahe Khayat, and let me make you fall into the rabbit hole breathing in my mind at Fallen Alone

Rigor Mortis- Kristiana Reed

Rigor Mortis

You told me it wouldn’t last

unless we left everything in the past,

unless we took off to some land

unknown, you and I, hand in hand.


You took me to a café

to watch the Día de los Muertos parade,

to watch you grimace while I lied

wearing a rigor mortis smile.


You haunted me in my sleep,

left me memories I’d have to keep,

in each, I was guilty

unable to swear fealty.


You visited me in bed

with messages from the dead,

a corporeal couple of what used to be,

threatening to take all of what’s left of me.

Kristiana Reed juggles writing and teaching English; in both vocations she endeavours to remind people of their self worth and how dazzlingly beautiful the world can be.

You can read more of Kristiana’s writing at My Screaming Twenties

Hours- Samantha Lucero

Hours clem-onojeghuo-192729

I see those mottled photos, ornate albums

of yesterdays yellow sun

Of swollen women, dream-like, in a lavender field.

They leash their arms around an oval-shape

becoming empty; the shape deflates, the air comes out like water.

It starts to breathe it’s own small breath in the shape of a person,

someday a man, a woman, sometimes swollen, sometimes

stiff, stark, or bleeding.

Seeing those photos one day,

your nose has memorized leather and tobacco flower.

for her, it’s dr.pepper, Disney on ice

the cotty musk she never knew she had just inside the pi of bone.

samantha lucero 2017 ©

Samantha Lucero likes… uhhh… cats, and can never think of what to say about herself, she writes at Samantha Lucero, sometimes and is a managing editor at the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

Untitled- Samantha Lucero

Untitled arleen-wiese-457173my scent, not his scent,
but by some changeling blood
could spread the same smile
on halloween. on christmas
waking up in blankets
it didn’t fall asleep in.

there’s bricks that hold down a red
bottlebrush flower from 1994.
she called you honeysuckle,
and thought rats had no bones.

i remember
my small hand in his
big glove, rough inside
like sand paper. old yellow leather in
a white truck stuck together
with luck, cigarettes in a soft pack,
right in your shirt pocket, next to the
heart in my hand, in your glove
in a warm cup of coffee,

i could live on that smell and skip
meals for the month of
just the memory of it,
and the dregs of
california pain.

i could armor myself in you.
live in your flannel and die.
carve a valknut in my chest
over the hole where no light
can get in.

but you’re the one with
the valknut – you’re
the one who earned it.

through a violent death,
but you’d want the cross

“these violent delights
have violent ends.”




Samantha Lucero likes… uhhh… cats, and can never think of what to say about herself, she writes at Samantha Lucero, sometimes and is a managing editor at the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

Blood Into Ink #MeToo Writing Contest Honorable Mention: bone&silver/#MeToo

MeToo Gabrielle Griffin

Why had my cousin rung me 5 times in thirty minutes? I returned my phone to airplane mode, and pushed open the classroom door. But during the lesson, my attention kept being pulled back to the call record, even while I taught; why was my stomach knotting?

The one hour dragged like mud, then I pressed redial.

‘It’s your Dad. He had a heart attack in Hawaii and…’

And is in hospital. Is fine. Will be fine. Or confined to a wheelchair at worst.

‘… and he died. I’m so sorry.’

Who took my knees away and punched me in the gut? Can I just curl up here and die on the street too?

A passing cyclist wobbles and stops. ‘Are you OK?’

No. Yes. No. I can’t share this pain with you, leave me alone!

Lying in bed that night, alone at home, with a silent waterfall streaming out of my eyes, drowning all those childhood snaps of kids on bikes, throwing snowballs, cuddling dogs. A black hole of unknowing rears in front of me: I’m 42, own a house, have a job, drive a car, yes, yes… but how do I actually live now without my Dad?

A month later, after the autopsy, the overseas flights, the Will, and the wakes, I cycle round my city, trying to land again. What keeps buildings upright in the face of this loss? How can people laugh, or make plans for fun? And why are you still alive, old man? Why are you still here, walking slowly down my street, when he’s not? How dare you feel the winter sun, wrapped in your red woolen scarf, picking lemons from the tree in your yard.

If I killed you, would it bring him back?

Six months later, the doctor’s test results are official:

‘You’re marking very high for stress, anxiety, and depression, I’m sorry. I think we need to look at medication, unless something changes in the next couple of months.’

I ring friends. ‘Help me. Everything I eat is sawdust, and I have to sleep with the hallway light on. If I sleep at all.’

Acupuncture, herbs, massage, therapy. Lots and lots of therapy.

‘Some people are more resilient than others; it’s not your fault; it was a huge shock; you’re actually traumatised.’

My best male friend T rings every other day for a year. On the days I’m lying on the couch, a numb mannequin, he just listens.  On the days I rant, spew, and wail, he just listens.

I claw out of my dank hole, dirt under my nails, grit between my grinding teeth, hauled up by dear sweet friends, and a tiny primal will to survive.

One day I hear myself laughing; it’s been a long time.

Then T rings me.

‘My Dad’s been diagnosed with brain cancer. He’s whistling or singing nursery rhymes, and all he wants to eat is cake. Come visit us for Xmas.’

The extended family gathers, and I am welcomed. I even get gifts. I keep tears rammed safely in the back of my throat, and play board games, or help load the dishwasher.

A few weeks later T rings me again.

‘He’s gone. I can’t believe it. And I must tell you: every single time I rang you, and said I understood, and that it was all going to be OK, I was wrong. So wrong. So full of bullshit. I had no idea what you were really going through. I’m so sorry.’

I hold the phone to my ear as I shake my head slowly side to side.

A soft, sad smile whispers across my face.

‘That’s OK T. Ever since it happened to me, I went to live on a different planet. The one where everything’s exactly the same, except you’ve lost your Dad. I’ve just been waiting here, for someone else to join me… And look, it’s you.

I’m here to say Welcome. Me too.’

© bone&silver 2017

I’ve always loved words, ever since I first spelt c-a-t, and saw magic. I won a Romance story competition 25 years ago, and more recently got 4th, 3rd, and 2nd with a short story in Australia, where I live. I am taking my personal blog ‘bone&silver’ more seriously now, and of course, want to finish a book (or ten). I am a theatre maker/artist, a Feminist, a Queer woman, and Mum to an awesome 17yr old, who also calls himself a Feminist (a great achievement).

I blog at bone&silver.  You can also find me on Facebook as bone&silver, Twitter as @boneAndsilver, and Insta is g_bone_and_silver. The rest of the socials, you can keep; that’s enough screentime thanks. I love to dance, walk, meditate, drink peppermint tea, have sex, nap, cook, and laugh. I want world peace, renewable energies everywhere, and Trump sacked.

The Monsters are Due on Vine Street- Samantha Lucero

Featured Image -- 672

of a grin usually on the missing
persons board at truck stops
where famished men would pick up hitch-hiking
girl-children run aways, escaping home
to find themselves, smelling like
violins in the attic
here she is in red-hot-red,
rose-red, blood-red, a portrait streak of
glitter high-heels with no hosiery
ankles with tattoos of talaria wings
and a wink at an invisible camera

she’s such a gem, such a picture
on the side of the road on her back
holding out her upturned palms to catch the diving
heavy rain, collecting it inside of the sinkhole
of her open mouth,
crooked THERE, like a tangled doll.

do you see that glorious photograph
of her alive, when she felt so dead
and here she is getting the flashing
lights she craved, licking the gravel
on sunset boulevard, dead as the moon
only bright because the camera catches
the last expression that her face made before
she fell into that uncanny embrace
of unknowable death, where the eyes, wide like wax
stare out into another, unseen place
blind to where everyone else remains now
because she’s escaped and found herself

who killed—— ?

the best psychics in venice beach
say his name was ——.

Samantha Lucero likes… uhhh… cats, and can never think of what to say about herself, she writes at sixredseeds, sometimes and is a managing editor at the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

bogged, buried, bridgewatered-Lois E. Linkens & Henna Sjöblom

bogged buried bridegwatered

I was fourteen, and starting to decompose faster

the water spilled

over the years,

over her body

like a plague of ants.

Already kneeling in the mud

I could feel my body being stretched out 

nipples aching, labia swelling

it drove its way in,

with a silent battering ram

and swords of silk.

you were the first time

I felt the touch of death 

between my legs

oh, hateful –
but grateful she was
that the stone struck when it did.

a cry of despair,
like when I was nine,
lying on the hard parquet floor of the living room
cupping my breasts,
trying to push the knots back in
I’m just a child! I’m just a child!

she lifted dead hands
in praise of her protector,
for protect her he had,
and as layers of dirt built up,

I threw rocks after boys
who came yelling my name

she pitied them,
Leave me alone! Leave me alone!
And oh,
didn’t you know?
You’re supposed to bleed

bound to lie
in pungent darkness
that she only made danker.

Year by year,
as my body sank down in the bog
I grew more and more desperate
searching for ways to cleanse myself
an orgasm,
a reckless mascara plump on the cheek,
a slit wrist,
an aching need
for affirmation
the summary of an entire childhood,
tucked into a bra

the sores on her skin
filled with soil,

all girly things are good,

the scars on her arms

bright in the black of the bog

all girls to learn how to play nicely

how to decay without a sound

compressing yourself into a fossilized smile,

a blindfold

and a constantly repeating

“yes, I forgive you”


This was originally published by the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. You can read more of her work at her self-titled blog.

Murder Tramp Birthday, previously Malicia Frost, dropped the disguise and is now publishing under her real name Henna Sjöblom. A hobbyist writer and an aspiring novelist from Finland, she enjoys surrealism, sci-fi and horror, and her works often deal with mental illness. More of her works can be found at her Murder Tramp Birthday.

As if from Nowhere by Sergio Ortiz


[Poem and painting by Sergio Ortiz]


Miguel Angel’s memories haunt him

like a baggage car that does not quite fit.

But let’s talk about his voice,


somewhat faded by the years,

as if words were spying on him.

As if there were no throat

only the spoils of a race war


hidden somewhere in the towers

of New York City.

He talks about his mother

who is in her 90’s and lives

on the beaches of Rincon.

Talks about the wife

and grandchild he’s left behind.


Suddenly, death is him

and this is the ferry’s last stop.

Miguel Angel from nowhere


the world becomes numerous,

but the cold keeps its stories.