Glass and Thorns – Christine Ray

hysteria (1)
Betrayal is an inside job
wrecked by muscle and
joints
neurons and
neurotransmitters
mitochondrial mutiny
lays waste
to formerly silver tongue
now struggling to find words
that used to flow like
ink through fountain pen
fatigue hangs round neck
chain woven of boulders, glass shards &
thorns
muscle spasms contort me
into balloon animal shapes
so alien, so grotesque
that they frighten the village children
like the pick axe
I plant above right eye
in hopes of blessed relief
don’t mind the blood
it’s barely an inconvenience
during insomnic ruminations
about long dormant-mutations
coded in DNA turned
time bombs
that ripped through my life
casualty count still being assessed
by medics in white coats
who write cryptic words
on shiny clipboards
while I bleed


 

[Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.]

‘Recombinant Selves’ – A Collaborative of 11 writers

We inherit

The wordless cry

Of all our former

Selves (CER)

 

They layer themselves

upon us

ragged cloaks

of the homeless

dragging

at our heels (AP)

 

Dusk takes one last breath

Swallowing golden specks of us

Scattered among the detritus

No light reflects

From such depths

We are the chosen (1W-W)

 

We stumble against starless darkness

searching for one truth (KMA)

 

Layer by layer, I am revealed.

The reflection looking back at me

isn’t one I recognize.

Will there be anything

worth remembering,

when I’m gone? (SD)

 

Fragmented remnants

permeate our evolution

ill-fated to dissonance

a dichotomy of our

recombinant selves (AGD)

 

Searching for a candle in the abyss,

A hope to hold onto,

To chalk sweaty palms

Gripping a frayed rope.

tearing tender flesh,

Climbing toward salvation (JWL)

 

But the stars have fallen, smashed diamonds

of our shattered images, and the lost cry

who am I? In tune with our hearts.(A)

 

Through telescopes

we focus on a point

All else is irrelevant

From the bottom of a well

our vision is limited

All else is a mystery (WC)

 

The mysterious property

of my ancestors

the progeny of dusk

I am prodigy or effigy

What I ought to be

or another misstep in

my fragile history (OP)

 

Our former

Selves

Cry:

Look

Their

inheritance! (SFF)


 

Writers:

1Wise-Woman

A.G. Diedericks

Allie

Kindra M. Austin

Ward Clever

Sarah Doughty

Stephen F. Fuller

John W. Leys

Aurora Phoenix

Olde Punk

Christine E. Ray

Cat Nap

by Lois Linkens and Christine Ray

catnap

 

sleep stalks me, finds me an easy target

slinks in to drag me under, into the depths
where unknown dangers lurk in my unconscious
what murkiness lies behind my drooping lashes,
what shadows hide between each whistling breath?
what sharpness snuggles buried
among the feathers in my pillow,
what traps will soon ensnare
and dangle me, just feet from death?

they hook me, by the ankle
and suspend me from the tree of dreams,
around which serpents rattle, tigers prowl,
insects scuttle, poisonous, foul.
blood rushing to my head
cheeks flushed
heart thundering
as i dangle helpless

great cats bat their armored paws
at my flailing hair
like beggars round a campfire.
their claws pull and snag –
draw drops of blood
that quench night blooming jasmine
waiting below

i wake with a start. temples throb and pulse,
the bed is dry as my parched throat, blankets cold.
perhaps a girl
can be herself without the hair of fairytales.

 

 

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. It is a pleasure to present her work, and we ask you to take a second to look at more of her wonderful work, lois e.linkens

Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.

 

Raven – Christine Ray

 

It starts as tightness
tingling
across bare shoulder blades
becomes an itch
I can’t quite reach
stretch my spine sinuous
slow
vertebrae by vertebrae
long for a shot of whiskey
or three
liquid gold disinhibition I can blame
for the reckless choice
I am about to make
I finally let go
tightly coiled control
gasp with relief
as I finally unleash the darkness
onyx feathers rip
sharp and true through the flesh of my back
talons shoot from fingertips
toes
bones burned hollow
by demon fire dwelling in my belly
exquisite pain of rebirth
brings me briefly to my knees
I arise something new
wipe the blood from my mouth
spread fledging wings
and with the lift of the north wind
I claim the night sky
mine


[ Welcome back, Christine Ray! When not running around pretending she is Wonder Woman, Christine Ray can be found writing for Brave and Reckless. You can also find her at Blood Into Ink, Whisper and the Roar, and Go Dog Go Cafe. ]

Lilith-Christine Ray

You look at my nakedness

and call me Eve

name my sins

Disobedience

Greed

as you take the apple willingly

from my hand

But I am no Eve

offering temptation of the tree of knowledge’s sweet fruit

serpent wrapped around the branch above my head

 

I am Lilith

the first

shaped of the same dirt

as Adam

so the legend goes

But I am not of dirt

but of fire

His equal

unbending

headstrong

refusing to lie beneath him

in supplication

 

Society names my sin

calls me

Whore

Temptress

Sorceress

Demon

accuses me of

vexing the sons of men

with lustful dreams

leading them to defile themselves

as though it matters to me

where their seed is spilled

 

I will travel the ancient ways

clothed only in my dark tresses

my alabaster skin

don a crown of rose and poppy

their scent filling the air

I will take back this night

shape its darkness with my hands

make it blaze with stars and moonlight

create a road for my daughters and sisters

to follow home


When not running around pretending she is Wonder Woman, Christine Ray can be found writing for Brave and Reckless and passing herself off as a managing editor at Sudden Denouement, Whisper & the Roar and Secret First Draft.

She is also an aspiring badass.

The Weyward Sisters: Back to Black/ Collaborative Amy Winehouse Tribute

Rana Kelly/2nd star to the Left, straight on ’til morning

Oh, Amy

Whenever I go walking

In my stilettos,

I hear you talking.

Dream me up a way

Of swishing my hips

And pursing my lips

And singing your riffs

So that I find beauty

Like you.

lois e. linkens

she puts her black dress on
in the dark,
anxious nails red and messy
in their early-morning artistry.
he left the candle burning
in the winter window –
vanilla and cinnamon
on a Sunday evening,
tears and vodka
on a Monday morning.
last week’s relief
breathes
into tonight’s regrets,
but the shadowy smear
on the glass
is all that is left of him.

Aakriti Kuntal/Writings of Aakriti Kuntal

Rummaging through

black air,

nauseous red nails bearing oily seas

Suffocating

existence with conversations,

conversations

with glittering nail cutters,

cracked moons

laughing hysterically in them

Conversations

of fallen boyfriends, of fallen love

Fallen being

the new being

Aurora Phoenix/Insight From Inside

She scrawls lines

up the back of her fishnet stockings

wiggly-lined intoxicated rebellion

strutting down memory lane

flirting shamelessly with self-destruction

as if, in seductive self-abasement

she may reclaim

love from a wayward lover

and from self

Kindra M. Austin

Kohl black kitty cat

Eyes

Lines stiletto sharp

Tongue dipped in honey

Wine(house), oh, Amy

Slay me

Rachel Finch/Bruised But Not Broken

Night chimes, a ringing to remind her,

She can sleep the day away, but the dark

still draws the Soul from the body.

Stars reflecting off bottles, empty, their

contents alive in her throat.

She is midnight, waking the world.

Sarah Doughty/Heartstring Eulogies

I remember how you carried your beauty like body armor, letting the world see a smoke screen, that many didn’t notice. I remember seeing the sadness beneath those wings on your eyes, the way your mouth curled into a devilish smile. I remember seeing your hair down, with those curls that lasted for miles, and how much I wanted just a tiny piece of your beauty. Your essence. Even a little piece of your ability to hold the world in bated breath. I remember your courage to stand in front of a million people and hold them under your spell. But what I remember the most is how you wore your heart on the outside and how pieces of it were broken away and lost over time, exposing you. Like a nerve within a broken tooth, you tried to insulate, but nothing could fix what you’d already lost.

1WiseWoman/A Lion Sleeps in the Heart of the Brave

Hiding in plain sight

Black song bird

Aching to be heard

Darker than the darkest shadows

Praying sacrificial hymns

Will carry away your demons

Hungry hearts rapture in melody

Enchanted with your euphony

An intentional symphony

Desperate on bended knee

Longing to be set free

Blood and wine

Cherry lipstick stains

Broken bottles

Crooked lines

Sing for us

One last time

Zelda Raville/A Sea of Illusions

Our biggest tragedy
was that
our love,
no matter
how much
there was of it
could never
draw you out
from a fatal attraction
to the depths
of your ferocious hunger
for love itself.

Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless

You shot across our heavens

a piercing silver whiskey light

your pain-soaked voice

etching a pin-up girl tattoo on our souls

We died a hundred times with you

Donning our mourning colors

we are left to only say goodbye with words

as your heartbreaking beauty

fades into black

005-amy-winehouse-theredlist

Midnight Precedes-OldePunk/RamJet Poetry & Christine Ray/Brave and Reckless

Originally posted on Secret First Draft

Featured Image -- 6841

Secret First Draft: Member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

Midnight precedes

The dawning of you

Shadows and peaches

Lavender and spices

Rare, honeyed tongue

Sings rapture

My soliloquy of you

Cool moonlight

Carves your shadow

Against stark walls

But you are smooth whiskey

Intoxicating to my parched soul

Cedar and pine

Warm earth against my skin

From earth it begins

Aquiline movements

Fostered by need

To travel without motion

Traverse the depths

Of the lilac and evergreen

Pools of your eyes

Sacred stolen hours

We claim as our own

We declare victory over the selfish god

Time

In this indigo night

Where everything that is not us

Drifts away

Like silver dust motes

Writ of passage into

The deep dark

Where our secrets

Are kept by the verdant

Grasses and tall oaks

Cottonwood blooms scent

The air of our bonding

We explore our mysteries

Your hands

Clasping mine

Ground me

Connect me

To where our souls and

Bodies entwine

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