Justin Valdez (social media coordinator for SD) and Richard Crandall (co-founder of SD) discuss the upcoming SD event.
You dropped by today
dissected my verse
thoughtfully pointed out
all the ways I could
smooth out my edges
to slide more gently past
your discerning eyes
you must be fucking new here
if you think
I was asking for it
not a fan of unsolicited advice
I like my truth
with a hint of lemon for acidity
that stings going down
I didn’t see you there
although I can already tell you like to stare,
as if it is your obligation
to females everywhere.
And everywhere you seem to be.
You’re the type who lingers in keyboards,
assaulting our letters
with ones you would never dare to speak.
You’re the type who visits galleries just to sigh,
point out the vulvas in the petals
and tut at a landscape you’ve never visited.
You’re the type who slumps way down in the theatre,
feigning sleep during her monologue
because it is ‘feminist and shit’, and yet
she’ll be the only one on your mind
when you reach down tonight.
Oh, how do I know this?
Why, because you always come back for more.
For more of my letters, pretty letters,
your coeliac stomach cannot wait to reject.
You stab me with a misplaced comma’s edge,
expect me to bleed ink, but I blossom gold
leaf, like pages of a holy tome, and your
lines of prose crackle in my burning gale.
I am more word than woman, you see
and I am truth, your haunting just ghost
of all those who said no, who pushed me
down stairs of paragraphs, but I got grit,
I grew wings of paper, from you I fly.
hey you there –
with the pursed lips
and furrowed brow
of these driblets
of my life’s blood.
you must be fucking new here
if you mistake
of my soul
upon the page
as a request
for literary critique.
is the juice of my carotid
scrawled with fingertips
as I apply
tourniquet and poultice.
your worded attempts
to package my agony
into neat and tidy
are ill-advised salt flakes
poured into my wounds.
Soft upon the scene
Mushy odorless rambling
“Darling, how are you faring?
Your words are dancing in my soul
Your star shines upon my dreams.”
Going after me
Feeling my every words’ step
With a presumptuous club
White and black penned music
That clawed silence to my ears:
“You are the brightest…
Fade away, you heartless beast!”
i picked up my pen and out came all of me.
it poured and poured,
filling space with untrained words and anarchy,
sharpened love, feelings bent,
a keenness breathed without judgement,
ink balled with mercy
into something of me that might speak in truth.
but you sat and held your cup,
and watched it spill.
you put it in your cabinet
with a yellow note: ‘could do better.’
i would those curling lips
might taste the poison in the teacup
between your eyes;
that is where the horror really lies.
You must be new here, because tact and common decency seem lost on you. You see, it is not okay to call a woman by any other name than the one she has given — so don’t call me Baby and I won’t call you Tiny. It is not okay to insert yourself in my life and assume I need your sage advice — if I want to know, I will ask. Do not presume to know what I am thinking, or what my heart is trying to say — because you can be damn sure that if I wrote the words, I meant each and every one of them. I’m not perfect, and I never claimed to be, but I don’t need a lecture on semantics or grammar — I’ve had more than enough schooling and experience to know my own mind. But, if you really are new here, remember this one simple rule: if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
You enter my house and
manhandle my verse. You
wonder why my
heart spurts crimson with
every heavy beat—
pressure me for information.
Why so mocking?
Why so angry?
Why the foul language? Bitch,
you must be fucking new here
if you expect an
Cos I don’t answer stupid
Grow a brain, and
get a clue.
siren’s golden voice
once dropped confident syllables
as naturally as breathing
now stifled in constricted throat
that struggles to swallow
hot, sour bile
college ruled notebooks
of manic scribblings
compulsively captured in black ink
before inspiration could swirl down the floor drain
sigh from disuse
pen now held in death grip
fingers have lost their grace
fertile mind now an empty room
where silence rings
blindfolded by fear
weight pressing down on shoulders
by the weight of giant
unseen inquisitor’s voice barks
Have you reached the bottom of yourself
are you so shallow
Or is truth so deeply hidden
that you must dive inside
hand to elbow buried into slippery entails
to reach it?
surgical implements laid out
with precision on a stainless tray
slide into view
no hesitation picking up sharp scalpel
with shaking fingers
a writer’s way is
always to bleed
Betrayal is an inside job
wrecked by muscle and
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 &
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
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
by Lois Linkens and Christine Ray
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
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
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
It starts as tightness
across bare shoulder blades
becomes an itch
I can’t quite reach
stretch my spine sinuous
vertebrae by vertebrae
long for a shot of whiskey
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
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 fledgling wings
and with the lift of the north wind
I claim the night sky
[ 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. ]
We are pleased to announce that Christine Ray’s blog, Brave and Reckless, has been chosen to be part of WordPress Discover. For those who are not aware, WordPress Discover is a selection of the best blogs on WordPress. It is a tremendous honor and well-deserved. The opportunity opens Christine’s wonderful writing to a whole new audience, soon others will be aware of what we have known all along: Christine is one of the most inspirational writers on WordPress. We are honored by her leadership and her friendship. The moment that I first encountered her powerful, poetic voice, I knew I was beholden to something special. We are elated that her voice will soon be heard by many more people. On behalf of Olde Punk, Samantha Lucero, SRP, Nicole Lyons, Georgia Park, and the rest of Sudden Denouement , we would like to congratulate Christine. I would like to say that Christine has touched my life, like she has touched the lives of so many. Destiny has cold hands, but sometimes the universe gets things right. In this case, the planets lined up exactly as they should have. For those who are not familiar with her work, please take a minute to discover the wonderful mind of Christine Ray, our friend and our leader. We love you Christine.
Jasper Kerkau, Founder Sudden Denouement Literary Collective