Sudden Denouement Welcomes New Collective Member R. S. Williams – These Broken Gods II

20f322f17cc7652fd5302ef3ce568426

We and us, as gods of ink,
with stars snatched in fists made of paper and power,
shall sin.

Then, almost dutifully, we will eat the smoke
from worlds on fire with theories
of who we should’ve been.

And all the while, we will watch
as our names are pressed into
thick, gilded, holy pages,
like old flowers meant for sacrifice–
as if those frozen, broken stories
could possibly smother our own.

Later, our lungs will grow heavy
with the sort of magic that creeps through dirt
in shades of red, and we’ll carry it all
like a curse.
It’s sure to rot through our pens in much
the same way that tar tears into teeth.

But still, we are gods, and our magic,
though rough and violent and shot through with poison,
is still magic.

In the end, every word our voices crash into
will rupture and erupt into gold,
no matter how monstrous we may have been
while they were still ticking in our throats.

Even our worlds, dressed as they are in war and steel
and kept spinning by virtue of the aches in our blood
will seem beautiful to those
listening beyond what they were taught to believe
about us broken things in the first place.

For it’s the cracks in our bones
they always seek when in need of places
to hide.

And what are gods for,
if not to answer prayers?


R.S. Williams writes strange and provocative things, usually from multiple perspectives—human and otherwise. She has an increasingly codependent relationship with words and started writing them down as a way to get even closer to them. She loves them, they tolerate her—and they happily use each other like porn stars. You can read more of R.S.’ writing on Instagram and Facebook

i checked myself

i checked

i have checked myself and seen that i am nothing; 
the bones of poets gone and done 
lay beneath the hills. 
i put on my boots and took my shovel, 
for to disturb them 
would be a lesser crime than to ignore.

i checked myself 
and saw that i was nothing; 
i looked for art 
and saw it slither into bank accounts in dead of night, 
while the dewy brows of poverty’s poets 
tremble in their plight. 

i checked myself
and let myself stand up.
stand up, i said –
stand up, writers! 
stand up for complexity, confusion and colour. 
take your pennies and forget the pied pipers, 
they have led naught but rats.

i saw the riches over realness, 
splendour over solidarity… 
i cried upon my pillow. 
my people, my people!
when the muses so return, tell them why you wrote!

we not one of us free falls –
i checked myself…
something always had me.

 

[ 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 you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins.]

‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’: A Shield Maiden Collaboration

1Wise-Woman

Her words, her will, her worth
Trampled and trodden
Forgotten
But for her
Flickering light
Fueled by ferocity
Molded with might
Courage compiled
Resilience reconciled
Wolves wryly grin
Circling again
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Christine Ray

She was told little girls
should be seen, not heard
but silence was suffocating
truth twisted in her stomach
razor sharp
when her voice finally rose
from a whisper
to a roar
they tried to drown her out
their indignation a cacophony
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Aurora Phoenix

her initial protestations
propelled by burning bile
bubbling pique
in a voice squeaky
with disuse
were dubbed whining
she scrubbed corrosion
from rusted tongue
flexed, strengthening
articulate exclamation
strident
castrating
they proclaimed her
nevertheless, she persisted

 

Kindra M. Austin

Disregard your heart, they said
Faith is for the fools
Chasing gold; bold are the weak
Dream seekers
Dreams don’t raise children
Nevertheless, she persisted

 

Sarah Doughty

Silence was her solace,
the stillness of the night,
the calm before the storm.
Her voice, long since stifled.
Her body, long since defiled.
But they never broke her spirit.
Nevertheless, she persisted.


 

[‘Shield Maiden‘ is the name adopted by these wonderful women, who are also members of Blood Into Ink Click their names for more information on the individual writers.]

‘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