There Is Strength in Our Stories: Ruby – LL McGlynn

No matter what she said, or what solution she came up with, he blew it off, as if nothing she could say would ever make sense. Her comments were not logical to him, the rational one, and nothing she could say would ever help the situation not even in the smallest way, which is exactly how she felt. Bent over the counter, hands outstretched, gripping the sink, she felt his piranha chew through her at incredible speed. She closed in on it. Close enough to smell last night’s left-overs. Grey is many things, but it is not a state of mind. Once one falls victim to it, the whole house is all sixes and sevens.

Hence, it began… again. That feeling of uselessness wrapping ‘round and ‘round that kept everything nice and tight. The empty greyness of which she now accommodates, speaks quietly to her in a gnawing tone of resentment. It helps itself to a little piece of her each day, until she is no one, and yet anyone, who is not Ruby. It happens to all of us at some point. For Alice, it was the day when she caught a glimpse of it in the bedroom mirror. A mangy, wet sponge had usurped the perfectly formed peach that once resided there.

The grey is not a color, like the bright red Santa sack that fills her socket. It isn’t even purgatory which would be a welcome reprieve right about now. No, the grey is not any of those things. It is merely a scene from an old classic film, black and white, where their mouths move but nothing comes out. But it will all be ok, because just as the lamb was taken to the cold, stainless-steel table and offered up on Mt Moriah, the sun came out.


McGlynn is a Visual Artist and Writer, currently living in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario. She is a graduate of History from Western University, and a Fine Art Honours graduate with distinction from the University of Waterloo. As an emerging Artist, McGlynn challenges her studio and writing practice by pushing beyond the comfort zone, and to accept what the work is destined to become. She enjoys collaborative projects such as her recent obsession, MOTUS.

BRAVE AND RECKLESS JUNE 2019 PRIDE ANTHEM CHALLENGE – Christine Ray

I started to think today how much fun it would be to participate in an LBGTQ Pride Poetry Challenge starting June 1st.  Next thing I knew, I had 30 Pride Anthems organized for writing prompts!

If you would like to participate, email your prompt inspired pieces to me at her.red.pen.wordsmithing@gmail.com and I will publish my favorites on Brave and Reckless.  You can also participate on Facebook by tagging your writing with:

  • # the daily theme
  • #PrideAnthemChallenge
  • @braveandreckless66

If you would like to know more about the musical inspirations, please see the anthems and the artists below:

1 True Colors (Cyndi Lauper) 16 Kiss the Boy ( Keiynan Lonsdale)
2 I Kissed A Girl (Katy Perry) 17 Not the Only One (Melissa Etheridge)
3 It’s Raining Men (The Weather Girls) 18 We Are Family (Sister Sledge)
4 Born This Way (Lady Gaga) 19 Raise Your Glass (P!ink)
5 Beautiful (Christine Aguilera) 20 Rebel Girl (Bikini Kill)
6 Girls Like Girls (Kayley Kiyoko) 21 I’m Coming Out (Diana Ross)
7 Wig In A Box (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) 22 Dancing on My Own (Robyn)
8 Promises (Calvin Harris/Sam Smith) 23 Boyfriend (Tegan and Sara)
9 You Make Me Feel (Sylvester) 24 Teenage Dream (Katy Perry)
10 Alive (Sia) 25 War Paint (Frankie Simone)
11 I Will Survive (Gloria Gayner) 26 Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover
12 Bitches (Tove Lo) 27 Lady Marmalade (Patti LaBelle)
13 Same Love/She Keeps Me Warm (Mary Lambert, Macklemore & Lewis) 28 Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland)
14 A Little Respect (Erasure) 29 American Pie (Shea Diamond)
15 Brave (Sara Bareilles) 30 We R Who We R (Kesha)

 

There Is Strength in Our Stories: walk these streets at night and know the truth – Evelyn Benvie

load your lipstick in a gatling gun
to get ready for the night

the sidewalk cracks are too wide for stilettos
and too deep for anything else

wear fishnets to trawl the river, sift and dredge
the filth at the bottom and the scum at the top

and you, panting as you run
seeking shelter on a rainy night and finding only

reaching hands and open legs
inviting you to places you don’t want to go

the city at night is no longer beautiful
or maybe it never was


Evelyn Benvie is the wooly jumper in a family of black sheep. Both a cynic and a romantic at heart, she writes diverse, queer-positive fiction and poetry that have been published online and in print. Her first novella, Something to Celebrate, was recently published by Mischief Corner Books. Find out more at evelynbenvie.com or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: The Gift- aj forrester

Like a raft I float
on vicious waves
with what you gave;

you stole.

Made me less
made me more.
You gave confusion and shame.

Blame.

The gift remains:
in me, I found
strength.
Like fire hardens steel,
nightmares burn my heart,

my brain.

I strain;
I’d give it back, though,
if I could;
this gift you shoved
down my throat.


Amanda J. Forrester received her MFA from the University of Tampa. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Azahares Spanish Language Literary Magazine, Pink Panther Magazine, Collective Unrest, Trailer Park Quarterly, and other anthologies and journals. Follow her @ajforrester75

There Is Strength in Our Stories: Rubber Gloves – Taylor Warner

Today I stumbled over a page in my journal
that read:

“One day I will write about
your rubber gloves
And how each time they entered me
They delivered desperate hope
And how every time they exited me
They took with them a piece of my soul
I thought I’d never get back.”

Well, here I am,
speaking my truths,
moving the words etched in memories
from my brain
to my mouth
in hopes that the pain of you will float away
with the words as they are spoken aloud,
lost syllables in the wind

So, here are the words
I choose to move on from you with:

I do not hate you
I pity you
I am not angry
I am sorrowful

I do not wish I never met you
For I would have never grown

Because I never believed in love
until I met you
And I never believed in the devil
until you put your hands on me


Taylor was born a Texan but now roams the world writing her truths and finding peace in the small things. Taylor began writing poetry at the early age of 8 and her words have been the one constant in her life through everything. Taylor writes her truths. The raw, the beautiful, the obscene. She hopes to heal others through her stories as she heals herself. You can find more of her @commasandcuriosity.

There Is Strength in Our Stories: Double Dip – kkc

I told old man in the white uniform with cherry stains on it
that I didn’t want his flavor he was about to scoop.
So he scooped it anyway.

His words to me were
” little girl, you will taste what I dish out”

Shoved cone in my face
Salty tears slid down landing on his confection
Told me keep taking more
I gagged on bitter taste which violated my throat

Peddler pushed harder
“Eat every last drop, do not stop”

Wiped off my face full of stickiness
Ran from that place
Told whoever would listen
They laughed and said
” next time you should order a pizza”

Anger marched me back to vendor man
It was I that pushed his head into his
cold frozen cart
and ordered
“You will taste what I dish out!”


Kimberly Cunningham has published three books, “Undefined,” “Sprinkles on Top,” and “Smooth Rough Edges,” in addition to 28 published pieces of work. It is her belief that each one should teach one. Find her at undefinedwritings@jimdofree.com

There Is Strength in Our Stories: 37: perpetual victim – Katharine Love

be quiet. be quiet.
i told you –

be quiet!

you are weird. you are ugly. you are strange.
be normal. be pretty. be happy.

always be nice. always say thank- you, even if you
aren’t grateful, especially if you aren’t grateful.

take it – you deserve it – you are a feral thing.
don’t act like an animal. act like a good girl.

act like a good girl.

marry well. marry wealth. marry a man.
money is important. power is important. love is irrelevant.

he yells? so did mine.
he hits? so did mine.

you deserve to be choked –
you are making me mad –
you did this to me –
i should die if I’m lying.

i have friends, you don’t.
i am right, you aren’t.

be like me – perpetual victim.


Katharine Love is a psychotherapist and poet. Her poems have been featured in several anthologies. Katharine has just finished her first book, a memoir called ‘The Lesbian Chronicles’.