til Death – by HLR

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1. It looked like the scene of a crime and I suppose it was:
manufactured by a fucked-up mentality and fuelled by pity,
it was a crime against sanity, a crime of stupidity,
and now I’m gonna have to serve my time until one of us dies.

2. I’m stuck to you with claret glue but you are bad bad bad news.
I’m bad news too but you think I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
That’s just one of the reasons why it was a fucking stupid thing to do.

3. Your dark red dabs remain underneath the fresh magnolia paint and I had to throw your jumper and my t-shirt away. It was a good idea at the time: the unification of two bedlamites, the formation of an everlasting alliance between the perpetually misunderstood, but the knife in the drawer and the scar across my palm reminds me that you do me far more harm than good. Blood smeared on our faces like war-paint and Eminem elected as our patron saint, how we laughed and thought we’d finally found our place in the world: together, against it.

4. “Dream Team, baby.” “Nightmare Pair, baby.”

5. Now that we are family, bound by loyalty, I can’t get rid of you. Well, I can. We always said we’d go out on the blades of glory and this is definitely gonna end badly. You think you’re Sid but, trust me, it’s more likely that you’ll end up like Nancy. Ah, God: it would be way too easy.

6. The problem with a blood pact
is that you can’t take it back:
you’ve got me as a friend
’til the bitter, twisted end.

HLR is a 20-something writer of creative non-fiction, mainly short prose and poetry. She writes about challenging subjects such as mental illness, addiction, suicide and grief with an injection of sardonic British droll—a style acquired through years of mental angst and too much time spent in the pub. Perpetually on the verge of either a breakdown or a breakthrough (sometimes both) HLR was born and raised in north London, and is yet to escape. A list of previous publications can be found here.

Find more of HLR’s fabulous and powerful writing here on her webpage and with the writing collective Hijacked Amygdala  here

Attractive Miles by Nadia Garofalo

Landslide
[Poem by Nadia Garofalo Photo by Women Beyond Boundaries]
I remember
when the desert called me
oasis of lost boys and love hotels
sometimes still
dry heat
warms cold blood
tempts me
can it quell uncertainty
with its attractive miles
heavy silence
lets let it go
we’ll soon see
if she calls now to you
or still, sings for me.

Cat Nap- Lois Linkens & Christine Ray

catnap ll cr

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.

 

Cold Bone and Ash- Christine Ray

Related image

I did not mean

to breathe in your toxic air

studded with accusations

but my gas mask failed

and your cloud of words

penetrated like the discharge

from a shotgun full of metal pellets

Unable to discern objective truth

from your self-serving fictions

my lungs are left full to bursting

with particulate gray mist

that I choke on

creating minute tears

in my windpipe

threatening my voice

Your casual disregard of my truths

you willingness to exploit my weaknesses

cold bone introduction

of a dagger to my heart

Did you mean to muzzle me

like a rabid dog

with shame

with guilt?

You forget that I have mastered

living with the constant bleeding

while breathing in the darkness

and spinning blood and ash into ink

that sears across the parchment

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved


This piece was inspired by the line “Cold bone introductions” in the poem Internment by OldePunk of RamJet poetry.

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.

This too shall pass- Sabrina Escorcio

 

This too shall pass

This too shall pass

on these, my worst days

when scarlet blood memories
dry thick over wax mesh minutes
oxidized words once shouted
now whisper healing remedies
furtive broken flesh tilled like soil
rebirth coagulating thoughts
that stick mercilessly to old wounds
soft flesh blooms through death
this, self inflicted treatment
becomes consolation, prized
as I attempt redemption
tearing off bandages too quickly
to avoid more pain

this too shall pass

this too shall pass


She grew up with a love for nature, the dramatic arts, music, as well as books and literature. After years of journaling Sabrina came to know poetry, as an adult this became an avenue of self-expression during a time of personal strife.

This hunger for poetry was insatiable, leading her to scour second hand book stores for more inspiration. There she found classic authors such as Percy Shelley, Tennyson, and Sylvia Plath, as well as many obscure poets; She began to transform her journaling into the realm of confessional poetry.

One of her favourite pieces is titled “Dark Pines Under Water” written by the Canadian poet Gwendolyn Mac Ewen. Sabrina hopes to feature her poetry in print one day, she can be found on WordPress at Una Zingara, Tumblr at MyCrumpledNotebook, as well as Instagram as una_zingara.

Black Widow- Christine Ray

Donned my

badass black dress

today

Mourning colors

for a softer

kinder

woman

I think I used to be

she’s fading away

curves lost to angles

all sharp elbows and knees

Thorns create a protective trellis

around the remaining delicate petals

of my peony heart

Invisible barbed quills sprout

from my death white skin

Keep a healthy distance

lest you prick your finger

on my spine

I will greedily drink

the drops of your oxygen rich blood

from my cupped hands

before you fall

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved


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.

Attractive Miles by Nadia Garofalo

Landslide
[Poem by Nadia Garofalo Photo by Women Beyond Boundaries]
I remember
when the desert called me
oasis of lost boys and love hotels
sometimes still
dry heat
warms cold blood
tempts me
can it quell uncertainty
with its attractive miles
heavy silence
lets let it go
we’ll soon see
if she calls now to you
or still, sings for me.