Scarlet Lines – Candice Louisa Daquin

Water-Flowers-Photography-by-Nicolas-Senegas-e1473392893297

We were running so fast, lost our hold

on reality

it became a normal thing to

wake when darkness blotted sky with festive blackout

silence roamed halls of disapproval with tender switch

then I tasted, the purity of life

like a distilled drink, untouched by sweetness

this draft did not yield to usual fears

of becoming irrelevant as a woman

shifting weightless from one state of being to another

without permission, no discernible change

save the decisions made in our absence

by controller of who we are, when we don’t yet know

how to halt the discourse, throw stereotype and expectation

out with convention

the whip and goad of woman since

first she was brought to her knees and told

I control the discourse, your identity is shaped

and fractured by my say-so

I label your value or deem you worthless

because you are too old

beyond a date in time

there the guillotine falls

sorry you’re on this side now, without your head

sorry you can’t gain admittance into our club

we only like them fresh and mailable

any woman who thinks for herself, must be trouble

make up rules to control her, keep her cowed

give her endometrium and other punishments

it’s all rather biblical, said the atheist as he

inserted the next record of tricks

some cruelty smells like him

and his turpentine prostituted room

burning on false fuel, I was only 18 then

yesterday and a century later

we don’t oblige women with scars and fat

nor sagging breasts, nor any chin hair

if you’re greying or balding, go fuck yourself

no one else will

the seat in the waiting room is a laundry shute

out with the old, in with the new

we have voracious appetite for shiny flesh and unstrung hymens

I borrowed some platforms and sewed up my leaks

put on a negligee and three layers of peat

the bog man looked pretty good for his age too

hide behind war paint, chew through your sickness

give me succor baby, give me raspberry crush, give me voodoo

lovers who oblige the second time around and the fourth and the fifth

standing freezing outside Hotel St. Pierre

drinking your waste and glut of youth

I gained admittance on false pretense

hasn’t it always be that way?

change your name, gender, race

put on another person’s face, inherit for a day

or an hour or a life time

all the little girls want your number now

all the boys want to pray between your legs

serve me something unshaven and hot instead

there are fevers in the walls, trying to get out

we have three minutes until it’s midnight

then illusions are exposed, everyone sees the truth

middle-age never used to be a purple bruise

we made it this far

tomorrow the sun is coming out

remove the war-paint, undo divining spell

maybe the light won’t extinguish you

I want you to like me, for who I am

not the girl who tricks you with her little doll cries

was it yesterday or last century?

we lay beneath your blanket and you impregnated me

with the urge to live forever, never grow old

even the beautiful turn to grub and worm food

live fearlessly, wear yourself boldly, you said

as you eased the knife to the sweet spot

cutting upward from your pulse, in thin

traceable, scarlet lines

It’s all I know to do – Candice Louisa Daquin

Silent men are often admired

for their ability to endure quietly without complaint

whilst women who speak out are many times, vilified

behind their backs described as;

“that obnoxious woman who talked too much”

I lived with a silent man most of my life

he stared out of windows and when people died, his lips did not part

later on I realized it was a form of cowardice, not strength

later on, I saw how when good people say and do nothing

everything is fractured

if tomorrow I died, the people I have most admired

spoke out against tyranny and oppression

they even shared a confession or two

if they were female they were oft lampooned

if they were male they became more popular

because everyone loves a male sharer

this world is not kind to its daughters

its daughters are not kind to their sisters

it isn’t a gender battle but if it were

we have lost as we take on more, for less and less

sometimes I wonder if we had greater freedom

when our shackles were tighter

this is true of gays too, I can’t find within their collective

anything to be part of anymore

the world has grown strange and with it, myself

I heard on PBS yesterday half the world has been born

after the year of my birth, I am becoming less relevant

I could have told them I knew this already

by the way boys glances grow dimmer and there are no girls to love

for girls hesitate when you show them your heart

theirs is an unsure game of glancing round corners for prince charming

even as you stand proffering a depth they’d delight in

if they’d but give you a chance …

how ironic a man would make better match

yet you couldn’t stand, all that maleness

if I could become a creature instead of a human

I’d be a wolf

run with night pack, my loneliness obscured by trees and fur

if I could turn into a sea creature, plummet into water

or rise like a bird until clouds swallowed my shadow

for what succor is reason and what comfort, words?

when the world is a caustic, sharpened perpetual blade

and friends want friends who don’t resemble you

things you used to like, are lost in the figuring out, of how to get through

I used to fake it better and could wear a push-up bra for 12 hours without scratching

now all the edges are blurred, you left me in the fog to see my own way home

a place I no longer know, it has photos, but no key to open

I do not belong in my own picture frame

it’s been so long since I recognized an absence of pain

we used to laugh until our sides ached

sitting by the river watching the tanned folk preen and shake

their expensive personas

I liked the muddy waters best and all the out-of-the-way bars without names

I liked being nobody special and yet, I knew myself in a way I haven’t since

they took anonymity and gave it a new toll highway

when it’s my birthday save a slice for me, I’m not yet back to eating

I haven’t been made love to by someone who wanted to, in years

there’s emptiness behind the storage of sin and loose bolts, where you tried to squeeze in

I see your outline like a defeated smoke signal

we walk out to the table of earth, above the world

where you say you own nothing and have it all

my heart is heavy for all the suffering, that’s why I speak, even as you

stay silent on your boat, watching for ripples in the surface

I am beneath water, pushing air and words upward

it’s all I know to do

the curse of the confessional poet, hot whispered glares of disapproval

as they tut and turn away, their pigeon necks, bent and cooing

“she’s putting it all out there, for shame”

and you know what I think?

I think the shame is you

Final chance to submit to: “We Will Not Be Silenced” Anthology

Midnight, Monday 15th October is the deadline for submitting art/writing/poetry, this is an important, very timely project at a critical stage in history, your voices need to be heard! Previously published work you hold the copyright permissions on, are acceptable.

Please add your voice.

The story: Bruised But Not Broken, Whisper and the Roar, Indie Blu(e), and Blood Into Ink are joining forces to publish an anthology about the lived experience of sexual harassment and assault. We believe that it is more important than ever before that more voices speak out and reclaim their strength by owning their survival stories. All contributors, female and male, can submit up to three pieces of creative work- these can include; Poetry, Prose, Essay, Short Fiction, Prose, or original Artwork, but should be limited in length (under 1,000 words) considering that this is an anthology. You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider nonacceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual pieces together into a strong whole.

  • Submission of previously published pieces is acceptable if you still own the rights to your work.
  • Artwork can be submitted in black and white OR color but all artwork should be black and white compatible.
  • Using a pen name or publishing anonymously is acceptable.
  • All submissions should be sent to bloodintoink2017@gmail.com by midnight, Monday, October 15, 2018.

Writers and artists will retain the publishing rights to their individual submitted pieces. Indie Blu(e) will retain the rights to the collection We Will Not Be Silenced.

Pieces accepted for the Anthology may be used in whole or in part to promote the Anthology. All writers and artists will be appropriately credited in all promotional materials.

Should the royalties from sales of the Anthology exceed the costs of publishing and promoting the Collection, 70% of the royalties above these costs will be donated to organizations that support survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

 

Last Call to Submit Writing and/or Art for “We Will Not Be Silenced” Anthology

Midnight, Monday 15th October is the deadline for submitting art/writing/poetry, this is an important, very timely project at a critical stage in history, your voices need to be heard!

Bruised But Not Broken, Whisper and the Roar, Indie Blu(e), and Blood Into Ink are joining forces to publish an anthology about the lived experience of sexual harassment and assault. We believe that it is more important than ever before that more voices speak out and reclaim their strength by owning their survival stories. All contributors, female and male, can submit up to three pieces of creative work- these can include; Poetry, Prose, Essay, Short Fiction, Prose, or original Artwork, but should be limited in length (under 1,000 words) considering that this is an anthology. You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider nonacceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual pieces together into a strong whole.

  • Submission of previously published pieces is acceptable if you still own the rights to your work.
  • Artwork can be submitted in black and white OR color but all artwork should be black and white compatible.
  • Using a pen name or publishing anonymously is acceptable.
  • All submissions should be sent to bloodintoink2017@gmail.com by midnight, Monday, October 15, 2018.

Writers and artists will retain the publishing rights to their individual submitted pieces. Indie Blu(e) will retain the rights to the collection We Will Not Be Silenced.

Pieces accepted for the Anthology may be used in whole or in part to promote the Anthology. All writers and artists will be appropriately credited in all promotional materials.

Should the royalties from sales of the Anthology exceed the costs of publishing and promoting the Collection, 70% of the royalties above these costs will be donated to organizations that support survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

 

JUSTICE – Candice Louisa Daquin

woman-speaksx750Today my sisters and brothers

there is simmering fine-grained rage in the quiet pockets of woman all around the world

rage has not left the room

it is bottled in corners like a fizzing drink about to explode

rage has no accent or specific color

it owns the language of all who came before

it is the woman who is violated when there were only five humans on this earth

it is the child who is taught to condemn women as their first lesson and does not understand

why the woman who nurtures him is trampled on

rage is a quiet supermarket and a grocery shopper

who stands at the canned beans aisle with tears pouring down her face

for she would rather spend hours picking out canned goods than face

the ire of her husband and the laws that do not protect her from being beaten

black and blue

maybe rage does have a color

maybe rage will not always be contained in petticoats and corsets and push up bras

maybe it’s taken too long (oh yes it has taken too long)

but the souls of the witches, the souls of the healers, the souls of the mothers, the souls of the daughters

and their good sons, and their good sons

are rising once more

they clamor to be heard

in the infernal din that is society today

with perpetual noise nobody is listening, apathy has multiplied

nobody knows what is being allowed to happen

or they turn their faces thinking if it’s not trending it doesn’t matter

this doesn’t apply to me I am not a feminist

I am not a victim. I am not a survivor. I am not oppressed

I will not take part in your embarrassing crusade

they are content to post selfies in sexualized poses to gain

imaginary power and control

by the time they learn their folly it may be too late

if one of their kind is raped, they turn like a swarm of locust against her

you must have done something to deserve that, you are weak

did you drink? did you wear a short skirt? did you stay up too late? did you let a boy into the house alone?

then you caused this to happen and you can’t come crying to me

it wasn’t the choices of the male

after all; boys will be boys

we teach them that don’t we?

with hyper masculinity and shame

we teach them that don’t we?

with pornography and permission; if a girl is lying there, you can take her

even if she says no or is unconscious, go on it’s okay she won’t mind

rape isn’t as bad as murder, what’s all the fuss about?

animals rape animals, it’s almost natural

we teach them with our legal system that blames the victim

makes her stand scathingly beneath lights and attest her truth

to a room full of disbeliever

if she is lucky enough to get that far

usually the police office will say

love, don’t you think you should go home and sleep it off?

you may feel differently tomorrow when you’ve realized

the part you played in your rape

after all … all girls lie don’t they?

what about our poor sons?

what about our vulnerable men?

don’t they deserve some justice?

absolutely say the guilty women

now there are many rights and protections for men

women, they work twice as hard once again

just to be believed

to prove what they say, because she could be lying

what motive does she have? Maybe she just hates men. Maybe she’s a lesbian!

what motive to destroy the lives of young boys just starting out

after all, he’ll grow out of it … won’t he?

like the average 80 victims of a paedophile?

he’ll just spontaneously stop doing it

or maybe, he’ll realize he has societal permission

after all wasn’t it said in the Cosby trial

the jurors were not convinced by the room full of women who came forward

they believed he Cosby was guilty because he admitted it in a private hearing on camera

“when he said what he did, I realized he had to have done it” said one young juror

it seems the deafening voices of the women were not enough

how many voices? How many women will it take?

what about the boys though? our boys? why is this all about women?

boys get raped too and when they do, nobody listens, this is true

it is about men because men do 99 percent of rapes

boys who abuse girls, grow up to be men who abuse women

the supreme court is the highest court of the land

if we allow men who have abused women in

to become more embittered by their battle to get there

soon rights will be crushed under their malice

but isn’t it fair to give him a chance? After all he didn’t go all the way?

does it take that to justify? What happened to morality?

would you want someone who had done this to your daughter, sister, mother

on the supreme court?

why do we believe her?

did you LOOK INTO HER EYES

I did

I saw her tremble

no woman

no woman in the world

would stand up in front of the universe and say what she said

if it were a lie

it’s just too awful

political shifting aside (as we all know both parties are doing it and care little for the rights of victims and everything for the machinations of the political beast)

she will have to go back to her burned out life

a pariah on the run, homeless, shamed

if we don’t stand and say we believe you

who will?

if we don’t finally stand together and stop picking apart words like

feminism, womanhood and equality

and realize it still doesn’t exist

we are the only ones who can make it happen

if we don’t all have the courage of Christine

we may never make this world a better place

for all of us

women and men

boys and girls

no is no

sex isn’t violence

existing isn’t permission

to rape me or try to rape me

it’s not okay

it’s not okay

if you think you should be given a free pass

because I cannot produce 1000 witnesses

because I didn’t die

because you have changed

there is forgiveness and then there is consequence

there is right and there is wrong

not all men are rapists

not all women are victims

but in order to survive

we need to decide

what we are willing to tolerate

I don’t tolerate a network of naysayers

who take rape as seriously as forgetting their lunch

who think it’s okay to support someone who has those lack of morals

let’s change the system

let’s get all the debris out

it’s true those attracted to politics are often, the egomaniac, the narcissist

but not every man attempts rape

not every woman is a liar waiting to tear him down

let the good ones back in

and when a woman stands up

do not be a voice in the crowd jeering her down

do not automatically assume she has an agenda

other than trying to seek

justice

All Things – Kristiana Reed

All things

Little girls are made of all things,

not sugar or spice

but grass stains and butterfly wings,

cloudless days and lightning strikes,

broken hearts and beating hearts,

lemonade, cuts and bruises,

calloused hands and equal wages,

respect that’s given,

love without conditions,

honey and orange bitters,

rights, opportunities

and choices.

 

And little boys?

Well, they’re made of the same things too;

all things which make us,

me and you.

The Girl who Reads

girl-690925_1280

The world had been colourless

before she began to read.

Afterwards, photographs took on a new hue,

memories burned with the intensity

of cloudless sunshine on waves,

and every face and pair of hands

looked new, like gifts;

each palm had a story to tell,

each pair of eyes

had seen villains and queens,

or both, shipwrecks and battles

on the plains of their skin,

in their reflection,

in the seas in their chest.

 

Words taught her the weight

a voice can anchor

and how nimbly it can shift

galaxies, tears and the secrets

closed behind the doors

in a stranger’s heart.

Words taught her conviction,

how to keep promises

and set free her desire to breathe

in beauty and heartache,

in grand landscapes, forests

and hidden stairways to attics.

 

The world gained an artist

when she began to read

and write in purples, yellows and greens;

revealing to the earth and sky

and all gods above, below and in between

the power and magic

a girl can muster, harness

and lead

when given the right

to read.

 


Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is President of FVR Publishing, a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar & Sudden Denouement, and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.

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