Featured Post: The Well of Loneliness – Sean Heather McGraw

Friends
I always thought
That I was prone to losing them right
After I came out or
At some point along the journey

(But growing up, everyone knew who I would be.)

Since
My church saw
Only condemnation of our love
It promised to me a
Life of holy celibacy.

(Because we don’t deserve to be happy.)

Dark
Loneliness
To feel that unloved by every soul
That they demand my pain
— suffering – and call it just reward

(Only they deserve happiness and love.)

Well
When she wrote
The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall,
She knew we all would crash
Why do people hurt the Other ones?

(One group defines itself by hatred for the outsider.)

I
Never felt more
Truth in her plea for mercy, for love.
Humans tend to harm those
already burdened and blame them-

(As if all people get exactly what they deserve.)

Our
pain evidence
to them that we did wrong and deserve
punishment, and anguish.
Didn’t Christ say of the blind man that

(Christ, do you love me?)

He
Did not sin,
Nor his parents, but that his healing
Would show the great glory
Of God, and even the woman

(Can I be healed?)

Who
Sinned was not
Condemned and their hypocrisy was
Known to all for they were
Greater sinners for their judgement.

(How ironic to be condemned for my love for her.)

When
I look at
Her face my joy is all unbounded.
In daytime and nighttime
Her face shines from the well’s water.

(Can you try to feel as I feel?)

Scream
My heart screams
Radclyffe. Don’t drown, we will save you now.
Reach out your hands to mine.
Light beams sparkles on the water.

(In our embrace are we healed.)


Sean Heather K. McGraw is a historian and adjunct lecturer and received a doctorate in European History from the University at Albany. She has worked as a public librarian and as an NPS Tour Guide. She has published a middle-school textbook, How the Irish Saved America, the forthcoming After Stonewall and a children’s book, Fiona and the Dragon. In her spare time, she plays her harp, rescues animals and serves as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

You can find Sean on Patreon and Facebook.

 

 

 

Featured Post: When God Was a Woman – Christine E. Ray

Sunday morning sermons
delivered from man-made pulpits
echo in our ears
his-story books
that line school shelves
providing the warp
the weft
that weave the elaborate
mythic tapestry
a master-piece of
collective amnesia
millenniums in the making
a palatable image
to hang on our walls
of an all-knowing, all-powerful
thunderous God
his pristine ivory robes
rustling gracefully
over his magnificent manhood
a white-washed God
for the masses to fear
to revere
to swallow whole
with their bitter
communion wine
we are the women
who remember
when God was a woman
when the earth gestated
and flourished
in her cosmic womb
supported by her strong brown hands
we are the women
who will not forget
who teach our daughters
the old ways in secret parlors
sandy beaches
fertile fields
who guide their arms lovingly
in gratitude to the full moon
stars shining brightly
on their tender brows
a crown
her truth burning brightly
in their hearts

© 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

Image Courtesy of The Atlantic (via Pinterest)

Adam’s Rib- Christine Ray

Adams rib 3

Adam’s rib

aches beneath my breast

titanium splinter

piercing my soul

constantly seeking

to penetrate my self-worth

deliver shame directly

to my bloodstream like a toxin

demands I atone

for eating the forbidden fruit

I still taste the crisp

sweet tart taste

of knowledge on my tongue

and will always

hunger

for more

 

© 2018 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

 

 

Papi’s Loud Silence- Gladys Hidalgo

newses

[Poem by Gladys Hidalgo, photo by Georgia Park]

my father is a very Religious man

that is to say

he was raised holy

to be above the masses

to be more than

he was always being

more than

my father has conversations with god

whispers in his sleep

convey the what is to comes

of the fUture

he cries with joy

wheN he Relegates the content

of his holy meetings to me

exclaims with great faith

that he has been chosen

has been saved

wants me to write down his prophesies

so his failing memory

doesn’t disrespect his lord with forgetfUlness

he would Never want to fail his god

i want to believe him

i want with eveRy inch of greedy hUmaN in me

for my fatheR

to be speaking in langUage of truths

but my memory is disrespectful

my memory does Not fail

my memoRy is open pastUre

sowN with the seeds of his past

i am living pRoof that he is lying

he is false prophet

his words are sprinkled

with the actions my mUscles react to automatically

i think he knows

i caN’t believe him

my calves twitch

with the uRge to move in the opposite direction

bUt it will take 5 more red lights

before i am close to home

my father is a very religious maN

he has conveRsations with god

he is saved

he is holy

i repeat this

like an oUr father iN my head

synapses lighting up

in hopes of making it past the next 5 Red lights

alive

my disbelief coUld kill me

and I love my father

but he is religious

and he speaks to god

and history

has showN what kind of destRUctioN

can be wRoUght wheN man believes

he can speak only

in the language of truths

Gladys Hidalgo is a spoken word artist deeply involved in her home community of Lynn as a teaching artist at Raw Art Works. Her poetry is rooted in her Latinx ancestry. She has performed at some amazing events such as World Aids Day Boston, The American Voice 2015, Wheaton College’s iSpeak, Femme Nouveau Women’s Empowerment, Co-hosted LTAB Crossing the Street Open Mic 2015 as well as The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship and Northeastern University’s MLK Day Event.

Jesus Died for Somebody’s Sins

Mother Mary

the sinners pray to me

asking me to forgive

their transgressions

their sins

as though I am holy

consecrated by the fire

washed clean in the blood

But Jesus and I never

ran in the same crowd

we didn’t pass a bottle of cheap

schnapps while parked in the Catholic  cemetery

shooting the shit in a rusty Chevy Nova

making out under small town stars

I never found god in the cardboard wafer

placed upon my tongue

by priests with too-tight white collars

who looked down on me

called me illegitimate

offspring of a whore

audacious enough

to marry a divorced Presbyterian

their own vices

alcoholism

adultery

pedophilia

lust

throwing the first stone

gossiped openly about in the parking lot after Mass

do what I say, not as I do hypocrisy

still ringing in my ears as clearly as the amens

and halleluiahs

Don’t come looking to me

for your absolution

I am no virgin in white

visited by an angel

graced by the god of gods

I was a barefoot wild child

finding the Goddess in the silver light of the moon

the Green Man in the sun-dappled clearings

where I had my first orgasms

fingers dug deep in the earth

ants crawling upon my bare fourteen year old legs

I cannot offer you the grace you seek

only my humanity

my empathy

my deeply flawed soul

 

© 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.

Papi’s Loud Silence-Introducing Gladys Hidalgo

newses

[Poem by Gladys Hidalgo, photo by Georgia Park]

my father is a very Religious man

that is to say

he was raised holy

to be above the masses

to be more than

he was always being

more than

my father has conversations with god

whispers in his sleep

convey the what is to comes

of the fUture

he cries with joy

wheN he Relegates the content

of his holy meetings to me

exclaims with great faith

that he has been chosen

has been saved

wants me to write down his prophesies

so his failing memory

doesn’t disrespect his lord with forgetfUlness

he would Never want to fail his god

i want to believe him

i want with eveRy inch of greedy hUmaN in me

for my fatheR

to be speaking in langUage of truths

but my memory is disrespectful

my memory does Not fail

my memoRy is open pastUre

sowN with the seeds of his past

i am living pRoof that he is lying

he is false prophet

his words are sprinkled

with the actions my mUscles react to automatically

i think he knows

i caN’t believe him

my calves twitch

with the uRge to move in the opposite direction

bUt it will take 5 more red lights

before i am close to home

my father is a very religious maN

he has conveRsations with god

he is saved

he is holy

i repeat this

like an oUr father iN my head

synapses lighting up

in hopes of making it past the next 5 Red lights

alive

my disbelief coUld kill me

and I love my father

but he is religious

and he speaks to god

and history

has showN what kind of destRUctioN

can be wRoUght wheN man believes

he can speak only

in the language of truths

[Gladys Hidalgo is a spoken word artist deeply involved in her home community of Lynn as a teaching artist at Raw Art Works. Her poetry is rooted in her Latinx ancestry. She has performed at some amazing events such as World Aids Day Boston, The American Voice 2015, Wheaton College’s iSpeak, Femme Nouveau Women’s Empowerment, Co-hosted LTAB Crossing the Street Open Mic 2015 as well as The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship and Northeastern University’s MLK Day Event.]