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

Name That Fire – Aurora Phoenix

was I being

uppity?

might that be the source

of animus

in a jailer woman

who inhales internalized

sexism

haughty with skinny latte aroma

exhaling scorn from the lifted bridge

of her upturned nose?

yessir! that is why

I abhor canned characterizations

labeling woman

\manipulative, dramatic, triflin’\

who we vanquish

and discard.

it would not be

that I speak

of the inequities I see.

if I am uppity

from what properly

lowered place

do I dare

rise?

 

I am fiery

you say.

an assessment lit

in my challenge

to your read

simply because you hold

all the cards.

true, I refuse to defer

to authority

over logic

to might

over right

I stand firm in my quaking boots

as I climb from the trench

\silenced no more\

fan the flames

of my insubordination

drink in the mist

of grudging admiration

from slaves to status quo

while I burn it

to the ground

I Knew My Name- Christine Ray

I knew my name
when grown men
called me ‘honey’
fondled my braids
and pulled my
10-year old body
stiff with resistance
onto their hard laps

I knew my name
when the male high school teacher
called me “sweetie”
and told me not to worry about
the 70 on my exam
because girls don’t need
an A in chemistry
to be a good wife and mother

I knew my name
when the teenage boys
called me ‘ice queen’
‘cock tease’
when I didn’t want their
sloppy tongues down my throat
their rough hands
on my budding breasts

I knew my name
when men followed me
down the street
called me ‘bitch’
‘fucking dyke’
when I wouldn’t smile
or say thank you
to their declarations
of lewd things
they would do to me
once we were alone

I knew my name
when my children
called me ‘mommy’
389 times a day
until I wanted to scream
all other identities
lost in a fugue state
of lack of sleep,
endless laundry
and dirty diapers

I knew my name
when male eyes
slid off like teflon
as they absently
called me ‘maam’
when I turned 50
let my hair go gray
chiming in that I reminded them
of their mothers
as if it were a compliment

I knew my name
when I trusted my eyes
to see my own truth clearly
and my voice
to speak it
and rejected those names
I did not choose for myself
‘Ms. Badass’ will do just nicely


Inspired by Kindra M. Austin’s ‘I Knew My Worth‘, Aurora Phoenix’s ‘I Knew My Place’ and Kristiana Reed’s ‘I Knew My Mistakes.’

Venus Envy- Max Meunier

how does this chromosome composed immarcescible
yield compromise in cries of flesh
wrapped in skin of scolded scandal
spurned escape from brute contempt

giver of all life yet none dare ponder
the light which begets all things known
the home from whence all journeys burgeon
the earthen arms embracing death

brandishing indelible burdens
wrought by hands of ransom’s scourge
forging millennia evincing incorrigible
horrors of abhorrent travesty

torrid envy trained on Venus
flourishing afire eternal
seething like celestial wreaths
breathing in nebulous ire

solace yet denied
til stellar flight again reigns in angelic
denizens deprived of dignity
by these depraved barbarians


Max states: “I write about the things going on in my life. I am a feminist, humanist, cat loving musician bound by whimsy and the incessant analysis of hyper-vigilant observations.  I am obsessed with words and rhythmically woven wordplay.” We are honored to have him as a member of our tribe.  He writes at Max Meunier/Remnants from the Realm of Dissociation