Featured Post: My body is not an apology – Susan M. Conway

My body is not an apology.

My body is not an apology; It is triumphant if anything at all.

I haven’t been so loving to her skin.

I wasn’t taught to; yet here I am, beautifully marked.

I haven’t been so loving to my fat.

I wasn’t taught to; yet here I am, flawed to perfection.

I haven’t been so loving to my spirit.

I wasn’t taught to; yet here I am, unruined.

I haven’t been so loving to my intellect.

I wasn’t taught to; yet here I am, unearthing my truths.

I am blooming from the grave.

From birth:

I was programmed to believe that to be a woman is to be a shameful creature, and I must exist to be tolerable and capable of bearing, or risk living a baneful, wretched existence, on the outskirts of a world committed to catering to idealized perfections, and cities constructed off the backs of eating disorders, and nourished by poisoned wells, filled to the brim with tears and collateral damage.

The grass is only greener where you water it; so America demands more blood, sweat, and tears. It is owned, there is a price tag on our souls.

The soil is soiled; nothing grows here. It is strictly prohibited. We must feed our hungry hearts lies.

Growing up a girl:

The media says believe what you see, we will define truth for you; and only listen to half of what you hear, but don’t take our word for it because we dont stick around for the fall out- we are just the messengers… HANDS UP, DONT SHOOT!
Don’t shelter them, they need exposure, OUR FATHER’S FATHERS said. It is what my parents taught me and it is what my parent’s parents taught them. I’m still alive, aren’t I? Trust me.

Trust me.

Trust me.

I wouldnt lie to you.

I have no reason to lie to you.

A blooming lotus in the mire of womanhood:

But, I do have a reason to lie on you, slut. My rape is going to be called is this what you were wearing when the “incident” occurred, if I report it. My rape is going to be called a lie when I tell my father who will no longer look me in the face, My rape is going to be called it’s all your fault once my story is spread through the mouths of society. My body is going to be called an apology every time I can stomach looking at it in the mirror in what is now going to forever be the extremities that are minutes, hours, and days after the thing I can only speak about in metaphor or not at all some days.

Our supposed representatives get to govern what happens to our bodies, and the theft of them because “I have the electoral votes from the collective ‘they.’

Because, they call me king, president, ruler of the free world, congressman/woman, senator, CEO, Billionaire, I tell you what your name is. I call your body an apology, woman. I will fuck your boundaries and your feelings, and tell the world you are a disgrace, a liar, a nasty woman, a lecherous beast. When the truth is, I am disgraceful. I am nasty. I am a liar. I am the beast, the predator, a victim brandishing a freshly printed name tag of SURVIVOR. A poisoned well, who creates more victims with every-trust me…”

Buried:

We are the swift undercurrent, the swelling breasts of a very pregnant mother earth, full… full… full of true nourishment, the kind that can only be found through digging deep and sifting.

Cataloging and separating what must go and what must stay.

Giving myself the necessary permissions to make those decisions for myself.

Being an aware, intuitive, reasoning, feeling, permeable membrane.

Remaining soft in combat, because it is what I choose.

Recognizing a war zone when I see one, especially within, because it would be a million steps backward, and detrimental to close my eyes hand grenades after being blinded for most of my life to what love is and what love is not.

Licking my wounds in public, shamelessly, because I am free to do as I please, heal as I please, and in my own time frame.

It is time to heed the call to step fully into ourselves. None of this one foot in the grave business. Being self serving isnt a bad thing when it is done with the intent to become well.

Being well isn’t shameful, and neither is your body.

My body is not an apology.

Loving yourself is revolutionary in a world that is built and functions off the barely ticking concave heart of humanity.


Susan M. Conway is an acclaimed fiction novelist, blogger, and mother of two. She resides in Northeast Georgia, where she lives a quiet life. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and cooking for her family. Susan is a passionate and fiery social justice warrior, mental health advocate, and mentor in the BDSM, Kink, and Fetish lifestyles, striving to empower, embolden, and open healthy dialogues about a variety of social issues.

You can read more of her writing at The Ginger Post

Featured Post: My Body is Not an Apology – Tamara Fricke

Broken as it is
I still won’t moisturize
desolation that denies
the existence of saturation
to begin with. Instead,
I will take with me
all that flowers
and winds through
your cracks, all that buzzes
and crawls through
dark places and together we,
without you, will
colonize the moon,
and festoon the night
with our calls.

And you will watch
from desertification crags
as our symbiosis synthesizes
starlight on molecular strings
because I told you, my body
is not your goddamn apology,
and here, we eat the weak,
without a second thought.


Tamara Fricke is the 2010 co-winner of the Gertrude Claytor Award of the Academy of American Poets and is previously published by The Lyon Review, Meat for Tea, Attack Bear Press Poetry Vending Machine, Whisper and the Roar, We Will Not Be Silenced, and has been included in a number of compilations.  Her poetry chapbook Our Requiem was released in 2014.  She lives in Springfield, MA, with an ungrateful cat, where she writes grants professionally.

This Body Is Not An Apology – Christine E. Ray

this body
cleverly constructed
of blood and bone
muscle and sinew
has not always been
my safe house
others did their best
to paint its innocence
shame red
self-hatred black
carved the words
Lolita
Whore
Bitch
under my skin
rendering this body
an iron maiden
a scold’s bridle
a tomb

this body
scaffolded on
an inheritance of madness
and misfiring neurons
has been brought
to the knees
by emotional
and physical pain
this body
ever-changing
has not always
been my ally
a friend
at times
an enigma
a stranger
an enemy

this body
keeper of my soul
my essence
weathered my past
survived being
carved hollow by loss
this body
has bled crimson
cried oceans
howled with rage
embraced lovers
birthed babies
rejected expectations
of what a woman should be
could be
has dreamed universes
yet to be discovered
within me

this body
my body
that I continue to broker
peace with
that I have learned to respect
if not always cherish
has protected me
through five decades
vulnerable child
headstrong, obstinate teen
mother
survivor
fierce warrior woman
but this body
my body
will never be an apology

© 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

Featured Post: My Body is Not an Apology – Marie Prichard

The body, this body, my body
Is not an apology.
It Is not an explanation
A long
Drawn-out
Pause for consideration.
It does not wait for approval
Does not desire
Golden-tipped accolades.
It Is not a justification
Of etched road maps
Across the expanse
Of stomach and thighs.
It is not a constant explanation of
Regret and remorse
For taking up space.
It Is not a concession
Of compromises
Creating waves of regret
Crashing against the mind.
It does not accept unwelcomed
Unsolicited
Undesired expressions.
It is not available
To be spoken at
Down to
Or about with shrapnel-coated
Waste-land edged words of war.
It is merciful
Years of learning to love
All the bits
The pieces
The sags
The wrinkles.
It is time spent alone
with early morning sunrises
Late-night sunsets
Colors blending against skin.
It is compassion
Occasions of grace
Acknowledging everyday moments
Leaving past hurts to fade
Into the misty distance
Until the sharp details
Are no more.
The body, this body, my body
Is not an apology.

My body is forgiveness.


Marie Prichard is a longtime writer and educator. She lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with her wife, their two wiener dogs, and a Munchkin cat. She loves reading, writing, walking the beach, and filling her wife’s pockets with heart rocks. You can read more of her writing on Medium

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The Body Is Not an Apology

Throughout the month of August, Christine will be providing a daily writing prompt based on the title of a seminal feminist book. These are designed to inspire you to write a poem, prose piece, or a piece of flash fiction in 30 minutes or less.

The only rule is that you use the book title as your piece title OR integrate all the words in the title into your piece somehow

If you would like to have your piece considered for publication on Brave and Reckless and Whisper and the Roar, email your prompt inspired pieces to Christine at her.red.pen.wordsmithing@gmail.com.

You can also participate on Facebook by tagging your writing with:

  • # the title of the daily theme
  • #FeministBookChallenge
  • #braveandreckless66

or on Instagram by tagging your writing with:

  • # the title of the daily theme
  • #FeministBookChallenge
  • @christabelle1966

You can also share your response pieces in the comments below the Daily Prompt.

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