Beautiful Things – Jamie Lynn Martin

Jamie Lynn Martin brings a hope of beauty to Heretics, Lovers, And Madmen

Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

I used to think that all things beautiful meant it never saw the inside of a devils heart.
Beautiful things aren’t singed with markings of his storm.
They don’t stitch their spine with caution tape,
beautiful things don’t cry.
I often cry,
but my tears are made of falling daggers gearing up for battle.
I always thought I could have been beautiful,
maybe if my insides weren’t filled with ash.
Your soul burned long before mine,
but I still carry it with me as a peaceful reminder of who I used to be.
Beautiful things were never meant to be conquered,
flag planted,
kissing scars under my skin.
Your sins were meant as tokens,
but the pain that paid the cost fell forcefully at my feet.
Your Savage embrace could never spare what’s left of me,
Yet I still hope for the day that what remains can somehow be reclaimed.

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Something of

TheFeatheredSleep visits Hijacked Amygdala and there IS something about her.

hijacked amygdala

Joan_of_Arc,_by_Gaston_BussiereThere is something

about you

they said

and they were right

in that way that isn’t universal

she did have something about her

and then she gave it to you

and you had

something about her

locked around your filigree neck.

When you whistled

only she heard your call

came running time and again

hands powdered with flour or words

losing each moment

something about her

because that is what happens when

girls give it away

without thought in little hand-made envelopes

as if it, and themselves, were

a paper boat let loose to rent

how then to remain whole?

they have to have it

to be




or they stay as tinsel in corners

gathering misapprehensions dust

no one remembered to take down

after the celebration was over

as hollow as old marzipan

left to suck up dry cupboard air

when placed for safe keeping by soft-hearted…

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Brave and Reckless June 2019 Pride Anthem Challenge

A whole month of challenge

Brave & Reckless

I started to think today how much fun it would be to participate in an LBGTQ Pride Poetry Challenge starting June 1st.  Next thing I knew, I had 30 Pride Anthems organized for writing prompts!

If you would like to participate, email your prompt inspired pieces to me at and I will publish my favorites on Brave and Reckless.  You can also participate on Facebook by tagging your writing with:

  • # the daily theme
  • #PrideAnthemChallenge
  • @braveandreckless66

If you would like to know more about the musical inspirations, please see the anthems and the artists below:

1 True Colors (Cyndi Lauper)16 Kiss the Boy ( Keiynan Lonsdale)
2 I Kissed A Girl (Katy Perry)17 Not the Only One (Melissa Etheridge)
3 It’s Raining Men (The Weather Girls)18 We Are Family (Sister Sledge)
4 Born This Way (Lady Gaga)19 Raise Your Glass (P!ink)
5 Beautiful (Christine Aguilera)

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Christine Ray – Ambush, pounce, & purr

Brave & Reckless

We never talked about the monster inside me. Crouched on the bed, cold white skin, dark pupils dilated like dinner plates, your bodily fluids fragrant on my tongue, feral and remote, licking my own blood off my fingers. Repulsive and enticing in equal turns. Never knowing if I would fade into the night for days or months, or pounce like a panther, holding you hostage on the edge of pain and pleasure, making you moan deep in your throat, your fingers knotted in wrinkled sheets, relishing your scream of release that I alone owned, finally settling down like a contented house cat, licking cream off both our mouths.

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

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Pain Au Chocolat 1; Me zero

Christine Ray – Undone

Brave & Reckless

karma apparently
has deemed
that I am to learn
lessons in humility
outdone this morning
by Pain Au Chocolat
a set of tongs
and a slanted tray
had it been for me
I would have
walked away
but it was for my kid
whose life pretty much sucks
mom guilt courses through my veins
the 18 year old
behind the counter
was really nice
about it
she had no idea
what it cost me
to ask for help

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

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Kitten love!

LuckyOtter – Cuteness

Lucky Otters Haven

Here are two more pictures of Shadow (renamed from Blackashell, which just doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily).  It’s Shadow not only due to his color, but also because he’s very attached to me and follows me around like a…you guessed it…shadow!


Judging by the size of his feet, he’s going to grow into a big boy!

Can you resist that face?

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The Myths of Girlhood

Christine Ray – Imposed impossibilities

Brave & Reckless

we were spoiled
for reality
by milk chocolate-coated fairy tales
force fed us
as girls
made to swallow
not spit
myths about beauty
taught that only pretty, pretty princesses
could be awoken by
true love’s first kiss
impossible standards of beauty
made for
bitter cherry centers
that left us empty
how old were we
when we learned
that mere mortal girls
like us
would never be beautiful enough
thin enough
kind enough
pure enough
to win Prince Charming’s gold enrobed heart?
we ate up the lessons
that with the right make-up
the right clothes
if we took enough quizzes
in Seventeen magazine
about how to be popular
how to catch his eye
contorted ourselves into pretzels
we might almost be enough
to be invited to dance at the ball
drink a brief taste of
the pink champagne dream
before the clock struck midnight

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Reunion (Revisited)

Christine Ray – An absent love, returned

Brave & Reckless

time slows down
the moment we touch
rest of the world
drifts away
there is only you
only me
remembering us
the memories
that have haunted me
these long weeks apart
are revealed as ghostly
pallid things
you are here now
to my starved eyes
familiar scent
of you
your bare skin
braille to be
hungrily read
by my fingertips
by my mouth
you pressed against me
both a homecoming
and new wonder
of exploration
for every detail
I have remembered
I discover
forgotten nuance
memory has softened
the edges
of what it feels like
to mold ourselves
to each other
you are my missing
jigsaw piece
I am most fully whole
in connection of with
your soul
you rest peacefully
beside me now
lines and tension
in your face
smoothed away
there is a
an openness
to you
lying next to me
on these…

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What It Means to Be A Core Member of Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

More on membership in Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

Brave & Reckless

The editors of Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen are thrilled about the launch of the site and the quality of the writing that has already been published.  Many have asked us what it means to become a Core Member of the HL&M family.

  • Core members are expected to submit one previously unpublished piece by email every four weeks or so.  Core members can submit a little more often if they like or a little less often if life is crazy.  We will be publishing fierce poetry, prose, short fiction, and art.  We will consider essays if they really knock our socks off.
  • Core members are encouraged to include a suggested image with their writing submissions. Loosely,  the visual vibe of HL&M is Midsummer Night’s Dream meets the Brothers Grimm.  The editors reserve the right to suggest an alternative image if there are creative or technical concerns about the image provided.
  • We want all writers…

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Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen Recruiting Core Members and Accepting Featured Writing Submissions

Are you a Heretic, a Lover, or a Madman, and a Writer? Here’s an opportunity.

Brave & Reckless

Core Membership

If you are interested in being a core member of Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen, please send us an email at ( with a sample of three (3) pieces of your writing (poem, prose, essay, script, short fiction, spoken word) so we can get a feel for the fit.  Your sample pieces can be previously published. You should include your real name, your pen name and a brief biography (100 words or under.)

Featured Submissions

If you are interested in being occasional submitter, email up to 3 previously unpublished pieces to ( ).  You should include your real name, your pen name and a brief biography (100 words or under.)  You are invited to provide a suggested image to accompany each piece; however, we reserve the right to make substitutions if there are technical or creative concerns about the image.

Visit Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

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