Just No

Christine Ray responds to a comfortable ignoramus.

Brave & Reckless

Just noOriginally posted on Blood Into Ink

self-declared “expert”
no md after his famous name
says that he knows my psyche
better than I know it myself
his condescending words
drip off the screen
leaving a grimy ooze in its wake
he calls me
I didn’t need him to write
that he had never walked in my Doc Martins
because if he had
he would know that it takes
guts of fire
spine of steel
bionic knees
teeth that can spit nails
to fight your way back out
after you have fallen into the Pit of Despair
looked into the abyss while it looks back
whispering  your name like a lover
stood at the 13th floor window
and thought how easy it would be to walk out
the opposite of depressed is not happy
the opposite of depressed is being able to take a deep breath

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Book Review – Composition of a Woman – by Christine Ray

Nicole Lyons reviews Christing Ray’s new poetry collection.

The Lithium Chronicles

I was thrilled when the brilliant Christine Ray of Brave and Reckless asked me to read and review an advanced copy of her debut collection, ‘Composition of a Woman’, and let me tell you guys, you are going to want to mark your calendars for its July 31st release date! This book is fire, unbridled, out of control, glorious fire!

ChriComp Cover Design by Mitch Green

Composition of A Woman – Advanced Book Review

Christine Ray’s debut collection ‘Composition of a Woman’ is an extraordinary glimpse into the essence of what it takes to make, and sometimes simultaneously break, a woman as strikingly powerful as she is beautiful.

Christine Ray brilliantly split ‘Composition’ into five thoughtful sections that work together beautifully to deliver the maximum impact of each poem while taking the reader deeper into a stunning journey of the mind, the body, the very soul of this person…

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part 4

Samantha Lucero presents another bit of the mystery.

samantha lucero

12 hours ago

He’d raised the toy up to eye level and inspected its cylindrical shape and strange writing and holographic paper stuck around the circle of its body with one eye squinted. He’d turned around the noisy confetti in the kaleidoscope and peered through himself first to test it out, and then took it down to the toddlers eye level and pulled him close lovingly the way a brother or father would.

He’d piped out an elongated Mickey mouse, wooooow! for effect, and his tickling beard wowed with him. He’d patted baby Mikey on his bony shoulder.

Isn’t that cute, Miranda had said, perching her soap-chapped knuckles onto the hew of her hips, he likes you, Gabe.

The sound of keys and the sound of the keys’ metallic intercourse with the door had arrived, and the doorknob was thrust, flopping, in need of repair too long ago. Gabriel was…

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I knew my invisibility- Candice Louisa Daquin

Candice Louisa Daquin is visible on The Whisper And The Roar

Whisper and the Roar

I knew my invisibility when
the lady next to my mother in the nursing ward
took me in her arms out of pity
for there was nobody there who cared
to rock a crying child , who was not wanted
by hedonists who erred in pregnancy

I knew my invisibility when
my mother tucked  bus ticket in her blouse
kissed me goodnight for the final time
explaining she needed to get out and breathe
did not remember to keep the door ajar
and the night vanquished me in her absence

I knew my invisibility when
my father silently resented single-parenting
did not pick me up outside the school gates
the boys in the projects threw stones and jeered
shouted “show me your stinking snatch, bitch”
until I learned to climb trees and wait and wait and wait

I knew my invisibility when
my grandfather told me to sit on his…

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The Rough Draft Waiting

Stephanie Bennett Henry – more challenge

Stephanie Bennett-Henry

My patience wore me down, thin to the bone, bare as the surface never could be, I had to dig deeper. Through the flesh of all I never could see, my temper always got the best of me. And these well articulated plans never made it beyond the hypothesis constantly picking my brain with rough drafts that stay rough. Never smooth enough to perfect a final copy worthy of being seen, so it goes in the trash can of all things unnoticed. Stays clean in the unseen of my own eyes so my hands don’t have to feel the way dirty feels exposed. And I feel unclothed, birthed in the shame that comes after being stripped raw; cover me. Blanket me with something, anything at all other than the dull pain of how my spine broke through the flesh of who I never wanted to be. No take backs! So…

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The battle for self-acceptance: hair and faith edition

Beth Caplin – Hair issues and the difference the right cut can make

Sarahbeth Caplin

229029_1005796311444_4436_n Baby SB, circa 1990

I’ve written before about how my curly hair is an outward marker of my Jewish identity (ethnically speaking). I want to revisit that subject today, because it took me over 25 years to find the right haircut. 25+ years of having stylists consult other stylists in front of me because they had no idea how to cut my hair. 25+ years of being told, “Wow, you have a lot of hair,” as if I never actually noticed before. 25+ years of dealing with backhanded compliments like, “You would look really cute if you straightened it.”

For me, curly hair and being Jewish were always conflated. While I know that Judaism is a melting pot of different ethnicities and cultures, the fact is, stereotypes about Jewish appearance exist for a reason. And growing up, my hair and my last name outed me before I had the…

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Dare You

Stephanie Bennett Henry issues a challenge.

Stephanie Bennett-Henry

I guess the misery is a weakness, spread it around like love paying itself forward and wonder why it never makes its way back to me. Well, people don’t like the edges of the way your madness rubs against them, it’s too sharp, you try too hard, you don’t try enough, you’re not enough. But you think you’re too much sometimes. And it’s pathetic really. Giving so much of yourself away as though it’s a gift anyone would be honored to have. You are full of shit. No one wants to unwrap that package to see what’s inside because the poison spills out with one look. There’s no mystery, no guess what the big surprise is… it’s clear. Transparent as anything ever could be, your self loathing is predictable, your self love is loud and mute all at once. It hurts my ears the way you talk to yourself. Get…

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A Room So Still and Quiet It Hurts: A Collaboration of Warriors

A Brave And Reckless collaboration of poets

Brave & Reckless

Christine Ray

In a room so still and silent

That it hurts

Stark white walls

Razor sharp edges

Etch my soul

Draw blood

That drips slowly


From my mouth

I am trapped

Like a fly in amber

Time stands still

The air is thick

Holds me motionless

In this prison cell

I feel vibration

A silent scream building

From my depths

Rachel Finch

Barricaded, her aura stifles

in the quiet.

Walls closing in, silence


Her mind internally

burning, blistering.

His voice a faint echo,

worlds away.

Rana Kelly

I tell them they’re lying,

The monsters that cling

To the lobes and whorls

Of my ears.

They laugh and go on.

I pull the covers up

To my chin and let them in again

Until the tears are spent

And still,

They never repent.

Get thee behind me,

But I always look back

Waiting on them to pounce.


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Brave and Reckless is Seeking Guest Submissions for August 2018

Christine Ray seeks submissions for Brave And Reckless

Brave & Reckless

Over the last couple of months, I have become much more involved with the publishing side of writing.  A great deal of my time and energy has been going to editing other people’s work for books recently released by Sudden Denouement Publishing, compiling my first two poetry books (Composition of a Woman and Myths of Girlhood), learning how to publish from soup to nuts using CreateSpace and IngramSparks, author and book promotion, and launching my freelance editing business, Her Red Pen WordSmithing.  I have really, really enjoyed what I have been doing and have learned a tremendous amount, but my daily writing and maintenance of Brave and Reckless have not been the priority that I would like them to be.

As my second anniversary of blogging draws near in October, I would like to take the month of August as a reset to decide what’s next for Brave and…

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