WHY ‘WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED’- Christine E. Ray

Blood Into Ink

I am a writer, an editor, and publisher with a background in clinical social work and neurodegenerative research.  I am a mother, a wife, pansexual, dyslexic, living with Bipolar II, and fibromyalgia.  I am an artist, an avid reader, and lifelong advocate for social justice.

I am also a sexual abuse survivor.

Like many sexual abuse survivors, I kept my story to myself for many, many years.  For decades, I only shared my story with the people I was most emotionally and physically intimate with.

Partially my silence was to protect the innocent who could still be hurt by the fallout of my story, partially because of shame, partially because I told myself that what happened to me wasn’t so bad compared to what has happened to so many others, and partially because I didn’t want to be viewed as damaged.  I didn’t need, or want, anyone’s pity.

When I…

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Fall of the Fallen

I crunch

on the swath

of crisp cool air

that cuts

chilled and invigorating

through the swamp of my despair.

 

dust of leaves

coat my tongue

as I masticate

crow pie

long past

it’s sell-by date

 

I spit

 

breathe

the oak floating

reminders

 

humid cling of miasma

is not the haven

it self-proclaims

Time Sensitive Call For Submissions: “We Will Not Be Silenced”

Blood Into Ink

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Bruised But Not Broken, Whisper and the Roar, Indie Blu(e), and Blood Into Ink are joining forces to publish an anthology about the lived experience of sexual harassment and assault. We believe that it is more important than ever before that more voices speak out and reclaim their strength by owning their survival stories. All contributors, female and male, can submit up to three pieces of creative work- these can include; Poetry, Prose, Essay, Short Fiction, Prose, or original Artwork, but should be limited in length (under 1,000 words) considering that this is an anthology. You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider nonacceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual pieces together into a strong whole.

  • Submission of previously published pieces is acceptable if you still own the rights to your work.

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Assaulted

you were pushed from behind

 

I heard in the breathless notch

in your measured words

that catch

in your voice

the tremulous quaver

in your understated stand

 

I have felt those hands

(haven’t we all)

one knife-wielding

– in word or deed –

while the other lays claim

with eyes or clammy paws

to my plush backside

you are the embodiment

of cultured terror apparent

the carbon dated anguish

etched on your skin

your pain quivers

on articulated tips

of your educated tongue

 

I jump sky high

elbow cocked in self- defense

it fades yet never ebbs

that stretched rubber band

that inhabits cells

twangs unbidden

and we sproing!

he tantrums

spews vile rhetoric

wields his power

his privilege

in ways she would burn

at stake

were she dare give voice

were she to cry crododile

her ovaries would fry

ahhh those tantrums

we choke down

swallow hot with rancid bile

those that would label

rabid bitch

raving psycho

 

because well behaved women

may bare our ankles

here in 2018

shoulders even (Oh my!)

but we step NOT

upon the tender toes

of fragile male privilege

under pain of recompense

 

Sharp- A Weyward Sisters Collaboration

So honored to be a part of such a fierce collaboration!

A Global Divergent Literary Collective

I am playing with knives
again
sharpening them
lovingly
against brown leather strap
admiring the way
hair splits cleanly
upon the well-honed edge
(Christine E. Ray)

Listen!
Sounds like a violin–
fine strings ‘gainst steel bow
I play concerto
splitting hairs
(Kindra M. Austin)

I’m trimming those frayed ends
sharpening those
pointy convictions
giving them a sharp edge
a serrated opinion,
ready to pierce you
where it hurts you more
(Megha Sood)

Cold steel on skin,
I blossom,
stare down the line
take aim
at friend, foe and fortune
with my throwing knives;
multiply and divide,
split and survive.
(Kristiana Reed)

I like a razor
but xyraphi sings to me
of shreds, edges, ends
sweeter than any cutlery.
An x is an eraser,
that’s why I draw it long
to keep it clean and short
and shave me complication.
Oh, how…

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How Low Can You Go?

you gather your henchmen

close and closer

they

whose quals consist

\in whole and part\

of oft-shriveled

deified appendages

and an omnipresent

aptitude for grating

self-aggrandizement.

 

you flaunt

your petulant pedigree

while maggots squirm

on the flyleaf

pearling slime

on the stained

glass aperture

to your fears

 

I neither sway

nor hold self-same

relegated

as I am

thankless workhorse

\inflamed appendix\

held in abeyance

 

bend my back

with toil and trouble

work nimble fingers

to aching bones.

I break not

dear sir

limbo me not

to the lowest

of your lows