curled-up flesh

Pain. Drowning  crinkle-cut curled-up flesh in whitest milk. Obligation lifts the cup, pours it in. No foil-wrapped magic tricks want to have anything to do with it; the capsule sinks below the surface before it can ignite. Flickers as a match might, but with the untiring power of the glowing ember.

No end in sight. The worst days were better, because hope was still cradled that the broken parts could be cut away and mended, dead branches and grafts. But the poison is in the tree and eventually there will be nothing left but dried parts broken on the forest floor.

All the words that a dragged-down mind can label itself with, be labelled with. Anxious. Depressed. Pathetic. Lonely, lonely, so lonely. When I stood alone in drifts of snow in another place, at least mind and body were whole, or still clinging together in the hopes of human unity. The future was allowed to be clouded.

Now I must clutch myself, squeeze my own arm, dig nails into my palms. The crescent shapes do not leave scars, not yet. Record videos intended for a public audience, a forum of confession and reality. Then delete them, because tears are not becoming, not in real life and not in a little box on your screen that you can escape from when you feel uncomfortable.

No one to do the holding, the whispering. Nobody to tell me that I’m being crazy, that I’m more than a foolhardy experiment gone wrong, that my best days aren’t necessarily in my past, that it’s okay, it’s all okay. That I can be loved again, that I’m not ruined by or defined by my body, by my awful, uncooperative, sliced and reconfigured body. Nobody. No one to rely on, to call in an hour of need, no family to go and hide with when it’s too hard to be alone.

Silent nights in a house of extremes – the joyful noise of the happiness of others, going on all around, or the silence that hangs more and more, as the nights close in and nobody else is home. A kitchen untouched – what kind of energy do you think I have? Expend what precious little there is on cooking, when I’ll either be in tears from the blandness, or in tears from the pain?

The pain, the body of pain. The mind draped in it.

 

drained

So drained. So overwhelmed. All I can think about right now is how I don’t have any pictures of Olive and me together. And now there will start to be pictures of Olive and The New and Horrible One. And that really, really depresses me.

There is something both hilarious and terrible about being in tears for most of the evening while a movie called ‘LOL’ plays in the background (the French original, not the Miley Cyrus remake, for the record).

Here’s hoping my face isn’t too puffy for interactions with Camilla Lackberg tomorrow. Because apparently my current tactic in the Game of Briar’s Life is throwing myself into more work than is sensible.

I miss my darling Lolla. I miss that whole part of my then-life, those evenings and afternoons on the Shore. The first Gecko Press book I ever bought was a present for her. Zou and the Box of Kisses. I organised the presents, then, I made the suggestions. One of her particularly precious toys is a stuffed zebra. So it was perfect.

And now I’m down-country, and there’s going to be a new name tagged onto Dom’s name when he goes visiting his sisters, and it absolutely breaks my heart. More than anything else, in this moment, to be honest . I haven’t yet been able to bear putting up the pictures that I have from her and Felix.

Did you know that among all the rest of the eateries, Cuba Street is home to two cafes that happen to be called Olive and Felix? And remember that the daily newspaper in Wellington is the Dominion Post – AKA the Dom?

Escape in the form of someone new really needs to come and sweep me off my feet with Camera Obscura songs, or something.

held

i meant to find some comfort in the keyboard, finding myself awake later than i should
borderline hyperventilation, reliving moments best left to the past, ill-chosen reminders
for every word of reassurance, this too shall pass, you are so strong
once in a while the breakdown, the relinquishing of control to that baser part
known for its lingering, its fears, its dread – it descends and the wind outside will not dislodge it
the rise and fall, lost in the trough where bad dreams feed and breed
the but, the every but that comes to mind
so easily shot down, words are wind, since this is some strange fantasy after all
alms given in casual words
he told me i lacked empathy, smug and meditative
i told him empathy is why i’m still here

sometimes my illness makes me feel strong
sometimes i tell myself that it is what has led me to this place
that it is no bad thing to have your path drawn in strange ways
better sense tells me that it was not health that drove me this way
in goals and in dreams
but it is what i owe my unhappiness to
directly, indirectly, every day, looking at scars
a constant thrum of malcontent
no end in sight, just a lifetime of people telling me
how strong, how brave, how inspirational
and waiting for the next drug or op
i do not want sympathy
i just want to be better
i want to have energy so that i may be able to live
i want to not live in fear, or less of it at least
i want to not have to use this page
as a diary or a one-sided counsel
i just want to be better.

raw

pink is the colour
of bare, fresh skin
not yet ready
to be touched by
the airs and the graces
of the world
it is the colour
of strange hair
bleached and stained
in a fit of madness
again and again
until it defines
the unloved
pink is the colour
of love and of hope
a thousand cards
for mid february
sent between lovers
with soaring hearts
the colour of childhood
for half of us
at least
dainty shoes and socks
kicked about
tossed asunder
for nobody wishes
to be so constrained
pink for pain
for madness
for heartache
for reverting
to childhood
because i do not know
how to live

stolen from us

when minds have changed
filtered through years and
whispered words
grown to believe in goodness
in the dark
grown to believe in letting go
and moving on
and leaving the lost
behind
sitting on a bed
in a room
in a faraway place
where the people
who once were there
have been stolen away
and all that’s left
is that void
to curse into
that the future and
friends
have been
stolen from us

another cliff

her hope is her
lifeline and she
clings to it
so tightly
hands calloused
with fear and
with uncertainty
each day he
wears away at it
little by little
the marks show
as tiny scratches
on arms and legs

the day she realises
there is no hope
will be the day she
is released
and behind her
hair will stream
on the wind
as she plunges
gracefully
into the depths
and onto the breeze