Category Archives: Uncategorized

A conversation: Or, being loved and being mad 2013

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I want to tell you what is wrong but words are so flat and two-dimensional and no matter how much I try to explain and describe what goes on in my head it never makes sense to anyone
I don’t even know how to shape it or say it or metaphor or anything
Trying to do so makes me want to laugh because my brain has no way of dealing with it, no reaction to what I feel, no recognisable emotion.
I keep going to people to get them to understand to help or to understand but it’s never there, I can describe all the other things all the symptoms and the side-affects but that one thing that really gets to me it never comes up and is never seen or described and I feel very, very broken.
I don’t like looking at the world and I like being close to you because you shut it all out, the dark shuts it out and I’d go lie down but then I’d not have anything to distract from the things in my head and they’d play over and over and over and over again and get louder and hotter and more pressing until I just want to claw my own brains out
I simultaneously want to exist and don’t because it just taints everything I see and do and feel
There’s a barrier between me and everyone else and I don’t know what it is, I can’t figure out what this thing is that makes me react differently, why I don’t understand or why they don’t understand or why it happens or why I feel like this and I don’t know what to do or who to tell or how
Everything that comes out of my mouth when I talk about these things feels like a lie so I’m typing it because typing it stays true, the moment I hear it it’s fucked.
I love you, you know.

 

I love you too, with all of me. No matter what you think or feel, I love you, Chanel.

 

How are they going to fix it if they don’t even know it’s going on?
If I can’t tell them what it is how will they know? I’m going to be locked inside like this forever unless someone has a;lijgsigjsjkg enough to know anyway and I don’t trust anyone enough to believe them.

 

Trust me. Over time, through typing, verbal or image. We’ll get through it together. And if needed, ill be your voice if or when the time comes.

 


I feel like if I speak or look at you or do anything then all this will suddenly be un-true.
I feel okay though, I needed to say all that and now I want to do something else but I’m kinda a little bit stuck.

 

How about we go lay in bed, you can look the other way and I’ll comfort and snuggle you.

 

Fidgety, nothing to do in bed. Wanna game instead?

 

Sure, what game

 

Masquerade.
Or portal
Or something like that

 

Suck some blood dolls ;0)

 

Okay. Can talk through Steam too.

 

Tea?

 

YES. YESYESYESYESYES
And thankyou for this. I am glad you understand.

 

Anything for you, anytime, my love.

Minotaur and Other #Dramatic Poems.

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I lay with your weight upon me and
All I could see was a hand that was not my own
Stroking your shoulders, dazedly, hazily
An echo of my own movements
And I could have screamed.

There’s a heaviness on me that now
(in your absence) feels fuller than you did
I’d push my fingers through the flesh above my breasts
And tear them from my body
But I cut my nails in preparation
For this just in case.

Hands in my mouth
Pushing from the inside out
A retching that never ends and chokes me
And stifles
And ruins
And mangles
And I heave

In my mind my body can be discarded
A heavy overcoat made sticky with wet and slow rot
I’d grasp my heart and wrench it
And fling it from my chest in one great gasp
And be free again of you.

A snarl rises now and I bare my teeth
Expressions of an animal shape
You savaged inside me
Where ‘girl’ and ‘good’ and ‘whole’
And other such words once
Shaped this creature I called me.

Cavities and wretchedness and rage
And hanging flesh describe now
The minotaur you made of me.


It always amused me
When they- you- never considered me dark enough.
I always wondered what enough could be-
Did it have to be blackness and exhaustion,
An obsession with the sucking absence of light?

I am a thing of flowers,
I love a queen of flowers,
And both of us in our petalled glory have the taste of
Death
On our lips.
In my body an aching inch of time,
A slow decay,
A steady treading from spring to summer,
Summer to autumn,
Autumn to inevitable winter.

I always felt your darkness to be stagnant.
What is the dark without the bright,
The life, the living,
The brilliant dazzle of energy you work so hard
To forget?

Beautiful Persephone,
Immortal and mortal in her own way,
Taught me darkness like language.
Every breath a word, progression,
Marking a step toward the finish line.

We are all the living dead.
Flowers plucked and wilting.
She in her mistold tales
Rose from her kidnapping to become queen of the underworld.
Bruised pomegranate in veritas:
Vanitas, memento mori;
She is both alive and not alive;
She is thriving life and enduring death.

And so am I.
And so am I.


 

It’s like memories
Slipping my hands across your chest
Up your throat
Pressing and feeling you let me

Arms pressed down against the sheets, scrunching maybe, but still
Resistance-less, I press, and watch
And release to see the parting of your lips
As you take a breath.

Memories that never happened,
They’re rich like the chocolates I never ate
Or maybe I did
I think that I did,
They were wet and foul and turned my stomach
But they were something
And I swallowed.

The touch of your tongue to your teeth
Is particularly endearing.
I fantasise often
About the trust it would take to let me hurt you.

It has always been about trust.

Always memories that never happened-
Backward and forward in time.

There is discomfort in this confession.
It’s not pleasure. It’s not sex.
Understand that this format is never poetry,
Understand that these forms are timed
Linked to
Tied up within
My hesitations,
Each new line a caught breath,
An ache in my throat,
Waiting for fear to crest and ease
Or for my stomach to stop turning.

In my mimicry of you,
It’s your tears that pique my interest like
No one else’s.
In my mirrors and reflections I can see
This is not what you want.

But this is in you, too.

Red Dust Lover

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I wrote this in response to this beautiful post by @inkskinned.
It started off as a comparison between ‘seasons’ for the rest of the world and the Australian seasons. It ended up becoming a sort of therapeutic self-love thing. My healthy self writing about my sick self. Shh.


When they say their lovers are like the seasons, it takes me a moment to remember that their seasons are not like mine. I’ve never thought of her as being like the seasons- but then, I have, I have, I’ve thought it to myself on quiet nights when I watch her sleep, her expressive face stilled, body sanguine, naked, uncovered. Sweat-slick at 3 am we do not touch, the overhead fan creaking with exertion. Our seasons are not divided into quarters. There is no clear winter in her, no autumn, no falling golden leaves.

My love, she’s red dust and blooming acacia. She’s a wide sandy grin on the coast at sunset, in September, when it’s warm enough to swim but not hot enough to coax the cicadas into song. Her laughter is the creaking of the gum trees, and her kisses, her whispers, are the susurrus rippling through their leaves. She is soft and precious, like the orchids we find on our evening walks.

By November there’s a cloying stickiness to her love. She grasps for my hands despite the humidity and overhead the clouds rumble. It’s hard enough to breathe and like the flies she clings to me and I slick her from my skin- I love her, yes, I love her, please, enough, enough already, enough!
The sky flashes and over the crashing waves I hear her thunder, a crack in the depths of her that shakes the windows of my soul. Unbeknownst to me, lightning far away strikes bright the first bushfire of the season.

As quickly as they came, the storms pass, seemingly overnight. Left in their wake is a dryness that yellows grass and leaves me rasping in her presence. Her eyes are hard. Her voice is something crueller than cold. At least cold is wet, at least ice will soothe the parched lips of the lonely and the lost. I seek her but I am blinded by the brilliant light of her; I reach for her and find only vapour. She is a mirage, far from me, beautiful and devastating. The crispness of her conversation pricks me. Her barbs hook and catch and carry with me through the days.
We fall to silence. It’s too hot, too dry, for me to speak.

She burns.
We are taught in summer to clear a boundary around all we hold dear. We strip the land of life, we soak it with water, we plan our escape. We burn in advance. We pray that this year we will be passed over for the inevitable destruction. I follow the guidelines as closely as I can, careful to maintain control as I lay my boundaries before her. The silence is stifling. Across my lonely distance I watch her tremble in the sunlight.
When finally she does erupt, the flames are devastating. She is summer in full swing: the fire in her obliterates all it touches, and spreads, and devours. She rages without cease. Charred scars remain wherever she sweeps, smoke billowing on the horizon, and when her gaze settles on me I am already choking long before I feel the searing pain.

When January comes, and it does quite suddenly, I find her smouldering in the remains of all we built together. Her face is streaked with ashes. She is dripping, almost extinguished, no longer considered a threat now that there is nothing left for her to burn. She looks about herself like a child. She doesn’t know why she razed so much. She doesn’t even know what sparked the onslaught. All she knows is that it began, and raged, and ended.

More fires spark, here and there, as the months cool, but none of them with anything of the devastation of her summer fury. We sift through the remains of last year’s world, listing the names of those lost, salvaging memories. We lift water to eachother’s lips as the cleansing rains sweep in again. The Doctor, that ocean breeze named for the relief it brings, cools our skin. I hold her as she trembles through the shock of cold nights. I braid white wildflowers in her hair with each new day.
Those who survived the bushfires return. They survey the damage just as we did and a few of them leave, finding little worth saving. Those who do remain, however, band together. They help us rebuild.
In March, when the heat finally breaks, she sobs an apology.
They chuckle gently and murmur, “This is part of loving you.”

You don’t live in Australia and expect safety. You take the suffocating heat and deadly summers with the balmy days and sweet blue beaches. I love her even though she is like the seasons because when April and May roll around, bursts of hardy green break the scorched earth. Seeds released in the flames- seeds that are only released in the flames- sprout and bring new life to the ragged landscape. Our autumn and winter are not seasons of death and stillness. They are rich with new life. They are the salve to the aching wounds of our summers. They are resilient beauty, thriving in the chaos.

And there is nothing more beautiful than my red dust lover after the burn.

Re: Grief and That Painting

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(Painting by Matthew Jackson)

There’s this thing in my head that I can’t quite put into words, and I’m not entirely sure I want to.
I originally wrote this in my journal. It’s that kind of personal.

But I feel now that I have to say something, to explain why I can’t accept… I don’t know. I have to speak.

It’s buried too far in, somewhere cool and dark and private. I want to talk about it sometimes but I can’t. It’s too personal, too raw. Just writing about it feels like I’m glorifying or dramatising it and maybe that’s why I keep quiet about it. I don’t want to soil this truly, painfully raw thing with the dressing of the world. I don’t want it to be seen or heard or witnessed by anyone but those who understand and appreciate it.

There’s this painting dad created, of he and I at the candlelight vigil after Rachelle’s death. He shared it on facebook and I feel exposed- not so much in a malicious, malignant way, but like my tragic superhero backstory is just there for anyone to see.

Except they don’t.

Captured in that painting is the precious aching real thing in me and none of them can see it, can understand. I can’t call it beautiful. I see myself in it in clearer detail than I see myself in the mirror.

A sees it, A understands, but she’s like me. It’s this common thread between us, our traumatised childhoods and our terminally ill parents. L has it too. This thing, this quiet, bleeding thing, but because it’s ours we never speak of it. It’s not done. It’s barely even acknowledged.

It’s like it’s secret, but it’s not. Rather, it’s secreted away. Protected. It’s the core of our beings, an integral component to our makeup, and we carry it in our breasts the way Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne carry theirs: In plain sight, where nobody can see it.

And even with this post, it’s still perfectly, silently mine.

Emotional Landscapes

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Sometimes I feel as though I am blinded by emotion. As though each feeling is a shaft of light, and I have the brightest torch shining directly at my eyes. I find my way through a world I can’t see, as I am seeing too much of it all at once- I let my hands guide me, I knock my shins and stub my toes and stumble at the edge of the stage. I reach out and I grasp on to others as though their movements through a world I cannot see will keep me from the pain and confusion I am experiencing. It doesn’t, naturally. Most of the time I just end up hurting them as well. I’ll either hold on to them too tightly, or pull them down with me when I fall.
I can’t see. That is, I can’t feel the world through my emotions. I feel altogether too much all at once. I can’t even tell what direction the ‘light’ is coming from, only that I am dazzled and overwhelmed. I could close my eyes and block out the light entirely, but then, that would just be another kind of blindness. It would be more comfortable but also dark, a self-imposed impairment to my senses. I am afraid of the dark. I fear it would leave me cold and helpless. I have been experimenting with closing my eyes but they have been open for so long now that doing so hurts just as much. I am not very good at feeling nothing. It’s a little too much like being nothing, and when you can imagine what the world looks like without you in it… things start to get dangerous.
People like me are landmines for those who can moderate their emotions. I understand why we are to be avoided. When every feeling is like an unexpected camera flash it gets tiresome quickly. You have to be ready to be a stumbling block and a makeshift ladder, simultaneously the thing that trips us up and keeps us from falling. I understand, I truly do.
What I am learning now, however, is that it’s not the effort people are afraid of. It’s the exposure. If we can’t see, we find our way through our other senses. We feel everything or nothing. When I am with someone, I have to learn their thoughts and feelings by touch. I can’t keep my distance, because otherwise you might as well not even be there. You are wiped out, just like the rest of the world. To be emotionally involved with me, you have to be as emotionally exposed as I am. Think of an encounter with someone where instead of just looking at you, they have to touch you to identify you. There is no personal space. You can’t maintain a respectable and respectful distance. If they are to see you, they have to touch you, and that is the way it is with me and those like me. We cannot see you, only feel you. We are contagious raw nerves, live wires, wild hands searching in the bright light or the unfathomable dark.
Who in their right minds could stand to be as exposed as we are? As I am?
Who could handle that kind of intimacy and honesty, when it’s so obvious to those who watch us flailing about in our blindness that we are obviously completely out of control?
I wish I could describe the relief that comes with having a piece of the world take shape when I’ve been stumbling blindly for so long. I wish I could describe what it’s like to feel the world through another person, to run my metaphorical hands over their emotional landscapes. How much trust and wonder and joy and fear there is in touching other human beings. What it’s like to have friends and loved ones who dance close and then away again, so all you experience of them are flickers and flutters and temporary brushes against your extended fingertips. That when you’re not directly connected to them, you can’t tell where they are or if they’re even there at all.
Not to mention finding someone else as blinded as you are, and the emotional overload that comes with two people trying to experience eachother all at once. From nothing to everything, or everything to nothing? It’s madness.
Those of us who don’t break our necks navigating the emotional wilderness learn to live in a world so full of sensory information that we lose our senses. We learn to survive. We learn how to guess where someone is in our world without touching them, even though we crave to know them. I am trying to learn. I’m trying to find that strange thing people call self-respect that to me just seems like loneliness. Maybe one day I’ll stand on my own and not have to grasp the arms of those near to me to be sure of who they are.
I have to admit, I don’t want to. I want to touch the minds and hearts of everyone I meet. I want to learn who they are, to feel them, to feel with them.
I hope one day someone will be brave enough to let me.
In the mean time, I’m trying to be okay being alone.

But you don’t look…

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I’m borderline, bipolar, and autistic.
You’d think that between those three, there wouldn’t be any common ground. There is, oddly enough, a lot of shared symptoms and triggers- but that’s not my point. The commonality I want to talk about today isn’t what happens in my brain, it’s what happens in other people’s brains.

The most common phrase I hear is, “But you don’t look…”
But you don’t look autistic.
But you don’t look bipolar.
But you don’t look borderline.

The question I always want to ask in return is, “Well, what did you expect me to look like?”

I’ve had people think that I’m too smart to be autistic, too kind to be borderline, and altogether too human (I know, right?) to be bipolar. I’m expected to be completely socially inept, or emotionally manipulative, or downright violent.
These are signs of social stigma, not of who or what I am.

Autism is a spectrum. It varies wildly from person to person, and even then, from situation to situation. Personally, I feel like an alien much of the time, because unspoken rules go right over my head. I’ve had to learn most of them, and I’m still finding many that I don’t know about.
Moving house with another human? How the hell do you navigate that?
Most of my noticeable autistic traits are more to do with sensory differences. I find great pleasure in simple things like fur and water. I struggle immensely with loud crowds, because I can’t differentiate between noises. Sometimes it hurts, and I’ll cry.
I have never been violent.

Borderline personality disorder is a tougher one.
I’ve had many, many people- too many, really- tell me that when they first met me, they kept their distance. Apparently I surprised them by not being a cruel, aggressive, emotional wreck of a person.
Borderline has a terrible reputation for extreme and vicious mood swings, irrational overreaction, and manipulation taken to sociopathic levels.
What it actually is, is a rawness of emotion. We feel everything very intensely, and yes, there are a few of us who explode and take this pain straight to the perceived source: you. The main aspects of BPD are intense fears of abandonment, problems with self-identity, and suicidal ideation.
NOT, as most people have come to think of it, bunny-boiling serial killer women or sad-eyed Winona Ryder having adventures with a psychopath.
I am not an external borderline. I used to be, long before medication and therapy, but much of my borderline traits are and have always been internalised. Rather than hurt other people, I am more inclined to hurt myself- and I haven’t self harmed in a very long time.
I have never been violent.

Finally, bipolar.
Extended periods of mania and depression.
Why does bipolar have such a negative reputation?
You know what I do when I have manic episodes? I spend a lot of money, and then I clean the house at five am. Really, manic me is amazing. Last time I was manic, I studied basic chemistry for three days straight. The only thing I harm when I’m manic is my bank account.
When depressed, I’m just… Well, depressed. Everyone knows the basics of depression.

I’m running out of steam here, but that’s because my brain has been playing with words all day and needs a break. I’ll cut to the chase in a moment.

The point I’m trying to make is maybe I don’t look mental because you don’t know what that looks like. We are just people. We aren’t more dangerous, more hurtful, more self-involved than any other person. If anything, we’re more likely to hurt ourselves.

Apparently yesterday was Bipolar Day, and I figure that something needs to be said. Maybe the reason I don’t look the way you expect is because you’re looking for something that’s not there.

I’m tired of being told I don’t look autistic/borderline/bipolar.
Because I do. This is what it looks like.
Just a person, just like you.

Yield

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At first I am unsettled when she grasps that mop of copper curls and tugs it from her head. What I had thought was her hair had been a wig- Instead she sports a full head of soft, mouse-brown hair, unevenly cut and shaggy towards the ends. Her lips as she swipes the lipstick from them are not bloody red but ashen pink, and her long neon nails come off with a click to reveal chewed stubs. I sit awkwardly alone in her living room as she excuses herself to shower, studying the mismatched pillows and threadbare throw rugs until she returns plain looking but no less intense. Soap removed much of her magic, yet she remains enthralling still, scrubbed clean and softly perfumed. Gone is the dizzy party girl. The woman who stands before me now, wrapped in a silk dressing gown with dripping hair tossed about her shoulders, has a different kind of presence. She is quiet, and strong. She seems to make the room fold about her, instead of simply inhabiting it, and she looks at me as if she knows what I am seeing.

I swallow.

She makes us tea, and we sit and drink in silence, observing each other. Her possessive gaze unsettles me and I avoid eye contact, peering about myself at her tiny, lavish house. The glasses are small and intricate. “My father bought them in Azerbaijan,” She whispers, reverentially, as she peers into the depths of hers. “I have never been, but I am told their tea is legendary.”

I nod silently in agreement, as if Azerbaijani tea is something I know much about. She doesn’t seem to notice, or perhaps she simply doesn’t care. The tea is bittersweet.

When the cups are empty we leave them to cool on the table top, reflecting the faux-firelight in gold and cherry-red.  I lean forward to admire them but she wastes no time, catching hold of my shoulders and planting kisses beneath my throat. We fall wordlessly against each other, stripping, exploring, kissing and gasping. We make love on the floor for hours, catching our breaths on orgasms, writhing and rolling, feline in our ministrations. Her tongue is pointed; my fingers are wet. When we are exhausted we curl around each other and stare, still silent, preserving the sanctity of what we had just done.

I am hypnotised by her. Hours could pass; Days, weeks, months could pass, and I would lie there, unknowing, uncaring, lost in her. I can’t read her face, her eyes half-lidded but attentive. After a moment she shifts, burrowing her face against my knee.

Kisses punctuate her ascent along my leg and she pushes me gently until I unfold beneath her, stretched sanguine. She breathes against my breasts; her hair tickles my sides.

“I want to paint you.” Lifting her head, those heated green eyes catching mine and holding them, she murmurs with inescapable authority. “I am going to paint you.”

Far from the fire she leads me, into the cooler parts of the house, along winding limb-like hallways and past coloured doors with mismatched handles.

I am shivering when she topples me into the studio with more kisses, impatient kisses, and closes the door.

The Something

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(This was a piece of flash fiction for a class, posted here… Just ’cause.)

She felt it crawling under her skin sometimes.

No, not crawling. Inflating. Filling. Making a husk of her flesh and inhabiting the space beneath, as if her bones were exhaling a living room for an uninvited guest. Her bones, those slender things that, for the moment, jittered with the movements of tiny birds trapped within them. She wanted to move and they moved. She wanted to scratch and they would scratch. They supported like branches the pounds of fat and nerves that hung from her, a skin-tight ball gown.

It certainly wasn’t a malevolent presence. It was almost loving. It wanted the best for her. It wanted to wear her skin, to gaze from her eyes, to breathe with her lungs. It grew tired of slouching heavily at the back of her mind and sometimes enjoyed traversing the tingling hallways of her body, entering the rooms of her hands and feet as if the doors weren’t locked to anyone but her. It was polite. It was curious. She felt it counting scars, indexing old wounds and new, and taking note of missed meals or nights not slept through. It never took control from her, instead acting as a shadow, a temporary delay between impulse and action. It had purpose and intent but acquiesced to her will, her needs, her desires. She became a garden, tended gracefully by an inhabitant she’d never quite welcomed, but didn’t wish to evict.

It felt like power.

It felt like strength.

But whose strength? Whose power? All she could feel was numb. She became jealous of it and the way it had strength, and she did not. How dare it have power within her body, a power she could not access? When the presence was there, it made her birds sing. When it was not there, they fell silent. They would not flutter to make her bones jump and shake. She would lie in bed for days, angry at the something for disappearing. She began to fear it would not return, but it would always come back: heavy at first, sleepy in her hind-brain, slowly extending a limb into her limb, lending life to her living tissue.

It guided her hands, for simple things at first: it would brush her teeth, comb her hair, gather her body in all its fragility and bundle it into a warm, soapy bath. As she soaked it would return to its perch in her head and run stocktake, tracking what happened in its absence, coaxing her to remember the day, the date, the year. It reminded her: Frangipani. Oak trees. Bubbles. Chocolate cake. Mother, father, sister. Libraries. Guinea pig sounds.

A day came when, angry and frightened it would not return, she tried to cut it out with a kitchen knife. It seemed better to cut it out and know, than to always wonder. It had been there all day and she couldn’t bear to be without it again, and she was certain that it would leave. It would hurt her. The something was polite. It unfolded from her mind and slid through her body again, bringing with it strength and power. For the first time, it used that strength, that power.

Together, they put the knife down.

Deletion of Posts

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Hey, quick update,

I’m entering a few pieces into a local writing competition, so I’ve had to delete those posts for the moment.

I’ll put them back up as soon as the competition has closed, mmkay?

 

Sorry for my silence recently. I haven’t been writing too much quality stuff- trying to finish that pesky novel draft and keep up with schoolwork.