Axis

I feel like the Earth
Spinning faster than we dare to see
So fast you can’t feel it

Days are like seconds to me
Blurred
Rapidly thrown in and out of the light
Plunged into darkness that seems to last for days
Only to be cast back into the sun’s eyes once more

Movement is steady, routine
but I never feel safe on my axis
I worry I’ll wear it down
And one day it will snap


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I keep finding myself
Going back
To the places I associate
With you
And him
And them
As if to overwrite the memory
Clear some disk space
But I am not a machine
However hard I try to rewire myself
Instead, I’m forming layers
Organic growth
I’ll paint each leaf
As they press together
A stronger shield
Than a simple rewrite


The Townley Venus

The first time I saw Venus
The Townley Venus at the British Museum
I was overthrown

Her stomach, gentle curvature
Arms risen in strength and fullness
Exposing a body, proud 

But -

She does not look like the models I’ve seen
inmagazinesadvertsonthetrainsbusesposters
billboardseverywhereyoulookeverywhereyougo
youalwaystaketheweatherwithyou
I carry a heavy cloud of shame
- my body does not match theirs

Perhaps, with Venus, I recognised for the first time
My reflection - formed in similar fashion -
Replicated in stone
Standing tall
Not hidden beneath the baggy t-shirts I so
frequently adorn myself with
But naked
And open
For all to see

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Now -

Just a reminder…

Venus is the second planet from the Sun
The only planet named after a female God
A God whose functions encompass love, beauty, desire, 
sex, fertility, prosperity, victory
Born of sea-foam
Lover
Mother to all

Her depictions are many; all full-fleshed and rounded

So -

Why do I feel the urge to cut off my own skin
Carve myself down to bone
To mirror something I am not

When this Goddess, the symbol of life
Looks like that?


Wax

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My days are melting
down like wax
and merging together
in a thick, muddy pool

I'm losing my months

I feel like a fly
drowning in the mess

I try to climb up the candlestick
but my feet trap themselves in the
paraffin

So I warm my wings on the fragile flames
and try to learn how to swim


Furrows

Display the beauty
It’s always the same
But this place is sewn up with pain
It’s in the walls and all over your face

I find your footsteps entrenched in the
furrows of my brain
I dig you out like the daughter I am
But you hate the closure
Picking at the wound
I left it too long
I left too soon


Feathers

I was told
that I was a bird
with a song too bold
for my own good

But

I'll wear my red and bloodied
breast with pride
Because I'd rather sing my soul
away
Until nothing but the bare bones
remain
Than hide in the comfort of
dull feathers


Process

Swallow your bitterness
Absorb the pain
Until your body processes it
Uses it for fuel
And it makes you stronger


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I rented a heart that was not mine

For a week, I lived in it's warm,
central-heated apartment
I made real coffee in the morning
and slept on soft sheets at night
I read books, wrote music and laughed
with my father over the phone

When the tenancy was up, I couldn't
bear to return the key
Now homeless
Evicted
from stolen property


There is a sudden recognition of shape
Like sea-fog clearing
or an archaeologist brushing away
loose earth

There is a strengthening of identity
Like a second coat of paint

I found you, self
We got lost for a while but
you came back to me
in the end


London Bridge

Stone holds memories
Shadows
Imprinted on layers of dust, smoke
and ash
The water moves beneath
and the city crosses over
Thousands of footsteps, there for
each small moment, gone as
quickly as they came

But look closer
at the history embedded in the bridge
It stands strong, despite it all


I walk out onto the clean, wooden stage
and clap my hands once
The echo races through the theatre
and dies a slow, weary death

It joins the list of lost things
Like tears, long dried
under a white lead mask
I raise my hands
and smear the charcoal over my eyes
down my cheeks
across my mouth
until they rest on my throat

Disappear myself - the final trick
Sit back and watch me go


Dust

Heat in my heart
Slow burn
Gradually clearing up the dust
in my head
The particles hit the flames
like flies to electric light
But instead of a dull thud
- buzz
and quick death,
the electricity conducts
each speck ignites
A chemical cloud lights up
fizzing and alive
My own Frankenstein creation
Monster dust


I didn't realise how lonely I was
until surrounded by strangers and friends
rendered incapable of connecting to
anything

Of course, three drinks down, I fall into
the part
acting up // performing // master of the
art of      "social interaction"
the networking queen
but the taste in my mouth is sterile
Bleached clean


A walk in the rain
Cleansed my mind of the mud
and fodder
that was blocking its pores

I could breathe
but only through earthen-smoked filters
Drugged by my own being
Having fallen in love
with this tragic cocoon


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I see blue
whenever I turn my head
Fall in
to the sea of cloud where I have
made my bed

I see below
you're running on the ground
I long to know
'Cause if you let me float
I'm coming down


Ready

Restless feet make minds electric
Caffeine adrenaline coursing
through my veins

Shivering hands
I clasp my own fingers
Lock them together like
rope formed of skin

Skin rope

Canvas

My body is longing to be
formed, painted, designed


Your hands held my head

Fingers moved across my face
like a blind man's
Learning me

I could stroke your hair
for hours
to give you what you need

I leave you dishevelled
Walking through the new sunlight
in my black coat


Are these claws or webbed feet?

Are you holding on,
fighter
hunter;
it's all a balancing act

Some circus tightrope performance

In the mirror
on the street
inside your head


Thank you for the bruises
and thank you for the kisses
Thank you for what you left in me
and what you took from me

Thank you for what you made me forget
and thank you for the reminder
that eyes that have grown older
are eyes that have grown blinder

Thank you for the lullaby
and thanks for the alarm
Thank you for the comfort
of a knife I can't disarm

Thank you for the food you fed
as I was lying still
I know that I'll come back for more
even though it made me ill

Thank you for the bones you broke
while taking off the cast
Thank you for the salt that you
produced to quench my thirst

Thank you for unconsciously
destroying my resolve
and building it back up
a little stronger than before

Thank you for the silence
and your softly spoken words
For pretending not to hear
what I was hoping to be heard

Thank you for the swiftness of
your final fatal blow

The pain is sudden and still 


Hard concrete made wet
by soft rain
We are not so stony as we seem
My particles are porous
and secretly long
for the liquid caress
I appear to disdain


Crow

I am a crow 

My black soul proud plumage sharp
mind sharp beak sharp tongue black
eye

Wrap me up in a songbird’s body,
but inside I am a crow


Old news

After a while, it becomes numb

Ringing in my ears

Wet face. Breathe heavy

Tissues on the floor

I retreat. Close up. Reverse bloom

I cannot speak 

Eyes ache, head aches, body aches 

I tremble. The familiarity scares me
My thoughts scare me
My (lack of) ideas scare me

No words 

Breathe through mouth. Fill lungs, release

Clean face, soothe sore skin 

Avoid talking 

The clock ticks, the phone vibrates, my mind aches

The numbness doesn’t pass until I sleep 


I love getting the train out of London

Sitting backwards and watching it all move away

The city’s outline in the distance

Reminds me just how much I want to stay


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The sun melts me down into
a mouldable form

I feel flexible - ready for warm hands
to move me
in any direction

This malleability is the strongest state;
I cannot be broken
for I can bend
I cannot be trapped
for I can contort

Watch me - I’m Houdiniesque -
no amount of chains
or water chambers will hold me in


Hands are dry
Untouched
Caress-less
Wrapped in permanent
invisible gloves


The yo-yo

Up and down. High and low

It’s fucking relentless

Let me stay in one place, centralise,
just for a moment, please

A chance to catch my breath

It falls down, gravity sucking it, like some
huge vacuum in my stomach
gut
feet melt through the floor

I hibernate beneath the cold earth, slowly numb
a sleeping ghost

Then, like elastic, a huge force propels me up
and I’m floating, flying, it’s brilliant but reckless
because I’ve nothing to hold on to
- no wings, no craft - just me -
and then I’m free-falling 

The wind catches my fragile, movable body
and throws it around like a dead leaf
Its inevitable destination though,
is the ground