prosetry

Wild Horses

​You mix my medication into a pot of strawberry yoghurt and instruct me on how to eat. Open. Come on. That’s it. No, don’t chew it, it’s yoghurt, just get it down ya. There’s a good girl.

My phone is ringing but I can’t locate the source of the noise. It hurts to move my eyeballs. You find my phone and see who is calling me: it’s the guy that you’re (quite rightly) suspicious about. You pretend you didn’t notice who called but I see your aura change colour and you exhale too sharply.

I start shouting about needing a cigarette. You find my cigs and lighter and slowly walk me to the balcony. You light me up and hold me back, away from the edge. I keep dropping my cigarette. I cry. I ask you where the moon is and you tell me that it’s up there somewhere but it’s hiding.

You carry me to bed and manage to remove the chandeliers that are threaded through my ear-lobes. I am suddenly aware that I ought to brush my teeth but I don’t have the strength and the idea leaves me as quickly as it arrived. I don’t know what day it is and I don’t care. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know who you are. I don’t know where I am. What is this? I just need everything to stop. What is this?! I don’t like it. I don’t like this one bit. You magically produce a syringe of morphine. I am so happy to see you. I tell you that I love you.

You arrange my body into the recovery position and tell me that I’m safe, that everything’s going to be fine, that when I’m better we’ll go to the seaside, that I don’t need to apologise, that you’re here to look after me. I ask you if we can adopt some sugar gliders instead of having kids. I don’t know what your reply was, if you even replied at all, but I’m sure you would’ve said yes, of course darling, because you love me too much.

I remember you smoothing my hair and whispersinging the lyrics to Wild Horses to me until I fell asleep. Wild horses couldn’t drag you away from me. But I fear that my sicknesses might cause you to walk away, voluntarily, gladly, thankfully. That, or I’ll drag you down with me. Either way, it’s not looking pretty, and I am disappointed when I wake up with a pulse 28 hours later.

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poetry

The Swim

Immersing myself in the blues
that would usually make me sink
usually make me drown
I dive in, unafraid, brave
leaving depression in locker 8E
heartbreak standing naked and shivering
on the concrete edge, grief wrapped up in a towel
washing paranoia out of my hair and misery off my skin
with every stroke I am light and almost carefree
in this controlled, contained, waveless sea
pulsating frog legs
counting
breathing
in, two, three, out, two, three
it doesn’t matter who is faster
than me and my dwindling lung capacity
I am so very nearly free
inhaling chemicals in a legal way
tears made of chlorine not melancholy
in, two, three, out, two, three
no time to think, only to breathe
and push on, further, stronger
the girl sits upon her throne in the sky
the guy patrols the perimeter
with their matching red t-shirts
matching whistles
matching sports watches
they watch me
in, two, three
and guard my life
out, two, three
these strangers who exist solely to save me
they are employed to ensure
that I am safe
that I do not die:
I think that I need them everywhere
all of the time.

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life

Insane? Contain, Restrain, Detain

Knock Knock Knock Knock

*male voices*

Is this the one?

Yeah.

Knock Knock Knock

*opens door a fraction*

Yeah? What do you want?

We’ve received a call from a member of the public and a call from one of your neighbours expressing concerns about your welfare, can we come in?

What? No. You fucking can’t.

Come on. It’s just me and my colleague Jerry, we want a little chat.

No thanks, you’re alright.

Right, come on, open up now, there’s a good girl.

I’m fine, seriously, piss off.

*sighs*

We can do this the easy way or the hard way.

You got a warrant?

No, but we have reason to believe that your safety and the safety of others may be compromised. We can either chat to you here or down at the station, it’s entirely up to you.

I’m a smart girl, I’d never be stupid enough to invite filth into my own home.

Fine, get some shoes on and we’ll take this down the nick.

Wankers. You’re never there when we actually need you yet you’re always there when you’re not welcome.

Yep. Could you also bring with you a list of any medication you’re taking.

Nope, because that would suggest that I’ll be in your company overnight, which is definitely not happening.

We’ll see about that.

Bastards.

Right, get your coat.

I’ve pulled?!

*Jerry laughs*

*Pig #1 does not laugh*

Hang on, what the hell’s happened here? What’s all this?

Hair dye.

Hair dye?

Hair dye.

Hair dye, Sir?

Jerry, go down and get the first aid kit will ya?

Sir.

If that’s hair dye then I’m the Queen of England.

Don’t flatter yourself.

Right, I’m gonna need you step outside of the property please. I’ve had enough of your lip.

Oi, don’t you fucking touch me. My father always told me never to go off with strange men.

*death stare*

I need to get changed, you can wait outside in the corridor, I’ll be 2 minutes.

Nope. Don’t think so.

I haven’t even done anything wrong, just go away!

I’m not letting you out of my sight, sweetheart.

CAN YOU PLEASE JUST FUCKING FUCK OFF. I NEED TO GET CHANGED AND I NEED THE TOILET. UNLESS YOU WANT TO WATCH ME CHANGE MY TAMPON, YOU SICK FUCK! GOD, you people really are the fucking worst. Just back the fuck up and I’ll be out in a minute, alright?

First aid kit, Sir.

Ah, Jerry. Right. Tell me. How did you hurt yourself? What did you use?

I didn’t. Nothing. And I’m no-one’s fucking sweetheart, by the way.

Have you taken anything today?

Why, what have you got? Anything good?

Are you currently in possession of any offensive weapons?

My mouth.

Are you currently in possession of any item or items which you could use to harm yourself or others?

Wait. Yeah.

What is it?

My wit. It’s pretty sharp.

*Jerry stifles a laugh*

Jesus wept. If you don’t tell me right now I’m going to have to cuff you for your own safety and for mine. Hands out.

This is ridiculous.

DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT LOCKING THAT BATHROOM DOOR, GODDAMMIT.

I’LL BE ONE FUCKING MINUTE, MY GOD.

Right, I’m going to count down from 10, if you’re not out here by the time I reach 0 I am going to break the door in, right?

Sure.

10

9

8

Jerry, radio 6423 and see if they’re local.

Sir.

5

4

Tell ’em we’ve got a live one.

3

LAST CHANCE MISSY.

2, 1!!!!

Jeeeeesus, keep your wig on!

Right, let’s go.

But why?

Follow Jerry. Go on. Watch your step.

Wait, please tell me we’re not driving… your Cop Shop is 150 yards across the road, surely your motor would be more useful out patrolling the streets catching genuine threats to society?

Get in the car.

Wow. Met Police, saving the planet, one unnecessary detainment at a time.

Mind your head.

This is getting silly. I haven’t actually done anything wrong.

But you will, which is why we’re intervening now before you do any major damage.

That is utter bollocks. And I’m supposed to be the insane one, hahahahahaha, you mad, mad bastards.

Sir, is there any point of taking her to the station? Can’t we go straight to the hospital, let them deal with her?

Errrrrrrrm, yeah actually, I’ve had enough of nutters for one day: good thinking, Batman.

Sir. What do I tell Chief?

Uhhhh, pfffffft, the usual spiel: too many injuries to accurately document, urgent medical attention required, high risk psych, station’s too busy and understaffed to deal with her, blah blah blah.

Okie dokie, thanks Sir, got it, Sir.

Hey, can I go for a fag while you do your paperwork?

No.

Why not?

Because I said so.

Please?

Nope.

Bastard.

Have you got your meds list?

I’ll write you a full meds list and list of my diagnoses, plus the names and numbers of my uncaring care workers and unsupportive support staff if you let me go for a fag. How’s about that?

No.

Andddd I’ll give you the correct phone number of my next of kin?

No chance.

Hmph. Hey, has anyone ever bled to death in the back of your fancy little cop car before? “Urgent medical attention required” and yet we’re just sitting here in the car park doing jack shit.

Put pressure on it.

Er, I’m pissing blood back here!

You’ll live.

Yeah. Sadly.

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art, fiction

all that remains is the smell of orange 

Untitled

art by geoff mcfetridge

She counts the chairs in our dining room, one, two, three, four, five, six. She points to each chair as if unconvinced, her brow furrowed in concern. She circles the dining table and counts the chairs again and again. One, two, three, four, five, six. I lose track of her revolutions. My leg begins to cramp, where I sit on the staircase, crouched in the shadows. I feel cold. It is later than I thought. But she is almost done. She touches the backrest of each chair. She grows weary now. When she collapses in a chair, I will bring her tea. She will take it and I will wonder as I always have if she ever thinks about where the tea comes from

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poetry

Pushin’ Up Daisies

remember, remember,
darling girl,
how we used to get so high
that we’d forget how words work?
when we’d skip class and run fast
to the nearest park
and sit for so many hours
side by side
making crowns out of pretty little flowers
until the sky grew cold and dark;

we built a cemetery for the fairies,
for all the nymphs and fallen pixies
who lived and played and died without names,
throwing bluebells on their tiny shallow graves
and blowing dandelion seeds
up into the pallid, omniscient cherry blossom trees,
willing to witness some dire catastrophe unfold
or see a ten-pound note fall from the sky
or find a gram of unknown powder
in a wrap upon the floor;
but this time
you wished for ice-cream
and I wished for sanity
but we always wanted more;

we shared the strangest friendship,
darling girl,
made good through bizarre displays
of varying degrees of crazy,
the mutual need for affirmation,
and the traditional teenage taste for rebellion
and adventures bearing stories that are
worthy of telling the grandchildren
(despite the fact we thought we’d never
make it to twenty-one)
but there was never anything wrong
with you,
darling,
was there?

I remember how you cried when your doctor
saw through your lies,
through your many attempts
to convince him that you had ADD,
how you cried when the child psychologist
diagnosed you as a spoilt little madam,
a bratty, self-absorbed little shit
who had a loving, wealthy family
but who threw tantrums to rival any toddler –
you were jealous of me
and my perpetual sadness
and my prozac and problems
and my grotesque, overflowing madness
where your life was pretty perfect;

you wished to be insane
to have an excuse for acting like a princess
to have an excuse for bunking off school
to have an excuse for breaking the law
but I would’ve swapped brains with you
any day. I bet you count your blessings
nowadays but I’ve heard that you are
still a fucking nightmare anyway;

but there we were
making bracelets after dark
in that shitty little park,
and so we’d stay until
there were no more flowers left to pick
and by the time the autumn had come around
our love lay crunched and broken
amongst the orange leaves
lying, dying, on the sodden ground;

who knew, darling girl,
who knew? that we were fragile too?
we were unstoppable
untouchable
unforgivable
once upon a time,
me and you against the world,
but even the brightest stars
someday have to die;

my blood is still within in your pretty veins
and your blood still swims in mine,
and I still have the scars from when
we were waiting outside a gig
down Chalk Farm that time,
playing noughts and crosses
on my forearm
with a penknife:
I think that I will always love you

our sisterhood fell apart as easily
as those daisy chains we used to make –
I guess even the most naive and beautiful connections
can be the simplest ones to break


Originally posted on themagicblackbook 23.06.16

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prosetry

“Strong and Sturdy”

The grotesque irony of realising that you do indeed need to be hospitalised for your own safety and others even though the psych ward is a fucking horrible place to be and you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy and you generally end up being discharged from hospital in a worse state than you were when you arrived and you do everything in your power to avoid hospitalisation at all costs but today is a really bad day and you’ve had a really bad week and a really bad life and you think “Shit, I should definitely be in hospital” and so you frantically attempt to gather together some of your meagre possessions even though you know most of them will be confiscated upon arrival and you’ll never see these pathetic objects again but you need to throw some stuff into a bag because that’s what people do when they’re going away for a while and you pick up the only fucking bag you can find which is one of those supermarket carry-all bags that cost 20p because they’re an investment and you can use them multiple times instead of complaining every time you pay 5p for one of those too-small flimsy plastic bags that fall apart under the weight of six cans of lager so you throw your big bag o’ meds and a jumper and a comb and a towel into this bag that they call a “Bag for Life” and you’ve laughed at the idea of that before how this Bag for Life will survive longer than you will even when it ends up festering in landfill or smothering a turtle in some faraway ocean and you look at the bag and it has a picture of an elephant on it that says “I’m strong and sturdy” and you laugh for about fifteen minutes about the tragic fucking irony of the bag being “strong and sturdy” when you are everything but strong and sturdy because you’re weak and unstable because bipolar is trying to kill you and you’re trying to kill you and then you begin to cry because your brain is too broken to remember if pachyderm is a word related to elephants or maybe it’s some kind of skin disease or maybe it’s not a real word at all and you don’t know anything anymore apart from the fact that the only thing you and that fucking elephant have in common is that you’re both endangered

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