art, poetry

Cross Words

Across

1. You’ve got all of the clues

2. I’ve even filled in

3. Some of the answers for you

4. And yet you still

5. Can’t work me out

Down

1. For the most part, I remain blank

2. The truth is hidden behind black boxes

3. Perhaps the riddle of this soul will never be solved?

4. The heart has one piece missing

5. You will never complete me

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Uncategorized

Ode to E

people at concert

Photo by Vishnu R Nair on Pexels.com

I used to turn down drugs with frequent kiss of teeth from 13 years old when they came in the sticky palms of acne faced kids at parties all twinkly and bold, I said I didn’t need them, my teddy and my hope were salvage enough from any monsters, what need had I of medicated foothold?

In the first year away at University, all full chested with the promise of chances, a sudden breakdown crept up like thick mist across campus lake, unpredicted and blinding like filling your mouth with cement and trying to explain why then

I said yes to you

not the kinds doctors prescribed, we all knew Prozac was bad and Valium worse

people can’t diagnose what they don’t begin to understand and the school doctor liked to look down young girls shirts far more than dispense anything wise, his solution was masturbatory and sometimes a bottle of pills with a Big Parma label he’d forgotten to tear off in his penchant for kick-backs and blow-jobs

but in the sweaty clubs, underneath hot strobe

where the unwashed multitudes came together like freak storm and rinsed themselves clean of hate and fear

free of tomorrow’s consequence

I swallowed you down little blue pill you

looking almost as sad as me with your down curled mouth

all made up with the chaff of kissing people who didn’t get

hell can be among us as we walk and even as we dance

you made me sick, I heaved in a corner, my pulse raced, and then

loved-up entered the room, all false and real and teenager heaven

all those years of feeling bent and misshapen, crowded with pain

irrelevant, mistrustful, empty nights burning parts away to reveal

a shadow, a flicker, a dying ember of what you thought existed

on the other side of the red velvet curtain

they were just shades of light against temporal darkness

moments to be passed on and governed and given back incomplete and shaken

luxuriate in a pretend world like you did as a kid

feeling fur and smelling strawberries, seeing stars, hearing

the pulse contain hope like an internal drum

they told us afterwards drugs were bad and kids who

use end up multiplying the error over and over again

maybe if I were my own parent I wouldn’t have signed off

but if I were my own parent I wouldn’t have wound up

needing an end to grief so bad

it got me through the first year and afterwards

I’d tell people I wish I had a t-shirt made that said

E helped me graduate

because it had

 

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fiction, life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

her inferno

suicide-in-art-rosie--high

a voice

something still alive

someone trying not to scream

they make a sound that could only be described as an

oral ache

stretch of sinew, wide mouth, no noise, neighbors hear

nothing

there has been too much pain for sound

still tears come, when you think there could be no more

nobody knows, nobody knows, nobody knows

behind well constructed facade, beneath masks

the woman with her head in the oven

probably wrote a decent poem before she expired

smoothed her apron down, sent her kids to school

before turning the dial high

her own sounds of anguish and the hiss of gas

a sigh of sighs

the postman can knock on the door and you can open with a bright

false smile and he will think to himself as he departs, she is such a happy

woman always with a nice thing to say and a bright grin, I wish my wife were

half as content

close the door, gather the rope, sling it securely

the same woman who turns the dial high

prepares her demise with thoughtfulness

she is tutored at deceiving

sickness overwhelms her and she is on the floor tearing at herself

watching from ceiling, a woman unravel and be unable to re-knit

she feels in her solar plexus, in her very marrow, the scourge of loss

she can’t stand it, she can’t stand it, she can’t stand it

the idea time assuages pain, is a falsehood

hers is a road that will always be wet with tears

her eyes are closed and she is imagining how it is some of us

never stop hurting and others can brush off betrayal like lint

walk on unperturbed.

in the silence of her house, the clock in the hallway unwound

she feels the walls closing in, the very sky descend

all her madness like balls of yarn, have no where to pretend

they are okay

she is demented with hurt

voiceless, personless, no-one to reach out to

her arms are cut again and again with the switch of abandonment

she was once someone’s baby

she was once someone’s love

lapsing into unconsciousness in hot overflowing bath

crimson for her unshed horrors, streaking clean floor

did not need to use her own hands in sterile afternoon

washing line blowing emptiness like fallen maps

now she is dirt and dust and a woman without bones

she is sinking into the soft hiss of gas escaping gratefully

if she had the courage she’d light a match to guarantee

her inferno

she left one last message on one last machine

lost in time and the rolling hours curling their faces to the wall

her tinny voice breaking and crackling over distance

saying goodbye without saying goodbye

for even in death she pretends

everything is okay

and when you come home at 6

the table will be laid, your shirt for tomorrow pressed

hanging like a specter

its loose arms waving

in mute appeal

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Indefinite

forgetting-Jef-Safi-FlickrOh fear

You who come unbidden at dark or dawn

And crawl with your hunger to devour

The sunrise of rational thought

How alluring your poison, when defenses are sluggish

The gris-gris of delirium and other exhaustions

Make abundance in quiet mist

I think of safety, it feels like a celebration for another person’s life

Not this chipped bail, not this sweat stained pillow

Where lately dreams have possessed fangs

And nightmares are not always caused by eating cheese

Many years ago, we sat you and I

In the mouth of my midnight kitchen

And like Sendak envisioned

I rose in morning dough, a naked thing of pink

Then, in the hours that believed themselves immortal

And a sinking feeling would be replaced by exuberance

The feeling of lying down in an antique store, in a fur rug

Imagine, imagine, nude swimming in milk, turning hands over tails

All shame evaporated, just the joy of unspoilt youth

A thousand dreams away from clammy hands and furtive secrets

How resplendent I’d be, lying beneath you without guile

Our limbs mirroring the other like a corridor of emotions

Responding in kind

Tender without history

Lay your heavy bag here

Come into my envelop

Where we can meet against the other, in eternal epitaph

Watching the crudeness of the outside world sigh and catch fire

Like plucked flowers must lose their breath

And dying comes as you hold your breath

Seamlessly we turn to each other and create

An oasis in the nectar

There it is

There among the aubergine desert

Taunting with its indefinite

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life

30 Things To Do Instead Of Dying

Unorthodox coping strategies, distraction techniques and self-harm prevention methods that I have utilised when I’ve wanted to end my life but decided to stay alive:

1. Instead of punching somebody, scrub the shit out of your oven

2. Sign every petition on change.org

3. Give yourself a tattoo

4. Grab a cactus with all your might. Spend the following hour(s) tweezing the spikes out of your hand: it’s less of a pain, more of a major irritation. You will not be able to think about anything else, trust me

5. Reminisce on celebrity interactions, like when you touched George R. R. Martin’s beard in the lift, or when Tyra Banks approached you on a street in Barcelona and said, like Regina George, “You’re really pretty,” and you turned bright red and ran away, or the other night with that SAS guy off the telly with the laugh that didn’t reach his eyes, and wonder why these humans are rich and you are poor

6. Meditate by a motorway

7. Edit the Bible. Modernise it. Swap the names of the gospels, add topical references, update the 10 commandments. “Thou shalt not manspread on the Tube,” “Thou shalt get that bread,” “Thou shalt not be attracted to Ted Bundy,” etc.

8. Steal your neighbour’s cat: would kidnapping a cat be called catnapping? take a catnap. take some catnip. whatever, just… cat

9. Go to Poundland, pick up any random item, ask a member of staff how much it costs, be surprised when they tell you it’s a quid, repeat, repeat, repeat, until you are asked to leave

10. Tell young homeless girls that you were them once, that it doesn’t have to be forever, that it can get better

11. Go to a graveyard. Challenge yourself to find the oldest birth date and the oldest death date, and marvel at the curious causes of death that were engraved on Victorian headstones

12. Flirt with an old man, make his day

13. Get on a bus at the start of its route and stay on it until the end

14. Organise your carrier bag collection into 5p, 10p, 20p and £1 bags

15. Fall asleep in the bath: wake up choking on cold soapy water: your body won’t let you die right now so don’t even bother trying

16. TTT: tramadol, tequila and tomato soup

17. Dislocate your fingers

18. Throw your phone into the Thames. Throw your whole handbag into the Thames. Fuck it, throw your clothes and shoes into the Thames, JUST NOT YOURSELF

19. Start a fire

20. Find someone equally helpless and drag them to the nearest pub

21. Go to an AA meeting: shit coffee, free biscuits, great stories

22. Cut your hair (a bit of it, most of it, all of it, just chop chop chop (your hair instead of your arms))

23. Bet on a horse. You have to stay alive to see what happens, to see if you win. When the horse loses or dies, you’ll have a new thing to be angry or sad about

24. Pop your finger bones back into place (so satisfying)

25. Write a list naming everything and everyone you are afraid of, then eat it

26. Indulge in primal scream therapy on Hampstead Heath

27. Plant mysterious and/or sinister notes in library books

28. Revel in the fact that you are not a psychopath (yay you!)

29. Bake a cake

30. Eat it too


This post is in aid of Mental Health Awareness Week (UK)

I DO NOT recommend acting on the advice above (apart from perhaps baking and eating cake): the above points are just some things that I’ve done during severe mental health crises instead of self-harming or attempting suicide.

This is post was inspired by the coping strategies that the NHS recommend to me when I’m in crisis, techniques that (while they do help lots of people and thank god for that) unfortunately do not work for me. If one more health professional teaches me “how to count to 10” or tells me to “hold an ice cube” or “scream into a pillow” or “go for a run” or “do yoga” or “snap an elastic band on your wrist” I will snap. So this post is a response to the (ineffective and patronising) advice that mentally stable people give to unstable people when all they can feel is rage and sadness and hopelessness, and all they can think about is destroying themselves. Because sometimes breathing exercises just ain’t gonna cut it.

If you are struggling with your mental health or have any thoughts about ending your life, please seek help: from a doctor, health professional, family member, colleague, teacher, friend or even a stranger. If in crisis, call the emergency number.

Do not feel afraid or ashamed to ask for help. You are worth helping and you are worthy of life. If you know somebody who is battling mental health issues, reach out to them. Lending a sympathetic ear, giving somebody a hug or sending a simple text message could save someone’s life.

Let’s all be kinder to one another. Let’s be honest, patient, supportive. Let’s be good, good people, good human beings.

Mental illness costs lives. Kindness costs nothing. ♥

Click here for a list of International Suicide Hotlines.

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poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

My forearm

Has your fingers circled around it

My waist

Your hands meeting each other

The tattoo of your movement

Across the salt of my plains

You chisel my rise and fell my present

Into your eyes I tumble

As velvet dark becomes elongating heaven

Your fingers brush my cries with storm

I am beneath you, as infinite waterfall

In your shadow, from your shade

Eclipsing to return, cycles of moon

Blur what is real, against imagined.

Over time we learn

neither exist more than other

it is our capture of this moment

held in elapsing abeyance

within some sphere beyond consciousness

evoking mislaid emotion

flame lit against sulphur hearts

and we climbed the mountain, sweating and fatigued

thinking … why even bother?

Those wise voices, challenging us as children

take each experience, infuse it

with the richness of YOU

here’s the camera, snap a shot

twenty years later, we are still staring off

color changes over time and people

will leave and return like cuckoo dolls carved into

clocks.

Unexpected are the faithful and true

we smile because we’re told to

soon sides begin to droop, if held too long

spontaneous and a little dangerous

leaving the washing for another day

floors need cleaning, beds changing and perhaps …

if we stand still and instead, wait

they will see our outlines if

they’re not in a hurry

but everyone is too preoccupied

with staring at the red moon

to notice our climb

over the globes circumference

flying we take hold, of each others seek

a creature of bush fire and opal.

She told me once

don’t wear them, they are bad luck

I polish now, the angles of my semi-precious face

to ensure nobody knows my true thoughts

save you, you who built

the universe and with your existence

I have no need of foolishness.

We are what we are, because

there is a flower blooming

only at night and

the frangipani spell stays

rich and heady

all through the long

hours

of our union.

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