111.

I run my tongue around the back of my teeth
pushing the perceived space underneath my gums
and being surprised when my teeth hold fast

I’ve had a repeated nightmare, intrusive thoughts
about my teeth coming out; since this started
and I know that in a list of most common dreams
your teeth falling out would come right under nudity

But hear me out as I pretend again that I am special

Do you remember the jagged edge of your teeth
as they dangled, held in only by nerves and roots?
I do. I remember pushing, prodding, twisting
cutting my tongue open on the edge only to
give up at the last second


But I would do it, constantly, until I fell asleep

and perhaps in the night too, as I woke with
a pillow full of blood, scrabbling to find the tooth

And it isn’t that I want my teeth to fall out
nor that I miss starting over

There’s something to the violence of childhood
that I wasn’t prepared for, that I didn’t expect
that set me up for a lifetime of obsession
of running my tongue along my teeth
hoping to start again

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110.

How are other girls soft / where I am hard
How are they sweet / when I am not
I grit my teeth and clench my fists

I long for a boy to break my arms
to be tougher than I am
to challenge me to a fight

And yet not one has, not one can soften me
or crack my ribcage
to see if there’s a heart

The boys I have loved have been gentle
and they have been cold
the second one tried to drink my blood
I would baulk, but it’s the trying

It’s the trying, it’s the challenge
it’s that relentless, violent obsession
that could serve to get under
my skin

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109.

It’s killing me 

I would say were it not so dramatic
and if nothing has killed me yet it won’t
not this, anyway
but details and visions are
crippling my ability
to function normally
without what if, what if, what if
and it doesn’t bear thinking about
but what if it does?
and it will always be in my nature
to look for a way out of anything
to consider the next step
do you think about it, too?

Of course you don’t
some people are content

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2017.

This year was good to me. I’ve already written about it and I won’t go on, but I feel healthier and happier and more successful than I ever have. 2016 was better than I could have hoped for and I did more than I had planned. It’s only a start, though. It’s a foundation that I hope to build 2017 on. Not everything is perfect, obviously, but I feel like things are happening and I want to do well and I want to be good and have fun and eventually be someone I quite like. So these are my goals for 2017. I won’t do all of them, I might even go a totally different direction, but what matters is that I have plans and I keep on working on something. My contract with VICE ends in February so everything is pretty up in the air, currently. I have no idea what will happen. Or how to plan for it. But here’s a few little ideas.

♡ Plan for Tokyo
♡ Write/pitch memoir/essay book
♡ Go on a work trip
♡ Work on emo diary/maybe do a zine/transcribe it all
♡ Write for Empire
♡ Keep track of finances/spend less/save
♡ Make 20,000
♡ Write 100 articles
♡ Take more photos
♡ Plan on moving to London
♡ Find an agent for my book
♡ Try to get a staff job
♡ Write more/more essays
♡ Read 25 books
♡ Watch more films/keep updated
♡ Take more photos

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108.

After ten days apart will I still
will my heart leap into my throat
will my eyes search you for clues
as you glance up, as you would
to anyone. As we talk as you would
with anyone. As you notice details and
it doesn’t matter if you would
because ultimately, I wouldn’t
but I’m dying without the attention
I’m dying thinking of time she gets
and it’s that you’re just representative
of obsessions, success, shared pasts
and who were you at twenty-three?
Might you have fucked me then?
and I won’t regret a misstep
until June
when you are dead

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2016

At the start of this year I made a list of resolutions, plans, and goals that some of you said was unrealistic; a list that, by and large, I fucking smashed. And then some. I did more than I expected to this year, grew more, worked hard. I’m currently working at VICE, something that a year ago I wouldn’t have even dared to hope for. I did so much stuff, so much of which was really random and cool and surprised me. Some of it was a total coincidence, and some of it happened thanks to my hard work. 2016 has been trash for a lot of reasons for a lot of people, and yeah, a lot of the things that happened to me weren’t ideal. But we’re here and we’re alive and I’m hoping that 2017 will bring me everything that my little heart could dream of; I’m sure I’ll deliver a goals list for then, too, soon enough.

So I wanted to:

Watch more films
Save 8,000 – no I did not do this. I was too busy having fun.
Plan a trip yes – I went to Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest, Berlin, Las Vegas, and California
Publish film, poetry, other articles I published at least 100 articles, worked at The Debrief, and now I’m at VICE until February
Start my book finished it, edited it, trying to find an agent for it
Relax/see friends
Stay organised and work hard
Visit Europe
Go to events I went to a lot of events innit
Do an interview
Do a F2F interview
Attend an event as press
Don’t get a shit job for 1 year

And here’s what did happen:

♡ I graduated from my MA
♡ I had my first piece published by Bustle
♡ I interviewed Richard Dreyfuss
♡ I drove for the first time in years and took a trip to Bristol
♡ I had a horrible writing experience that I got over
♡ I started writing for Hello Giggles
♡ I wrote a piece for Pop Matters
♡ I covered Handmade Festival on a press pass
♡ I went to see Weezer for the first time since 2011
♡ I met We Are Scientists On Brighton pier
♡ I got fired by my shithead boss who still hasn’t paid me and didn’t panic
♡ I wrote a few pieces for Dazed
♡ I covered Wild Life festival for Crack magazine
♡ A week after I got fired, I started a project for Nickelodeon with a Brighton company
♡ I continued working at said company and made a ton of friends
♡ My family fell out with me over Brexit
♡ I travelled Europe with my American friend
♡ I worked at The Debrief for 2 weeks
♡ I went to Motion City Soundtrack’s farewell tour
♡ I continued working with Tilt as their main content person
♡ I celebrated my 9 year anniversary
♡ I went to Las Vegas and then California
♡ I interviewed Kreayshawn for Noisey magazine
♡ I went to Teen Party and met some people I like from the internet
♡ I met the editor of my favourite magazine and she offered me an interview
♡ I did interview with Empire, got down to the final 2, then didn’t get the job
♡ I went to Molly Soda’s art show and we hung out, she’s a gem
♡ I went to see Jimmy Eat World
♡ I started working with VICE for three months and got stuff published with them
♡ Wrote for Nylon, The Debrief, and more
♡ I started tweeting my diaries @emodiary05
♡ I started and maintained a ton of projects
♡ I finished my book
♡ I got asked to DJ as emo diary
♡ I went to Sticky Mike’s to be emo and cute a lot
♡ I went to the VICE Christmas party
♡ I’ve been doing ok at Twitter and have some cool followers and I like that ok

AND THE YEAR ISN’T OVER YET LADS

 

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b.

My grandad’s partner died

Seven days ago. Seven days and he didn’t tell me – for fear that it might disrupt my day to day, because he was worried it might upset me. And my grandad’s partner doesn’t incur much sympathy from friends or from family who find it so easy to say well, she wasn’t your grandma. But wasn’t she? My grandma died before I was born and so I knew Barbara from the time I was 3. That’s 20 years. What makes a grandma? Is a grandma someone who cooks you dinner, buys you gifts, holds you, watches TV by your side? Is a grandma someone who teaches you to knit and write and read and pretends that your projects are worthy of display? What about a woman who takes you in when your parents aren’t around, who adopts you from the horrors of home? Who enjoys your visits even when her mind is falling apart, even when she can’t remember how old you are or when you met or what breed your dog is. She wasn’t your grandma. Okay. Fine. My grandma stepped aside when my parents abused me, when I was hurt, when I was bullied. But Barbara she let me dress up in her jewellery, she lent me her childhood books, she let me sleep in their bed when I got scared. She acted as mother and grandma and friend when she didn’t have to; when nobody asked her or required her to step up. If that isn’t a grandma or better than, if I haven’t a right to cry and mourn her and write up her memory then I want no part in anyone else’s definition of family.

It happens to all of us; she’s better off. Said my grandad, the same strong, pragmatic man who waited seven days to tell me she was gone. But it doesn’t alleviate my sinking heart, my feeling that the pseudo-family I have built will drop away one by one until only my blood relatives are left.

And what then?

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