Tag Archives: poet


My body is decaying
and yours, too, let’s be honest
but I don’t care about yours
if we are to be truly honest

My skin without sun is paper thin
and at twenty-four I’m too old to be a prodigy
but too young to be let off the hook of living

How much longer do I have to
live by news cycles, by words, by numbers
feeling my body die
watching my friends

Constantly seeking validation
that will never be enough

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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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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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There’s a confessional air to the way I
spill every second of conversation, every detail
as if I’m purging myself of the sins in my head
as if the words matter
as if my actions, matter
when what matters is that I’m squirming
in my seat, breaking down every word
that I might one day need them
that I could fuck myself with a glance
with an aside, with my tension
on the days that I’m without you
and regretting what did and didn’t happen


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For better or for worse
my obsession with success
with calendars and ticking clocks
has brought me here

I feel my body decay
month by month, day by day

And I can’t quite vocalise
what it is I fear
only that when I’m forty
I want to be happy

To not regret leaving friends behind me
to not long for
crowded halls
to say only I am relieved

That I had fun,
but I am glad I am here

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It’s only November

Only November and I still just want to be alone
to sleep until six, seven, alienate everyone
and I know it’s better for me
to have friends, to read, to drink and eat
but I would rather sleep

Where is the person I was in July, August,
even September, a false sense of self
aided by the palm trees and desert dust
and nobody will ask me if I’m okay
if there’s anything they can help with
because they’re all so wrapped up in their own death
as am I

I don’t really remember my mortality
until November
that’s a lie, I can feel myself dying every day
and I can’t believe we’ve December, January,
February and March until this mess is over
and then after a brief flirtation with ice cream
and freckled skin, it’ll just start again

Who can love me in November?
as I just barely hold myself together

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I could tell you what I want, break down every detail
of my goals and desires and – I might tell the truth
or what I think is the truth, or what I feel at the time
but I don’t know

What I want changes and grows, when I was fourteen
I wanted to go to shows and I wanted to be dead
when I was nineteen I wanted to get through the week
and when I was twenty I just wanted to be dead again

At twenty-four I’ve more than I could have asked for
and I am still unhappy, I’ve still so many years to fill
and really, if I could have ever had anything
it would have been to never be born into this world at all

To never have had to fight this fight
or occupy this body
or see everyone else suffer as we so often do
but I am here now, and I’ll stay alive

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