An hour to kill

Just in that moment I questioned how many drink bottles I’ve opened with my teeth. Don’t ask me why or I’ll give some nonchalant shrug and you’ll feel stupid for opening your mouth in the first place. 

I’m wearing a three hundred dollar coat I have no business owning with cherry Docs and your scarf. I’m almost in the same outfit as when my gypsy family took me to Garden of the Gods and you told me “you’re so pretty” in the antique mall where I blushed. The ceiling fans were as wide as the horizon is far, vertigo. I walked with my hand shading my face to avoid my peripherals betraying me. 

We ended up with so many collections. 

An album on someone’s phone with all the weirdest faces we could find. We spent so many hours laughing that day. I think we all cried, too. 

A stack of polaroids you glued into a Hello Kitty scrap book. 

A bank of memories I can’t forget. 

I have my own collections, too. 

Flick open the camera roll on my iPhone and scroll up, I dare you. Every photo you’ve ever sent is stored there and well cherished, backed up on my MacBook but not the cloud; fuck the cloud. 

There’s a secret album, too. It’s locked with a passcode only you could guess. It’s where the truth of our humanity lives. 

Did you know I roll the perfect cigarette every time? Even with months or years in between.

Did you know I secretly hate it?

I’m thinking about getting a tan this summer. I haven’t tanned since I was a golden child spending months that felt like decades on the beach. A child of the ocean but I could really do without sand. 

I think I want to come home blonde and bronze. Come home to a winter cold like no cold I have known. Bring you sunshine where snow blankets the yard. I’d like to imagine I’d bring home smiles and letters. A new accent. A new kind of life and laughter. 

What it is to live and love at all.

It’s still technically winter at the end of august but today the sun blesses me with its gentle warmth in Melbourne’s city centre. It’s nearly time to get to work and then it’ll be nearly time to catch a train to my sisters place. 

It’s nearly time to grow old and what bothers me about that is wondering whether I’ll do it with you,

or not.

I don’t know my own accent

I’m stuck with a transient accent
All my thank you’s sound
Americanised
Each of my how are you’s 
sound out like howreyou?
c o n d e n s e d 
and American
My British alter ego visits 
some days she’s northern 
some days she’s southern
She’s fading fast
I think I like that?
It’s subconscious 
automatic
A coping mechanism, perhaps
or a guise,
perhaps
It’s like unrolling a sleeping bag over myself
like those cats that get stuck in tube socks
I’d ponder something more graceful
but I feel clumsy
Where words get chewed instead of
swallowed
o b l i t e r a t e d 
Masticating syllables by the mouthful
Who needs to conform and please
syntax, anyway?
Well, I do 
but my mouth doesn’t wish to cooperate 
s a b o t a g e
Vocals,
one hell of a mindfuck

Step one, two; reach beyond infinity

I wrote of unloving
it was unrealistic
The very day I decided I could do it
I found you had mined your way to the very core of me
tapped that gold vein deep
pick; axe, plectrum, in hand
to the cavernous space 
I call my heart
Assumed pitch darkness is warded from here
by the fireflies which plague me
Dimming when strangers go prowling
deceiving their eyes, leading them back to the outside world
Reality comes screaming 
into frame
And there I am
sitting cross legged 
where you’d never seen more feminine grace  
beside but not for prying 
I am a door ajar
Push my patina-ed handle
listen to the rust of me letting you in
grit your teeth at the sound of me
Explore far
explore wide
Reach your hand beyond cobweb curtains
to stroke the walls of me
break my boundaries
Here,
I beg you,
to love me

The PIN to my keycard is wrong

I’m finding that I have no choice but to learn to unlove

Such foreign concept

feels more wrong than 

severing a limb sans justification

Feels like losing a crucial part of myself

Feels amphibian 

damp 

cold 

Sun shouldn’t grace these bounds

You cannot pray to God here

Not selfless

just 

less self

more darkness

No more starlight kisses this glossy skin

There are no more moons

only infinite night 

in an infinite desert

plagued by less of me

and dehydration

I noticed my fingerprints are fading

and my ankles are giving out

unwilling to carry this dwindling load

where sleeping 

forevermore 

feels right

‘Vacation’ is the American word for ‘holiday’

Where I no longer need to imagine
lain nestled amongst patchwork quilts of tremendous 
mountains 
is home

Where happiness struck me with the first breeze
beyond the threshold of automatic airport doors
and souls as old as time embraced me
for the first time in my life
I felt at home

A place where 
laughter rang with more vibrance 
and coloured the rain when it stormed around us
I am convinced it was us that painted my front door yellow
and my linen blue
and my skin without makeup
It was you who undressed me with the most delicate touch
hands capable of violence 
eyes pitch black, windows wide open
to ensure the scale of me
I felt small beneath you
It was you who ran fingers over my body with hunger
but restrained himself 
while I lost my mind in atmosphere of you
and words tumbled free like children in a snowfield 

I shed my former skin in that shower
the very first day
When I washed the filth of 
recycled air and
recycled doubt 
from the very bones of me
As though I stepped behind the curtain
into scalding water
and scrubbed every inch of myself
with sharpened nails and a steel toothbrush
because you didn’t deserve to dine in squalor
and I didn’t deserve tainted skin

Where faith and incense enveloped me 
and I thought I may choke on kindness
amidst family and priceless smiles
I did yoga in the basement on the Fourth of July 
to avoid fainting 
Hypersensory
I heard every word from every mouth
every beat on every drum
every footfall, 
was precious 
This is where impending departure crushed me
and I lost a little light from my eyes 

Where my tears were wiped by you
and I saw conflict in the forests of you

Where tall men sat beside and held me

Where strong women cried in my arms

Where I gave myself as a parting gift
but still had to board the plane
is the place
I call
home

I don’t want to call this piece ‘sometimes’ but I don’t see another option

Sometimes I stick my hands in the freezer to see how quickly they numb. It doesn’t take long because I have bad circulation. My heart will take any old excuse to put in less effort for my extremities. 

Sometimes I screenshot the texts you send me and I don’t think you knew that. Only the good ones though. 

I always save your pitctures and I wonder if you do the same with mine. But, I won’t ask.

Sometimes I stand on the balcony with my toes off the edge, there isn’t a balustrade in sight so it’s kinda risky. I guess if the wind blew a little too hard I would most likely fall but that’s okay.

On second thought I was raised with impeccable balance, so perhaps I’d be just fine. 

Sometimes I climb ladders without using my hands and I don’t know if that’s a skill to be proud of or not. I’ve not yet fallen so at least I’ve mastered it.

A lot of the time I think about going home ’cause I’ve convinced myself I’m just vacationing.

Sometimes I think about what it is to die or, alternatively, fall through space forever. I think about God a lot these days. I think about the time I spent departed and how I’m not sure why that happened but it probably has something to do with the people I surrounded myself with. And my parents. Thankfully you’re allowed to oppose their beliefs, it just takes the knowledge of that to do it. It also takes people who believe in more than whatever this is to show you it’s okay to believe in more than whatever this is because sometimes it feels like it isn’t. 

Sometimes I lay out beneath the stars and count them. Sometimes I get an ocular migraine. Sometimes I fall asleep. 

Most of the time I am myself to the nth degree. Most only I am an exaggerated version of myself when I’m at work because a plastered on smile and cleverly inserted giggle sells more than a conversation about literature or ancient Egypt. I guess that speaks volumes for the fashion industry but I still prefer literature and ancient Egypt. 

Sometimes I sleep with clothes on but only really when I have to. Sometimes I don’t sleep for days on end and occasionally I sleep with no waking minutes to be found, haphazardly skipping days on the calendar.  

I always sleep with my phone just a little too close ’cause time zones make me want to do that.

Sometimes I cycle avidly but mostly I do yoga.

Sometimes I’m all woman. Tight skirts and sheer shirts, belted and undergarments couldn’t be more decadent. Heels higher than heaven. Lips redder than the sole of a Louboutin. Expensive looking. Sometimes I look like a boy and I like the juxtaposition. It’s all about freedom and fluidity.  

Sometimes I have nightmares that feel more like reality than reality. This is where I wake in a panicked frenzy and I’m not sure if I was ever asleep to begin with. Sometimes I dream of conversations that never occurred and get confused when you don’t remember them. Sometimes I have to check if I said that or sent this

Sometimes I hate what the mirror taunts me with. My reflection looks bloated and waxy. Too much hair here, not enough there. My skin looks rough and dull like oxidised metal, my eyes bloodshot and dazed like an old, tired Prussian blue. 

Sometimes I think I should write under an alias. Sometimes I think fuck it, 

fuck the sexism, 

fuck you

I’ll still probably do what you tell me. 

Can’t relate to this Hemisphere 

The rain soothes me
Summers are far too long and hot
in Australia 
Some days I just bake
no air conditioning 
Laying on sweat soaked sheets
too hot to touch anyone
Not that there is anyone to touch
In the city 
people jostle for space
Just waiting for a gust of wind
to blow people away
like leaves in the autumn
Fretfully seeking manmade cold
department stores,
boutiques
and the like 
packed with bodies
glistening from the outside
Lost on the inside
I continuously hope for a day below thirty
Finally it cools,
turns from summer to winter faster 
than my heart conks out 
when someone pukes
Then everyone has seasonal depression
but me
Greyscale is safescale 
That’s why my wardrobe is so dim
looks like the power was cut
in the evening
Spring rolls around eventually
I age another year
in the Southern Hemisphere 
I think
I might stay younger
topside 

#whoisshe

I wrote one of these long ago, maybe this time last year, maybe not. Chances are, reader, that you’re not that dedicated as to scroll all the way back or have followed me since before I had my own domain. Maybe you are,

I don’t know you. 

Maybe I do, ha. 

Do you want me to open up a little? Give you an anecdote or two to tide you over? Aid your ailments or just make you feel a little better about yourself? Whether you want it or not, you’re getting it. But it’s not, like, forced or anything….

Breathe in. 

Breathe out. 

That’s the motion of existence. 

I was in an abusive relationship for years. It was one of those things where at the time I was in denial like, maybe I thought that’s what ‘love’ was but looking back I know for damn sure I was never in love with him and things weren’t okay. 

I took long showers just to cry or get off with the shower head. I never once thought of my boyfriend when splashy over there was working his magic. I spent days on the sofa in silence lacking attention, conversation, any kind of human connection. My phone never buzzed unless I was out sans him, which was rare. 

Worked long hours to pay the bills and fuel a gaming addiction that wasn’t mine. I was the soul provider of the house. Notice I say house and not home? 

I hadn’t a voice to speak of. Ironic. 

I didn’t write. For four years, not a word with the exception of carefully curated shopping lists so I could shop with maximum efficiency on a minimum budget; some would say shoestring, I’d say single strand of brittle hair snapping with no warning at either end. I was suffocating beneath a pillow of the ugly kind of control. 

I didn’t sing. I forgot how to be a bird. 

I played video games for long hours when I wasn’t working, which was also rare. I now have a love/hate relationship with video games. There are some I just won’t go near with a ten foot pole. 

I struggled to read though my library grew. I struggled to draw though I collected pencils like they were going out of fashion. I couldn’t keep track of anything. I lost myself. 

Four years and in four minutes it was over. Suddenly I found my soul buried beneath pages and pictures and writing. Writing. There was so much writing to be done. Missed time; wasted time. Clothes I wasn’t allowed to wear hoarded behind a conservative wardrobe. So much to be expressed, openly, finally. 

I’m instrumentally challenged. People always say: 
“you can learn!”, 
“no, honey, believe me, I can’t”. 

Im vertically challenged. I stand a not so proud five foot four, barely. I wear a lot of heels and platforms but mostly I stomp around in old Doc Martens pretending to be dangerous or as cool as Nique or something. 

My sister describes me as left of centre, weird and loyal. 

She’s not really my sister but she may as well be.

I hate my feet, I strongly dislike most of my exterior but I’m trying to improve my eyesight or maybe I should invest in some rose coloured glasses. Or an eyepatch. Or two eyepatches, maybe that’s just a blindfold. 

I know! Glass eyes. 

I have never felt at home in my country of birth. Travelled up the east side, lived pretty far south and felt further from home than ever. Always have I lived by the ocean, never have I been fond of sand. Or water I can’t see the bottom of. Or open seas. Or shells, crabs or blue ringed octopi.

I hate the news, so much so I’m never up to speed. No news is good news, I say. But there is always news so I’m a pretty good escape artist. It’s all death and abuse and polarising opinions where common sense or basic courtesy are completely tossed out the window then stamped out the second they hit the asphalt. 

I’m a hopeless romantic but we needn’t delve below that surface, nor waltz the promonade arm in arm unless you want to. Get back to me on that one, would you?

I’ve really outdone myself in the last year or so. Blossomed or grown or transformed or something. Found myself as a woman who looks like a cute kinda boy. I’ve uncovered my lighter self. It was an excavation of sorts, the kind of challenge that looked you dead in the eye and proclaimed loudly I fucking dare you

I’ve taken timid steps that felt as though the very ground beneath me may give way and swallow me. Without so much as a hiccup. Then, I’ve leapt with courage from old precipices to land on two feet, no rolled ankles, not yet; maybe one.

Embarrassingly, I’ve interrupted myself and become lost in other people’s jungles. I’ve teetered close to faultering mouths. Peered over dissolving cliffs and occasionally tumbled into shark infested waters where I drowned for days being eaten barely alive. 

I fucked a couple people when I didn’t recognise my own reflection. 

A couple people fucked me while they had me blindfolded under the guise of friendship. More like fiendship. Feigning a friendship. Taking advantage of a broken mindset, depression, anxiety, lack of self regard. 

Regardless, I have made mistakes I am not proud of. I have hated myself more and loved myself more in the last twelve (maybe sixteen) months than ever.

I’m a cat person but I like big dogs, too. Despite my allergies, maybe in spite of my allergies. I’d pop an antihistamine daily if it meant I gained the affection from a feline companion. 

I relate to cats, you gotta earn me now. I don’t provide unconditional love, it’s all conditional but I’ll bend remarkably far if I deem it worth the bone breaking or whatever. 

I work in fashion. I breathe in literature. 

If I could have three wishes I’d wish for x, y and z. 

I think I’ve found my home, complete with a kooky, gypsy family. We’re all strange there, we all love there and we all cradle struggles gently in our arms there but when we do it together the burden seems a little less weighty. Like, it doesn’t matter so much if your hands are full because someone will always be there to open a door for you, to you, hold you and cry with you. 

I wear colour proudly now. 

I wear my naked face in public now. 

I go braless and unashamed, no Hollywood tape. Tight skirts to get the job. Tight skirts after I get the job because now I want to and I can. 

Living has taught me more than dying could though I have crawled through days that felt like death. The elusive end. The sleep I don’t wake up from. 

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t ache for that sometimes. 

But I’m no liar,

I’m made of stardust. 

I can’t write when I’m at ‘home’ anymore 

Write me, read me 

life is little to nothing without the words of me

to you

to her

Of myself, for myself 

Insert yourself into my place

sit hunched amongst pages and pencils

or posture perfect amongst ladies and gents

Sit where I sit

See through these eyes and blink slow

giggle on cue

take my (your) hand to my (your) mouth

to cover that one tooth that doesn’t place nice

Feel my insecurities 

Why do you think I sit with my lower back

aching in spasms,

and my neck outstretched,

and my legs crossed just so?

Head pounding and I’ve always

got a drink but it’s nonalcoholic 

It’s not to impress

my image behind closed eyes

It’s merely to maintain my fly-on-the-wall status

can’t waver now

I don’t know how to be the centre of attention

and

I don’t want to be 

I’m not special 

I have to go in ten minutes

Crack that whip

Flood me with ambition or inspiration or
motivation 
Something to pass the time
that isn’t already inside my weary 
wary 
wounded 
mind
Give me a prompt
A cue, if you will 
Check for spelling and grammatical errors
I must make a million
but I still look in the mirror and think
not today, Satan
while my hands expertly manouver product
and distribute colour
to correct
all my facial errors
or expressions
Alter my sentences 
just give me something to grip,
white knuckled 
cheeks blazing with realities harsh whip
CRACK 
Sixty lashings to the minute
I deserve more
God’s honest truth;
I ache for more
These bones aren’t as brittle as you might think
This skin has grown thick
for as supple as it appears
or feels
if you’ve been lucky enough to touch it
If you’ve caught me at a loss for myself 
feeling sorry and self-depricating 
If I’ve loved you 
and you’ve run your tongue over my stomach 
lifted my dress and
edged me, curiously 
I begged you, so
you know how good my skin is
at imitating weakness
You know how I bend to accomodate you
You know how to make my eyes open and close
You are a master puppeteer 
I, your marionette 
bow and break on suggestion
Hold you
Kiss you
Blow you
Choke me
Smile dancing more like a grin
teeth bared, soft focus
I look pretty in pink
So, give me an order
Instruct me, I am your star pupil
Just don’t act surprised at my rebellion 
you know my strength for all my weakness 
Just don’t act surprised 
if I cry when 
my heart breaks
I won’t cry at the whip
I won’t cry at the bite
I won’t cry
for your pleasure
Unless
you 
tell
me
to