Fire

We have been afraid
of fire so long
the dead wood
has piled up
dangerous deep

Now one little spark
and the whole thing will burn
taking everything built
to the ashes

Then the charcoal
will purge
all the poisonous
past

And in the
emptiness
eventual
with the tears
of our loss
something budding
and real
will unfurl
it’s hope

Piecing colour back

I walk heightened, lightly through my past
I am me now and me then, and everywhere else entirely
I open my eyes for the first time, from both sides
I hold myself in my grandmothers arms
I am the flaking ceiling to the dusted carpet
I am old newspapers stuck on floorboards

I am the first day of school backpack, the chip packet snatched from hands, the shrieking dental nurses drill, laughed lines in plays, plain noodles, dry drink powder coughed in friends faces with a twinkle

I am the uniform crinkles and breasts and pain, scattered scrawl, smart-arse, suicidal yearning for the stars, eleven years old and wanting to die, piano codes, magazines and wheels

I am late buses and mirror friends, crushing hallways, clasped notebooks, clasped hands, theatre bricks broken, hearts teased, minds confused, secrets held, truths released, hair cut, hair grown, glowing screens communicating much while never not alone, cuts and cars and badges and blood, black painted drama blocks, more myself as someone else, stitches and pills and metal-wear and awards, friends words fading fast

I am crowded planes and sweltering sphinxes, desert foxes and dirty bright beautiful streets, three tier train bunks and forts and monkeys and fresh papaya

I am packed cars, tiny rooms, mirror name friends and constant counting, apple flavoured drunkenness and stumbled revelations, hide and seek and cancer and aching blackness and baked alaska

I am two dollars and two energy drink early morning mopping, Starbucks and starving and friendships behind glass

I am beer crate furniture and photo shoots in sheds, lurching cars, stalled sense under covers, classes drifted in and dreamed out of, sushi and angst and international phone calls and tears, prescriptions and breakdowns, walls and withdrawals and denial, a tiny rat peaking in palms for protection

I am broken locks and hiding, booklets sorted and oatmeal and obsessions, daily phone calls and worry and ghostly wandering and filthy wizards’ shadows

I am vines and birds, nibbled net curtains, walks and weariness, disappearing dreams, nests of paper and balm and heaters and heart beats and soft sweet bodies, connection and kisses and distance, drugs and drama in next door room, unrequited quietly in another, absence and apathy and attempts, and closing off this city for good

I am aimless and adrift, hands held by old friends, voices and visions and venom and panic, mania and madness molding my my mind and carnival carousel of pills pull at the cracking lacquer on that grey hardened stone, up and down, up and down, down and down they go but pulled out in time, charcoal and cold reality in colder corridors and faces

I am someone’s, and that’s enough when I cannot be trusted with myself, old friends to new love, letting light in the window I have left covered and broken long, playgrounds and cemeteries and beaches explored as new sensations, new houses, new plans, mirror haired friends, mirror hated freak, tears streamed in toilets and avoidance and fear, friends distance in time or space replaced with substances and starving, stuffing purges hidden in bathrooms and bedrooms and broken promises, Lockwood creaking house locking creaky limbs and backs collapsing with grades into grey

I am empty house sitting and spinal imaging and non-fusion and belly scars and every movement pain, wheeled trays and couches and day time talk shows and empty stomach and empty life, frustration and anger and antagonism

I am first viewed tiny house and tiny frame, nerves frayed and mind frail, three rats a bird and a mouse and nowhere to move, next doors whirlwind’s movement masking poorly bottled sadness, smoking and choking on stones of lies told and truths swallowed

I am classes restarted, classes taught, caught in clothes and lines and life I never wanted, wasting time and away and breaking down and out, starved and stoned and starring into a hole of my own creation, dug in thinking if dug deep enough I’d fall out and away in peace

I am friend’s parents broken house and white paint covering the cracking walls, but never the cracks in the warmth built with trembling and strong hands interwoven, broken words and whispered wants written in breath condensed on mirrors, white dresses spoken of but burned in private pyres, and children pressured as pressure of my own demon orphanage builds another wing by cutting off my last

I am mirror houses of youth and holding on for them, bodies washed wearily that cannot wash themselves, curry cooked and crying and firewood, would I survive this lease, released only in virtual lives where I am not myself, knowing that I do not even know what that is any more

I am travel and zines and breakdowns in sheets and terror and hope, the return of a long forgotten friend, light explosions and heart implosions and hard exposure

I am new doctors and new dreams and new drama, solidifying self with pieces taken from others, creams and needles creating needed changes, arranging mental furniture finally into something liveable inside, time taken and love shaken and home broken and pieces scattered

I am family embraced, family lost, family kept at distance, distance friends confided and finding closer than myself, visions and voices and victory in flashes and brightness frames condensing into continuous film of new

I am beautiful kindness and kinship in tiny converted villa, willingness and wishes and creativity unveiled, rainbow friendship and meaning colouring each fragment put in place, sharing and giving and wonder and life and love found in firm intensity

I am one Christmas wish, one new year, one sweet bright summer merge, a sad confusion at brisk ending, but a thankfulness of it all, as I take the parts it gave me and begin to write my own self whole

I am new opportunities, new people, accelerating life too fast to hold on to things past, clothes and costumes and rocky horror realizations, art and poetry and movement composing roads I’d never taken

I am our quiet house listening to our laughter, the vines on the window and the lights from my room, the chair where I plan, I write, I dream unapologetically me, new challenges, held loves and hold on tight to letting go, every silly crazy thing that makes a friend family home, fear catalogued and challenged and cherished in defeat, everything lost now gained the knowledge that I didn’t ever need it

I am the paper
I am the words
I am the images created

I am the glue that seals the pages of this life together
I am the spines, the cover boards of the tomes of my existence

Now I use the stacks of the continuous series of scenes of this experience
To alone stand taller every day and reach new colours on higher shelves

I am twenty-eight years old today
and I paint my life my own

Here

My dear,
I know how it feels to
have an emptiness of life
with such a fullness of pain

And for every room
in your worn out mind
to be filled with guilt,
regret and shame

To have tried so hard
for so long and
have nothing left
to give

But we cannot wait
till we don’t want to die
to do the things that
make us want
to live

Wings

I am so incredibly proud of you
and your bravery, strength and heart.

And I am so honoured to be a part
of your fast freeing path so far.

That barrier is scaled now
however nerve-wracking
it may have been.

But isn’t the air so sweet here?
Look out, there’s so much to see!

Your wings unfurled now as your life,
and your heart now open to the world.

Welcome to the other side-
fly now, you beautiful soul.

Welcome to the other side-
fly now, you beautiful girl.

A life

There is a sad sweet comfort
in knowing you won’t live till thirty.
So sure I was I wasn’t strong,
I would snap myself before then.

As issues piled on and hope fell away
it was reassuring to think
Don’t worry, it won’t be long now
Soon, you get to rest.

When you are living only for other people
because you hate yourself so much,
you know it is all dismantling
when you’re sure it’s better for them gone.

But for me there came a moment
of stillness on that cliff,
when it struck me I did not want to die
I just couldn’t live like this.

And morbid as it sounds,
there is sweet comfort in
knowing if all this trying fails,
your friend death is always there.

Exquisite hard and sharp and bright,
life’s light startled and pained me,
but when you’ve lived with death so long,
it takes a lot to shake you.

Little by little I pieced myself back,
and the wonderful thing
about burning a life to the ground
is you can rebuild it all your own.

This new task was so daunting,
never thought of it before.
How complex it is to build a life
you never thought you’d live!

So many things that others have
you never bothered to do or practice,
but maybe you also have things
that they themselves do not?

Because it was when that old self died
that you found amongst the ashes-
not only a life you never knew,
but finally its worth.

Eating

I am not good at eating
but in a different way than before.

My life then was so empty
felt sure I needed to be too,
controlling food controlled my worth,
never felt deserving of that either.

I did not understand my body
or even what my problem with it was,
and I felt my failure as a female
meant I needed to try work harder
at fitting it into nothing.

I was not good at eating
but in a different way than before.

Ironic sad it was my attempt to fix this first
problem that threw in and up a second.
I felt worthy of so little that when I took of any
I had to make that lurch and scratch in same.

My life then was so empty
but mind bloated full of shame
and I got danger caught forcing my system
to stuff and shed and pain.

I am not good at eating
but in a different way than before.

My life has opened up now
and finally I have too.
A life so full of meaning, bliss
of joy and silliness,
wild words and stillness,
of love and warm armed calm.

A mind now so quiet inspired
almost forget possession of this body
for this body means so very little
in any scheme of things.

I am not good at eating now
because I am too busy
living dreams.