Na(I)ls

IMG_8429
Adelaide, Australia. 2018.

My fingernails won’t stop growing won’t stop growing
my fingernails
won’t
stop

growing forward
and backward

inside my skin.
They
won’t
stop.

My fingernails
they’re under my skin
down through my elbows and into my chest
my fingernails wrap around my ribs

dying vines

pushing through my lungs
stop
growing
I don’t know how to stop
them
growing.

I keep writing the same things
and nothing is changing.
Nothing is stopping me grow
inwardly
under my skin.

My fingernails are turning me inside out
and I let them.

(who)le

IMG_0019
Adelaide, Australia. 2018.

There’s a hole in my head and everyone is looking at it. Looking through it from one side of my mind to the other.
The hole is growing. Stretching. Across my forehead meeting tear duct
nostril
then mouth.

Everyone is looking at me.

The hole in my head spreads down my body to the floor. I consume the room.
I consume my friends
the music we listen to
the roof above our eyes
the night sky

falls in.

No one is looking at me anymore.

over and over and

this place is not mine
this place where my mind
is kept
it pushes me through the walls and windows of other places
where minds are kept
over and over
I do the same thing again
over and over
I do the same thing again

I open doors and run inside
houses that aren’t mine
I break plates
kick holes in walls
and run out again

this neighbourhood is full of holes

face up against bitumen
and a car is heading my way
I see feet against gravel
a crowd watching me
I can hear them chanting
chanting

if I want to be saved
I only have to say
if I want to be okay
I only have to say

‘help me’

nothing ties me to the floor
the sun is hot
I am not stuck
I just need to see
see if maybe
this place is destroyed
this place that isn’t mine
where my mind
is
I can find something else that is

and maybe I can stop
doing the same thing

over and over
over and over

you crouch down next to me
stroke a hair back across my ear and say
that’s not how this works

I shut my eyes
tyres roar
over and over

Collage (Old)

Everything I think has been thought before
Nothing I feel can feel like anything but nothing
I don’t know what to do
I don’t know what to do
I don’t know what to do

Everything I think has been thought before.
And while my mind in make-up is unique,
In deliverance in intention and
In outcome I can only be
The same.
The same,
As all the rest
That have gone before.
My mind is not me but everyone else.
A sea of faces of all the people I know.
Waves of experiences reliant on other’s.
Crashing into one another.
Skulls hitting skulls.
Mouths biting ears.
Teeth scratching eyes.
Writhing, rioting.
I want to blow them away.
Not for an end, but for clarity.
I want to spray them against the wall.
In a burst not as violent as a balloon pop,
But not as gentle as a dandelion in the wind.
So once scattered and spread in a whole,
I can see the sea of faces in its entirety.
And then maybe I would be content,
Kneeling in front of my collage,
Of blood, bone and thought,
Knowing I understood,
At least for a while,
What I am.

I don’t know what to do
I don’t know what to do
I don’t know what to do

Everything I think.
Has been thought before.
And it’s only when I realise,
That feeling like this,
Doesn’t mean,
I’m nothing,
I’ll be able to,
Think some
thing

else.

Interstate-95

Georgia, U.S.A. 2017.

There is nothing in my mind that is worth repeating
nothing worth keeping
sky green
and ground in between.
Driving a circular highway
lined by things unseen
Keeping me safe
Keeping me sound
sky green and ground
in between.

Spending money because that’s what I’m told to do
Pretending I’m trying because that’s what I’m told to do
‘What’s your plans for next year?’
because you’re currently not enough.
Not enough to trust
that you’re trying enough.
Not enough to trust
with the future I’ve raised for you.
And it’s true.
I’m not.

Apples wrapped in plastic
pass us one from the back seat
as we drive this circular highway
surrounding either side of our minds.
Things unseen.
Things unsaid.
The apples are marked with a sticker saying ‘red’
like the messages in my head
that I send myself in my sleep.
Apples wrapped in plastic
because it’s easier to stay fresh
than it is to grow
easier to stay fresh
than it is to grow
excessive waste and stale taste
biting my tongue
as I talk in my sleep
about things I don’t
repeat.

sky green

and ground

in between

marked by exits on this highway
blocked by roadworks and signs on the wrong side of the road
that we drive by
that we keep driving by
keeping myself repeating
nothing worth

Cars/Do Me A Favour

IMG_3876
Adelaide, Australia. 2017.
Sitting in cars getting trapped in cars
I didn’t want you to drive me home

Tears on the steering wheel, 
dripping on the seat

Sitting in cars getting trapped in cars
Sitting at the bottom of the shower
Sitting over the drain and watching the water level rise
Water draining
mirrors your eyes
as we fight and scratch in cars at night.
Yelling about nothing and fighting for each other

trapped

in

cars.

Where breath marks grey walls against glass,
fog of madness of fear
there’s no intimacy here.
Just sitting in cars getting trapped in cars.
Sitting at the bar with your friends at night
Finish your beer,
fog of madness of fear.
Tuck the glass in your pocket and make your excuse
Place it on the floor
and put your foot through it.

Clean

broken

glass

Where breath marks grey walls
getting trapped in cars
I didn’t want you to drive me home

so

Do me a favour,
And break my nose

Remind me that I’ll never be alone
He says he doesn’t love me
I didn’t ask if he did
He says he doesn’t love me
I didn’t ask if he did
Remind me that I’ll never be alone
I’ll never be alone
I’ll never be alone
I’ll never be

Grey walls remain with bleeding fist marks dotted along its side
Sitting in cars getting trapped in cars

And I watched, and I waited till she was inside
Forcing a smile and waving goodbye.

‘Do Me A Favour’ – Arctic Monkeys

Cut.

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Adelaide, Australia. 2017.

Everything is foggy.
Why am I so.
Foggy.
There is a cut just under the knuckle of my left thumb and I don’t know when it got there or how but it has been there at least the last few days and it is not like it is bleeding or there is a scab just a small flap of skin that folds back when you play with it and I couldn’t sleep this morning and I was tugging on that flap of skin this morning and it was raining outside and the sun was still faded outside and I could hear dogs barking outside when under my grip the cut gave way.
The flap of skin pulls back. And I keep pulling.
The skin peels back as one whole layer. I wait for it to break but it holds together. I feel my stomach push itself up my throat as I watch myself skin myself. A thin translucent and bloodless layer, soft in an awful way rolls
past my knuckle,
down the back of my hand
past wrist,
past elbow.
I reach my shoulder and pass out.

I wake up next to someone I don’t recognise and my eyes are blurry and I am freezing I am warm. I can’t move. There is a cocoon of air around my body and it is invisible and sinister holding me tightly and I want to get up I want to get out but I can’t move I can’t move my mouth and it is open and I try to say something but I can’t speak I can’t move.
My eyes focus. The someone next to me isn’t a someone at all. It is human shaped with a full head of hair, elbows, arms, legs, but without body without flesh without bones.
Completely flat.
Empty holes replace eyes and mouth.
Completely
It is then I realise that the someone is not a someone but a something that belongs to me. Belonged to me. I lay paralysed next to my own shed skin.
Tears fall from my eyes and I feel all of them. The moisture, the salt, the lingering trail it leaves as it falls down my cheek. I can feel, everything. And it hurts. My lips shake as I try to, if not say something, at least shut my mouth. My teeth are moving in my gums and oh god I can feel them moving. Waving in the smallest possible way, shaking from side to side. I can feel them.
I can feel,
everything.
There’s a breeze coming in from under the door and I can feel the dust that has been carried on it from the front door to here. The mattress underneath me is a desert of glass with each granule of sand a hair from my head or dirt I have brought here before. They cut into me. I am freezing, I am warm.
I can feel
Why am I so
Everything is
I am terrified.
I stare open eyed next to half of myself and I want nothing more than to be unconscious again. Unaware. Disconnect myself from this reality and remain in the safety of isolation. I force blackness into my skull and wait for it to overwhelm me.
But something stops me.
But something runs over my hips.
But something pushes the black away.
Soft, smooth, safe. Hands and arms that are not my own run reassuringly across my stomach, up ribs, along my throat and push against my chin. They close my mouth. Arms, of which I can feel every imperfection, every pore, every hair, close a loop around my waist. Warmth runs down my spine, curls down to my knees and around my ankles as legs entwine my own. A mouth moves itself to my ear and whispers.
“You are okay.”
Words spiral down to my brain, like water down a gutter. They splash down and crash carefully against the walls of my skull.
“You are okay.”
I can move again. I lift my hands to my face and see someone completely new. Pale and blurred around the edges. No scars, no acne, no wrinkles, freckles, tan-lines. They are new. I am new. I see someone new and I am not scared. I am okay.
My skin is clarity and my mind is reflected in it.
My hands move down and I fold my fingers between those wrapped around my middle. I shut my eyes and feel content.

Everything settles.