Lover Lover

I say I like honesty, I tell myself

I like honesty because

I keep making friends with lovers

with one-sided feelings

 

I know how those go, I am a girl

who lies on her bed in the daytime

earbuds in, staring into the middle-distance

watching a second life play out like

shadows on a sheet during a storm

 

I am a cautious person in life and

in imagination, knowing all too well

how the two fool around with one another

and at sixteen, how a thing between a boy

and me can turn my insides out

 

here I should admit, I am unlikely

and in all my state I attract people

who are all smiles and false impressions

who are my friends, my very best friends

until they admit otherwise

 

I can be bitter, even at my calmest

when I am told over the Internet

from age sixteen onwards, that I am loved

in a way I do not reciprocate

and that a relationship I thought

—dangerously—was equal, was not

 

I have lost too many people

to feelings felt, words unsaid for months

and months and months, amongst it all

I’m rarely spoken to in person

about feelings so personal

they ought to inspire intimacy

 

this is where I leave most, because

I haven’t been met with the chance

to share feelings, but instead have been stuck

receiving them, dealing with them

addressing them

 

if I am that girl for you, on the bed, daytime

through the blinds and eyes staring off

at something an arm’s length away

then you will know, because I will tell you

 

 

Advertisements

Orphic Idiot

singing   from  the  other  side   of  the   River    Styx

the   words   lost  over  the  water, your  back turned,

my   ankle  dotted   with  blood,  your  neck strained

against  song,  so  i  sing:  “on  thee   the  portion of

our  time  depends, whose  absence  lengthens  life,

whose                          presence                            ends.”

you   look   back,   you   look   back,  you looked back.

i    crouch  at  the  bank  and let my dress dip into the

water. you   kneel   in  the  sand,  hands  behind  you,

eyes  forward.  you  sing  as  the sword comes down,

and   you  sing  as   you  cross  the river, and you sing

as    Hades’   bottom    lip   trembles,  as   i   hold  you,

singing   from   the   same   side   of    the  River  Styx.

 

Hello, World!

A portrait of the writer as a young clown

I’ve been learning to code for the past 3 months – nothing major, nothing spectacular. But now I know that the utterly simple exclamation of Hello, World! is enough to induct a newbie into the world of programming. I’m saying this now because I realise I’ve never really spoken to any of you directly – ever – but here you are: still and unflinching, dark and mysterious. You fascinate me. I recently started an internship producing radio at the ABC, and my presenter says that word a lot – this is fascinating, it’s great to talk to you.

So, then. Who are you? How are you going? Do you have any pets? A cat or a dog or a gecko?

I’m opening up to you in hopes this rambling display of openness and trust will inspire some back-and-forth. Tonight I spoke to a curator at a museum for the morbid, last week to a woman directing the Future Library art project, the week before that to a neuroscientist. I like talking with people, so it’s probably time I start a conversation on here. Here, where my teenage writing matures. Where the evidence of my evolution sits under glass.

These are the coordinates of my life right now, as it stands: I hurt my ankle a few weeks back tumbling, and I’ve been staying up until 6.00am for the Olympic gymnastics – all the while wishing I could jump again. I still prefer sunsets over sunrises. I’m in the final hour of the audiobook The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. I’ve got the business card of a NASA engineer sitting in front of me on my desk, next to my lapel pins shaped like stars. It’s 1.04am and I have an important email to send in the morning. I’m in my final semester of university. There’s a new This American Life episode waiting for me, but I can’t bring myself to listen to anything titled My Summer Self while I’m still wearing finger-less gloves. I ordered six second-hand Ray Bradbury paperbacks this afternoon. I still don’t know if writing things down is helpful for me or for anyone else. I’m going to sit in the sun tomorrow and listen to Neutral Milk Hotel and the soundtrack to In the Heights. I’m not going to check this for spelling errors.

My reasoning behind all of these sentences of admittance, is an intersection of occurrences. Last night I wrote a poem to my favourite author, who I’ve posthumously adopted as an unwitting mentor. I don’t think it made sense, not unless you’re someone who is well-versed in Fahrenheit 451 trivia or the tales of Dandelion Wine. But when I posted it on here, on my scribbled home, it got half a dozen likes. I wonder too much – too much not to ask – whether anyone actually reads anything on here. I need to know if you have, and I truly want to know what you think.

This is an offering – a short but concise map to my life right now. It’s a gesture. I’m letting you know that you have access to parts of my life, the same as you do my writing. And to let you know that it would be great to talk to you about fascinating things.

 

Dear Diary

should I start dating these entries?

I keep asking, but

bringing a date and a time into all this mess

would be an intrusion

and this year

it doesn’t deserve to be written                     because

it’s been a heartbreaker for the whole planet          because

this is what it’s like to embrace all of something              because

love for this world means to be invested in the blood and the birdsong

Journal Series #2

Am I, in actual fact, just a freeloading hippie who only thinks the things I think, does the things I do, because I don’t have a paying job? I feel very much like I don’t have a right to claim hard work. I don’t work in a shop or a bar. I don’t get a paycheck. I’ve never in my life had a work roster or been a part of a tedious schedule. So how can I know if I’m working hard? I’ve got nothing to compare it to.

I keep telling myself, “Oh rad, you made your word count and answered all those emails…now how about you get a job? Huh? Let’s see how your extracurricular hard work goes then!”

Two speeches: Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art and Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking  (their child is gonna be fucking awesome at speech giving). In Amanda’s speech she explains how cutting it was when other people told her to GET A JOB, the shame that came along with it, and that voice in every creators head that AGREES with them.

In Neil’s speech (yes we are on first name basis) he talks about the Fraud Police, and the feeling you get after you make something successful. Because a lot of the time art comes out of nowhere, out of our heads, and getting rewarded for that can be hard to justify in a world so critical of it.

But really, my point is…it’s all well and good for them to feel/have felt/still feel this way, but they’re super-duper famous now. They earn money. How do you fend off the guilt when you don’t?

I tell myself “I’m a student!” but in less than a year I won’t be. I’ll have to start ticking the little unemployed box instead of the sophisticated, student box. I’ll feel sad instead of scholarly. WHERE THE HELL AM I GONNA GO COME SEPTEMBER?

Really, my dream would be to: get a job in a newsroom, leave my teen years behind having never worked in retail/fast-food/groceries, be awesome, rule the world. Can I do that? Or will I need to know how to pour drinks and fold t-shirts? (And I’m not banging those skills, I feel genuinely ill-equipped.) If I bomb out, I don’t even have general skills to fall back on.

“Yes, I sure can interview, write, and edit a news package in a day! Wait, what? The drinks need to go where?”

My life is that bridge scene in the new Star Wars film, and I am Han Solo. Kylo Ren, you are my inadequate resume.

I’m also Daniel Radcliffe that time he worked as a receptionist for a prank. I’m a tiny artistic child who grew up in a wonderful, privileged, magical world – and graduation is around the corner.

Writing is supposed to calm me down, but I can feel my heartbeat in my hands. Cool.

Game plan: offer up my labor for free – whore myself out to anyone who’ll take an intern (I do NOT like using that word. What’s a better one…hand myself out? I’m sorry, I just wanted to be explicit), hope that all the volunteer work WORKS, cross my fingers and toes. Put up one of those motivational posters to keep me out of The Pit of Despair.

 

Public Property (or How to be Invisible)

Yesterday I walked down the street

and you asked me for my number

and I felt like I was living

for someone else

 

The Diary of a Teenage Girl:

Minnie Goetze says

So maybe nobody loves me, and she dances

alone in her room. I watch myself

 

from my bedroom ceiling

Are you living for someone else?

I don’t know what’s for you

and what’s for them

 

The Diary of a Teenage Girl:

she says

Maybe nobody will ever love me, and she doesn’t

care. People keep stopping me in the street

 

and asking me questions

They keep seeing me

and it hurts. I want to imagine I belong

to myself. I am who I think I am