people are so fucked up. do you ever think about it? how people, on the inside – how everyone is the same mishmesh of confused organs crying about some stupid time years ago, or a week ago, or a minute ago, or laughing at some stupid memory that still tingles along some path. life isn’t an endless series of disappointments if you know exactly how fucked up you are if you take the measure of yourself and then apply it to other people your fuckery is their fuckery too. not in the exact same way. not in the same part of the body. maybe you’re really good at, idk, helping people. and you’re shit at saying  no to requests for your help, meaning you never know if someone is in your life because they like you for who you are or because they like what you do for them. And someone else’s fuckery could look different – like maybe someone else sucks at helping people, but is great at saying no, meaning they generally have no friends and freak out about why they’re so unlikeable and why people DO leave. do you get what I’m saying? everyone is a fucking ghost inside, the long bones churning out little red blood cells and bullshit, kidneys filtering blood and you’re hoping you piss out all your flaws.

but you don’t, of course. no one does, of course.
I mean no one is human like people are in books. All my life I wanted to be a character, does that make sense I think every writer goes through that phase where they see their life as a book. a BOOK you know, like with a fucking goddamn point to it. no one is a person. but of course everyone also is.  everyone is human in the way you are. this is what humanity is. Take someone, anyone. stick em in a room. ask them questions like it’s an interview. watch them mumble, feel confused, trapped. let them out. feel superior for half a second before realising that’s humanity. that’s it. the churning thoughts the deadening questions the stupid shit the pretentious shit the fragmented moments where you think youre special the times you feel mundane and inconsequential – we’re all equally useless and irrelevant at the end of the day on the timeline of the universe.

i used to think everyone that didn’t like me, who i liked, was better than me somehow. i used to think as they got to know me they liked me less. i used to think crazy bullshit like this until i really fell in love and saw suddenly how fallible people are. how weak other people are. how people I loved have been not only less than perfect but sheer imbeciles – i don’t say this to insult them – i say it in the exact way I would talk about myself – for all our capacity for Goodness, all humans are just a fucking bag of stale walnuts on the inside too. That’s what we are: a strange mishmesh of conscious thought (whose fucking bright idea was that anyway – there should be a god with masculine pronouns so that we can blame him for this utter nonsense) and capacity to…to what. do good feel good be good, and also the exact opposite – everyone is as crazy as you at your craziest moments. everyone is as evil as you at your most evil – yeah everyone. Yeah, some people act on those evil thoughts and others don’t act as much on them – that’s the only difference between psychopathy and the general population. That’s a garter string thin line isn’t it? Ever had so much hate and vicious thoughts about someone for even half a second? Ever felt such intense vulnerability or love for someone? Ever felt totally numbed out Congrats, you’re a fucking weirdo like everyone else.  I finally figured out how the endless churning of a global ocean inside me was there in them too – no it wasn’t beautiful (i think for love to last, it has to be beautiful or something – that feels like a vague far off truth shimmering like some mirage of an oasis in a desert) – it was fucking motherfucking terrifying.

We’re all 5 years old, with aging bodies. that’s it. That’s like the actual reality of it. Growing up is just knowing that on a visceral level. #selfactualisation or whatever

that’s what the world- this world – is ruled by. Actually this more than anything convinces me there is no god – there is no way a sane, righteous, all powerful/very powerful being would ever think this? was a good idea.

it’s why familiarity breeds contempt. whoever came up with that phrase -probably some asshole british guy who realised the more he got to know people the more they started looking like hairy butts, just like his reflection – was dead right. absolutely 10000000% correct. the more you get to know someone the more you see each other’s fuckery in each other. in yourself. in them. it’s so absolutely unpalateable that I know for sure like 99% of “love” out there is some nonsense mixture of of codependency, lack of personal fulfillment, and validation. If to love someone is to know someone, that shit is decidedly doomed to failure – except for the rare 1% where you suddenly find yourself

in love with a coward.

in love with an  angry person.

in love with a sadboi or a sadgirl.

where you really wish these people the best no matter what. where your heart just hopes everything good for them and it doesn’t feel like idk someone filled your heart with volcanic ash and magma slowly turning to igneous rock – that’s love. I’ve had that twice now. Yeah. both of them were cowards who are terrible at being vulnerable and open, and both were good men. it’s not a contradiction in terms. all people are fundamentally good and all people are fundamentally also very stupidly HORRIFYINGLY fucked up.

And me?  I guess i’m that green witch in the purple shorts – you really wouldn’t like me when I’m mad but I wouldn’t really give a shit if you don’t like me because when the purple shorts come on, this bitch is done playing. whatever, i love my flaws and all that and anger is protective and all that.

anyway love is stupid too like everything else so you might as well just enjoy everything and that’s kind of the point of sisyphus when you think about it – like really, it’s all trash. a trash ball. that you roll up. and roll back down.

it’s why arranged marriages work  – and also why all marriage is a farce: because all people are the same so you really can love everyone and anyone (but lmfao why would anyone want to tbh, jesus what a goddamn chore) and also people are completely fuckedup so. it’s why hannah arendt wrote the banality of evil – but let me tell you it’s not just evil that’s banal.

it’s fucking everything. it’s why hindus came up with the cycle of birth and death and envisioned redemption as “away from this nonsense of consciousness as we see it/think of it” – but even that is such a farce haha, there’s nothing after this. this bullshit is what we apparently are saddled with.

all this to say: whatever the worst of you you think you are, you are probably worse than that – but don’t worry, so is everyone else around you. so is everyone else period.

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everyone will leave you/never doubt this

I think about the unnaturalness
of loving nowadays, the way
I have been robbed of connecting
naturally and easily with my whole heart,
it has shrunk 3 times its size a walnut heart
did you know robots run on walnuts in the 28th century

I get bored midway through conversations now
faces are fuzzy conversations do not stick
there is no chemical electric anything
I no longer see them at their best, I just
I see people as they are, their little nervous tics
the flaws I want to stay away from

you are more alone than you thought
community exists in fragments of looking
glasses broken along sidewalks, pick up the shards
that hurt the least and still show at least a partial reflection
into another world hopefully it is fantasy and magic and
not nightmares

everyone will leave you

never doubt this

yes everyone every single person that enters your life is going to leave it
leave you

the only constant in your life is  you

but are you consistent with yourself?

when you think about it,  living is
you choosing yourself fully because only you can choose yourself fully.

And living with depression is you choosing not death without
knowing how to choose yourself

and suicide
is just you
leaving you
like everyone has left.

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Winter Bones

//ROS: We might as well be dead. Do you think death could possibly be a boat?
GUIL: No, no, no … Death is … not. Death isn’t. You take my meaning. Death is the ultimate negative. Not-being. You can’t not-be on a boat.
ROS: I’ve frequently not been on boats.
GUIL: No, no, no – what you’ve been is not on boats.// – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard

Part 1: Winter Bones

I don’t believe in love outside
my limbs anymore; there are the winter bones
of old skeletons lining the pavement that leads backwards in time
when I was a ghost and stem cells in a petri dish, waiting, waiting
eventually, I grew my flesh around the naked
branches rosebud heart slowly blooming
between them until the dead trees were a garden

Part 2: Family
The point of a family  is to teach you how to be –  just that the how of it or perhaps the doing of the being and if you know how to be then, it does not matter who else is there
or isn’t there – so if you know how to be, you know how to be with people
and you know how to be alone, and these are not separate things. You stop needing people after a while. You wonder what it means to want someone without needing them. You wonder what the point of that is. There are the little spaces of kindness without a second thought, generosity that does not demand recompense, but outside of these moments, all relationships are transactional. That is what a good and happy family is: a group of people who know they are alone, know what they need from each other, and what they can ask for, and how to give unconditionally in those little moments, and are generally fine with the scheme of things.

Part 3: Life and Death
are about learning to live with yourself.
and learning the world wants so little of you,
needs so little of you.

how infinitely mundane.

To live a good life is to take
the infinite wisdom of people who are depressed beyond hope
who understand the analytic of the futility of the job of it –
and to feel no particular way about it: given
the choice, I would not do this again, and death when it comes will
be a mercy. But in the meantime, there can be some good, save
a polar ice cap or two, help people on their own journey
to themselves. I’m done, I want to say. I don’t hate myself anymore. I love myself
like the self help books say. I did it. Death is the certificate of participation everyone gets after they complete their coursework for Life. I recognise life is just more of this. I recognise the “journey is never complete”. I am happy and successful and functional.
What a farce. Haha who asked for this. Who actually asks to be born. Living life, who is actually sitting there thinking “i want more of this”. Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t long for death the way I did when I was depressed.

I just don’t think there’s a difference between life and death anymore, other
than the conscious act of learning to live with yourself. The dead don’t think. What a rest. What an eternal rest. What a peace from yourself. No wonder all religions hope for something better after this. But of course, that’s a farce too. That’s what we want don’t we – we want the consciousness and the fantasy of a heaven – a heaven that is at least accessible. We want to be awake and alive and have access to the happiness our imagination allows us – the completeness of a good children’s novel, the whole and beautiful bounty of picture-perfect farm commercials, we want to experience every bit of joy and radiant love but that’s the thing of it. That’s the thing isn’t it. That’s the farce at the end of it. It’s the farce that tells us life is so different from death.  The desire to slip into a perfect painting, a good story that leaves you feeling full after you close the book. It’s the curse of imagination maybe – I mean probably. Think about the happiest people you know. Not the cleverest are they. Not the ones that think too much about the world or about life are they. You have to have a limited scope of imagination if you can be content and satisfied with life and the living of it. Happiness is where the limits of possibility you can imagine aligns with reality – people with smaller dreams are more content. And those with those impossible dreams… bear the curse of ideas that feel possible and life is just a slow come down from that. Well. but not always maybe.  The closest we get – the best we get – is our own stories and we can do everything we can do and dream all the dreams we want and go for them – but that’s all there is. Dreams for your own life, you, yours, your body, your work your material things your spiritual growth your own sense of who you are just you only you just your shit and that’s it. You cannot write the story of other people ever. and at the end of the day people are people. and at the end of the day you’re going to meet people. people are in your story but they’re not in your story – you get me? if your story has people in it, they’re not yours to write are they. They’re just … they’re just chapters written by another author that someone well meaning or not inserted into your book. That’s what other people are: other chapters from a different book pulled into yours. That’s generally where shit fucks up.

The fastest route to a conscious, imaginative, full happiness is to know to be alone, because the stories that are possible to write have to feature only you. Everyone else is a wild card. People really are unknowable. If love –  deep love is that sense of knowing someone else like you know yourself, love is a farce too. Well love is a farce

But all relationships are a farce – no.

They’re not lies. They’re just… suffocatingly small. chokingly tiny. less hidden gem more fool’s gold.

They’re just… the stuff of smaller imaginations and smaller dreams. They are what people settle for. They are the incomplete stories, the relationships that can never live up to the ideal plot, the perfect painting.

I think about how many people around me are already dead and just don’t know it.

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I turned around to see
you who I left
behind unfairly

I taste hope and honesty
again in my mouth when
a memory of you flutters
teardrops against my eye

Nothing hurts anymore
except your heart
beating clenched against a
memory you no longer know
how to feel about.

Is it strange that I can still feel
the tightness of your throat,
the tremble of your hands, the
way I hurt you?

But I am still a witch, and my hands
are still filled with magic, and my tongue
is still filled with spells, and in a witch’s mouth
all spells are promises, or maybe
all promises are spells:
so I give you this gift:

You will heal, dear friend.

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Iron Woman

Leave those who impose an ugliness onto your face;
when your face shifts into that strange polite
smile made out of stone, the cold glass ball instead of
the friendly open eye, the slithering wall of lizard
skin and metal in your gaze: this is not your face
pay attention to the air in the room,
the way your tongue shrivels,
and a scorpion tail rises in your throat instead,
the way it tastes the salt trigger line against
your upper lip sweat,
when your face shifts into that ugly mask
dragonskin in your gums, and fangs for teeth –
that laugh that is a croaking cackle -pay
attention to the people in the room:
these are the people
who insist on your most powerful spells;
your most ancient half-gift, the kind of gift that is also a curse.
The kind of gift that is a curse first,
a curse worst,
a gift at last, and only sometimes,
but when it is a gift, oh
it is the most glorious gift in all the land: that ultimate
disappearing act,  the alchemic calculation to
transmute air into walls, a gaze into a muzzle,
a face into a mask, tilt the earth Herself, and watch
people stumble on their way to you, that gift
of freedom from anyone you do not want to be around;
no, girl goddess bitch witch: you will never be found

Your “leave me”, whispered and gentle, will be
cyclone, storm, whirlwind picking up the water-veined
out of your life; yes, they will fall somewhere miles away,
a new land, no better and also no worse,
and they will  never find their way back to you; yes,
your magic will rewrite every map to your door, rewire their telephone
contacts;  they will lose you before they ever found you.
You can kill their will to even want to try
and isn’t that power? Why, isn’t that love?

So draw a circle made of salt around your feet,
trace it with the love your own
innards have for you, every cell
that fights for you, and watch
how they scurry away like
rats after taking poison

because your tongue is made of a scorpion’s tail
your voice is a thousand falcons screeching
your fingers can pull the truth out of anyone’s skin
out of anyone’s lying lips
you are a goddess and a bitch and a crazy woman, like it or not,
and when you like it, oh just watch:
when you love yourself, just watch. just watch those
people who were born with water instead of blood
in their veins,  watch as their courage drops
into the arches of their feet
from the lackluster height of their knees
watch how those knees buckle,

watch how those ankles wobble
watch as they try
and try
and try to find youyes, these are the people
you cannot trust with your face
give them your mask instead

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Boundaries and Setting Terms

The older you get, the more control of your life you have, a few things start to happen:

1. You get to set the terms of what your life looks like in terms of interpersonal connections (if nothing else). People can no longer say “it’s just a joke, god” because you get to leave their lives and they will miss you. Or they won’t miss you but you still get to not be around people who fundamentally disrespect you. This is really hard to internalise as a fact for people who experienced bullying growing up. All the times that you said “what the fuck? stop.” and no one stopped? that changes as an adult. people will stop *immediately* if they respect you. In fact, the question of will they stop or won’t they is a question of respect. If they do not stop, you get to leave that relationship. Even if they do stop, you can still leave, because some issues of disrespect are egregious enough that you don’t need them in your life no matter how many apologies are made. 
More often than not, your terms matter because you are no longer forced to interact “nicely” with people who fundamentally disrespect you. Take their disrespect as a sign of their role in the relationship with you: they are showing you they don’t value you and so you also do not need to value them. You don’t need their approval because your relationships are no longer “approval” based – they should be respect-based.

You are allowed to dislike people who dislike you and you are allowed to have your barriers up to prevent further unnecessary interactions. 

The faster you learn this, the faster you realise that that you never actually have to internalise mean comments, mean gestures, cruel actions – you can immediately say “stop” and people will stop if they respect you, and they won’t stop if they don’t. Either way, you are always allowed to leave. That mean and cruel interaction will end one way or another. Don’t be scared to stand up for yourself because it will have an impact as you age. It might mean that you have to reject a lot of people, and get rid of a lot of what you thought were solid or good friendships/connections, but you also have yourself in your corner and that is what you need in the end: you don’t need people in your life who are not actually there for you. Clear away the clutter and make room for people in your life who actually are there for you. 
Never internalise someone else’s cruel projections of who you are, and never see yourself through the gaze of someone who projects ugliness onto you.
Simply reject the people doing this as they are showing you who they are. 
2. The cons of most relationships outweigh the pros because you simply need people less. you only need a very few number of people because you can rely on yourself for most of your needs because you become responsible for your own emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health. Obviously this is also modulated by illness, disability, and other considerations. But ultimately, you need people way less than you do as a child. Like significantly less. You are the adult in your life. The adult you rely on to take care of you? Is you.
So ultimately, I need like some good friends. a family. good connections. But really, do I need more than like 5 capital P People? no. like i really don’t. The vast number of people in my life who are not these 5 people are there because
a) a mutually reciprocal need-based relationship exists. money for goods. some conversation/insight for some other conversation/insight.
b) networking/working relationships that are leveraged in ways that are mutually beneficial with a specific task at hand
c) they are interesting people, and you can have interesting conversations from them, learn from them, teach them,
d) I can help them a lot. (this is important – you should be using your position of privilege to help those less fortunate, even if they can’t help you in return – and you might be surprised at the things they show you/reveal to you about your own life)
but at any given point there can only be about 5 that I really would fight to keep in my life should conflict arise
3. You get to be absolutely crystal clear about your terms without fear of repercussion. Think about it. What would repercussion even look like?
Them: “Oh come on it’s just a joke”
You:  “I don’t care and I don’t need it and I don’t need you”

Them: “Ok ok I’m really sorry (eyeroll)”
You: “You’re not sorry, and I don’t care about your apology, and I don’t want you in my life”

Them: “So you’re really going to throw away our friendship/connection/whatever imagined good interaction?”
You: “Exactly what are you contributing to my life? Are you
a) someone who is a good friend? no you are not
b) someone who I need due to some kind of leverage (like a landlord reference)? no you are not
c) someone who is interesting? haha I don’t think so – at least, not interesting enough to be worth the unnecessary interactions
So what exactly are you bringing to the table for this interaction?”

Them: “Ok, you’re being really silly and upset for no reason”
You: “Sure, but also gtfo and don’t let the door hit you on the way out”

Like. Literally. They can do nothing once you set the terms of your boundaries and how you want to be treated.

Kick every unworthy person out of your life with 0 apologies.

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shake off the people
who do not understand your worth, they
are apples rotting on your branches
in the autumn; they were not chosen in time –
envy ferments them late in the season
shake them free and let them land
in the soft dead leaves
where they belong

not all relationships deserve nurturing
and you are the tree who can grow
whoever she wants around her

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no one will protect you from the world
no one will be there for you unconditionally
no one will pick you up when you fall down
no one will help you without a price
everything has a price and
everyone has a price and
promises are lies in the way
that absolutes are lies
because there are no guarantees
there is no room for the kind of trust you are seeking
you can only see skin deep
everything is skin deep
people are skin deep
you cannot trust below what you see
all people are mysteries
do you understand?
you are alone because everyone is alone
the world is a cruel place
connections lead nowhere
no connection is worth your soul
your heart
your unconditional love
in the end, everyone dies alone
so make your peace with yourself
your love must be conditional for everyone and everything
except yourself:
you must be your own best friend
your own soulmate
your own partner in everything in every way in all ways all of the time
you don’t understand.

you will never matter to anyone in the way you want to matter to someone you can only matter to yourself in that way.

give yourself the world
give yourself the gift of all your gifts
pour your Self into yourself
give yourself your Self and maybe
that will be enough.

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nothing is forever
not even a goodbye

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I think about the people that hang out with people who they dislike and then make fun of them after. There is the insecurity that the “unliked’ have of course – the dreaded fear always of never feeling fully sure of their connections, that they are liked, that they are loved, that they are wanted – these hang from the end of a question mark between them and everyone they know – and you know the kind of people I’m talking about. The odd one out. The one that never quite fits in, crosses lines, doesn’t know how to relate to people maybe. The unlikeable ones. The one that “has people” they hang around with but these people snicker about this person after. And yes, of course there is the insecurity of these people that is off-putting but it’s ultimately a truth they need to confront: they keep running to people who don’t like them.

What I cannot understand is the insecurity and unkindness of people who don’t have firm boundaries, who choose to invite people into their lives that they do not like, and then treat them with disrespect and jeers in private. Why waste an evening with someone you dislike and then joke about it after? Why not just have boundaries and people in your life you actually want to have? Why not treat everyone you meet with basic respect and kindness? Why not make your needs heard, clearly and obviously to people who are socially off, have trouble fitting in, and are generally just trying to do their best too?
But let me tell you the power of someone who is generally unlikable: the sheer and stark reality of it is that eventually unlikability becomes a gift. Through unlikability you learn who respects you and who does not. Once a woman realises that someone not liking her does not mean she cannot like herself, that kind of unlikable woman will learn the strength of her own limbs, her own voice. She will build her own castle instead of begging to be a part of other people’s. When she knows her truth, she will learn eventually to never need or want or respect people who never want her or respect her or need her. She will be able to reject people who reject her, because she will be able to stand in the truth and comfort of her own body, her own limbs, her own voice. And she will find people who actually want to know her. Eventually she will take comfort in her unlikability. Eventually, likability will not be her goal – bigger things will be. Her goals, her dreams, her attitude and aptitude will be about self improvement without blame and shame. Her vision of herself will not be filtered through other people’s eyes, the peeled retinal projections of her as someone who can be written off. She will find mentors who believe in her, who encourage her through her flaws, and she will write off people who write her off as well. Once she loves herself, knows herself, her flaws, and her beauty,  and her ugly, and her power – no one can come for her, because she knows her ugliness better than anyone else. 

But I wonder about the people who have people they laugh at in their lives.

What hollow bones these people have, to not recognise cruelty in themselves? Who is so desperate that they hang around people who secretly make them miserable, who annoy them? Who actively chooses to spend time with people they do not respect? Pity and contempt are two sides of the same coin. What lack of skeleton must they have to not be comfortable with other people’s insecurities.

To these people with hollow  bones, the easily “liked”,  I say this:
Beware the unliked woman who knows her ugliness inside out; she will find the ugliness in you and show it to you and you might not be ready. Beware your hollow cotton soft bones that will always fail you, collapse into limbless architecture when push comes to shove, that have never had to support you, because people have always supported you.

To the unliked women, I say this:
Watch for the people with cotton for skeletons. Watch for pity and contempt. These are the people who need to hurt others to love themselves – who maybe cannot even love themselves. These are the people who will not know the difference between authenticity and lies even in their own lives. But you never need to fear them if you know yourself.

Let me tell you
the oldest and first witches were the unliked women who learned first from others that they existed to be kicked around, that this was A Truth. The oldest and first witches were those unliked women who learned to create a different Truth – what else is a spell after all, those women who never knew to say “Enough” and “Stop” and “I don’t need you” and “Get out” and the most important word of all: “No”. The oldest and first witches were those unliked women who never knew a single word would become a spell in their mouths, until they tried it and a village fell silent. The oldest and first witches were those who found a purpose in themselves, pulled from the earth herself, and even deeper still. The oldest and first witches knew the gate to hell was in their own bodies, after being pushed so below others, the oldest and first witches knew what ugliness can exist in anyone, are friends with the demons inside themselves, the hell cats and the hell hounds, and the shadowless forms that you only see sometimes in their eyes, or hear in their voice.

The oldest and first witches were those who never had anyone, learned to never need anyone else as much as they needed themselves – and eventually found themselves.

Let me tell you
I am one of those ancient and first witches. I am one of those unliked women who knows what a gift it is to not be liked, to know the rot and worthlessness of people whose skeleton is made of pretense and cotton rather than growing an honest one from root. I am one of those women who will know in a second how solid the earth under my foot between me and another person is, and no matter how much it is quicksand, I am not the one that will sink. I am one of those first and ancient witches who taught herself the skill of the Voice, the gift of Flight, the art of Sight, and I can Banish anyone and anything into the ether if I wish.

I am that witch who chooses who exists in my universe and all the gifts I have to offer.

Let me tell you
my skeleton is made of stone and earth and river.

What is yours made of?

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