I stopped.

if heaven is a place without pain
it must also be a place without love
i cannot write anymore the way i used to
all of it feels like a desert where a lake used to be
the tenderest parts of me are gone

just gone.

done dead vanished without evidence of having existed.

The only evidence is the writing.

The writing is flat now because there is nothing to write about. a writer loses a pen, loses a finger, loses parts of her body along the way.

one day it’s too much.


my walnut heart is enough for me. it pumps monotonously as i imagine it must for everyone.

life is a farce

no wonder all the ancient wise ones ached to be free of it

i do not believe in goodness or love anymore

i do not believe in life anymore

there is no internal drive other than inertia:

depression begets depression

doing things means you do more things

i do things. i keep doing things. life is just about the doing of it or ending it but even these choices are largely the same.

i have nothing to give anyone, after you.

after you, i stopped writing.

after you, i stopped loving.

i stopped.

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Seed: II

home is not where the heart is because i don’t have a heart but i have a home. my heart is a walnut small and brown. my heart is a walnut wrinkled and tiny and round. my heart is not a human heart anymore. my heart is just enough for me.  my heart is not a heart. my home is in my limbs and in my brainstem floating in a very large petri dish in appropriate media to maintain physiological conditions.  the intestines beat to a slow rhythm, prodded into thoughtfully digesting.  viscera hang in large transparent orbs against the walls from dollar store hangars –  you can find them for really cheap next to the cat litter catch pads. lungs slowly expand in an inhale, elsewhere the diaphragm pulls down. We are, without a point, increasing the volume of a nonexistent chest cavity; the rib cage lies in pieces in a drawer, all the bones have to be sorted, in fact. The floating ribs are of  course floating in the air above, circling lazily around the vague flickering light. there are parts of her on the table, this part of the work is always the blood and bones and guts and stringing muscle along the bones type of  Frankenstein operation.  no one can obviously visit this place; i would have no friends.

i stare at her dead face, glassy eyes, the lids still open, the lips coloured almost as blueish purple as Nyx’s Havana. i touch her hair and make a note to bathe it in coconut oil. death and resurrection. it is tiring. i make a soft sound with her lips. a soft tchh that comes off as frustrated and soothing. “i’d let you be like this. dead, you know. some people would call that compassion. but it’s not time yet is the thing. it’s not your time. if it was your time, i would be dead too and i’m still here”

when i meet friends they are impressed with the growth i have done. “oh yes, ” i say cheerfully, and then seriously “yes I’m building myself up” I am. I am building a new girl out of the old dead parts, the chainsaw sits bloodied in the corner, it is freezing this is a meat room i am just a serial killer. i have serially murdered myself over and over again, the first time in parts, a foot here, a wrist bone there. or maybe it’s more accurate to say she has murdered me many times – or tried to. At the end of it, all the bones need scrubbing. the vague imprint of lips in a kiss against the cardiac notch. Do you know where the cardiac notch is? Move your fingers to your voice box and then slide down until your fingers dip against the breastbone, and there it is. a notch. Anyway, I have always been the surgeon of delicate parts and the long strong bones. I have rebuilt myself, and I will rebuild the girl. though, is it really “re”building if she is not the same as before? there is no need to dissolve this girl in lye.

this girl will have no heart. her heart will be a walnut. we are going to plant a garden here instead inside this walnut.

I roll the seed in the palm of my hand and smile with half my face – the half that still has muscles attached to my lips and to skin. the other side, skull and peeling tissue still needs to heal, but this is my role after all: I have always been the surgeon of delicate parts and the long strong bones.

I have rebuilt myself, restitched my face together, and if I can restitch myself, I will rebuild the girl with all her parts too.

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love is a choice and so that sucks i guess

love is a choice lie and so that sucks I guess i guess that’s ok

one day i woke up and love was as much of a mundane choice as any other in the vast grey stupid unicolour dirty rug tapestry of life like do you want coffee are you too lazy to do laundry what about this person do they fit into your life well enough to love is there some chemistry is there some connection how magicless how vapid you could do this with anyone i think and then i laugh isn’t that what the great saints advocate: love everything, love everyone, love it all – like isn’t that what the dalai lama pops up like twice a year to say on some random tv interview and everyone applauds and nods knowingly and look i get it because i am somehow on that side of the equation too – it really is possibly to love everyone how fucking unspecial then is love here i am on that side of the equation without any of the joy because no one is special anymore nothing is magical anymore connections are full of shit i  think about why people cheat why people can’t commit i never had that problem before – well before him – but now i do, oh boy do i ever, now that love is a stupid choice like any other stupid choice of course i do how could anyone not i always chose the magic and now there is no magic there is just this stupid thing of who works in my life and the truth is only I work in my life only me and my walnut heart and there is no room for anyone else here there is no real congruency i have with the world and the truth is no one has any congruency with the world we are all out of balance i am sure we were a mistake that nature is trying to figure out how to fix i am sure global warming will kill us before it kills the planet i am sure love is overrated beyond belief is a farce is a myth i am sure people end up with someone as in they wind up with someone as in they wind up in their lives the choices they make out of necessity and practicality and whatever else that’s all it is 90 percent of the time that and loneliness and a farcical idea of what being loved means – but that magic will always be my dragon i thought, chase it till i die i thought, but it died some idiot came along and blundered his way into its den chopped off its head with a butter knife by accident so bye bye no more dragon dragon gone so now love is a fucking stupid dumbass idiotic bullshit choice like do you want sugar in your tea it’s as stupid as that it’s as tiny as that it’s as mundane god honestly nothing has destroyed the beauty of the universe, destroyed  the imagined beauty i had of it, destroyed my capacity to imagine beauty and surprise and magic more than this stupid fucking fact: love is a choice and all the self help books love telling women that love is a choice while men get to have their fucking dragons, get to win their fantasies, get to have what they want, get to pursue, initiate interest, boys will be boys because they get to dream never ever fucking forget that and girls are born women taught, trained, that all their dreams will never be reflected in society nothing will be given to us nothing will be magical nothing will be special there is nothing to be grateful for there is never ever goddamn never any reason to be helpless about any damn thing and no when you’re a man helplessness and vulnerability are not the same but when you’re a woman they are ok they are because the world is stupid so what does a woman do in this world where love is a choice for us and a happy coincidence that feels fated for men hmm what do we do where love is a fucking choice like what vegetable should i make for dinner tonight for me and for men it feels like the will of the universe to love someone hrmm what do i fucking do with the fact that anytime I’ve felt the force of the universe behind me when I have loved it has turned to so much piss and shit and ash and dust that I feel actually laughed at by a higher power hmm? well i do what all women have always done – let go, let the miserable stupid fucking dragon die, realise it’s not for me, and eventually i try to take comfort in the control of it the witching way the everything is an intentional thing way the power way  – because it is powerful you know it is powerful to know i choose everything i want in my life and maybe this is the price men pay for their fantasies: the helplessness. the lack of control. there is a reason witches are women there is a reason spells are truthful there is a reason men cannot be witches ever ever ever there is a stranger beauty in controlling everything in myself and in my life and this strange beauty it isn’t love no it isn’t but it is what I have and I have it because I made it because I chose it and it is what is real and yes it’s unfair that men’s fantasies come true despite their bumbling stupid idiocy but i take small and vicious comfort that it doesn’t always go their fucking way no, because sometimes they are laid open gutted like fish inside a boat gasping for air too feeling the weight of the universe slice them open and no i will never ever have empathy for a man’s heartbreak he can go fuck himself he can lie there wondering where his heart went no i don’t care what she did to him i don’t care if she cheated if she left if she hurt him i don’t care because that is the only recompense this stupid world has for women: men get their hearts broken sometimes and for  men  unlike for me there is no alterantive no, they will never be able to think of partnering as a choice and they at least will never ever be witches will never ever be spellmakers truthcasters will never ever know control the way I know control so i guess all i have to say is so fucking what if a woman takes a stupid dumbass fish home for her aquarium once in a while the rest are eaten the rest are blood and fins and guts spilled into the waves and none of them have any control yes men are idiot fish and women select the ones to eat and the ones to keep and that is all there is, and the ones that swim around in their stupid little bowls smile living out their stupid little fantasies going “yay! she picked me! yay! ” fucking stupid fish –  i just always thought people were people but fish fantasies are for fish (too bad we are ruled by the idiot fantasies of idiot fish) it’s not even love i cannot call the choosing choice making act of intentionally picking and supporting love it’s not even love that is a choice love is just a lie  i dont know what it is, the choosing,  just the act of living I suppose we live with people i suppose it’s the little needs i suppose but for me there just isn’t any such need anymore – whatever it is i’m capable of, whatever fish i select from the sea, whatever mermaid witch song i have to sing is not love it is just my life it is my whole life and all my choices and it is not love, no love is not even a choice, love is just a lie – beautiful if it’s a fish’s fantasy, ugly if it’s a person’s fantasy, and i’m no fucking fish, but i wonder if any of us are people – and in the
end there are no genders only the eaten, the eaters, the kept, and the keepers, and
the snake girls and siren witches that stay away from it all

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I know who I am:
I am every witch I ever was
and every witch I will ever be

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A Witch Is Born

(what have you done.)
there is no faster way to yourself than falling in love with the right person for the wrong reasons. what a wounded place to exist in. the body pulls apart at the junctures of gap junctions in the heart, begs for a different reality, begs to be dead, begs for a different life, immediately tries to claw through time to a better time across the universe. a dead thing stays beating caught in its helpless rhythm chanting obscenely to a new melody – “I am” instead of “We are” – and you are not here.

months later the fog lifts.

no one is here.
none of us are here.
the reality i feel echoes in me pleasantly
I am suddenly all of me enough. (oh
what did you do to me.)

you are always here because in the leaving of it I am more me, and I am more you too.

I am more of everyone.

(how did you do this.)

that stuff of me the inside is that  carapace the steel the bone, i ate the metal of my exoskeleton after you, chewed my outsides for a change, I have swallowed all the stone scales and rough sand,
all the chains and all bulletproof vests –
I ate my snakeskin and razor tongue.
I ate my scorpion tail.
I ate my Rage and my Respect
I ate like a growing embryo, a fetus,
like a hungry thing, I was a hungry thing
I was so so hungry all the time, I was Hunger
Hunger Hunger, (maybe that’s why I met the Cook in the garden)
I was starved so I ate.
I almost ate you but you didn’t let me and I knew
I knew it was wrong, but I was – just I was just  –
I was starved so I ate myself.
I ate myself the way others ate me too – 

But the body is always cleverer than the mind. And I
have been writing a long long time in the wrong wrong way
about the right thing, but my clever hand and its flexible fingers,
peeking under the stone of my skin finally shed all the 
iron masks and carapace i left lying on
the other side of the room
years ago left her behind

and I felt light years ago, 
light and empty 
light like the kind of lightness
without protection, and when I met you,
I was so starved

I was starved for myself,
and after you,
I ate myself the parts I had left
in the corner of the room
the carapace
the steel 
the metal and the bone,
i ate it all because we eat
to fill ourselves and to heal ourselves
we eat what we need we eat what we need we eat what we need i stuffed
my metal fist into my mouth to stop crying, and I ate my hand, but really
the body is always cleverer than the mind, and when I chewed off the moulting tongue,
it was only after when I knew oh my god

that girl really did die, snakeskin shed, and I ate her.

my writing is different so that must mean my heart is different, so I ate that heart too.

my writing is different so that must mean my fingers are different, so I ate my fingers.

my writing is different so that must mean my soul is different, and I ate my soul.

I ate myself because I needed myself.

Soulchanger, heart eater, what happens when you eat yourself?

And so I – she – had to die you know for this girl – Me.
I died for Me, for all of me, some of me for all of me
every spell is about making the most out of
very very little – and
the scrapyard junk metal was
it turns out not so junk
on the inside, in my blood and in my bones and in
all the ligaments,
So this girl was born in the air knowing how to move like hope and wind and freedom. This girl was born in a river knowing how to breathe underwater. This girl was born with with stone and earth in her bones and in her teeth. This girl was always made of fire, but not always made of light.

This girl was born in a cemetary, lifted
herself out of the earth, stared
at the tombstone near her head, smiled,
looked up and around
her and said “this place will be a garden, 
inside and out. Yes, I will grow it with this seed and with My story.  ”

This is a girl who looks like a girl, her skin is skin,
her heart is a heart, her skeleton is on the inside where
all the stuff of bone and stone and hard things belong,
and her hands her fingers her eyes – these
are rose petal newborn soft.

“The garden will have a wall,” she decides, and then smiles.
“But it will also have a gate.” 

BeingLovedAgain smiles in the mirror, I can see her whole face, fully healed, only if I look very closely are there faint white lines, all the scars but I know they will heal too. She is exactly my age, exactly my height, exactly like me.

And when I open my mouth, hers opens too.
I know what is in the grave now,” we say, together. She laughs and I do too, and
because it has to be said, we say it:

“It was me, just me, all of me, all along.” 

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I am my own witness
I know what I did last winter
I know what that was
I am the evidence
I am the judge
I am the jury
I am the prison guard
I am the executioner
I am the advocate for a plea deal
I am the bail
I am the witness
I am the guilty
I am the innocent
I am all of it and

so are you

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Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about. – Rumi

the moon was always our witness

when i woke up i knew you again

last night moon bright dream song warm
outside on the porch steps your head in my lap i brushed away your tears held my finger against your trembling lips held your head against my breast kissed your forehead and then you tweaked my nose i kissed your hand our fingerprints matching fingertips touching across the thin membrane of a wormhole, the whole vacuum of space between our skins turning blue your palm against my chest returning the heart you took, more full than before, me pressing your smile back onto your lips – we say nothing because nothing needs to be said. just swallow air like water.

It’s never too late.

It’s just that sometimes some things are too early.

Some loves just happen too early graceless in their fledgling flight, eggs broken at half-bird – broken nest tumbling

it’s ok. and it really is ok.

some birds learn to fly when they fall.

some birds only learn to fly too close to the sun and too close to the water to know
they can have it all.

these are the birds that want the fullness of the sky for themselves all of it all of it over and over – the landscape of how i love will always be that altitude where air meets the vacuum past the mountain peaks planets within reach

(it’s the lack of self preservation
masquerading as an earned
vulnerability that threw you off

some birds aren’t born with wings, we know
how to grow wings from whatever we land in, so how
beautiful and
lucky for me I landed in you

in the sky, i locked our memories
in the clouds far away but
we will meet again
when it rains, a hundred years from now
it will feel like my fingers in your hair
whispers against your back
holding your hand
it will sound like my laughter
you will close your eyes, and when your tears fall
i will wipe them from my window, reaching from
another universe, my ghost fingers cupped
against your cheek will
catch your pain

a century from now
you will know me again
even if we never meet;
She, silent and crescent
in the sky, will say
everything we don’t know how to say

the moon was always our witness

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after you

no one will take care of me. no one wants me to take care of them. and life is simpler like this. i feel decluttered after you. the bare window bones curtainless and new after a bleach wash the house feels new even if it is not. it’s the cleanliness of an empty house. It’s the sterile hospital smell that reminds you how this space existed in sickness and in health.

no furniture. nothing in the fridge.

we are born as love wanting to love and be loved and if we are lucky both happen but most people are not lucky most of the time you get just one of those things.  after 9 months of security in the womb we forget it all in the world. The world is a cruel place. a detached place. we attach to everything else and in the end to ourselves. love is coming home. home is the body heart mind. you really can leave everything behind except yourself. in the end all the cliches are true, especially the pairs that contradict: love is always enough /love is not enough. the better i see people the less i am interested in them – so i understand now that acute feeling of dread people have had about me:  familiarity breeds contempt/to love someone is to know them. 

everyone can leave you and will.

it doesn’t sound ominous anymore. doesn’t blare like a warning before new relationships anymore, doesn’t cackle in the aftermath ruins of another rejection anymore, doesn’t feel cold anymore, it’s just – you are just a dude like every other dude is just a dude.

and i’m just a ladybird with a ladybird song

but coming to this acceptance without tragedy is lucky – because this is why parental deaths shake people – it’s why after first love ends, people fall apart.

I am very lucky to have this understanding of the world after unreciprocated love, rather than a mutual love that ends.

Because i know mutal love can end now. It does so often. And i know love is still love.

Everyone can leave you and they will.

who i am is who i am when everyone has left.

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elephant song


Virginia woolf’s suicide note to her husband feels like it’s pulled from my diary – the old pages and thankfully not the new, but the complete sureness of her partner’s Goodness, the complete assured sense of her own Lack echoes in my bones even V wasn’t too unique in the end the breathtaking quality of stories that repeat ad nauseum the cats are complacent beside me i think about the times i have loved and the times it has not been reciprocated i think about what that means and realise it means nothing over and over again like a fish in a glass bowl a friend of mine got ghosted the other day yeah not even in a typical way but in an arranged marriage situation way haha can you believe it. can you believe this shit happens all the time first the parents were into it then my friend and his fianceetobe were into it and then the girl’s side changed their minds and that’s that over done khalaas what do you even do with that i mean nothing is reliable really and no one is reliable not at the end anyway it’s breathtakingly mundane heart break fart break commercial break how many takes can you take for a shot to work according to eminem you only get one but idk these days who the fuck even listens to eminem picky people want other people who are picky you have to be picky choosy you have to never settle own every moment of your life that is the only cure to depression when things stop happening and you happen to things instead like the egg the carrot and the coffee bean in hot water which are you which are you
what did you even want, at the start?

what did i even want, at the end?

when did we lose each other – have we even done that properly?

there is such a danger in not knowing yourself. this state
produces the best lies, the lies that feel like truth.

there is a book i read once. it was called The White Bone and it’s the kind of book you can only read once but which you must read once. It is about elephants and how lovely they are how vulnerable they are how sweet sweet sweet. It is about humans too, in a way.

i don’t think i mattered enough to even hurt you is a thought i have when i think about us-me.

but  of course i hurt you is a thought i have when i think about us-you.

still calm bird with a trembling broken wing
the brokenness of me distorts everything i know, you know,
the broken glass painting refracts light oddly against
churchgoers’ faces the girl is not really bleeding it
is just a red skirt against her face, it’s how
a breeze can feel gentle on my face, and sting
the exposed tissues of my bird wing

it’s ok. the punishment matches the crime, mine:

i had absolutely no business loving you.

there is an ethical praxis to love and to this question of boundaries needs the things we do how we linked our fingers, and those feather light touches i fell asleep to the tenderness of it there is a question of justice to what people want and need and ask for there is a morality to it there is a Right and a Wrong about it and it was Wrong.

Do you know that.

What we did was wrong.

It lands heavy in the after because it was wrong.

What a sin to take something we weren’t ready for from each other and then throw it away. Decadence. Selfishness. Avarice. Wrath. Lust. There is a reason these things are sins. 

How do you sleep at night. How do I.

Everything sinful stems from thoughtlessness. the immediacy of the moment at the expense of everything else the blinds the tunnel vision to 2 feet in front.

Were we prudent or present or brave. Were we gracious or just or strong.

It was beautiful and wrong. It was sincere and wrong. It was wishful and hopeful and wrong. It was passionate and wrong. It was hesitant for the wrong reasons.  It was bittersweet in the wrong ways and for the wrong reasons, more bitter than sweet with time we really corked the fucking wine didn’t we. we can’t even say sorry to each other can we – apologies like love like forgiveness need a place to land, we have made the walls that contain us smooth like metal and fired clay there is no landing space anymore.

So say sorry to the universe. Say I love you to the universe. Say you’re gonna be ok to the universe. Say I am too.  let the moon hear it soft and light, rising at least like truth. the only cure to shame is truth.

i don’t understand us anymore the you-me the burial the death the end-
it feels like someone took a pencil
turned it upside down and kept rubbing parts of me out
with the old
in with the new.
blank slate.

there is always space for new beginnings after death.
death loosens the spirit away from all the body’s pain
in the future when we are both ashes
i promise what i did what you did all of it
will stop hurting and maybe
we will just become our own memories
taking shape in clouds in an otherwise blue sky

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the body is always cleverer

the body is always cleverer than the mind, the
blood carries some message to and from the tongue telephone
broken rotary string thin cups around the corner feet
on sidewalks, lost along the way, some sense of the heart – trying
to pull words out of tissues is the task of any poet
but we get it wrong sometimes. we do. the missed information
half heard, half formed, something happens when we
think too much about things

like my heart is a walnut. it sounded like
a good metaphor, a small hard thing, just for
me, the metaphor lived. The image grew, a tree for me,
a walnut tree heart, a walnut heart
I wrote that once and kept writing it but
the body is always cleverer than the mind, so
i really had to sit and wonder why not almonds
or pistachio easily my favourite in ice cream
why not cashews, roasted – there’s a metaphor, if
less empowering. but the body is always cleverer
than the mind, and there was a reason
my heart is a walnut – the images always come first
the sense of it, the contours and the shape
poetry is just 3d cryoimaging of ultrathin biological sections, you
take the heart (or perhaps a whole mouse embryo),
you freeze it, you slice it thin as can be, take photos
and put the photos back together to give you the three
dimensional image of the organ (or perhaps, the mouses embryo)
and all its insides
and when i did this to my growing embryo of the heart,
the lab technician eventually said “well the results are in,” and
scratched his head “it’s looking like a walnut”
“a walnut” i said. “huh. weird. are you sure?”
The lab technician shrugged and I shrugged too and saw it
and yup, very walnut like this heart,
“ok yeah that makes sense – let’s go with that”
but poets and scientists make mistakes sometimes
and messages get crossed
and the images we take of ourselves cut up
from the inside sometimes, we assemble them the
wrong way on our tongues, like what we say is a projection of what we saw
is a projection of light reflected the wrong way
all this to say, my scythe tongue cutting my heart into ultrathin cryosections
said “this is a walnut” and my eyes saw a walnut
and my hands have been writing about my walnut heart
but the body is always cleverer than the mind

and it turns out
my heart is a wall
for me the nut.

(and it’s ok, we are all nuts)

and that suddenly makes so much more sense.

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