Before Closure

all we have is depth
connection anchored in;
deep in sombre tone
wanting nothing more
than the pull –
the reason to addict
ourselves in ache’s
beauty. In my womb,
arms, your pate
withered with meaning’s
search. Indulging
fractured nostalgia, we’re
unsure of how we are. You
gesture – ‘when were you last
happy?’- to which I don’t reply,
immediately. I’m melancholic
for now and such is all I see
in my trace and yours. I fall
cradled in knowing
our tender sores,
caressing their fringe.
On your lips, I read you
‘should be dead’ or have
died, taking me in as I
take you. Opening up
before closure,
I reluctantly rise
to the surface, aware
of intensity’s fade;
such depths no longer
each other’s embrace.
I dry myself gently,
prolonging time
ahead of parted ways.
My melancholy turns
to saudade with a pale
desire to have drowned
with you.

PERIOD TALK: Let’s have a discussion


Menstruation: a natural process, occurring every lunar cycle, involving the vaginal release of blood, sodium, calcium, phosphate, iron, chloride and a few other things. Menopause: a natural part of ageing in which oestrogen levels decrease and eventually results in the cease of periods and fertility. This effects (or will effect) around 50% of the current population, yet needless to say, the rife attitude of discomfort or inappropriateness of discussing such things is generally accepted. As if to indicate periods are something to be ashamed about; an uncleanly, impure interval in between times of actual acceptability. As for menopause, simply something to be fearful of and (again) silent about.

Question: Can you remember a time when you’ve felt embarrassed or have been made to feel embarrassed when talking about periods (or menopause)?

Though understood as humour, perhaps even the euphemisms used to describe periods suggest a reluctance to envisage the picture of matter flowing from one place to another. For example:

Aunt Flow
That time of the month
On the rags
Red tide
Red curse
Code Red
Monthly visitor
Mother Nature
Lady time
Crimson wave
The Blob
Having the painters in
Can anybody think of any more?

As well as some of these terms being quite demeaning – ‘the blob’ in particular – inhibited and negative, they describe periods as something to avoid communicating. Period blood is also depicted as a blue fluid in sanitary product ads; it’s as if to say ‘period blood is as vulgar and as rampant with bacteria as human shit’.

periods are not dirty, they’re beautiful,

period blood is not polluted, it’s awesome

menopause isn’t to be ridiculed or feared, it is to be celebrated

and that we should speak MORE about these issues, not less.


It may not be a surprise that organised religion has played a massive role in at least the perpetuation of this. Although religious texts have arguably done some good, needless to say, it’s also abundant with patriarchal sexism. Many religious texts depict menstruation as a time of impurity and that the females experiencing them should be temporarily banished from society.

Here’s a quote from the Bible – “…in her menstrual impurity; she is unclean… whoever touches…shall be unclean and shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening” Leviticus 15

…The Quran – “go apart from women during the monthly course, do not approach them until they are clean” Quran 2:222,

Much Hindu text also promotes segregation for those menstruating. Women are to be forbidden from entering Hindu temples, practicing sacred rituals, engaging in sexual intercourse and preparing food. They mustn’t sleep in the daytime, bathe, touch other living humans, or speak loudly. Unlike other traditional religions, however, women are deemed pure simply after menstruation ceases – there is no purification process necessary.

With that said, Hindu author Shri Nithin Sridhar made this point in his article ‘Hindu View of Menstruation’

“Hindu tradition promotes a positive notion and asks women to perceive menstruation as a period of rest, austerity and self-purification…Hinduism celebrates menstruation as (a) sacred festival and promotes a holistic view by aligning menstruation with various ecological and cosmic principles.”

Though such an idea shouldn’t be thrust upon females by banning certain activities, the encouragement of listening to one’s body and surfacing emotions ain’t a bad idea, in my view; in addition to indirect interpretation of other religious texts. Nevertheless, the idea of of ‘impurity’ of one’s period is for sho dated to the time such religious texts were written i.e. before the time the first Latin encyclopedia stated –

“Contact with [menstrual blood] turns new wine sour, crops touched by it become barren, grafts die, seed in gardens are dried up, the fruit of trees fall off, the edge of steel and the gleam of ivory are dulled, hives of bees die, even bronze and iron are at once seized by rust, and a horrible smell fills the air; to taste it drives dogs mad and infects their bites with an incurable poison.”

So it is to be understood that when it comes to most religious texts, it’s important to filter the widely regarded ‘cosmic essence’ or ‘divine essence’ through what is simply patriarchal and pretty damn intolerant opinions of that time, in the same way we’d watch Singing In the Rain expecting the enforced gender roles of the 1950s.

It is understood that religion, like other patriarchal sexism and intolerance, has helped to perpetuate the long menstration taboo. Though, because I’m genuinely unsure, I ask the question –

‘Do you believe the discussed religions were responsible for the period stigma or were they simply influenced by the already existing period stigma?’

I’ve really only touched the surface of this topic but to avoid talking about religion any further I am going to move on.

Enough of the stigma, here are some stories of women who have challenged it:

Kiran Gandhi was a marathon runner who became widely known for participating in the London marathon on the first day of her period, without a tampon. In her article for the Independent she wrote “The global discussion that has ensued over the last week revealed how there is actually much more stigma around menstruation than we could have ever imagined.”

Another way women have began challenging stigma is by creating art from actual period blood
(source: The Guardian ) In 2015 ‘Artist H Plewis began collecting her own menstrual blood. She then mixed it with jelly and let it set into the form of a rabbit. “I thought jelly was a good substance as it reminded me of the plasma in your period,” she says. For Plewis, her own blood had become a piece of art.
“When I first had my period, I didn’t want to tell anybody,” she says, about what inspired her. “I kept it secret for quite a long time until my father found out. So I wanted to turn that shame into something quite visceral and visual. Get close to my blood, feel it and handle it.”

‘The concept of using menstrual blood to create art has gained even more prominence in the past few years. Vanessa Tiegs coined the term “menstrala” in 2000 to describe her paintings that used menstrual blood. She echoes what Carnesky says about the importance of menstrual cycles. The phrase rhymes with “mandala”, which fits well with the idea of menstruation making us whole, she says, hoping that the name will become a way to unify menstrual artists.’

How do we honour our period?


Though the main topic is menstruation itself, I think it’s just as important to honour the entire monthly cycle some of us experience. I am personally somebody who undergoes what I, and some others, feel is pretty extreme fluctuations in mood – so much so, I’ve been forced to look at this. What I’ve found is that, just like we tend to experience cyclical moods across the year, I and others experience a monthly version of this – a smaller cycle within the annual cycle. So these cycles usually differ from person to person, but my spring phase will begin the moment my period finishes. During this time, I’ll begin to be inspired by new ideas; my general mood is one of optimism and I’ll feel a desire to, not necessarily create, but rather to organise imagined ideas. This then allows time for my summer phase, in which my energy levels sky rocket; I’ll feel much more extrovert, creative and sensual; using my energy to communicate the ideas I received in my summer phase. My ovulation occurs somewhere in between my summer and autumn phase. During my autumn, I’ll begin to reflect much more. I’ll be PMSing at this point and I’ll be much more inclined to listen than to speak. In the final stage of my autumn phase (i.e. my PMs) and just before my winter phase (i.e. menstruation) I’ll be incredibly sensitive and severe. I’ve found that the more difficult emotions, I’ve perhaps not addressed previously in the month, will rise to the surface in order for me to deal with. This leads to the winter phase wherein I’ll experience, what feels like, a detoxification and release of these emotions. Perhaps this resonates with some of you, perhaps it doesn’t but what has strengthened my own views on these mood cycles are the ancient rituals and perceptives – as well as some current ones – that align with the actual menstruation process. A lot of these involved or still involves females retreating from their usual customs, sitting together in a menstrual circle and bleeding into the earth. It would be a time for spiritual healing and emotional purification. Period blood would be regarded as sacred and worthy of the earth because it can benefit plant growth. This is because period blood is rich in stem cells.

(Source: ‘Egyptian medical textsuse the word hsmn for menstruation, which, some argue, also meant “purification” (7). Menstruation, in these texts, is seen positively. Cures for amenorrhea are offered, and menstrual blood is used as an ingredient in ointments, like in one for saggy breasts (hmph)(10, 11).’

Such rituals were made easier back in ancient societies because women’s cycles were directly influenced by the moon cycles, therefore most women would bleed at the same time. Due to modern contraception and not really living outside anymore, we no longer really sync up. Nevertheless, such rituals still occur in some parts of the world.

The Mbendjele tribe of Central Africa, for example, still uses sayings like “my biggest husband is the moon”. The biggest grass hut of the Mbuti tribe in Zaire is the menstrual hut, where women go when they have their first period, accompanied by other girls and female relatives. There, having a period is considered powerful and blessed by the moon.

(Source: Wikipedia) An instructive example is provided by the anthropologist Wynne Maggi, who describes the communal bashali (large menstrual house) of women in the Kalasha Valley (northwestern Pakistan) as their ‘most holy place’, respected by men and serving as women’s all-female organizing centre for establishing and maintaining gender solidarity and power.

This is very appealing to me personally, however, it is to be understood that such practices is very limited to one gender – cis female. Where do such rituals and expressions of femininity leave those who identify as female and don’t experience periods? Similarly, where do they leave those who experience periods but don’t identify as female? Do these rituals have a place in current society?

Let’s generate some discussion !


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Hello gang, here’s wee poem for you today, accompanied by a still of an animation I made – ‘The Collective Unconscious’. I wrote this poem on the night of a blue moon…so inevitably it’s about the moon, as well as mood cycles (something I’m compelled to write about due to my rather cyclical mood swings). Also, for those who don’t know, ‘Toska’ is a Russian word that roughly translates to a particular kind of lugubriousness. It can range between a great spiritual anguish to a dispiriting boredom. Anyway, I hope y’all enjoy it.


now I see a full moon

soon to be coated in shadow

resurrecting pained bodies

ailments suddenly known

wounds as open

and vulnerable as ever

before, steaming dulcet toska

like blood

unil waif

left vacant and still

soon ready to be in light once more

Glare and Mirror

sometimes I deceive myself

believing I’m stronger than I am;

in personal matters

I couldn’t give a damn

there’s too much

world suffering to meet the eye

of mine and what’s happening inside.

I’ve hurt

but who hasn’t?

I’m hurting but my legs remain

unscathed. I scream,

taking a breath

to do so, with a voice

others can hear.


sometimes I say

‘I don’t deserve to suffer’

not because I shouldn’t

nor that others should more

but that with the privilege

granted since birth

surely all I must feel is gratitude.


gratitude for family, friends

and shelter for an able body

promised food, stability.

gratitude for a lifetime

out of sight, out of mind

of war, poverty and violence.

yet sensitivity still follows me

its presence marked as tears

streaming sorrow, bequeathing

a pensive tomorrow


my woes are inexpensive

though too uncompromising.

with a destined glare

and mirror,

hurt will be here.


Extra Second Brighton: Plastic

So in the first Extra Second, I deemed it appropriate to have consumerism as a December theme . December….Christmas…pretty fitting. This time, it’s January and now the manifestation of what was once familial gratitude has descended into a mound of cheaply manufactured material, perhaps to be washed into the ocean and unlikely to be biodegraded until the year 2468. Feeling shame for purchasing such at this point may be counter-intuitive due to the fact plastic is rather inescapable. This current argument has been brought to you by a plastic computer, plastic mouse and plastic keyboard. My plastic glasses have been used to observe this plastic in front of me, as I take a pensive sip from a plastic cup, containing a drink I paid for with my plastic money. Sure, I can assert my autonomy by simply purchasing less plastic BUT I cannot help but think of more impactful solutions. To hold everybody accountable for such a widely available commodity through the eyes of neoliberal ideals, neglects the circumstances of the underprivileged Perhaps it’s cheaper and more time-effective to buy fruit and vegetables encased in the artificial matter, as opposed to purchasing the local unpackaged ones. Sometimes we’re thirsty on a train and the only source of water is a bottled version. Then again, for those who can afford to do such, should we vote collectively through our purchases to perhaps minimise plastic production? I have my own opinions on this, I personally think individual accountability of purchases is pretty petty focus of handling a global issue, in comparison to what we could do. But, for the sake of a discussion I ask the question: Should we be held accountable for the plastic we buy? 

Plastic Facts (

 Documented successful solutions of plastic reduction:

Ever since the 5p bag charge was introduced in supermarkets, plastic bag usage has dropped 85%. This is a 2016 statistic so it’s likely that the usage has dropped even more. The revenue from the plastic bags are also donated to local charities. The project my friend Alex is involved with has made all Tescos in Glasgow City Centre to give people the chance to vote for a portion of the money raised from plastic bags to go to the Springburn Park Community Village. The 5p bag charge is now being extended as a requirement for all shops too, including local. Needless to say the development of the charge was not solely a direct action by the government, but a response to the pressure of public attitudes. Such is exasperated by those collecting and informing statistics, photographs and works of art.

Plastic destined for land fills can be used to create fix roads. “British engineer Toby McCartney has devised an innovative process to replace much of the crude oil-based asphalt in pavement with tiny pellets of plastic created from recyclable bottles. The result is a street that’s 60 percent stronger than traditional roadways, 10 times longer-lasting, and a heck of a lot better for the environment.”

We can also build houses with recycled plastic for just a little over £5,000. This is an article I read on

  • Colombian company Conceptos Plásticos saw two pressing issues in the world and decided to tackle both with recycled building materials. One issue is the housing crisis, prevalent in Latin America where 80 percent of the population now resides in urban areas. The second is the overwhelming amount of plastic crowding landfills. To combat these issues, Conceptos Plásticos recycles plastic into LEGO-like building blocks that families can use to easily construct their own homes.
  • Conceptos Plásticos works with local communities to source plastic and rubber and train locals on the building process. With the building blocks, locals can build their own houses, emergency shelters, community halls, and classrooms. A home for one family will take four people five days to construct with the recycled building blocks – and there’s no construction experience necessary. The blocks fit together like LEGOs.
  • Not only are the pieces easy to work with, they’ll resist natural disasters as well. Conceptos Plásticos puts an additive that makes the product fire-resistant, and since the blocks are made of plastic, they’ll also resist earthquakes. The company reports their “construction system is 30 percent cheaper” than systems traditionally utilized in rural areas. A standard home can be constructed for just $5,200.
  • The plastic building blocks will degrade around 500 years or more down the road, but for now they offer shelters for families who can’t afford other housing or are fleeing crises.

Though there’s been evidence to suggest that landfills don’t pose a risk to us as much as we once thought, the devastation of plastic is still very much present in our oceans. 

Here’s some statistical data on the matter (

  • More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year
  • Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one liter bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
  • Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in the oceans
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.
  • One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
  • 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.

There are luckily solutions to this incredibly depressing issue. The Ocean’s Clean Up is a non-profit organisation, dedicating to clearing the oceans via energy neutral modern technology. This technology is still being developed. According to their website cleaning up the Great Pacific using conventional methods – vessels and nets – would take thousands of years and tens of billions of dollars to complete. Their passive systems are estimated to remove half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years. A recyclable floater is used together with a screen to detect and catch plastic. Scale model tests have shown that they’ll be able to catch any plastic in between 1 centimetre and several metres longs. The float very much acts like plastic and therefore naturally heads towards plastic rich area, with help from natural forces like waves. Once the system is full, a support vessel empties the system using pumps and belts, before shipping the plastic back to land for processing and recycling.  (info provided by

Tue Greenfort is a Danish artist who uses an imperceptible approach to address the issues of climate change. For an exhibition in 2007, persuaded the gallery to reduce the air-conditioning to cause a 2 degree temperature rise. This was to mimic the estimated global temperature increase that we’d be experiencing over the next 50 years (according to a 2006 Stern review). The money they saved on air-condition that day went directly towards an environmental organisation to meet the artist’s wishes. Now in relation to plastic solutions: should more artists take this approach? Do artists have a duty to persuade action or at least to finance it?

Ok so the reason this topic originally came to be tonight theme is due to the endless conversations I have had with my friend Ruby.  In rancour we’d define this time as the age of plastic – a once bronze age has altered into this. If our planet is to remain, archaeologists would dig up our fossilised containers and Barbies and indeed establish our present as the plastic era. We’d too consider whether today’s people have become reflective of that, apparent in the decreased authenticity and in favour of reality television stars becoming presidents. Having said this, the rise of Trump may also be a sign of plastic rejection – advocating authenticity . Neolibralists like Obama, Hilary Clinton, Bush and Blair have been a charismatic front for the deaths they have committed and specialist interests, allowing mass comfort and trust in such figures and their decisions. Whereas Trump, through his sheer intolerance and stupidly, has sparked a mistrust in the governmental system and therefore maybe recognise we ought to take matters into our own hands (what she should’ve always done). Journal Will Storr has raised the point of neolibralism being eaten at both end – by both the left and the right. The left may reject the global market due to the social issues it raises and the right, possibly for the purpose of immigration. With all this said, what do you think? Is the amount of plastic in today’s society reflected in the faces of the people?

Can the Powerful be Role Models?

Art, without question, will derive from the cultural, personal and political contexts it’s found in. However, art alone has the potential to influence the actual contexts themselves. This relationship between art and context is very muclh like a conversation – of action and reaction – especially the visual.

This can be most overtly demonstrated in the media’s role of modern advertising, effectively probing an irrational and therefore impressionable state within mass populations. Why? According to Freudian deduction, insecurity and desire exist cooperatively – inflaming one another. It was actually Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, that used his uncle’s teachings to the advantage of advertisers – birthing the illusion of deficit that can only be filled by commodities; the consumerist narrative we see today.

To fuck off this narrative, which is clearly ill-serving of us, it would be argued to simply rid ourselves of advertising and all things relating to it. I propose the opposite. Though ridding ourselves of media buzzwords and such racket would certainly do well for our own psychology, to have any hope of reducing the power consumerism holds as a narrative, we must view its defining figures almost as sages.

Those who have the ability to control and exploit the masses must first have a comprehensive grasp of the human condition. Under Ray Kroc’s influence, McDonalds developed the iconography of  the infamous ‘M’ sig, rapidly impacting a global recognition. It was his intention to mimic the golden arches of the religious and academic architecture this phenomenon had replaced, along with the historical narrative. The age of convenience and purchase had taken charge. Coca-cola is also a leading example of this type of manipulation. The leading executives attach certain descriptions to their product which are quintessential to the culture they’re selling to, along with the insecurities that rest on them. For the UK currently (because it is winter time) – warmth, sentimentality, comfort. For Brazil – joy, vibrancy, playfulness.

So the visual is obviously a major factor in persuasion, because if we were to rely solely on touch and smell to experience such products and places, in my opinion we would merely receive blandness and indifference. Sound, however, also plays a massive role, especially when repetition is a leading consideration. The McDonald’s whistle, the Go Compare adverts, the five-note jingle in Coca-cola ads.
Repetition of image, repetition of sound, repetition repetition repetition works- unfortunately we are this sensitive. I certainly notice this in myself, that whenever I come across a supermarket logo, I’ll immediately be peckish and yet I like to identify as someone who is not in the clutches of consumerist ideology – dampening my self-righteous cred a little. Most of us are guilty of this which is ok to accept; it is not because we are stupid and docile (though this is what such companies would prefer us to believe), it’s because they are intelligent and their messages are fucking everywhere, using such to their advantage, therefore our disadvantage.

We have the same if not more intelligence, energy and diligence inside of us. We simply need to direct it where it’s worth, using our enemy’s knowledge against them and to share the load amongst a community of people who are just as angry as we are. It’s other people, their wisdom and important discussion born out of our interactions that act as a motor for our drive – basking in others insight and realising our own.

An Alternative to Consumerism

It is my understanding that consumerism is very much the son of capitalism and has a very active sex life with Thatcher’s aim of neoliberalism – promoting the notion of the individual and free-market economy. Now this is our leading narrative, as it seems. Even when my sister visited Zanzibar, amongst some of the poverty sat an actual McDonalds restaurant. So how do we oppose something so embedded in our lives?

Well what is the opposite of individualism? Community. Quite often the sense of deficit we experience in our lives, which we try to fill with vacant items, is actually a craving for community and connection. Art and literature are also a credible source of this. Once in Seville, when my depression was at its worse, I visited an art gallery. I was very moved by an 18th century portrait of a girl I saw there who was a similar age to me at the time. The pain and oppression was so blatant in her painted glazed eyes and being already so moved, I proceeded to cry. I found it so incredible that an artwork painted centuries ago – the artist and muse long dead – was connecting with me. The sense of connection and fulfillment I felt in that moment was more beautiful than any commodity I could ever acquire. This was where I had three succinct epiphanies:
1. Connection grows from pain
2. Connection fills the void
3. Art creates connection.

This is why I think artists, musicians and writers have a duty to generate art for the people- to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. The apparent elitism, snobbery and ego within certain artistic institutions are, I believe, anti-art. Because art should oppose the current narrative, like consumerism, or at least offer an alternative to one – connection.

(Poem –  

Is trickle-down-economics actually practical when our people continue to die on the streets? 

They’re stigmatised for what they may use to cope with the danger they’re exposed to, nights of no sleep 

And the hierarchy we delude ourselves with, rather than accepting our own vulnerability. 

Mentally ill systems create mentally ill people and that ain’t deep, it’s reality. 

You think that’s steep? We have already rolled past the tipping point of global warming; 

The best possible outcome now would be 

The earth becoming comparatively warmer before cooling back down – that’s if we act instantly. 

Those in power prefer to distract us from this because it contradicts their global-economic stance, 

With their friends in big-business, who’re leading the way in carbon emissions. 

We’re already experiencing climate change refugees 

Air on their arrival more hostile than the man-marked nature they fled from 

Because we’ve been convinced that problems lie in the most vulnerable 

To distract us from the actual causation. 

This is the capitalist system, not inherently evil but easy to misuse 

But we can refuse it’s malice through art; 

That’s how we choose to come close to living outside it, smart 

Because those who drive capitalism thrive on our disconnections from one another 

And the deficit they’ve convinced us that we are.) 


Song a wrote a little while ago, will post a recording soon….

Mop it up, soak it in
It feels like it’s a sin
But we need it sometimes (x2)

My head’s swimming, thoughts are jaggered
Don’t feel like it’ll end
They say hope yields from the soul
But now it sounds like pretend
Defend my glory with a stutter
To explain the coincidence
That I don’t live under a dollar
Like the 50 percent
Wanna live through compassion
But the suffering is hard
Creeping slowly from the inside
Spreading til I regard
That maybe there’s no other option
Play the cynical card
Curl my body so the guilt
Won’t pierce through it as a shard
Say enlightenment’s sweet
But bitter too, can augment
Sense of chaos with the notion
That love’s inherent
We ignore and bow to ego
A pursuit prevalent –
Coping mechanism endowed
By our pleasure instinct
This is clearly killing us
I see why I resent
The thought of leaving the stank
I’ve found myself buried in
No body here I can work with,
Just my mind apparent
Counting the days until
My lack of energy’s spent
Cos, I know I should keep living
Though I mean sacrifice
Myself for a higher aim –
So others live, not survive
This morale’s transitory
Soon I’ll be alive
Spreading insight with the people
That keep me inspired
To live another day hoping
We will all recognise
We exist as one entity –
To love is to thrive

I don’t wanna feel helpless anymore
But simultaneously I feel rapport
Between me and my sadness
My guilt and my gladness

Expansion and contraction
Inevitable reaction
To a world of mass detraction
And it’s sensory impaction
(It’s) natural to feel attraction
To the realm of craved distraction
But it’s stunting my own action
To my hope, I feel retraction

Retraction (x14)

Mop it up, soak it in
It feels like it’s a sin
But we need sometimes (x2)

Soaking up the sorrow
I’ve neglected to see
Throughout the time I’ve been racing
So it doesn’t kill me
The shame is hard to ignore
But it’s reality
With the rise must come fall
To summon our clarity

Every chip at the soul
Leaves more room for the light
I know a lesson is lurking
In this internal fight
Between my drive and my comfort
Objective and my fright
Don’t know if the world is waking
But I’m preying it might

My head’s sore, I don’t know
If I should keep moving
Or be sinning
Cos I’m bruising
With this feeling

Restore, I no more
Find it amusing
Or appealing
In refusing
Our healing

Mop it up, soak it in
It feels like it’s a sin
But we need it sometimes (x2)

Retraction (x14)


Check up

This is the first poem I’ve written about my past experience with eating disorders and body dysmorphic habits. After a years of questioning, mediation, routine changes and a lot of self-love, I feel incredibly blessed to say such tendencies and what were once predominant thoughts are not a current reality for me. I understand this is not the case for everybody and if what I say resonates with you, please know (you probably already do) that there’s services and communities around to support and care for you. For the sake of being a cliche (though for a good reason) don’t suffer alone…it’s overrated.

how little I live
outside my disordered name
soul drifting far above
an empty stomached frame
brain exhausted on insecurity
taunting me, with
each mirror check –

day 903:
feet ok, calves passable,
thighs ok – turn – butt, besides creeping cellulite, ok
stomach fucked, fleshy arms can’t bear
to look. Boyish breasts need plumping
hormones bought on Norway’s eBay – clumping
together my misplaced desire
of someone else’s approval, their eyes grazing me
impatient, waiting for feminine blatancy.

back – passable, a tad too long
neck under red skin, inflamed, wrong
face – disgrace. Purple bruises under
the eyes parading the mark of illness
colonising the entirety, beginning with the
flushed cheeks, their racing yearn to stale in vibrancy
to a plum, eventually matured and crinkly.

let the porcelain paste proliferate
in feud with my skin, irritating
meeting the eyes with automated liquid strokes
the rest, repetitive pokes from powder brush thorns
it’s time to eat and here I dread the sickly impulse
yet Man Ray-style montages of avid flavour
had occupied my time today, like most.
Is this day one wherein I starve
or be manically engrossed in anything dry or paste-like?
texture required to keep my thoughts from gulps
breaching waistline. I choose to not eat today.
I’ll let the worried glances round the table simmer
I prefer it this way. Staying true to what I deserve –


but the hopeful image of a body
bones as sharp and clear cut as the hourglass curves
when the wholeness of living empty can finally sit beneath my skin.


distortion-self-portrait-jaeda-dewalt (1)

no more weed and no more longing
for a reverie far from coming
no to pleasure, its eventual pain
no to my own self-disdain
no to distractions, false connections
no to naivety, sight so plain
no more fuck ups, no more hook ups
no more Facebook look ups
no more needless suffering
for the sake of my worth buffering
no more noise, no more vices
no more lustful entices
no more escape, no more excuses
no more nonserving uses
no more fucks given, no more world hidden
no more bedridden pity rising
no more returning to what I’m yearning for –
hurt synthesising
no more rush, only hush
no more urge to look away
no more thirst to run astray
no more control, only surrender
to not a privileged splendour
no more resistance, no more assistance
the frostbite shall steer me – numb, lonesome
but consistent. I’ll tell myself in sombre light
no more quixotic foresight
no more ache, no more take
just here
grateful but years too late.