Category Archives: Brain Poetry

“Setting fire to our insides for fun”

Image: Kinga Chichewicz

Hi,

I’m back…for now I guess. We can’t say how long this is going to last because I’m really bad with commitment. The only thing I’ve ever properly committed to has been a 1 and a half year relationship that ended about a month ago, so hey, there’s your answer.

That’s also roughly the same amount of time in which this blog has been briefly abandoned. Weird. I think it’s because I’m not very good at writing when I’m feeling happy.

My mother actually asked me last night why I only write when I’m sad, my answer was simply that happiness is not an interesting enough emotion to comment on. Think about it. When I’m happy I wake up early and stretch and greet the hobos milling outside my window like I’m Snow White and they’re the little forest animals. I skip out of my flat and down the road and I fist bump car guards and breathe deeply and stare up at the blue sky and grin widely into the universe.

And it’s all very boring.

The real shit. The interesting, mind-bending, gut-wrenching, soul-searching shit, is when it’s 2am and “Daughter” has been playing on a loop since midnight and everything feels a little too real, too uncertain, too wild. And when the dawn arrives there’s a certain victory in surviving that shitstorm of emotion and adjectives. That’s how Plath wrote “Daddy”, and Eliot wrote “The Wasteland” and Spike Milligan wrote “On the Ning Nang Nong”.

Don’t try to tell me Spike Milligan wasn’t deeply emotional when he wrote the line “And the teapots jibber jabber joo”, I will fight you.

Anyway, I wrote something at 2am the other day and it was moderately good. So here it is:

Hey, I know you’re tired, and scared. Life is awfully fresh and raw and uncertain right now. You’re not too sure where you fit. Here’s the thing…in a few years time you will be a little less immortal. You will be sitting on new sheets in a bigger bed, with more money in your savings account and more stability in your heart, and you are going to miss this moment.

You are going to have more of your shit figured out and you are going to wonder why you didn’t cherish being 23 a bit more. There’s so much youth still on your side. The world is beckoning you with its fingertips and all you have to do is leap.

You are going to miss being this young, this unsure, this devastated, this inspired.

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Filed under Average Advice, Brain Poetry

Transitioning

Photo Credit: Hanson Lu

I need to remind myself that it’s okay to be and to feel two things at once. I am just as repulsed, as I am enchanted with the person I am becoming.

She slid across the room

A silly half-smile dancing across her face

Eyes,

Closed.

Hair,

Uncouth.

Spreading gold dust with each twirl of her feet

Pivoting on an impossible axis,

Leaving equal parts love and destruction in her wake.

I have never seen anything so lovely,

And so dangerous.

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Sleep

 

I don’t think I can ever learn to hate you.

I know you think I do.

I know you like to romanticise the idea of me lying awake at night thinking of all the things we should have done and all the things I should have said.

But I don’t. I sleep like I’m dead. I’ve slept through break-ins and police sirens and 3 am arguments and almost-break ups. I sleep the same way I did before and after you barrel-rolled into my life with a pack of cigarettes in one hand and a plethora of expletives shooting out your mouth. It’s like I”m still catching up on everything I lost during the era of you. Even when we weren’t speaking I’d wake up to the scent of your Marlboros sneaking through my cracked window. Like those cigarettes, you are impossible to shake off.

I’ve stopped thinking everything is a sonnet. You know I used to stare my worst nightmare in the face and pour poetry down his throat until I’d convinced myself it was love. I’d write essays about his hands wrapped around my wrists and turn his sharp insults into feathers. I used to think everything broken was beautiful and everything toxic was medicinal.

I know you loved being a part of my life because it made you feel less alone. But you forgot that I get lonely too.

I’m happy you’re happy.

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Hello. It’s been a year. 

I just wanted you to know that it’s been a year since you went from being my whole world to being just another pin in my atlas. And I’m doing fine, the chords running through my life are now laced with gold, not soot. 

It’s been a year and I hope you’re okay, and that you’ve been able to scrape the ash off your hands. 

I hope you rediscovered your softness. 

I hope when you think of me, that your thoughts have no sharp edges. 

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Kindling.

large

Source: WeHeartIt/JaazRodriguezz

My best friend has recently found herself wrapped up in the lovely, warm sensation of having someone she really, really likes, like her back. It’s a big leap from her previous relationship, which she’s said was more of a slow, soft, glow rather than a catastrophic flurry of heat and 3rd degree burns.
So here it is: my catastrophic flurry of heat and 3rd degree burns.

You lit a fire in my damn soul.
Boy.
You engulfed me in heat until I dissolved
Ashy and blackened and burned,
Everywhere your fingers traced.

You lit a fire in my damned soul.
It was a pyrotechnics display
It was an overwhelming burst of oxygen
There was too much sound and light and colour,
And not enough sense.

Boy.
You filled my chest with kindling.
Poured gasoline down my throat
And struck the match.

And every night I’d stay awake,
Wrapping my body in dressings,
Kissing my blisters with my lashes
Wishing you’d come back with more flint

You lit a god damn fire
In my god damn soul
And my corpse is still smoldering,
And I’m still trying to scream the smoke out.

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A letter to my 19 year old self

hands

Source: worldfiled.tumblr.com

Hello my darling,

I know you’re tired. Look at you, you’ve had the marrow sucked out of you by a parasitic force, you’ve spent 5 months trying to piece yourself together and you’re exhausted. My God you’re exhausted, but honey, you’re also so beautiful.

You are so much more than those nights you spent clinging on to a relationship that only gave you grief from the beginning. Remember how you’d run after his chaotic emotions, trying to make sense of the dark corner he stuffed you in? Remember the nights you spent in his bed, your knees tucked to your chest, your skinny frame shivering in his t-shirt, waiting for him to start making sense? Remember sneaking out of your house at 2am to race across the road and climb through his window, because you felt guilty for how much you thought you needed his embrace?

Sweetheart. He’s not the one. I know you think he is. I know he’s got you trapped in the toxic little universe he’s structured around your insecurities. I know you think you’re going to stay with him forever, that you’re going to get your degree and he is going to get a job and maybe he’ll stop freaking out if you forget to text him and he’ll let you go out with your friends every once in a while and maybe he’ll stop yelling. Maybe, maybe, maybe, he’ll stop yelling and shooting wine glasses with metal BB bullets and standing over you as the shards slip through your scarred hands. Maybe he’ll stop blaming you for everything that’s out of your control. Maybe you’ll stay with him forever and you’ll be happy because he’s got you convinced that no one else could possibly love someone as strange and as wild as you. Maybe he’ll stop yelling.

He’s not it my love. You know he isn’t. You know that with every icy word, every bite of his temper, every snarl in your direction that you’ll just get smaller and smaller. You know if you carry on you’re going to disappear. Rip out his claws honey, rip them out of your skin and start running, because your flame can only grow brighter from here.

You are going to burn all of the empty letters he ever left on your bed. You are going to start a mini bonfire in a tin can in your garden and you are going to belly laugh wildly and dance around the carcass that was the past 5 months of your life. You are going to kiss your scars and run your feet raw as you tear down boulevards. You are never going to be afraid to raise your voice ever again.

You are going to beat your pillow with a hockey stick until all the rage and regret  that he spoon fed you, explodes in a flurry of feathers and relief. You are going to change all the locks to your heart and then spend the next 2 years simply loving yourself. You are going to snip away at every single toxic relationship that eats into your spirit until the only people who are left are the ones that carry you to bed and bundle you up when you cry. Prepare to have your face stroked and your soul held and your forehead kissed my darling; prepare to feel confused and tentative about all these gentle gestures – I know it feels foreign, but this is what you need and deserve.

Then prepare to have the breath knocked out of you by someone who exudes sunlight and warmth.

I know you think you deserve locked doors and acidic words, it’s going to take a while for you to break that cycle. But when you finally do, when you finally look up and realise your own electric disposition, you are going to free fall into the arms of someone who makes your entire body burn.

He is going to take you to parties and introduce you to fellow wild things. He’s going to take you onto rooftops and sit and listen while you animatedly chat about everything important to you. He’s going to let you bury your face in his chest while he strokes your hair and tells you that he is never going to contain your spirit or lock up your happiness. He is going to look at you like maybe you are magic, and he’s going to pour golden words down your throat.

And you, my love, you are going to realise that the people who try to extinguish your flame are the ones who don’t deserve any of your warmth.

You will detonate into a plethora of water-colours and wild flowers.

I love you with all my heart.

 

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Romanticising other things.

snow

Source: weheartit.com

I haven’t written anything on here in over 2 months.

I totally get that these moments of total writer’s block happen from time to time. I’m only human, my brain can only spew out so many melodramatic metaphors before it gets tired of itself. There’s only so many cliches I can avoid before I become a walking one.

I’m not sure why it’s been so long. I’ve been writing things down, obviously. Disappointed little scribbles in my journal. At one point I experimented and wrote out an entire paragraph whilst under the influence – there was a lot of wiggles and a lot of pent up angst, wow.

I lost my muse…well, my muse lost me. So I’ve had to kind of learn to romanticise other things – like the suffocating smell of festival toilets and the feeling of new socks on cold feet. But over my brief hiatus from publishing anything on my favourite corner of the internet, I’ve managed to write down a few short little blurbs.

So here it is; Harriet’s random 2am/ every day thoughts: an anthology.

On places I’d rather avoid:

“I equate places with feelings. And if it were up to me, the train station where I last saw you would be simultaneously the favourite and most despised place in my entire world.”

In an email from my grandmother:

“I went to New York when I was 20 to see if it was any different from Nottinghamshire. If it was the same, I could always come back and settle down. Instead I found your grandfather and no, New York was not the same as Notts.”

I went to the edge and found you.

On weekends that turn into melodramatic moments:

“It’s almost tomorrow and I don’t want to go home.

Ever have one of those weekends? The spell-binding, soul-searching, over-the-moon kind of weekend? I am at the end of one and I’ve got this sinking feeling that I’ll never feel something so definite, so completely euphoric. I feel my youth creeping up on me, I can feel the fire start in my heart and I can feel my toes curl as I yearn for moments that last.

I don’t want to stop being 21. I want nights that beat the sun and glowing embers that don’t know how to die.

I want to carry on living this spontaneously forever.

It’s almost tomorrow and I don’t want to go home.”

“I’ve had a weekend.

A destructive, ridiculous, incredible weekend; filled with sobbing and catchphrases and loving people despite it all.”

shhh

Source: weheartit.com

On people who don’t know how to stay:

“I can’t blame you for walking away. How can I possibly? We both know I burn too brightly to be extinguished. There’s a ‘no vacancy’ sign just for you hanging over my vibrant, unbelievable, explosive life.”

“Because our entire existence was me trying to hold on to what you used to be, and you trying to show me how much you’ve changed.”

“I hope when you retell our story, you describe me as ‘the girl who screamed poetry at you when you told her to run, even though she was never yours to walk away from.'”

“I’m glad you’ve found ways to smother your grief for humanity, but don’t you dare do it at my expense.”

On what they never taught me in school:

“In 5th grade English class they told us to write down everything with as much detail as possible. They told us that parts of speech were imperative, adjectives meant something.

They never told us that, in reality, adjectives are just as superficial as their intentions. And some people will say anything just to gain a piece of your soul.”

On how much can change over several months:

“I am not the person I was last November. I am nowhere near the girl who blushed electric at your empty cosmic promises.

I am not who I was last November. I got ripped from that body by circumstance and change. I got pummeled into this shape by disappointment. I am not who I was last November.

I am not last November. I haven’t written poetry in months. I don’t believe in shutting out the world any more, I let the cold seep in to wake me up and chill my bones.

I am not who I was last November. I am not a Mississippi sunset, I am not burning up as I race down a wooden dock towards you. I am not superlunary, I am not yours.

I am not who I was last November. I have run out of time; you wasted it. You, and all those after you. I have run out of time and sand and clock hands.

I am not who I was last November. I have an iron soul that can’t be thawed and eyes that flash sunlight. I will burn you up. I will make you miss me. I will drive you insane, kiss you catatonic and then leave you to combust.

Because I am not who I was last November. I am not who you pretended to love. I am not even myself.”

On how much better everything has turned out to be:

“If I end up living a life that is anything short of vibrant, I won’t survive. Tonight I braided a man’s hair whilst sitting on the floor of a bar. I drove around my neighbourhood yelling promises at strangers, I kissed my friends goodnight and flopped onto my bed. I am blissfully surprised at how wonderful everything has turned out to be.”

The bit about festival toilets:

“There’s nothing more carnal or cathartic than finally having a poo in a festival porter-loo.”

And despite all these ridiculous metaphors, here is my final WTF moment:

“Squeaky swings sound like children screaming.”

(What the fuck, Harriet?)

Think of this as a farewell to all the moody posts about something that is now a nothing.

There you have it. The sneakiest peak into my drafts folder.

Not much else to say, except goodbye.

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