Tag Archives: romance

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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You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do To Get Your Degree, Boo.

Today I graduated from University with my (first) degree. I wore orange to match my hood, and ankle boots that were just high enough to reach my goal of wearing heels to my graduation. I woke up early, straightened my hair, contoured my face, shaved my legs, and then donned the good ol’ traditional cap and gown. I wore my cap backwards for a good few hours, and my hood kept slipping off my non-existent little shoulders, but it is nice to feel like I have something to show for the three years of all-nighters I just pulled. I had my 10 seconds of fame on stage, my head was tapped by the vice-dean, I forgot to smile for my photograph, and at the end of the day I have a foiled certificate, a detailed copy of my academic record (yikes!), and a generic key-chain with the words “UP ALUMNI” stamped across it in what I’m pretty sure is Arial pt 12 font. Arial is the font I have to type all my essays in, so why they’d choose such a triggering layout is beyond me.

Apparently it was supposed to feel strange. The ceremony was about 6 months after my final exam, so it makes sense that it would be a reminder for some people of the compatriots, and the campus they have left behind. I decided to take my degree further by completing my Honours year. So for me graduation was less of a reminder of the blessed student life I used to have (because my life is STILL #blessed) and more of a nice day off from tutoring and studying, with the added bonus of having my immediate family focus all their attention on me. 

The one thing graduation did for me though, is it made me reflect on how much growth I’ve experienced throughout my undergrad years.

If we look at the first blog post I wrote in my first month 1st year , I spend an awful lot of time discussing all the “strange” things that had happened to me in that month. These included:

  • Singing Afrikaans karaoke (Don’t test me on Loslappie now: I KNOW THESE LYRICS)
  • Meeting sneaky racists (Everyone in Pretoria is either a full blown racist, or totally against racism…there is no such thing as a “Sneaky Racist” in Pretoria)
  • Being offered weed (Wow girl…you were LIVING)
  • Being offered an electric toothbrush (First year Harriet was clearly sheltered and unaware of what all-nighters can do to a person. I am the one offering electric toothbrushes now. IT’S ME.)

I was 18, stupid, and completely mind-fucked by all the freedom I suddenly possessed. I thought drinking booze straight from the bottle was cool, that kissing strangers in sticky clubs was exciting (thank you Hook-up Gods for keeping all the venereal diseases away from me), and that I would never find another man like my high school boyfriend of two months (I still haven’t, and thank God).

At the end of that silly, silly blog post I sign off with a little “I have a tertiary education to attempt.” And wow, was that education attempted.

Despite the failed module towards the end of 2nd year, the 3 distinctions I managed to scrape up on the way, the countless calls home to my mother, panicking over the fact that I may have chosen the wrong thing to study, and the many, many, many all-nighters…the real education came in the form of life experiences.

I wish I could go back in time and meet January 2014 Harriet. I wish I could sit her on my lap, rock her back and forth, stroke her hair and tell her, “Holy shit kid, you’re just getting started. There’s a whole universe of people and experiences and happiness out there to take hold of. You’re going to come out of this new place, with its scary one-way streets, and its horrific neighbours, and its dingy bar bathrooms, and you are going to be glowing.”

I wish that I could pull her out the window of her ex-boyfriend’s commune. I wish that I could grab her by the hand and lead her to a different room in a different house, one with friendlier demons. I wish I could tell her not to fall in love with boys who can’t stand to live any closer than a twelve days walk away, and to stay away from Gin and Tonic and to love every wonderful, awkward part of herself. I want to tell her to keep her secrets to herself, because you never know whose tongues have been dipped in razor blades.

But if I told her all that, she would still think that Pretoria is the weirdest place in the world. And she would still think drinking out of a bottle is classy. And she would still cry whenever things get a little uncomfortable.

So I’m glad I got my undergrad. I’m glad I had so many strange nights, in this wonderful, fucked up city. I’m glad I met the people I ended up meeting, and I cut off the people I ended up cutting off, because today when I graduated, so did 1st year Harriet. And she’s so freaking proud of how she turned out.

My mother got me a graduation gift in the form of a bracelet. Along the outside, stamped in a font that is definitely not Arial pt 12, are the words “Don’t Panic”. Which just so happens to be my favourite quote from my favourite author, but it also sums up the first three years of my student life incredibly well.

Don’t panic. Don’t you dare panic. No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. You are going to fucking glow.

You gotta do what you gotta do to get your degree, Boo.

IMG-20170503-WA0009 (2)

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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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Maybe we’re celestially compatible.

http://weheartit.com/entry/183135411/via/AreYouInLove?context_type=inspirations&inspiration_id=7

I swear you could break my heart with just a flick of your wrist. You could kiss my forehead, stroke the back of my neck and tell me I mean nothing to you but some attention and an ego boost.

How magnetic am I? Am I enough for you to swing your arrow around to point in my direction? Can I pull you in with a simple charge or is it less? Do I tug even remotely on those anxious heart strings? If I were to turn negative would we push each other away? Not quite touching, always attracting; your positive and my negative, my tears and your grin, my insecurities and your surety.

You step on flowers when you walk. And each petaled step you take towards me forces me to be a little more vulnerable, a little less careful, a lot more caring.

You scare me.

You scare me silent. I’m never silent. I’m loud and passionate. I run down boulevards shouting poetry and I tell people to kiss like they’re tasting the stars and I inhale summer breezes like I’ll die if I don’t. I’m desperate. Desperate for midnight adventures, for blankets, for stars and screams and magnetism.

Magnetism! I don’t think you know how happy that made me when you called me that. How badly I wanted to sink into my mattress and sob golden tears from the ball of fire you light in my chest.

You scare me.

You’re so right and good and lovely. You’re lovely!

I don’t get right and good and lovely. I get dark and controlling and destructive. I get unanswered phone calls and middle fingers. No Halloween kiss, no starlight cuddle, no celestial compatibility can stop the possibility of this eventually ending; for me to resume my spot on the floor, for this superlunary brief reality to get a little darker.

Maybe you’re just like him. Maybe you’re the worst person on the planet, maybe you’ve figured out exactly how to make me tick. Hold my hair, kiss me insane, call me cosmic. Maybe I’m your worst nightmare, maybe I make you tick and lose control and feel weird. Maybe our hearts are the wrong kind of magnets. Maybe we don’t stick and you break me and I’m forced to rip apart my own still soul.

But maybe we fit. Maybe you kiss me like I’m the most important person in your world and you hold my hands like they’re coated with gold. Maybe you tuck my hair behind my ears, whisper “I adore you” and sink me into my mattress only with the intention of appreciating ferociously every part of my broken being.

Maybe we fit.

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I am cursed and blessed with feeling everything so intensely.

large“Can you see me? All of me? Probably not. No one ever really has.” -Jeffery Eugenides

I’m currently on a strange journey of self-reflection. I think it’s healthy to indulge in such things every once in a while.

I like turning off all the lights in my bedroom, lying on the floor and thinking about my place in the universe; how I’m supposed to impact the world and the people around me, how I expect myself to behave in certain situations and wishing I could behave differently in others. Lying on the floor probably has some deep poetic meaning behind it that I’ll come up with at a later stage when I want to make my life seem more like a novel, but really I just like the feeling of a different perspective and how worn the carpet feels under my fingers.It’s as if people other than me have lain down on that exact spot and felt as misunderstood as I do.

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That’s the teenage angst talking. I think I’m more ordinary than I think I am. There are probably millions of 19 year old feelings out there who lie on their backs and cry over songs and carpets. It’s an unspoken rite of passage.

Tonight I’m lying on the floor and thinking about a conversation.

“You thought quite deeply about that” he remarked

I pause, “I think about everything deeply.”

I haven’t decided yet if I like this about myself. Often it feels like I live in a world where showing emotions is a weakness and yet the very core of my being demands to feel. This makes me too emotional, too insane, too passionate. Nothing I do or say is meaningless, in this fast-paced, cold Earth I don’t believe in brevity or being numb. I agonise and overthink every misplaced semi-colon, every pause in a sentence, someone’s tone of voice and the underlying intention of their actions. I am cursed and blessed with feeling everything so intensely.

That, in a nutshell, is what I am lying on my bedroom floor thinking about.

Can you see me yet?

No?

You probably glanced over me, heard how I talk about things like they’re incredibly important, noticed how I like to burst into people’s lives with poetry and how I force them to have feelings or how I pry something beautiful from their mouths. I like soul searching, I like learning how dark the deepest parts of people’s souls are and then adding some light to it. You probably skimmed over all this and decided I’m crazy. I’m not crazy, I just think too deeply.

I look for people who see at least some parts of me, who look past the superficial, who want to sweep away my inner cobwebs and let in a little sunshine. I look for people who don’t ask me my favourite colour or my favourite food; they ask me if I had an imaginary friend, ask me what my biggest regret is, figure out what makes me sad and the things I’d change in the world if only I could.

These are questions I ask myself when I’m listening to Youngblood Hawke and trying to figure out who the fuck I want to be when I grow up.

When I grow up I want to be understood.

k

 

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