blackout

12am, i scribble half-formed lines on the pages of an old journal. time isn’t real anymore, you know that just as well as i do. but i’ll keep trying, i’ll keep fighting. even when the psychology backs you.

it’s just… i’m getting tired of the late nights, the long drives, the biting my lip. so sparks flicker and fade out in my karaoke eyes, and if i’m really finished… maybe it’s for the best this time.

maybe winter’s finally got me in its grasp. maybe the colourful lines and the spinning tracks just keep going, and going, and i can’t breathe, because twisted nostalgia has got nothing on me. and oh, i feel the snapping wolves, i feel the razor-blade teeth.

and the sticky tree-sap, getting under my fingers, pulling me down to the floor. but you don’t get it.

if i go to sleep, i’m not gonna be myself anymore.


I’ve been struggling a lot with burnout of late. I’m kinda in the perpetual state of just-barely-not-giving-up most of the time, have been for years, so it’s not new to me, but when I wrote this, about two weeks ago, it was pretty rough. A lot of my writing, and especially poetry, is really tied up in a lot of dark, bad feelings–and I learned how to write during some of the worst times in my life, mental health wise. So like it or not, my work habits surrounding it have been hugely influenced by depression and anxiety.

Sometimes, writing has really helped… and other times, it’s just an excuse to keep myself up late, and worry all the time, and paralyze myself with indecision. Which I really resent–because it’s the one thing in my life I thought would never be weaponized against me, by my own brain albeit. This safe, good thing turned rotten and bad. But it’s a constant battle, and sometimes it just gets… really exhausting.

Weirdly, revamping the blog has made me feel a lot better about this stuff, though–I think I just needed a new frame of mind. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with this site, and I’m really excited, and feeling a bit better.

Lots of love,

Lorna

wish fulfillment 1

i breathe like someone’s watching me. because maybe they are, i don’t know. i mess up my hair, make a face in the mirror, and strike a stupid pose.

and don’t you just adore my movie star smile, my irresistible hope? but it’s okay, if you don’t. i’ll just… i’ll do better, next time. i’ll make it perfect, you’ll see. i’ll be pretty, and strong, and i’ll smile for the camera until my chapped lips start to bleed; a sickening drip down my chest, the suffocating guilt, and the desperate loneliness.

and then you look at me, and suddenly you’re the whole fucking galaxy, and i am just another dizzy planet, spinning around desperately.

i sleep like it’s a movie. and imagine you piece me together like a puzzle. imagine it’s perfect, and easy; a snow-white wedding on a sunny day. imagine we have two kids, nice jobs, and a castle with no moat. and no matter how many times i try, you never let me go.

bittersweet

fade in: i’m the main character in a teen movie. and i live in a third person paradise, where someone else is always looking out for me. and i’m brave, and pretty, in an effortless kinda way. i stand up for what i believe in. i scream until my lungs bleed out. i make the right decision.

and when i’m lost, i dream of cityscapes, and burning nights, finger on the pulse. reminisce about the good days, when i don’t doubt these hands are mine. and when the world goes silent, sometimes i like to sneak out after dark, and swim across a monotone sky.

i pretend it’s bittersweet; make poetry from this bleak desert wasteland, but no turn of phrase will ever make it pretty. because death is not a friend, it’s not an enemy. it doesn’t give a shit. which is worse, honestly. because i swear, i feel it watching me sometimes like an unpaid debt. i think i’ll bide my time. smell the roses, and get old, or whatever people do.

but my wrists murder me, and the chords ring out fuzzy, the pasta boils over on the stove, and i’m sorry, i’m sorry, i’m sorry. in my head there’s an angle here, a narrative, and as the world burns a part of me is already sitting at my desk, 1:25am, trying to make the lines fit together, like pieces in a puzzle. remember those?

remember swingsets and naivete, and whole world i can’t control? i don’t miss it. i just wish it was different, you know?

rubble

i hate the winter. hate the way the days flicker like candles, and the rain just keeps coming down. so i put in my earbuds, and tell myself it’s gonna be fine. but i don’t know how.

because the milky way shatters, and orion just gives up hope. i hate the chipped green lockers and stuffy hallways just as much as the next person. but i love them, too, you know?

because the night sky calls out for help, and i don’t fucking know what to do. because it’s never enough. so i’ll fill up the cup until it overflows. i’ll bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, i’ll burn myself down to ash and rubble.

i hate the crown you gave me. hate my cardboard grin, hate the blood in my veins and the oily words, dripping from your lips. hate my wilting leaves, hate my trembling fingertips. and sometimes, i just want to run away, before it’s too late to.

so maybe i will. maybe i’ll live in the city, maybe i’ll race to keep up, and cry on thursdays. paint my walls gleaming blue.

name the bleeding constellations, and make this broken mess anew.

Shoutout Saturday (My favourite slam poems)

Hey everyone! Happy Halloween! I hope you all are celebrating however you can within lockdown restrictions, and having a good time. This post has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween, but, um, here you go anyway. I hope you enjoy!

I remember my first open mic. I was twelve years old and, to be totally honest, I had no idea what I was doing. I’d just started writing poetry about five months before. I remember, my mom came home on day, and told me there was this article in the newspaper, about an open mic starting up in my area. I practised this poem that now, feels kind of awful, but back then was my absolute favourite thing in the world for days, polishing it to what at the time felt like perfection.

I didn’t expect people to like it. But they did. During a time of my life when I felt lost, and aimless, and alone, this room full of strangers cheered me on. I remember, this one lady pulled me aside, and she told me that I was going to make it, and gave me a hug. She was a total stranger, but it meant the world to me.

That was the moment I think I really fell in love with poetry. And, honestly, that night changed my life. I haven’t been to a poetry slam/open mic in a while, but I really miss it. I might go to an online one sometime, I don’t know–but for now, I thought I’d share with you my five favourite slam poems, that I come back to time and time again for inspiration.

“Explaining Depression to My Mother” by Sabrina Benaim

Sabrina Benaim is probably one of my favourite poets of all time, and to be honest, her work has gotten me through a lot of not-so-great mental places–and shaped my own style. (She has a Zoom open mic, and I really want to get up the courage to do it, but also, I have anxiety, and just keep putting it off.) I remember, I found this poem right after I’d done that first open mic, and I’d study it for hours, taking note of her delivery, and flow and whatnot. This poem isn’t perfect, and the way she delivers it feels very chaotic and a bit desperate–but I think that’s why it resonates so deeply. You can tell the poem comes from her heart, and that she’s being completely honest and vulnerable.

I hope that my blog can do the same thing that poem did for me, when I first heard it. I hope I can be part of an honest, intimate, and real conversation about mental health issues–and serve as some kind of reminder for the both of us, that things will get better.

Sabrina Benaim has a book too, if you like this poem! I’d highly recommend it; it’s called Depression and Other Magic Tricks and should be available anywhere books are sold.

“To This Day” by Shane Koyczan

This was another one of the poems I absolutely obsessed over back in the day. (A huge shoutout to my eighth grade English teacher, who had us listen to this piece for school–.)

As someone who experienced bullying in the past, and at the time was still processing that experience, this poem home. It made me feel heard, and safe, and understood, and it helped me deal.

Shane Koyczan just has this beautiful, strong voice. His poems are always heartfelt, honest, and real. He just has such an interesting, unique performing style. I don’t know how to describe it, but his work inspires me so much, and is, like, a lot of the reason I started this blog. (Also, the only reason I survived eighth grade.)

Anyhow, what I’m trying to get at here is, if you haven’t heard his work, you should check it out–it’s really good. 🙂

“One Side of an On-Going Dialogue with Sharon, my Therapist” by Desiree Dallagiacomo

This poem is so special to me. I love how it’s delivered; because every time I watch this video, it just pulls you in–makes you feel like you’re sitting down, and talking with a friend. I might not have personally experienced the things she describes, but I can’t help but feel her pain as my own–does that make sense? And that ability poetry has, to immerse you in someone else’s feelings, and allow you to safety feel and empathize–is something I love so much.

The delivery isn’t perfect in the typical sense, and the lines aren’t always “neat” or “clean”–but they’re real, and I think that more than having a perfect poem, that’s what matters. Desiree Dallagiacomo’s slam poems honestly have taught me so much about performing, she’s such a skilled poet.

“Anxiety: A Ghost Story” by Brenna Twohy

This poem is so brilliantly written. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. It starts off so lighthearted and funny, and then it hits you like a punch in the chest, with these raw, beautiful emotions. The flow, the metaphors… from an artistic standpoint alone, it’s gorgeous.

Not only that, but the poet understands exactly what the experience of anxiety is. If you’ve suffered from the condition, there’s no way this poem couldn’t resonate with you.

(Also, there really was something up with the kids in those Goosebumps books.)

“Anxiety Isn’t Cute” by Alyse

I love, love, love this poem–admittedly, I’m biased, since I don’t think it would his as close to home if you don’t have anxiety, but I’m pretty sure most of my audience struggles with some mental health issue or other, so I feel like most of you will understand this experience.

Maybe this is just my experience, but I think, it’s hard to struggle with a mental health issue and not experience someone—whether in real life or in the media—romanticizing your condition. And, eventually, you start to internalize it. This can look like wanting your symptoms to worsen, and making yourself feel worse on purpose, and not seeing your symptoms as all right, fine, even desirable despite the destruction they might cause in your life.

And whenever those habits rest their ugly head, I like to listen to this poem, as a reminder about how absolutely bullshit that is.


Okay! I think that’s enough geeking out about poetry for one night, but I hope you enjoyed, and that you’ll check these poets out. They inspire me so much, and, I don’t know, they all seem like really awesome, kind, strong people.

Over the past year, I’ve lost touch with the reason I fell in love with poetry, and writing in general. But I want to get it back–the kind of excitement I used to have, back when this was just something I did for fun, or to vent on a bad day, on the floor of my bedroom. And somehow, going back to my roots–to these people who I looked up to, two years ago, really helps.

I’ve been thinking about making a lot of changes to this blog of late–I think I’m going to change my URL, and edit the design a bit. I just feel like I’m entering a new phase of my life, and I want to grow, and change, and learn how to be brave again–and if I’m going to do those things, I need this blog to change with me. Does that make sense?

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings