brave face

i used to run myself weary

used to dream of all-nighters and self-loathing

to some darkly academic beat

i used to fantasize about statues built in my honour

about going down in history

i used to ruin my teeth

while i chewed up rocks to dust

and sometimes i still feel the rush

slip down my spine

want to stay up ‘til 3am and wake up at 5

’cause then i bet you’d be so proud

you’d sing me a dance and you’d destroy yourselves

to my apocalyptic glow

i used to want it with all my heart

exhaustion and glory

i used to wear a brave face like a trophy

take pride in bitterness and pain

and now i am tired from years of running empty

now i can’t help but dream of stupid things like gentle kisses

on foreheads with no motive in mind

like brownies and dumplings and secrets to keep

now i lie on my bedroom floor

trying to differentiate between depression

and just wanting to sleep

’cause i miss simple things

i can taste them on my lips

i miss peppermint tea

i miss courage and panic

burning out like matches

i don’t recognize the person

i see in the photos; her manic grin

her aching back

but i want to keep trying

i want my brave face back


my plant is dropping leaves

the one i nursed all summer long

my plant is dropping leaves

and there is nothing i can do

other than watch, every morning

and hope it makes it through

my plant is dropping leaves

and so, my love, are you

’cause you’re not who you once were

and i’m no longer me

but i want her back

i want her summers

and her english breakfast tea

i want to hold somebody i will never meet

my plant is dropping leaves

they say that it’s terminal

and i count out the times i have seen this axe fall

you know, there’s something so fucking insidious

watching one more stranger slip away

in pink petals, and dark bedrooms

and i don’t cry

i’m not destroyed, or anything

but it sits, and it eats away at you

all the people you couldn’t change

who never knew who you were

whose lives couldn’t be saved

and i guess,i just can’t stop thinking

what if that’s me someday?

I’ve seen a lot of relatives die firsthand. But because my parents had me, like, relatively late (by which I mean late forties), I honestly didn’t get to know a lot of them. It was like, you know that guy who you had two conversations with last Christmas? Yeah, you get to see him on his deathbed. I mean, not quite that dramatic but close. It’s definitely a weird feeling.


i close my eyes on the walk home, warm may breeze brushing its fingers through my hair, and gently closing my eyes. but that’s all right. because i’ve still got half a coffee to finish, and nothing left to do this afternoon. it tastes so sweet i want to cry.

wrapping me up in its arms like forgiveness, sea-salt and caramel melting on my lips. and even though it’s over now, it’s i’ll still trace the lines of scars on my skin; spend whole afternoons learning to copy them out by memory.

and what do you do, when every drop of nostalgia is poisoned with spindle-sharp cotton candy? when every embrace takes you back to grass-stained jeans all alone? ’cause i don’t have a fucking clue. but maybe that’s okay.

i’ll sit in my ignorance, like a cheap blow-up pool. i’ll cut my hair, i’ll make a friendship bracelet. i’ll take off my shoes, and wade in the water until i get cold.

i’ll hold your hand for just a moment, before it overwhelms me. i’m not used to being loved this way, rosewater and malt. i’m still learning to be soft, to let i love yous flow freely off my tongue.

and it tastes like sunscreen and sweat, as i press my lips to the back of my palm. but that’s okay. ’cause the blood will dry, and the scars will sink in. i think i’ll mount them in the portrait hall, and tell the world that i have slayed my dragon, for once and for all. i’ll take my victory forgranted for one more afternoon, and doesn’t that sound perfect?

So, this is very self-indulgent, but it’s finally warming up here, I wore shorts for the first time this year a few days ago, and I’m allowed to be ridiculously self-indulgent from time to time. Humour me.

In all seriousness, I’m constantly trying to give myself permission to write happy poems–not just the depressing ones. I don’t know, sometimes you just need to romanticize the little things in your life, and pretend you’re the protagonist in an animated movie, and I think there are far worse coping mechanisms in the world. So, I don’t know, go out there and like whatever the hell you want to! Have a good time! Be creative! I don’t know, it’s really late at night and I’m in a weirdly good mood, if I could shower the world in flower petals I absolutely would.

Lots of love,



hello internet strangers! so, i decided i would post the text of some poems that i have already posted the spoken word recordings for. if you want to listen to the spoken word recording for this poem, click here.

hello / like you’re testing out the words / like they’re the rungs in a ladder to a place you’ve never been before / we’re alone in the car / hello hello hello / there used to be a man in your ward / who was partially blind / & partially deaf / he would say that / over & over / again / hello hello hello / betty are you there? betty i’m hungry! BETTY! / hello hello hello / what about monopoly / remember, granny? / there was a man in your ward / who used to bang his plastic / juice cup against the table / hands / shaking like houses in an earthquake / he would count buttons / hands / shaking / he had a voice so booming like his shouts were only made to destroy / the nurses played  him classical music / violins / shaking / when we see you / you say to me / oh / i forgot about you / i’m here now, granny / i try to say something funny / spin gold from straw / make light of it / like rumplestiltskin / there’s a woman who just died / whose hands / shook when they held mine who used to ask me / how i was doing / remember granny? / when she answered back / she said / i’m lonely / & i know that feeling / so fucking well / like /  alone in a house / hello / staring into your eyes not brave enough to say / hello / i look away / when strangers extend their hands / it feels like they’re somehow / assaulting my independence / when strangers look away / i want to cry / the issue with these thoughts is / sometimes i think there isn’t a middle ground / for us to talk about / it / let’s talk about it / can we talk about it / can we clear the sky / you’re not my therapist / i refuse to dump on you / i refuse to let you know when it might bury you like i have been buried / i refuse to ruin this perfect image of a girl / you had in mind / i refuse to let you treat me / carefully like i’m a vase about to explode hands / shaking / my world / is expanding / my world is dying / you won’t understand anymore / your world / is dying your brain / is dying the branches / kind of melting / you forget that i’m your granddaughter all the time now / hands / shaking / feelings / like a tangled pile of laundry / i can’t sort through / i don’t even know how that makes me feel / how do you love someone / when you never got to know them / how do you love someone / when they’re vanishing right in front of you / how do you love someone when / they never came out / how do you love a mirage / hello hello hello / you don’t intend to kill your houseplants / you don’t realize what you’re doing when clip off flowerbuds with your fingernails / you don’t realize it’s not a good idea to drop your dead flowers in the toilet / hello / sobbing into her shoulder / hello is anyone out there / hello / my world / feels like it’s collapsing / like i’m a morning glory / only look pretty at certain times / of the day / trust me / if you knew me when i’m crying / in that way like my throat running through a paper shredder like my whole body running / through a paper shredder / i don’t feel like you’d think these things of me / hello / you’re starting to forget language / hello / you look out the window / hello / hello / you close the door like it’s a barricade / like you’re defending against something / doesn’t that get lonely? / hello / we read aloud the winnie-the-pooh stories to you & we try to play a clapping game / you call yourself a bear of very little brain / hello / you used a walker for the first time today / hello / every time / we see you / something / has died

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all the scenery

a true story of love loss heartbreak whatever-fancy-words-you-want-to-call it etc.

the problem / with beautiful / is that it always ends / & i’m standing here after you closed the door  behind you / said you were going to work / waiting for a chance to say goodbye / my fingers brushing against the white enamel / waiting for a chance to continue the storyline / the problem is eventually everything you love / is going to stop / eventually all these records / are going to rot into the ground / all these books / won’t be remembered / all our skeletons / will be beyond / preservation / eventually / nothing will  be forever / eventually / all these houses we called home / will turn to dust / & i know / that’s a trillion years away / i know how long we have before the sun explodes / i know it’s not something i have to worry about / but it / will / happen / think about that don’t / think about that. // i know when you interview me / you act like / you’re trying to sort my personality into neat little columns / so i can see myself but in a different font with the contrast / up / i know when i talk about it it makes so much sense to say three words / it’s always three words / i / am / sad / i / am / angry / i / am / in / love / i / am / happy / but it’s not that simple / there are scabs / scattered across my face / even though i can’t / get / it / perfect / even though / saying hello makes me cringe / at this mess of a person i’ve become & / by mess / i mean i feel like a rearrangement of / broken mirrors / i feel like / a kind of rearrangement of / dead plants / got pulled up by the roots  / when you look into the mirror really / really close / all the flaws appear / all the skin / keeps turning into a monster’s / i mean i’m not perfect / i mean my cheeks are the battlefields my anxiety likes to have its bloodbath skirmishes across i mean / if i were younger / or a boy / or just / prouder / happier / confident-er / didn’t care / didn’t yearn for love like rapunzel / wants to know / what dirt / feels like / like the little mermaid / wants to walk on the beaches / rather than swimming in the water / & i went to school with hair that makes me look like a wild thing with battlefields on my forehead / it would probably seem a lot better / a lot easier / a lot better / a lot easier / a lot prettier / prettier / prettier / when i look in the mirror / all the flaws circle themselves in red pen / & then in highlighter / it’s a sunny day / & the misshapen leaves have this way of glowing green after the snow / & i’m only feeling somewhat unexhausted / because i drank coffee /  i am like a textbook case of / how anger / drives you crazy / like living with your own torturer / she / had a point here / i feel like one of those dancers / getting raised up in the air / spin around / spin around little / pretty bird / i mean / even if i gave you / half my effort / like effort was water / i could bathe you in / i don’t feel like it would matter / not really / i want to talk / with you / except / i don’t think anyone else wants / me to / i feel so / aimless / sometimes / & by aimless i don’t mean / i didn’t know / where to fire i mean / i fired / & now i’m sort of floating in the air / wondering / if i could go back / scared of the posters on the doors / i run out of the building sometimes / & it feels like / there were these wings / folded up / on my back /  i never noticed before / never felt before / i’m wondering how to distinguish between / hungry / & fed up / how to distinguish between / exhausted / & burnt out / wondering / if sleeping / really makes anything better anyway wondering / why / i can’t / treat myself / any better knowing / the answer / what i really mean / is i’m like a little kid asking their parents why / they have to eat / this stupid asparagus / asking their parents / why they have to do this / knowing that talking to you is like talking into a wall of concrete & expecting it to understand you you / knowing / it won’t make a difference / the problem with this book / is i open it when it’s 3a.m. in my heart & i’m screaming at myself for being like this thinking it’s an effective gardening technique / to kill all your weeds / to kill all your plants / & now your backyard is this wasteland you don’t know how to navigate / & it’s starting to rain / & now you’re stranded in the middle of your own website / except you’re not really stranded / you know how to swim across the ocean / you just wish / that yelling it made people more inclined / to listen / & / hanging my head like / a hemlock / in the process of falling / telling you / this battle is over / is like / dipping your toes into / melting hot water / moving / inch by inch / struggling to believe / those inches will someday turn into kilometres / the problem / with beautiful / is that i’m reading this book / falling in love with you / crying inside every time / you do / i’m reading this book remembering / what peace / is remembering / what love is remembering / what it looks like to have dreams / that we learned how to cup in our hands / like bathwater / for years without a single drop / slipping away / & then / i sort of flip / to part three / & now i’m starting to cry / because i just pulled up a bunch of dead kale / & chard / & lettuce / & then called this / march / called it / marching / called it making way for the new / called it springtime / but really what i mean / is every / pretty thing seems / to have bloodstains / on its / fingertips  / & really what i mean / is i’m at part 3 / & i’m considering / not reading any further / because i know how this ends / because i know / that i’m like a moth / flying into a housefire / watching you / make flowers / only to rip them apart / petal / by / petal / falling onto the gravel / why is it / that some people / don’t deserve a happily ever after?