in another life

in another life

i think i’d be a singer

and i know how cheesy that sounds

but god, i’d be perfect

i’d smile wide for the camera;

step out into a sea of writhing bodies

and not fear their sharp fingernails against my skin

tired soldier, wouldn’t you love to let down your guard for just a moment?

wouldn’t you like to trust yourself

enough to take honey

and milk with your tea

and dip your strawberries in molten lava

wouldn’t you like to be holy?

play the game

roll the dice

’cause if the world’s gonna be shitty

at least i can end up on the winning side

right?

in another life,

i’d buy headphones at the store

and i would not feel guilty

and i’d see the world

i mean, see it really

yeah, i’d ruin my teeth on saltwater taffy

and fill up my phone with pictures

i would not be afraid to let you touch me

in another life, i would be sickeningly sweet

my mind smooth and clear

no cracks

no fissures

no magic tricks, a house of cards about to disappear

smile ’til my cheeks cracked the glass

of my smudged-up mirror

because this is not a teen movie

and i am not the protagonist

i see that now

but maybe i could be somebody

who doesn’t spend all her days at home

who leaves the world better than she found it

and wouldn’t that be so pretty?

bubble gum

i’m gonna do it / i’m gonna stretch myself to the limit / and blow bubbles in my gum / red-high tops and a leather jacket / i’m gonna be cool / and calm / ’cause i’m not dying inside / feathers sprouting from cold tissue / tickling my stomach / freezing my heart in place / and something just tells me that hope / was not supposed to feel this way / but wouldn’t it be fun / if i was your tragic hero / if i wore dark colours / bent and stretched myself to fit inside the role / and obsessed over the smallest details / until my little baby heart shattered like glass / wouldn’t it be so pretty / if we all got cut on the pieces / bleeding out on tile floor / cause that’s how this works, right? / i’m the damsel in distress, fell right off the tower / and broke a couple bones / but i’m sure my prince is gonna come if i just wait around a little longer / let resentment ferment in my ribcage a little stronger / so what if i eat when no one’s looking / what if i hoarded cheap makeup in the bathroom / and wore it when no one was home / and everything i said was dripping in irony / and ignorance / but it’s nostalgic, so the valley sings my name / and the birds help me get ready / for some handsome stranger to carry me off / to another fucking castle / where i will vow to him to always always always / stay / but i’m starting to think / maybe i’m getting fed up of being swept away

marilyn

honey, you make depression look gorgeous

cut it like tulle, and make a skirt of your misery

and you smile so wide as tears stream down your cheeks

you make me want to buy it from a department store

and wear it like it’s yours

you make self-loathing look sexy

because i’ve spent my whole life learning

how to ignore my own suffering

and trust me when i say a little discomfort won’t stop me from working efficiently

which is not a compliment

but i still glow with pride as you give it to me

you carry the archetypes on your weary back

you do it perfectly

iron out your blemishes and mistakes

with makeup i can’t afford

but they say inner confidence is really what matters above all

and that’s probably why i always look like an awkward seventh-grader when i smile for the camera

but god, you’re fearless

you’re bright, and brilliant

like a barbie doll

clean-white teeth

and an hourglass waist

i bet you have it all

but i’m pretty sure

if i reach out and touch your arm

you will burst like a bubble

you will rot with the dirt

with your bottle blond hair

and your sunbeam smile

honey, i’m sorry

’cause you deserved better

’cause you should have lived

should have been happy and sad

and messy and confused

i’m sorry it’s normal

for girls to feel this lonely

and beat-up

and used

but i hope you sleep well

wherever you are

and you lay in bed for as long as you like

and eat really nice food to your heart’s content

and feel all right, for a while

i hope i’m not a tragedy

a horror story

or a cautionary tale

i hope we get our happy endings

i hope true love prevails

i hope there’s something up ahead

other than disappointment and misery

marilyn, i hope you’re happy


So, we had to research iconic historical photographs to recreate for my photography class from the 1900s, and one of the things my teacher suggested doing was finding celebrity photos we could attempt to very poorly recreate. I didn’t end up actually doing it, but in a last-ditch effort to find something in the exact right time period, I went on an hour long tangent on, like, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe and before I knew it I had read their entire biographies, and, I don’t know, maybe I’m being a cliche here, but it was really sad! The world is really sad! It felt so unfair that these people’s lies, people who were so good at looking so happy had been through so much, and that their lives often ended in tragedy. And call me a sap, but I just feel like these people deserved better–I feel like so many people deserve better. I think one of the worst feelings in the world is watching a loved one suffer and not being able to stop it, only able to try and offer help.

I don’t really know much about Marilyn Monroe–and although her name is in the title, I didn’t really write it about her. I more intended to use the vague idea of her to frame the romanticization of mental illness, and discuss tragedu–and it worked really well as a framing device, so I ran with it. (Actual people who know about this person, I am so sorry, if I’m being horrible please let me know–I honestly considered not posting this for a few weeks, and I’m still on the fence about it honestly.)

Lots of love,

Lorna

ode to armageddon

so i’m sitting in the corner, scrolling through my phone / and listening to this middle aged man at the hardware store / argue with his wife in whispered tones / about screwdrivers and carpet / and he’s calling her a bitch / but we all know they’ll stay together / steep in the silt of their misery / i don’t think it’s a good sign that i relate to them already / a little bit / ’cause their world is ending / a tylenol fever burrowing through tough skin / and i doubt they’ll notice when the lights cut out / but i will / as i sink into my pillow like surrender / on the nights when i can’t sleep / because maybe they were once in love / maybe they had hopes and dreams / but now they’re sunburnt and old / with a bitter tinge on their lips / so my dear armageddon / take me slowly / kiss my eyelids closed / and i will try not to scream out / as smoke fills my bedroom / and the skyscrapers crumble down / because i don’t think the world needs another tragedy a / life cut short or / product of circumstance / and god, i hope they’re happy / some day far, far away / i hope they split up / and find new love / and he starts a coffeeshop / she moves to the city / i hope all their dreams come true / i hope it’s not too late to change / and grow / and get our shit together / i hope, i hope, i hope


I’ve been thinking about the end of the world a lot of late. I think a lot of people are–maybe it’s yellow car syndrome, where you just see what you’re looking for, but lately it seems like so many people have been putting out songs about the end of the world, or making books and TV shows about the apocalypse. And again, this is almost certainly my spin on things, because perception is really subjective, but they don’t really feel like tragedies anymore. Like the end of the world is something so many of us are starting to accept as a grim possibility, and something we’ll just have to live with. This world with record-breaking heatwaves and oceans on fire and a million other tragedies and injustices. Like most of us are just at a loss for what to do, other than posting about it online and signing petitions. It’s comforting, to romanticize it–play it out in your mind. Honestly, sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me through the day, even if it’s mostly a load of rubbish. (Yes I am most definitely projecting here, what of it.)

I just think it’s interesting, and I tried to capture that in this poem.

Lots of love,

Lorna

cloud nine

so, i’m fine. i’m all right, really. back on my feet again, after so long spent struggling to get my ass in gear. i’m doing this, and it’s good, really. stitching up the holes i tore in my skin, with band-aids and polysporin.

with wishes in wells and gambler’s logic. it’ll be better next time, won’t it? if i just try a little bit harder to will the world perfect. and then, when i look into the night, i’ll think of rainbows and ice cream and limitless possibilities, not the crushing fear of failure, and the buckling knees below me. i’ll say positive affirmations into the mirror, i’ll wash my face twice a day.

but when the wifi goes out, i won’t miss it at all. so find me laughing off my problems over text message at 12am, with so much work ahead of me.

wrapped up in denial like a blanket, soft and warm and loving, in that way i’ve always craved. halfhearted workouts in flannel shirts and jeans, because there’s always more to do, always someone ten steps ahead, and if they did it, why can’t i do it too?

’cause i can work hard, i can give you whatever you need. except sometimes, when the slightest thing goes wrong, it takes all my self-control not to cry like a baby on the worn-out carpet. but i’ll keep it together for you, i promise.

i’ll do anything for the good life, like lukewarm bathwater in my palms. its clean-cut crystal catching the morning light. but maybe that’s not a good thing. maybe it’s all pointless, because we are cosmic and insignificant, and i think maybe i shouldn’t watch so much tv.

as i float mindless above cloud nine, slowly losing touch with reality.