Matthew

(no, no not out loud.)
(my god, yes, yes out loud) –

Faded denim and
Van Halen,
Big brown eyes
with that deep blink
and five o’clock shadow,
Christ
there’s a face I’d wake up to.

I’m going to read to you
he says,
Little Black Book in his hands.
The Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew speaks,
a disciple
a saint
reborn recovered romantic:

when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
and he opened his mouth.

Preach
Preach
Echoing off the walls of your suburban home
Mother asleep next door.
Mottled carpet,
off-white sheets
(the cape of a king)
draped around your shoulders,

blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness:
for they will be satisfied. 

The lamb that bled for you
I have eaten for dinner,
and knelt before my porcelain throne
to be cleansed from the sin
that no holy Father can forgive;

salt of the earth:
but if the salt have lost its savior,
wherewith shall it be salted?

Matthew,
above the law of God
The Lord
the father we never had
still granting love you cannot know
and the love I
will not
can not
give.

Matthew
(mistaking my meekness and mercy)
risking a battered conscience,
by declaring me forsaken;

[my] light [has shone] before men
in such a way that
they [have seen my] good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

I pray you will only consent your
forgiveness when asked for.

Two years, and Counting

here in this waiting room, in my
summer blue dress and they
in their black
with their jackets wrapped
tight around
the bird bones that I
used to have too.
I will float above and watch them.
Listen to their delicate
chirps of conversation,
their little smiles on
the pale doll mouths,
and me,
elephant in the room,
distanced from their world
of rigidity,
alien to their structure
and routine
and power, too.
They’re there, across from me,
the black hole in the
room and it’s all I can
do to not stand and
run to them, to beg them
to suck me in,
to siphon off the blubber
that crept on
when I was busy trying to
find reasons,
scraping the bottom of the barrel for reasons,
scraping the bottom of a 2l carton of light vanilla
trying to find reasons.

Matthew

I can’t remember if I wrote “Matthew” before or after I sent him Lover I Don’t Have to Love (Bright Eyes). I think it was after. It’s funny, to write such a complimentary poem about someone did so truly little for me. Mostly, and this is all guess work and through very cloudy hindsight, I think Matthew was a bit of a turning point. No. Not a turning point. Insight. He was insight. He was insight into the grey areas of sex. This combination of something so utterly bizarre, somewhat repulsive, and absolutely momentary. No future looking. Definitely repulsion, that was there. So there it was practically solid. The bible was what threw me. No one has read the bible to me, least of all in a single bed whilst preaching abstinence and finding oneself, and especially not whilst being mostly naked.

I sent him Lover I Don’t Have to Love in some kind of retaliation. He publicly shared some dumbass look-what-you’re-missing-out-on song (because that’s how he worked, with songs), after I made it very clear that I had zero interest invested in him, and I was like, well fuck you, here you go. It fucked him up. It legitimately fucked him up. He called me, gave me some verbal abuse, shouted a bit. Then sent me a couple Facebook messages, to which I never replied, and then deleted and blocked me.

And then I went and wrote a poem about him. I question this. I also question why I still bother questioning this. I think (the amount of “I think” and “I guess” etc. going on here is some next level stuff) that thinking about (see?) Matthew and the whole scenario is some kind of ‘safe’ way of secretly looking at myself. It lets me indirectly analyse what’s happening. When remembering him and the brief moments (moments as in time spent together, not moments in a nice “we had a moment” way, please) we actually had together, I see them in third person. I am an observer. Watching me not eat in the Vietnamese restaurant whilst he chats, watching him play the guitar to me on the steps of the State library, watching him read a bemused me the bible, watching me meet his dad and then meet his mum. He is a blimp on my radar, a little blimp on my time line. I have a number of blimps, but he is a weird one. He is a blimp straight out of the eighties, with hair longer than mine and curly-ish and spray paint trousers and anarchist friends. There have been tragic little blimps in the forms of secret crushes, there have blimps where I worked hard to make it work and it just did not at all, and there have been blimps that were just a goddamn mess. Matthew is one of the tiniest blimps of all, but he’s one of the only ones that’s actually had a poem (a full-fledged, finished, edited, submitted, published poem) written about him.

The one thing I don’t guess about or ‘think’ about, is the reason for this. He is a blimp that read me the bible, and that was pretty unusual, and decidedly memorable. I think I’d like to revisit my blimps. They’re a fun, eclectic lot. And a lot do have little poems of chunks of prose about them, though again, Matthew went straight through to print.

Containment, Thoughts

I have an overwhelming need to be contained. Whether by strong arms or tight jeans.

The body and fear of the body is something I have yet to understand. Sociology is blowing my little mind into the abyss: the body politic, the role and policing of the body, the pressures that are inherent in our cultures and societies that are ever-present and subtlety moulding us into what is expected. I’ve become increasingly suspicious, and horrifically cynical (more so than before, bless me).

Everything that occurs suddenly has meaning and purpose. The constant narrative in my head, sometimes visualising the words as I think them, has become punctured by question marks. The points dotted ferociously. I have been conditioned into someone that is incredibly self-reflective. This comes after years of therapy, general misunderstanding, and repeated existential crises. I was never a child that asked why. You know those kids, they think it’s funny to why – why – why until you’re explaining gravity and construction of particles. I was not that kid. I work with independent intrigue, and a keen need to understand. I need to know things. And be certain in my understanding and knowledge. This becomes complicated in the realm of GCSE physics (“it just does, Katya” NOT GOOD ENOUGH MR MURRAY) and also when contemplating the self.

There are theories and then there are more theories. So far I like to think that my own aren’t as far fetched as Freud’s or Foucault’s. I enjoy thinking about how their ideas came about, how they were published and became influential by providing explanation to things that fundamentally already exist. They didn’t invent calculus or the scale; they observed and then made up names for things, including things that seem, well, obvious. I like the idea that I’ll come across something obvious and pre-existing and say, hey, you know this abstract thing that we all have experienced? Yeah, I’m going to offer an explanation as to why this happens. Like modern art – it’s the “I could’ve done that” “..but you didn’t” principle.

A bit like the bible, really.

silly little girls with dangerous addictions and smart phones

Ah ED communities on social media. I am too old for this and too old for hashtagging nicknames of disorders that kill people. But I’ll do it anyway, because that’s how you find the similar ones, so you can all lump together and pretend to be supportive, where every like on a photo says: yes you deserve to recover! yes stay strong and make it through your fast! yes keep taking those laxatives!

It’s a sick place, but also a safe place, where we can all be sick together. A little instagram world where everyone’s told that they’re beautiful, and even if you’re bigger there’s a waif saying “I wish I looked like you, #goals!!”, and dangerous behaviours are rationalised and supported. Then the odd outsider swooping in to tell you you’re “not fat, you’re stupid” or that they’re praying for you (yes, thank you very much, such good it’s doing me).

Sometimes I play with the idea of making a proper little tumblr again. Not as bloggy as daypatience was (the tumblr I kept whilst going through the day patient hospital program), more like schlank or tinywrists (tumblrs I had in 2010-2011, when I dropped down to my lowest weight). Ribs and protruding bits that you didn’t know existed. Pictures of watercolour deer. Don’t need that anymore – I went and got one painted on my damn body. Fondly remembering getting hundreds of notes on my ‘before and after’ picture, and times when my progress shots were stolen and used to make ‘motivational’ posts.

There’s something inherently childish about this whole thing. It’s a “look mom what I can do!” and the pestering and whinging, the repeating mistakes because it hasn’t really sunk in that you’re doing something that’s going to hurt worse this time. The selfishness, too. And, more literally, the strops and tantrums, crying and silent screams and balled fists, the hiding under the duvet.

Regression is strong with me today.

Doll (five minute job)

With every blink I can hear my
eyelids click,
I must be a doll. I am pale enough for porcelain,
though I have never seen a fake baby
with shadows quite like mine.

The face is a circle,
glow of an English Rose,
the chest is a void. Sick cavity,
unknown entity, ribs swollen with the
struggle of containing slowed time and
unlawful gravity.

Black hole.
But swift eyelashes, wired with
directionality. We have purpose and a
view from this shelf. The ruffled dress I
can take, woollen booties from A Real Boy
with a long nose. Baby doll,

little bit hungry, little bit lost.
Little bit sad little bit cross.
Little bit lonely little bit
hypervigilant.

Joints of balls and string
and hair to be aggressively brushed,
your own blonde carpet.
Glass eyes that will not try to meet yours. A hollow body,
solid skin to form partially enclosed limbs,
awkward spaces to be hidden by ill-fitting dresses.

I have nerve cells and they are on fire,
I have a heart and it is on fire,
I have a pulse and it is tearing through skin,
I have lungs and they will stop for no man,

I have no hollow head beneath my doll fluff and behind my glass eyes,
that is the space where my questions are kept.

Tonight.

I literally just slammed my palm into my forehead and said “what’s wrong with me” outloud. It’s gone midnight, I’ve been tucked into bed since 9.30. Sitting on my bed since before 9. Probably with a glazed expression and down turned lips. I don’t know.

“I am done.” A line that goes through my head a lot, especially recently. Obsessing over that Saturday, watching me work myself into complete and utter hysteria, mania; screaming, sobbing, puking, hyperventilating, throwing. And then that mindless, terrifying takeover. Baby voices and singsong, dead eyes. Methodical, the switch of the sickening autopilot flipped.

I don’t recognise the Saturday child with her red face and pill chasing, but I don’t recognise the thinner face in the front phone camera either. One void closes, perhaps another has opened. I am so needy, desperate for love, attention, constantly needing to be held onto.

Attention. It’s the word that brings exasperation to the mental health community, and it’s a word I’m struggling with horribly. Sickness did bring attention, it’s true, it did. It brought many things, and many types of attention: worry, anger, whispers, teachers pulling me aside, emails reaching out, strangers reaching out. It brought me into the world of psychology and then later psychiatry. Labels that are ‘real’, no guesswork now. Mother’s word is made official. I have been seen by professionals, psychologists and counsellors, since I was 13. I was 17 when I was brought back before them and deemed not sick enough. 18 brought me my first psychiatrist, whom I ate like air.

I’ve met some atrocious professionals in my time. “You’re obviously not underweight, so there’s not much I can do for you” and “oh, the way she made it sound on the phone, I expected someone emaciated”. Lines that are haunting.

My favourite was my psychiatrist in Melbourne. He was fatherly – read into that what you will. He was also a friend. I walked in and declared, with passion, that I thought his profession was a waste of time and money and that I didn’t think he’d help me one bit ( – like I needed help anyway! – ). He told me he appreciated my honesty, and I went on to have the most subtle and brilliant counselling experience of my life. I adored him and he liked me, he told me I was a good person. A professional who tells you this, who does remind you of a father and who makes it clear they care about you, is wonderful – but also a problem. It meant a couple things. There were a few topics I could not comfortably talk about with him, sex namely. Which was bad because it was something that did need to be talked about. I also felt a great deal responsible, I was accountable to him, and I was terrified of disappointing him. I found it difficult to talk about Beau. I still can’t really, properly, talk about Beau because a lot of it I’m still trying to figure out, and if I can’t make sense of it in my own head, how can someone else?

I miss my old psychiatrist, and I think of him often.

I am so tired.