The Monster

There’s a monster in my chest
He beats my heart like drums
I’m choking on this blood of mine
That’s pooling in my lungs.

I feel as though I’m drowning
And my vision’s turning white
Blur before me, avalanche
Tell me that I’m right.

There’s a hole inside my body
Where you’ve eaten me away
I squint through colour, motion, shame
I stumble to the end of days

Jerusalem falls around me
The soldiers at the wall
Have laid siege to my temple
Just a day too long

It’s October, when I crumble
Flames burn away my gold-tinged skin
I fall like Autumn leaves
And whisper curses to the wind.

There was something here, once
A beauty to be had
But I lost that, oh years ago
When everything turned bad

I am the image of no one.
The sky is empty tonight
My limbs are dead around me
And my neck is flecked with blight.

I zone out to rope and medicine
And vomit down my front
There are monsters haunting me
From which I turn and run

They’re down every hallway
Handprints on every wall
They’ve cracked every floorboard
Pandemonium feels so small.

My body’s not my own now
I’m blood and flesh and shame
That’s why I call him Monster
For I do not know his name

Tears rip through my eyelids
And spill right down my face
This isn’t what I wanted
This boiling, burning place.

But I see him when I close my eyes
And count, so slow, to ten
I choke on black and empty space
And whisper my amen.

I’m begging you to save me
Just pull me out of here
I don’t know if I want to die
But I do want to disappear.

I want you to rest me easy,
Cotton, for my face,
Press til I stop kicking,
And over me, say grace.

Purge the evil from this vessel
And rid the monster, yes
I s’pose I’ll meet you in the elsewhere
It’s not for me to guess.

From the Sirens Who Fell in Love With the Sailors Instead

I’m hanging between your fingers
Like a puppet on a string
I’ll do anything that you wanted
I’ll do any goddamn thing

I used to stand still like the rocks
But the oceans were stronger than me
Storms came and waves hit
And now I lay in the sea

I’m brittle sand at the shoreline
Shape me into what you want
I’ll do anything that you wanted
You won’t believe there was fight in me once

And one day I will be happy
Underneath the sea
Let waves crash
Let storms brew
Above and beyond me

The rest rest with dirt past your elbows
And soil above their heads
While I’ll choke on fish bones
In my salty seawater bed

The ocean has made me a promise
A pact and a truce if you will
It’ll take me beneath folding waves
I promised it that I’ll behave

No turning back
No turning back

I’ve swam out quite a way now
My feet are touching the floor
You won’t find me my darling
You won’t see me anymore
You can’t rescue me this time
You can’t rush through the door
I’m opening my mouth now
The damage is already done
Don’t wait for me at the coastline
Listen, please, just run.

We Did Everything Together

[One of these days I’ll be brave enough to record these songs, but today is not that day so here’s the lyrics.]

My heart is empty
But my chest is full
My neck is bruised
And my wrist is pulled

I’m dangling from my sockets
And I’m bleeding from my eyes
My tongue is bitten, red and bloody
Throat is raw with cries.

I’ve never ached with sadness so
I fear I’m going mad
This house is so big without you
But you were all I had

None of these things are really mine
They were bought when you were there
It’s like I live in a graveyard
Or a long deserted square

I’m alone is what I’m saying
And alone is how I’ll die
Let my skin tear like paper
On a dangling washing line.

And that’s where they’ll find me
Rotting, hanging there.
They’ll bury us together
I’ll be quick enough, I swear.

Let me pick through the car crash
And lay amongst the wreck
I’ll take my prozac in the driver’s seat
And we can die the same death.

They’ll bury me in white
My hand buried in yours
Our eyes closed to the world
When they close the coffin doors.

Plant lilies by our gravestones
We liked them both the same
Engrave the marble pretty
And remember our names.

Isn’t that you wanted?
The death of you and me
That’s why you said you’d see me there
When we crashed into that tree

But you only broke my arms
And I woke up to see your face
I don’t remember screaming
But you didn’t look the same.

Heidi

[Wow I managed to write a song that wasn’t about a subject matter entirely horrendous. Unrequited love is more conventional, at least]

There are words between my lips
Words that I dare not say
I think of love and years
Of recalling yesterday.

I may be foolish but not stupid
Yes I fell in love with a ghost
I’ll try and purge you from my memory
Yes I’ll do my utmost.

Maybe that’s what sets me apart
From all the other guys
Who slept with you one winter day
And fell in love with your eyes.

They didn’t look away quick enough
They fell into a trance
And thought Heidi’s really lovely
I’m sure she’ll give me a chance.

No, me I know your power
I was out the door that night
I thought about you as I crossed the road
At the green traffic lights

You make my mind so silly
And you make my heart cry loud
But I know that it is fruitless
I’m just another in a crowd.

There are realms of guys who love you
In every town and every place
That you’ve ever graced your presence
In silken skirts, lipstick and lace

I’m really not that special
I’m mediocrity at best
Unexceptional to you
Yes I’ll fade into the rest.

Some days I think about you
If you’re cov’ring something up
That’s why you pick up people put them down
Like we put down coffee cups

Is there a hole inside your ribcage?
Where a broken heart does beat?
And a voice in your head that tells you
To throw yourself a thousand feet

I may not be as pretty
Or have the same way to cope
But Heidi please just listen
Just know you’re not alone

You deserve a nicer world
And you deserve a kinder mind
An inside voice as lovely
As the one you use outside.

I don’t expect one thing from you
Not a smile not a kiss
Oh I just want you better
You’d be terrible to miss.

The Rope You’ll Use To Hang Me

[As with another of my songs, this deals with the topic of abuse and domestic violence. If this is a topic that is triggering for you, I’d recommend against reading.

Also, just a heads up for anyone who knows me in real life and may be concerned about the content I write sometimes: my work is not all inspired by close personal experience. I have tried writing mental health poetry about my genuine experiences and it always feels too strange and personal for me to publish online. There are little pieces of truth in a few lines, and the overall feeling it the poem is often experienced by me at some point. But between grief and domestic violence, I am lucky enough to say I have never experienced either.]

 

You’re razors to my forearms
And a rope around my neck
You’re the wounds I keep inflicting
You’re always a step ahead

I post on twitter about my feelings
About the storm tearing me up
And next thing you’re in DMs asking if I’m up

And I hate myself for getting a taxi there.
I hate myself for knowing how I’ll feel the day after
And I hate myself for doing it anyway
And I hate myself in general today

He asks me where I’m going
I feel sick at your address
Your postcode on my lips
And tattooed across my neck

Like the rope you’ll use to hang me
Make it clean just do your best
If you ask if I’m alright with this
Give you a thumbs up and say yes

There’s a word for guys like you
And a word for girls like me
It’s written on the bathroom walls
Of our college and secondary

I wish you didn’t haunt me
And I wish I didn’t like ghosts
But you’re water in my lungs
And God, do I like to choke

But when I turn up
In your favourite black dress

My heart sinks to my stomach
And I fall in love again.

Your words are just so light and kind
Your scent like lemon soap
It’s hard to think you’ve been hitting me
Since we were thirteen years old.

It’s hard to think about the words you called me
A whore, a slut, a cunt
That my dad was right to beat me
That you’re not nasty you’re just blunt

And maybe I deserve it
This broken state of things
Cos I poison boys like berries
With all the pain I bring

And you’re only still here
Cos you built up a tolerance
I’d kill anyone else who knew me
I’m a cancer, a cholera

My tongue is flecked with toxins
And behind my eyes lay sin
You drag me back inside
When I turn and start running

A change of heart just isn’t right
When you got me up at ten
You tidied your apartment
Not that I deserved it then

But I’m gonna get what I came for
In heavy breaths or heavy fists
And so I choose the former
Always have, this always is.

The Change I Never Wanted

I don’t know if I trick the world
With kind words and smiles aplenty
But I have looked inside myself
And seen that I am empty.
 
If I sink my hand into my skin
And show my white ribs bare
Break open bones and break the cage
You’ll see there’s nothing there.
 
Two tobacco lungs like corridors
Surrounding an empty hole
A blackened pit, a blot, or stain
For a girl without a soul.
 
I don’t know where it went at all
If it was stolen when I slept
Or if the lonely ache was too much to cope
And so got up and left.
 
But I woke up one cloudy morning
To the birds and woodland chimes
And my body was heavy with emptiness
And a blankness to my mind.
 
I work through seas of rain and fog
Can’t see straight, can’t navigate
My map is wrong, the road is gone
Where could I have gone so wrong?
 
And I sat down on the gravel
And let the darkness take me home
Not the one I lived before
A relic of a time now long ago
 
The shadows are my blankets now
And one room remains my cage
I can’t fathom feelings – joy or life
Or aching sadness, rage.
 
There is nothing here any more.
I have no words left in my head.
There’s medication in the dining room
I might off myself instead.

 

Friday Night Mistakes

[while a lot of my poetry handles themes of mental health I feel this one may be particularly triggering for those with experiences of abuse and trauma, so if you have felt discomfort reading things with such themes in the past, I’d recommend against reading this]

I’ll get drunk, I’ll be naive
I’ll choke on shots you won’t believe
How familiar this all is to me.

This downwards spiral down to hell
What percentage’s this let’s take a smell
Yes, yes this will ruin me nicely.

Poison, bottle, down the hatch
The world is blurring what a catch
This whole ‘existence’ deal is

I want to scream I want to die
I want to drink I want to cry
I want you to give me a single reason why.

So kiss me hard ignore my no
Put your hand around my throat
Take me back to places I don’t wanna go

It’s your face I see but not your eyes
Is that a frown is that a smile?
Do you shout my name in anger or in rage?

The tarmac’s hard against my knees
Tear me up, I want to bleed
I want to know I’m real now.

I’m halfway here I’m halfway gone
It’s not just the alcohol
It’s the Elsewhere that has taken me so long.

You get it now you’ve cottoned on
I don’t know why it takes so long
For the shouting yes the shouting to start

Let’s walk away let’s leave the rave
Just beat me to an early grave
I’ll be quiet now I promise I’ll behave

Smile at the taxi man
I’m here enough I know I can
I promise babe he won’t suspect a thing

I’m not nervous please look past my shakes
Tomorrow I’ll cry for my mistakes
But the moon’s still up and the world is different now.

We get out here panic sets in
My heart hammers hard as you break my skin
I see myself fall apart on the floor

A broken toy a damaged good
I’m so fucking weak I knew I would
Ignore me please this crying isn’t me

Okay so maybe I don’t enjoy all this
But it helps me see beyond the mist
It grounds me, helps me, if you will.

Those words this blood it’s what I know
The cries, the pain – I call it home
So if you enjoy it I guess it looks like we both win.

I’m the drum you beat and here it starts
There’s an empty hole right in my heart
It won’t last long but for an hour I’ll feel full

No, I don’t know how it got this bad
Therapy and pills, six years I’ve had
But for the pain that’s left I medicate myself.