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Grace Jan 1
So I’m in the room, surrounded by vivid individuals,
with all their vibrant lives, with all the things they have to say,
and I’m in the room, but half removed, a blue-bland thing,
a flat, one-dimensional thing with fuzzy unholding edges.
And I think to myself, I’m going to end up so alone
because I am such a no-person, such a flat, empty space
of a person, such a flimsy, hollowed out sort of thing.
And in this room, if one person was to simply disappear
and not disturb the balance, then surely it would be me,
the non-person who lacks all substance, who is simply not integral
enough to leave behind some long-lasting, uncloseable void.
So I go into the other room and try to make myself whole
by becoming useful but still I’m that bland, hollow thing,
still am I that name-checked no-person with nothing to say.
And so I go outside to escape myself and the long, sad, empty inevitable
and I look at the lightless sky and think to myself in the cold:
I could unpick the thread of myself from existence
and all that would be left are two small indents
to be smoothed away with the sweep of a hand.
It hurts, so I look up to the sky and dream of the island
until I’m full of tears and then I mangle my no-person face
into a smile and go back to the room, and really,
I’m living okay. I’m living okay, I’m reminded,
because there’s nothing to be sad about today,
nothing you could possibly be worried about today,
you sad, empty-headed little no-person.
a little thing about a day
Grace Jul 2018
I walk into the mirror box again and it’s as if my life
really is just an extension of my own metaphors.
I’m caught in the mirror maze, searching for something
in the mirrors at angles, but all I can see is myself,
my sad, stupid self, stretching on and on forever
with the same boring face, the same boring feelings,
again and again until I stop being able to make out the details.
Am I looking back at myself or am I looking forwards to the future?
Will it always be the same or has it merely been
the same since forever? I stare into the mirror tunnel
at all these selves repeating themselves,
forcing the years, the weeks, the days into the same strict patterns,
merely following the self that came before them, merely mirroring
the feelings, only doing it worse and worse with each new rendition.
It’s just me, I think, in the mirror box, caught up in myself
because I am selfish and horrible.
I’m selfish and horrible
and I want to turn my back on myself but
how can I possibly do that in the mirror box?
I meet myself over and over, and it’s just me,
in all this vast, repetitive vagueness, just me in
this long stretch of lonely unsettledness that surely doesn’t end.
I want to smash my own face in, so I close my eyes
and try to think, maybe, maybe, maybe, because I don’t
want to be this grey-cloud self forever. I can’t be, and so maybe,
just maybe, somewhere beyond all these selves
there’ll be a day when I’m down on the shore
and the sea will be calm and the sky will be
faded purple. Love will not sink down into nothingness
because in the cool evening air,  my heart will be full
instead of gaping and my mind will be at ease
instead dwelling on it’s own boringness
or entangling itself in own self-created sadness.
And maybe, I’ll have abandoned my book
and its pages will be dry because I won’t have been crying into it.
They’ll be no mirrors, just the ocean,
glinting like an amethyst cluster in the half light
and I’ll rest my head on the shoulder of the girlfriend
I'll meet someday and I’ll smile in this beautiful liminal moment
and nothing will be tainted by the dread of returning home.
We’ll kiss – on the shore – and rewrite it forever and
maybe the stars will fall out of the sky when I shake it and
all my trains will run on time and all the wounds
in the world will heal simultaneously.
It’s a moment surely stolen from someone else’s poetry,
but I’ve got to cling to something to avoid becoming
lost entirely in all this dark, intangible vagueness.
There’s got to be at least one imaginary moment
that isn’t just me, reflected over and over.
There’s got to be one moment that doesn’t stare
back at me from inside the mirror box.
here's another poem the same as all my others, just more mirrors and me, me, me but this time, there's some stupid, happy fantasy about a shore that will surely never happen :) might delete it, probably won't. anyway, thanks for reading - it means a lot :)
Grace Jun 2018
I cant tell you how much the hush hush hurts,

the gaps,

[the deliberately left blanks]

the silences that make me scared of saying words out loud.


It's the switching of meanings that does it,

all the tip toe awkwardness

the swift, unconscious side steps.


It's the whole long stretch of silence,

the whole deliberate

accidental

hush hush of something I never even knew the name of.  


It's the casual,

forgettable

drops of slights

that I'm still turning

over and over.


It's a hush hush never intended to be malicious but

the quiet twists and tears

and so I can never tell you how much the hush hush hurts

because the silence keeps me hush hushed too.
Working through some things I guess. It's hard to address the hush hush when you know it wasn't malicious, just accidental or a result of a different time. I wonder if they even know about the hush hush? I wonder if they know they kept it? Anyway it's something I need to work through and poetry helps or something

Note: So we talked about the hush hush without words but it's okay, maybe it's how we do things best. And the hush hushed becomes a thing of vibrant, rainbow colours and it's lifting off my shoulders and I think in a glowing kind of way that maybe there's something in this that will be okay. And I wonder how you knew but for now it remains hush hushed because I can’t quite talk about it yet. I wear it instead, I wear my colours instead and maybe that speaks enough for the moment. (Fourteenth of September Two Thousand and Eighteen)
Grace May 2018
This is just a boring sadness;
a low-lying, flat sort of sadness,
just a grey sea on a drizzly day.
There’s nothing major going on here,
nothing monumental, nothing tragic.
It’s all just a bit blue round the edges.

This isn’t an explosive sadness,
it isn’t a torrent and it isn’t rock bottom.
It’s just a boring sadness that hums steadily
and it’s fine, really. It’s fine.

It’s just a sort of storm globe sadness,
willing to become tempestuous when shaken.
The waves rush, lightening darts, thunder bellows,
but it all happens behind glass.
And it’s fine, really, because it settles itself quickly.
The sea goes flat again and it’s fine.

It’s just a monotonous sadness,
the sort that makes life dull and hopeless.
It keeps you in your bedroom
and it ticks off the years and still,
you’re in the bedroom,
yet to have your first kiss,
your first heart break,
your first night out,
your first airplane ride,
your first concert,
your first car,
but it’s fine, because it’s a sadness
that comes down like a fall
of paper snowflakes and it’s fine.
It’s all fine.

It’s just a boring sort of sadness,
so you watch other people’s misery instead
and you wish you could spare them the pain.
You become a twisted sort of sadness covet,
a sadness thief, stealing sadness that isn’t boring,
stealing sadness that seems worse than your own
And it hurts you and makes you feel worthless,
all these bungled attempts to rob sadness
but it’s fine, really. At the end of the day, you’re fine.
It’s just another bit of boring sadness and you are fine.
'Well, all children are sad
but some get over it.
Count your blessings. Better than that,
buy a hat. Buy a coat or pet.
Take up dancing to forget' - Margaret Atwood

It's fine, just another quick poem about sadness, what's new?
Grace Apr 2018
Sometimes girl of the First, when I catch a glimpse of you
in the mirrors at angles or in the scraps you’ve left behind,
I become convinced that I’m doing better.
I see you, in a moment of red faced sadness,
breathless from taking things too literally,
red eyed and pink from the constant six am to midnight days.
I’m better than that, I begin to think and then
I wake up on mornings like this one, aware of my own uselessness,
itchy with guilt and pulling at my hair as the impending sinks
down on me and I have no idea how I’m going to survive this.

So let’s go back two years, to see the girl of the First.
It’s March Two Thousand and Sixteen, and I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but
Every morning, I wake up and tell myself to seize the day, and every evening, I’m still where I started: happiest when daydreaming, worst when living.
It’s like looking up and expecting to see someone else but meeting your own eyes.
Except, do we really know our own eyes? Possibly not.
It’s like looking up and seeing my self, but off kilter slightly.
Seize the day? Now we just accept the flatness.

So I’m trying to write this out, as if it will help.
To write from the heart, or straight from the mind, as they say, but my fingertips and the realm of feelings don’t always connect.
Except they must do, you see,  because thirty thousand, three hundred and seventy six words later, you are still writing it out, as if it will help.

But here it is, How I Feel:
It’s an itching beneath my skin,
one I can’t scratch unless
I peel my skin off first and claw at veins,
but never mind that. You can adjust yourself
to this terrible tingling that plagues your limbs,
but you can’t get over the very real moments
of looking in the mirror and ruining all the skin
on you body, not for some deep or dark reason,
but just because.
It’s a pain in the chest, that doesn’t lift.
It’s called anxiety, or maybe guilt-ridden happiness.
It’s a restless sleep, half awake, half not. (What?)
It feels disgusting, like I’m tangled, mangled up inside.
It all feels disconnected. (Like this Is Not Real)
Like the wires to reality have been severed.
It’s like that cool suspension between believing yourself
to be the Worst Person In The Whole World Ever
and also so completely out of this world, that you don’t even belong in it.

It’s the Big Cliche.
What can I do to make my feelings original?
What can I do to make my feelings a little less self-referential?
Nothing. We’re in a mirror maze of our self, remember?

So I’m just smiling on the outside, to make it up to you,
to pretend, again, but I hold two conversations
simultaneously, one in my head
and another with you.
(Yes, today’s been alright)
(I wish I could **** myself)
(it’s been fairly good| I wish I wasn’t here anymore)
(and we’re back to back, and you’re resting against my shoulder blades
or your fingers are digging into my collar bones,
and you’re resting your mouth against my ear to spit in it.
I’m just trying to have a normal conversation,
but you’re leaning against my arm, murmuring, I wish I was dead)
(I know, I say, I know, I know, I know)
It feels like I can’t move.
But I do and I don’t want to.
There’s a world out there,
(a whole ocean)
but I’d rather be in my head (on the shore) but maybe it’s that which makes it all worse and yet going out makes me feel more useless.
There’s just nowhere that I want to be. My own head, my own daydreams are boring.
My room, my house, my safe haven, have become spaces I want to run away from.
But where to? There’s nowhere in this whole stupid wide world that I want to be.

Look, how I’ve descended into whines and plain language. I guess I’m just not poetic enough to make feelings look pretty, but then some feelings can’t be made pretty.
They can be made quotable to the point where we are all metaphorical.
Writing it out, making it unreal, as if it will help.

The problem is
is that the problem doesn’t go away.
It’s the inevitable vagueness. The only solution is the end of everything.
It won’t get better because I keep scratching at it.
I’ve been making my own monsters (read, problems) for years.
It’s out of my control because it will inevitably happen.
It is. It is. It does.

That double is. It’s ****. But how do I operate on language and make it work my way? What can line breaks do? Surely, that makes it poetry?
Experimental, at best. But we’re useless remember, girl of First year?
What does it matter anymore? Nothing matters.
We’re never going to make it, so why worry about it being interesting anyway?

But these are excuses, everyone else’s and mine too. Just stop worrying, as soon as you get on with it,
it will be over. And now it is and you’re making four out of three
because now it’s the end, you don’t want to leave.
Smile, it might never happen.
(It has.) (It will.)
Smile, sometimes faking it does help.
If you can forget your sadness,
if you can dress it up,
sometimes you can delude yourself enough
to create pockets of time in which things might be
maybe, maybe, maybe, okay!
(I’m not making any promises though)

Yet here is the Problem, the Contradiction:
I don’t know what  I really want out of this.
It’s wandering aimlessly, looking for approval and appreciation that I can’t take when it’s given. It’s walking in circles to make time pass, it’s rewriting old poetry, to make time pass, it’s doing anything, to make time pass.
There’s nothing you want out of this.
(Sometimes, things can just be important in and of themselves,
but in this case, I mean you can’t make your dreams a reality
because you have no dreams)

Everything feels tacky, (Everything feels bad)
life’s like a gift shop.
It only looked good when I was seven.

(It’s like being crowded, when nobody’s near)
Just don’t touch me, don’t talk to me,
and I’ll  write bad poetry in the library
because I’m so lonely and
the library of first year is a
cold, damp space in your mind.
They build a new one and it’s
one of those spaces you can
convince yourself you are useful in.
Just don’t talk to me,
I’m so dull, but god, am I so lonely.
Life’s just a game of making time
pass in a cold, empty library,
crying into the books because
it’s too dark to read the words.

I’m making monsters from all the bad I can find.
I’m running from the things I’ve made with my own hands.
(Can you guess what I mean?)
(I bet you can.)
(And if you can’t now, you will do later)
(Frankenstein, over and over again.)
(At least I’ve stopped trying to be Victor)
(I’d rather be Ginevra, and maybe that’s worse)

I’ve used all these images before and I’ll use them again,
(And these are just the images I’ve described so many times before –
somewhere between the First and Third, we’ve decided to start rewriting our self)
but they’re the ones that stick like worn out phrases in conversations.
Dead metaphors (of me,)
and I’m itching
like mosquitoes have landed beneath my skin and are eating me alive.
I stand in the now, quoting myself. I know, I say, here’s the mirror box.
I’m making my own dead metaphors and my own personal clichés and
at what point did I get so tangled in myself? I have no idea how to survive
the world, so I make a labyrinth of my own poetry.
The girl of the First pulled this all together from scraps and notes.
She kind of experimented with this by writing at different times, in different moods, inserting new bits in and laughing at the reflection of herself, because what’s better than a nice a bit of self-depreciation to soothe all the guilt?
It’s not her best work, but she just needed to get back into writing poetry,
and to get back at herself.

I’m just so torn between wishing (today) was over or hoping it will stay to put off tomorrow.
I’m just so caught between wanting to end it all and wanting to survive it.
I’m just so torn between wanting time to pass and wanting time to stop.
I’m craving the shore again, but I’m desperate for (desperately afraid of) new places
Just go with it, I try to tell myself, let it happen, but the only thing that’s coming is the dark, vague inevitable and I think I’d rather run back into the mirror maze and back into myself.

Girl of the First, sometimes I think I’m doing better,
but at other times I think you were right.
It only gets worse.
I specialise in grotesquely long poems, making my own dead metaphors and attempting to avoid the future :)

From the girl of the First, back in March Two Thousand and Sixteen:
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1576767/im-sure-youve-heard-it-before-but/
Grace Feb 2018
I go outside to escape my self
and the end and the inevitable
and I sit admiring the night sky
until the stars become the scattered
words I’m trying hard to understand
but seem completely unable to.

I look up into that dark blue night
and I wish it was the ocean.
I wish the world was a fading purple
sunset. I wish the world was
the moonstone blue of the sea.

I’m drowning in the night sky instead,
in all this vast intangible vagueness.
There’s no edge, no shore to the sky,
just stars and then stars and then stars.

I want to be on the shore again,
feeling alive, feeling maybe, just maybe
there’s a little hope in the waves that
have always been able to comfort me.

See, the sea is full of lonely moments,
losing moments, shipwrecked moments,
but it is also the place of liminal on the shore
moments, meeting moments, happy, maybe moments.

But here I am, sitting beneath the sky, not the sea.

I came out here to escape yet all I’ve found
is the inevitable in all its dark, vast, uncontainable glory.
I look away because I don’t want to see it.
I look away, because now it’s the end,
I’m not ready to leave.

I gather handfuls of cold to my chest
and take it all back inside with me.
I dream of the ocean. I long for the sea.
Maybe one day I'll write something where I don't go on about the sea. Maybe one day I'll feel at ease with the sky. Maybe one day I'll write a poem that doesn't sound the same as all my others.
Maybe, just maybe
(probably not)
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