'This one is about my grandmother, who experienced ECT shock therapy because that's what they did to you in those days,
she died too soon.'
I stand, my heart heavy
Like it'll explode from my chest
Can ribs, are they, can , ribs, they, are they strong enough?
That's what I wanted to ask.
Tightly now, the breathing, it's harder each day.
Breathe lighter. They say. Here, from the stomach.
I feel, that I cannot stay here any longer,
my hands will first come off, then my feet, then my neck, and head, well head first
Then neck, then shoulders, then knees, all coming off
All mangled from the waist
Everything off, and rendered.
And my heart is so heavy like it'll explode
from my chest
and I can not do anything with my body anymore
And I cannot do anything without my body either
Stomping along in wellington boots in a forest
And you've passed me a stick, and it's big enough to stomp in the ground with-
Into the earth, into the sky
You're miles ahead, waiting for me on the hill but I do not make it.
I have taken my clothes off
I am running into the sea
And you'll stay at the summit
And I'll stay swallowed by the world
And my hands will come off, and my face, my hair, my hands, my feet
I'll come undone
Be the water that you drink
Nourish you, I'll fill you.
And we'll be okay, as I swim in your veins.
And I think of my grandmother and all the things I never got to tell her
And I grow up without her
I come from a strong line of women.
And I was upstairs when they robbed my heart of you
I was upstairs when the door opened
The gunfire hit the walls
And there were holes lining my dreams
Tearing open questions that
I realised I’d had all along when you were awake
I think back to the walk
When the pin still held my heart together
The silver twinkling against the headlights of the car
And it hurt when he tore into me and grazed this beating lump against
the wall of my chest leaving the wound bleeding like
wet cement dripping against brick
Now in the dark,
I pick up my feet to walk out of there
I can hear the commotion downstairs
I knew you were brave but I could feel you telling me to stay where I am
The day I thought I was psychic
would call each other and you’d tell me I was on your mind
You were about to tell me things
But you’d forgotten.
I found you bleeding downstairs
They’d taken your life and left the books out
Pages and paper and unused words
Your pen still in the gaps of the notes you were using to
Bitter I tried to pull myself together again, but the pin was lodged deep
The earth wasn’t soft when I tossed it on your wooden shell cased home.
The shell cases around the room
As many books as many bullets.
Pop. Do we remember how we met?
In the dark on a dancefloor
You found the bomb, you picked it up, you gave me the pin.
I thanked you then, my grin showing my teeth, your lips on mine.
In that moment; we were done for.
One day I might find the courage to find the force
To push you out of me
Not like a baby but like energy
I save deep within my lungs
You still swim, you see, in my veins
You’re in my blood
And my eyes speak to you
When I’ve nothing left to say
You well me up and stay in my red stained eyes for days
Sometimes I breathe sometimes
I try to say words that I can’t find anyway
When I’m walking
When I’ve taken myself for a walk
And I’m not in a car anymore
And I’m out on a road
And there are leaves above me
And plants and green and sky
When I’m alone and being a woman and feeling
When I’m walking and alone and walking
And breathing in my lungs
And breathing and being raw and
Alive And the words from my lips are numb
Glued and dry and cut and failing me
Glued and dry and cut and falling
When I’m on stone and wrapped around and
When I’m on stone
When it’s hard beneath me and your hips
And arms are around my own
When I’m alone and walking
When I’m around you and speaking
When my voice is close and whispering
When we are close to kissing and
And your tongue
And the solid boldness of being alive
And my smell and your smell and sweat and salt
Salt of the earth and of your skin And biting the bottom of your lip
And remembering your taste
And resisting to feel anything
And a stone of heart
And a stone of
The wall and me against it and you breathe into me
And feel your heart beating hard against my heart and it pumps and we are mechanical people - that’s just what we are
That’s just how it’s going to be -
As I walk on with my feet plunging into the earth and you’re not here to tidy me My rosy cheeks are Far, far ahead My rosy cheeks are far far from you
Far away from you.
My body is dropping deep in the earth now I feel your hands wrap around the earth
Free now to love the environment you are now becoming
The roots that must wrap around you now
As you never did to me when you were alive
And the fire in the earth and the fire in my soul
And the stars in the sky
Look at the stars in the sky
Look at the stars
And the key is gone
The key is gone
It didn’t ever exist
We just made it up.
- by Elinor Rowlands-
'(...) I'm a disabled artist, art psychotherapist and use music and film as a tool to engage with social, cultural and political themes. Art has the power to transform lives when it alters the way individuals and communities feel and think about their environments, minds and selves. Art defies structural oppression by offering audiences vehicles for support, expression and even closure. I write with dreamlike intensity to create surreal and poetic works that responds to social inequality and other systems that work to silence marginalized voices.' - E. R.
BREATHING CHEMICAL FEAR
The darkness encased her as she stepped from her front door,
The deserving pride smothered by an unnatural fear.
The air grew thick with each step,
Clogging her lungs and hardening her heart.
The chemically-induced fear seeped in,
Oozing from the towers and isolating spotlights.
The city made her feel small,
Shrunken in contrast to her vulnerability.
Following darkness attempted to sway her,
Confusing as she climbed.
Still she persisted,
Ditching her shell to make for easier ascent.
Her final steps were rewarded,
As beneath her lay her city.
lights pulsing like white blood through the thin veins
wedged between the towers.
Breathing in her fear,
She emptied it over the city.
The city breathing back a gush of cool breeze,
Fresh and clean of chemical fear.
- Claire L. Smith -