Poetry

She reaches forward now

Bitter, the pills slide down her throat

recalling the shock of months ago.

She thought she’d buried it, good and gone,

but they said she has to face it now.

She cannot keep running on a tape stuck on rewind.

Mind seeing what was, not what is.

She’s being broken down to atoms

so she can be rebuilt.

Possible, but outside of time.

Poetry

Whale song

Imagine a whale floating across the sky.

You think it’s confused, swimming around up there

and not in the blue.

It doesn’t occur to you that your sky

is not sky, only a level of the ocean above you

because you’ve sunk so deep

that you’ve merged into sediment

where the pressure is holding you down

and this whale is trying to get its song to reach you

but can’t.

You’re already rock.

Poetry

I’ve given up counting sheep, they only stand on me.

I’m yawning the moment I sit down

even though I’m there to listen to sleep –

or how to get there, or to leave there.

It’s one or the other with me.

The hands clutch tight or not at all.

In Nod, they’re as fickle as fame, apparently.

It’s like trying to get excited for a school trip you don’t want to go on

while at the same time

watching everyone else go off to Disney

and find your feet stuck to the floor.

You mustn’t go during the day, they warn

as my mind skips away from my body.

Uncategorized

Oh…I’m autistic

Greetings, everyone! Today is apparently the day for a long(ish) post about things on my mind.

In late January, I was formally diagnosed with autism, and it’s taken me a while to fully process it. Though I knew I had many traits and spent last year writing things down while I was on the waiting list for assessment, it still came as a bit of a shock to me.

I think I still had that small nugget of doubt, and when that was finally snuffed out, it sent me into a bit of a self-analytical spiral. I also had a massive meltdown where I simply couldn’t stop screaming — it’s an odd thing to have your body doing one thing while your mind is observing everything from a 3rd person view. And I was highly impressed at the sheer range of my voice. Honestly, I think I could give a banshee a run for their money, or a Camaar fish wife (if anyone gets that reference, I’ll give them a cookie).

I think the meltdown was not only realisation, but sheer frustration that it’s taken 28 years for people to see it, and one of my main thoughts was what would my life have been like if I’d known earlier? Would I have been bullied at school so much? Would I have even attended the schools that I did? Would I have had better advice on relationships and more understanding of why I can’t handle certain situations? Would I have felt so pressured to get a ‘real’ job that I accepted the first offer I got and spent three years struggling and pretending to be perfectly fine when I felt like hiding away and covering my hands over my ears through every shift?

But what I realised was that it doesn’t matter, because you can’t change the past. All you can do is look to the future. And I’m now in the process of getting the support I need.

I’ve also been suffering with anxiety and depression due to various other personal situations, and the whole lot combined has left me completely drained. However, I can’t live life as a complete recluse, and as much as I find it extremely difficult to talk to people — whether I know them or not — and experience a lot of sensory overload whenever I go out, I still have to do ‘basic’ things like going to the doctors or buying food.

I also know that as my poetry collection and my latest book are now out, I should be trying to promote them as much as I can, which includes going to spoken word nights. Which are nice in theory, as I get to listen to a lot of other artists, but not always so great in practice due to the sheer social nature of them.

Last night was one of those occasions, and not only was I uncomfortable the whole time, but after it was over, I felt like a group of bulbasaur had leechseeded me. I could barely walk properly, and my mind had died completely. Don’t get me wrong, I did hear some great poetry and got good encouragement for my own, but I honestly have to ask myself if that level of exhaustion, and the week or so of anxiety leading up to it, was really worth it.

Thing is, I don’t have an answer. I doubt I ever will. All I know is that one side of me wants to get up and perform at every one, while the other wants to stay home and play scrabble with my partner (who is a significant rock in my life and does all he can to keep me grounded when I feel like everything is beyond my control).

One of the definitely positive things I took away from last night was that I wasn’t the only one struggling to do what I do, as one of the other performers has autism too. There was also a spoken word artist with ADHD and one who is Dyslexic. So the sheer amount of creativity neurodiverse people are capable of despite their struggles is something truly inspiring.

Anyway, thank you for continuing to support this little blog and my creative efforts. This post has been quite therapeutic, not only as a way of recovering from yesterday and other stuff, but also because I’m enormously anxious about a phone call I’m expecting (I wish people would give specific times for these things). But I’m sure I have rambled on long enough, so…

Kate out!

 

 

Poetry

Tightrope walking

I take a cup of water and shake it up like dice on a gambling table,

throwing it out to watch it splash down on the invisible webs

plucking as my eyes, at my hands, at my will.

The droplets reveal them, more than I knew there were

(though I had suspicions), stretching far back into the past

where I thought it didn’t matter anymore.

But it seems that though the spiders have long since died,

their silk is as strong as it ever was, and has bound me

more tight than I can bear.

I have nothing that can cut them, so I must work to unravel them instead.

I don’t know how much time it will take. It doesn’t matter,

as long as I make sure to live along the way.

Poetry

Let’s chat

Like being slit with a scalpel

I find myself open and bleeding,

fractured into shards of agate,

my layers exposed. All

I’m doing is speaking, one

to one. My palms are saunas.

My gaze fixed to your mouth,

not your eyes. I know

I need to speak. I must.

A stone mouth doesn’t make it easy.

Poetry

Second star

Like fairy dust on my skin,

your words are enough to always lift

me up.

Even when I’m down,

sunk to the bottom of the ocean

by Captain Hook

in his vain attempt to distract

himself from time

ticking,

ticking

away, like the strength of muscle and bone

as age sets in.

But he forgets he is in Neverland,

where time is endless.

So are we,

if we stay hand in hand.

Poetry

To the teacher who broke me

There are certain days,

like those mornings just after a heavy downpour

where the scent of pollen and damp soil

mix to form that sickly, sweet smell,

and the sun comes out to create mocking shadows –

yes, days like those –

when nostalgia kicks in and I’m thrown

back to primary school,

clutching my satchel and walking into the playground

where all the other kids play without care

or squabble about nothing.

 

I sit on my own and watch.

 

Then the whistle blows

and she comes out, asking

us to line up.

A severe face carved

with severe eyes

and an even severer mouth,

but only when her gaze is turned to me.

Everyone else sees the smiling, caring mask

that tricks them into false security.

She speaks to them with soothing words,

but for me?

For me she leans in so that her severe face

is barely an inch from my own terrified one,

releasing the full roar of her lungs

into my ears.

 

I’m frightened.

 

I know she’s watching me,

waiting for me to tell someone about her.

I try to hide it,

but soon the dread consumes me.

I am physically sick at the idea

of facing her again,

seeing the rage build up in her eyes

when I ask even a simple question.

 

My parents grow concerned.

They talk with her –

she gives them the smiling mask –

and when they leave,

she rounds on me,

raging on

until I am no smaller

than a pebble in her wake.

 

My face is wet.

I can’t see;

I don’t want to see.

A hand gently touches my shoulder:

it’s time to speak up.

Tell them

what’s really troubling you.

Tell them the truth

about her.

 

I do.

 

Three weeks later,

she is gone.

Never to return.

 

Her voice is still there

in my mind.

It’s always there,

and so is the fear.

 

But now I can choose to ignore it.