(July 20 2013)
Editor’s Letter: I’m ill. I’ve been ill for a really long time and most people who know me would tell you that. You probably don’t know that you’re ill too though. That word does not mean “broken” or “bad” (though it could if you wanted it to! I’m not the word police.) It means something more. Whether you use it in a positive sense; aka: “DUDE! That kick flip was the ILLEST!” (I don’t know why I only ever hear people with skateboards saying “the illest” but that needs to change, fyi.) or a more somber approach; aka: “My mother is the illest cancer patient in this whole fucking hospital.” During either use of the word, you are creating verbal poetry. The word “ill” itself IS poetry. It means the same thing in two opposite ways and if you don’t think that’s cool as shit you need to leave. Everyone is always preaching at us to recover from our illness, but hey dolls, let’s revel in it for a little while longer.
Hearts in my eyes & my undies,
There is not much anything anymore.
Everything is dust and everyone is dust.
It is always dark,
Except for when it is too bright.
It is cold and disheartening.
Or hot and uncomfortable,
Afternoons make me ache.
Forcing my back, slick with sweat,
To the leather seat behind me.
Evenings make we quake,
Creating a thin layer of cool over my skin,
But leaves my blood boiling on the inside.
– Kiara Green
I am sad wilting flower from
outer space I’m falling off the
bridge again my blankets are my
best friends my eyes burn and burn till
there’s none left but an empty eye socket I
lose everything I’m so tired of hiding all I
see is a white room with ugly glaring walls
turning yellow with smoke where do I
start I don’t wanna be sad anymore a
horrible crash the tears won’t fall.
puddle on the floor
the ache in my back makes me
wonder if angel’s wings will
split through the pained areas and
spread wide, a windspan. the length of
mountain ranges, my tired legs freed
from their duties today but I
don’t feel like an angel as much as a
tired hunchback with a round
pouting face and sleepy eyes.
– Luna Slater
The illness in me
Waiting for something to change
To bring itself forth
Waving at the faces I see pressed against the glass
I never wanted my face to be hidden or distorted
I wanted to be looked upon
Not looked at.
Instead of satin handkerchiefs
I thrust my hands violently
Because I want your satin cheek
To be my token.
The reaction in my veins begins to pulse and throb
I am not a human.
I am not beast.
With a mistaken attempt at gentleness
My fingerprints leave polka dots of
on the softness of skin and I’m sorry.
But I don’t always understand what sorry means.
The blood in my body pushes through my aorta
with the strain of a seven-year-old
Who has outgrown her only shoes
And everything revolves around me
I know it
I know it
I know it.
And I’m sorry.
the cellophane sheets
that cling to your carpet
and cover up the violent
screams of stains
on your bedroom floor.
the silver pill wrappers
reflecting your thoughts
while your arms shake
tepid words out of your fingertips
in a waterfall of azure.
the skinny worn out jeans
with the rip in the knee
that bleed out your sadness
like an interval break
as you run for the door.
the rushes of voices
surrounding your fears
that tie up in knots
the ribs that you kept
oh so close to your heart.
– Lydia Kolb
I should love you as an eight year old,
asking to be excused from your third grade class
to go throw up in the bathroom.
Leaning over your desk in fevered prayer,
hunched over two tender nubs of breast.
Sitting down with your counselor
and a pack of giggling girls to have “the talk”
while bleeding into a wad of toilet paper.
I should love you as a twelve year old,
blue eyes lined and lipstick smudged.
Crouched behind the bushes, expelling chunks
of non-digested pizza and coke.
Taking two bottles of Tylenol and laying down
on your kitchen floor, watching the broiler burn.
Calling your boyfriend, and whispering
so your mom won’t hear
“I love you, I hate you, don’t go, leave me to die”
I should love you as a fourteen year old,
thin as a pencil, hair black and straight
Walking with a humming in your head
to your eighth grade classes, slipping away
to the library and reading books on dying
and so you steal a bottle of ativan
from your grandfather’s medicine cabinet.
You take 10.
I should love you as you are now.
Seventeen, eyes darkened to a jade,
and burnt out on suicide attempts.
But I don’t.
– Sammye Kagy
Underneath eyelids; Crystalline
I’ve been gazing into mirrors far too often
The clinging film of ugly
And body dysmorphia
I can feel you collecting in my pores
Fusing within spidery limbs