Friday, March 30, 2012

Poems in the wild #3

Poem #3 (3 of clubs) was released last Friday on a table at Rue Bebelons, house of fine wines and lunchtime baguettes. It was gone when I came back from the toilets, but whoever caught the little whipper-snapper is keeping mum about it.

In any case, here is poem #3:

She licks her wounds, warm
and earth-sweet, ripped open
like old ground with the smell
of hot new blood. She had
received them in her wolf-time,
days after the moon was
a fingernail and her own
was a claw.
Low through the teeth
twigs snap sharp with the dark
Dog music curled at last against
the welcoming rock, her new
smooth legs bleed and tremble
with the memory of wildness.

Poem #4 (9 of spades) will be released sometime today...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Poems in the wild #2

Last Friday I released poem #2 at the Cinema Nova bar:

I haven't heard from anyone, so perhaps it is still roaming the streets of Carlton like a forlorn university student without a coffee.

Anyway, this was poem #2 (2 of hearts):

You said: 'Life is too short
to read the comments'
and I didn't know if you
were being metaphorical.
I drew breath to jolly along:
'Comment hard, die young'
but the glowing heart had
drawn screens across
your eyes, the warmest white
light of kisses drawn
from internet lovers.

Poem #3 will be released later today...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Poems in the wild #1

Last Friday I released my first poem into the wild in the Anthologies section at Readings, Carlton. I know, pretty wild.

It was caught and tweeted by @snarkattack:

"Last night, I found a poem in the wild so I took it home"

I am rather pleased and surprised that the first poem was found!

Anyway, in case you can't read the picture, this was poem #1:

You shook the umbrella like
a wet dog, shot rain in
diamond chips onto bitumen.
I wanted to tell you my
greatest fear: that things
would always be the same.
We left bright prints:
each step was not a memory of rain.
Instead, I asked if you
had bought lemons.
You had forgotten, and we waited
for the pattering bus,
our hearts astringent.

Poem #2 will be released sometime today...once I write it...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Brain on a Plate

(Triggery warning: this post contains writing related to eating disorders and ED recovery. I don't think it's particularly triggery, but you know if you need to be careful.)

Still getting my weekly dose of self-inflicted rage from The Age's Sunday Life column: 'My Day on a Plate'. Occasionally there is the pleasure of reading someone like Sandra Reynold's frankly reassuring day (except for the Marmite. Outrageous! Love the Milo bit.)

But more often than not, it dishes up for us things like last Sunday's, which began:

5am: I have a coffee, a litre of naturally flavoured water, then I go to work.
9am: I enjoy some Chia seeds...

You get the idea.

Now, it may be that I'm just filled with naturally flavoured bitterness, and would like to deliver a kick to the Chia-seeds to these sorts of columns that try to normalise whatever the unrealistic eating-trend-of-the-moment is (not to mention implying that human eating habits are entirely uninfluenced by mood/tiredness/menstrual cycles/what you ate yesterday/weather/hangovers/toddler tantrums/stress/inclination).

I know space is an issue, but I really wish these sorts of columns could present some kind of brief note of the thoughts that go along with these lists of eats, like: "I've just got back from a relaxing weekend away, so I didn't end Monday with an entire box of BBQ Shapes on the bus like I usually do, instead I waited til I got home and had grilled salmon with quinoa." Because if I picked and chose my meals out of, say, a fortnight's worth of eating, I'd probably be able to piece together a pretty perfect My Day on a Plate too*. My rage-on-a-plate about this column stems from wanting to see more of a 'My Brain on a Plate' than 'My Day on a Plate'. (That was too many 'on-a-plate's for one sentence. Please accept my apologies on a plate.)

Even now at an (undisclosed yet respectably) healthy weight, for me every day with food is a struggle with anxiety and overthinking and second-guessing myself. Obviously, I can't be sure people who haven't ever been diagnosed with an eating disorder don't sometimes/often think like this too. It just goes round and round and round:

6am: 1.2 litres of tea. I love tea. Tea is the one thing I've never worried about. Tea tea tea tea tea.

8:30am: I bought some full-fat strawberry Jalna yoghurt for my 3 year old Luka, but he doesn't like it, so I've put 2 big spoonfuls on half a cup of raw oats in a container for myself to eat on the bus for breakfast. How much is a 200g serving of yoghurt? Like, a whole tub? Maybe these 2 spoonfuls are 200g. I'll have to look that up.

11am: Stupid oats and yoghurt, they've got more calories than my usual toast breakfast, and yet they've lasted only a couple of hours, whereas the toast usually keeps me sorted til 1pm. It's nowhere near lunch time. I'm hungry. Am I hungry? Maybe I'm just thirsty. How much water have I had this morning? 1.5 litres. Plus the tea. I'm probably not thirsty. I eat 2 big squares of Saladas. It makes my hands shake afterwards, I hate snacking, it always just feels like the prelude to a binge. What if now I'm not hungry for lunch, or I do get hungry for lunch, but too late to be hungry for dinner? Perhaps the Saladas should just count for lunch.

12pm: Birthday celebration at work. I refuse the cake on offer, saying I'm not a big fan of cake (which is true), but it's mainly because if I eat when I'm definitely not hungry, my anxiety levels will shoot through the fucking roof, and I won't get any work done for the rest of the day. Let alone lunch. I wonder if they all think I'm refusing because I'm relapsing. I'm not. Am I? I don't think I am.

3pm: Great, now I'm hungry for lunch. And I don't want the lunch I've brought from home, I want laksa. Laksa is enormous though, it's like treble what I'd normally eat for lunch, and then I won't be hungry for dinner. Maybe I just won't have dinner. People do that, right? They have a big late lunch and then don't have dinner because they're not hungry? That's not disordered, is it, if I'm truly not hungry? Oh for fuck's sake. This is ridiculous. I buy a laksa. I don't finish it all, but I still worry that I ate it too fast and as a result ate more of the noodle part than I would normally do. I'm clenching my teeth a lot. I have a lie down for the rest of my lunch break so that my breathing calms down a bit.

7pm: I get home from work, and assess my physical hunger as objectively as I can, about twenty times. Nope, I'm definitely not hungry. I feel guilty by default just saying this to my Newly-Corporeal Boyfriend, because the words are the same as when I was starving and lying to everyone: "I'm not hungry". Now they're true. I think. I hope he believes me. I've certainly gone over it enough times in my head to make sure I'm not lying. I think. Have I? Oh fucking hell, can I have a glass of wine now?

6am: Wake up. Absolutely ravenous because my last meal was now 15 hours ago. So today will be out of whack too. Should I start with a bigger breakfast? How long should it last me? Sigh...

And on it goes. Recovery is very tiring and very boring. I could be thinking about way better things, like buses that are also ATMs and have vending machines and mini-bars in them.

Still, my brain is much less plate-heavy than it was even a six months ago. And as tedious and anxiety-inducing as attempting recovery is, that's got to be a good thing.

*Aside: this is why overly rigid meal plans that eating disordered people are often given to follow (especially on hospital discharge) can be problematic - because when you look around in the real world it's obviously bullshit: not many 'normal' people eat exactly 3-meals-plus-2-snacks every single day. But this is rant for another time.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Poems in the wild

A gal needs a project.

All right, this specific gal needs a project.

To play this game I will need:

  • A pack of playing cards (King's Excel Casino Quality High Slip, for those of you playing at home)
  • Some white adhesive labels
  • 52 poems
  • A Twitter account @poemsinthewild
  • To go to bars and cafes (it's a tough life)

The idea, which appeals both to my love of found objects and my love of bars, is this:

  • Each week I'll write a poem on the back of a playing card (hence the white adhesive labels, there isn't much white space on a playing card on its own), along with the @poemsinthewild Twitter name.
  • I'll leave the card somewhere in Melbourne (most likely in an aforementioned bar or cafe).
  • I'll tweet the location (and suit) of the card through @poemsinthewild, and hopefully someone will find it and tweet me. Or maybe they won't, and the poem will end up floating in a gutter outside the State Library.
  • Either way, the following week I'll post the actual poem on this blog, along with the location of the next poetic foundling.
I'm not entirely sure how this idea evolved, I wanted to do something that involved regular poetry-writing, but not daily (because it tends to do my freakin head in). I also really like the idea of sending/leaving something for a random stranger (hence my past flirtations with Bookcrossing and Postcrossing and Swap-Bot). And the whole 52 cards in a pack, 52 weeks in a year thing is kinda neat.

So - the first poem will be released into the wild this Friday 9th March. I'll keep you posted.