on the count of six(teen) – a poem

remember that one time when i wrote about my sixteenth suicide attempt?

i’m still not coping with it very well, so i wrote a poem about it. it was a pretty serious attempt, landing me in icu after all. and i’m trying so fucking hard to fight against my head but sometimes it just gets so loud and the thoughts will only stop once i act on them.

pretty heavy trigger warning on this one guys. i would say ‘enjoy’ but it’s probably not the kind of poem you would enjoy. i hope it helps you heal as writing it helped me heal


with a backing track

of panic attacks,

the most pitiful playlist,

i swallow supposed death,

washed back with a bottle of vodka.

i fall asleep to serenading

waves on the beach;

dying feels like going home.

strangely, beneath the stars

i feel less alone

even though they represent

only myths, i suppose.

then waking in intensive care

waking into horror

writhing in restraints

while watched by two cops

ready with their handcuffs

ready for when i run

with my rights stripped away.

every time i wake i see her face.

i wish i were a shooting star not

starfished at the ankles and wrists

spread apart to remind me of

the men who spread my legs

then left me with the mess.

soon startled into being

at the hiss of velcro loosening

i throw my fist toward my face

before my veins are flooded

with syringed sleep

with a shot of compliance.

the next time i wake

there are three cops

no, four

watching closely on the tips

of their regulation boots,

on the edge of their seats.

it will take five sets of hands

to hold me down this time.

they say i am hurting them

but surely i am hurting more

since i keep finding myself waking

into the same

fucking nightmare.

sisters – a poem

me and my sister never really got along. but we were civil enough until something happened that just fucked with my head a little too much. she didn’t ask me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. and i was just really fucking hoping that she would use it as an opportunity to repair our relationship, because i had been working on myself a lot, and i had tried to be a better sister, but no. i can’t forgive her. since then, we basically haven’t spoken at all. it was really getting to me last night, and i cut a bit, but i also wrote a really angry poem about it. i don’t really know what to call it yet. some mix-up of the typical sayings about sisters. like instead of “sisters are flowers from the same garden” maybe like “two weeds from different plots” or something, i dunno. anyway, yay, a poem. i also intend to perform this one so if i can figure out how to upload a recording you might actually get to hear me read my poetry… but only if you don’t judge my bogan west aussie accent.


it was supposed to be the done thing

the sisterly thing

the siblings walking side by side sort of thing

the playing princesses in old bridesmaid’s dresses

acting like we actually got along sort of thing.

i had already picked a perfect gown

the burnt orange one

the one the colour of rust spots

or our collection of stolen ochre rocks.

C the synesthete had always said

my voice was rust coloured

so for once the inside of my head

would pair well with how i acted instead.

everything i know i learned from books

but books could never teach me

how to be a good sister,

they taught me only stigma.

they taught me to be ashamed of myself

so when you repeated the words

on that glossy white cover

the dangerous strokes of scarlet

warning of the lies

that would soon smother

my story into a smaller size

when you told me that it sounded just like me

and then i fucking evaporated

you never could quite connect the dots.

you never could quite remember things

the way that i could, the way that you should.

well K, i have a long fucking memory

and here are some of the things i remember.

after i got that detention

you mocked me for my bravery

without daring to ask

why i had needed saving

after you saw my scars

you stopped speaking to me

as if my shameful past

stopped our future trajectory

after buying a house in which

to start your family

you neglected to tell me

probably because you thought

i would be a shitty aunty.

well here’s the final touch

the cherry on top

that will seal away our sisterhood:

i will never remember your wedding.

and that’s probably because

i won’t

fucking

be there.

bright girl, dull future

i used to be the girl who everybody talked about owning the world. the one who would be the boss of all her bullies one day. the girl who could be anything she wanted, with all the opportunities life could afford her. she could be a doctor, a vet, a physiotherapist, a surgeon, an astrophysicist, a chemist, a writer, an actress, a make-up artist, a painter… anything.

the world was my oyster, but the pearl never formed.

i think maybe, that the constant, relentless weight of expectation contributes more to my mental health than people may perhaps realise. it’s the sense of relief from receiving a high distinction, before realising that people will only ever focus on the 3% of mistakes, not the 97% of knowledge. i love learning. i love studying. i kinda even love exams, in a very nerdy way. but i despise the comparative competition.

it hurts.

for the 97% of my life to be ignored, and the 3% ostracised over and over again.

lately, i’ve given up on things. i still study, because who would i be if i wasn’t studying, but i no longer give a fuck about that 3%. it could be 50% for all i care. because i can be fucking anything. the world is my oyster and if it hasn’t formed yet then i will damn well force it to solidify.

i can sense the disappointment in the air. as if the bright girl has discarded her future for writing poetry, and body art, and self harm.

they think my future is dull but i don’t care. i have seen and done things in my short twenty years that most people will never experience in a lifetime (thankfully). i have been ridiculed, i have been restrained, and hospitalised against my will, and attempted suicide ten times, and am having a relapse with my casual love of self harm. and i’m trying to convince everyone that i’m struggling.

but all they see is the dull future. they refuse to see the bright girl down there. they would rather be disappointed than intervene. i have survived, and i am surviving, and i am slowly learning how to live and if that doesn’t make my future seem fucking bright then i don’t know if anything will.


This was supposed to be a city

synonymous with starting over.

Somewhere to reinvent myself

with ink and piercings and an undercut,

with the kinds of things a bright girl

would use to dull her future.

Not only did I remake myself,

I redesigned my body,

ploughing furrows over

the fertile flesh of thighs,

burning crop circles

into flammable forearms

and transforming wrists

into rivers and rivulets

running scarlet.

This was supposed to be a city

of embrace, of exploring

the beautiful brutality of being.

Somewhere to learn

that worth is not earned

with grades and blades

and perfection hunting,

with the kinds of things a bright girl

like me relies on to build her future.

Me, Myself, and Ana – A Poem

Terrified of breathing, in case of collapse.

Terrified of existing, in case of relapse.

Fearing the voice clawing this brain,

but craving hunger to flood these veins.

Desperate for relief, for a bite or two,

all this hard work I’ll eventually rue.

Still she screams, oh, how she screams,

this parasitic illness destroying my dreams.

Seeking a way out of one’s own mind,

is successful, sure, but leaves memories behind.

A black pit of time marks the sickest years,

leaving a dissociative gap from a time full of fear.

How impossible it is to escape oneself,

envious of the lives mine might have paralleled.

Instead I exist in an ocean of darkness,

a voice for company tainted by harshness.

There’s no light for me here:

just myself,

and Ana,

and the bones we hold dear.

an update + a song for steff

a few of the regular readers of my blog (you know who you are, though I’m going to call you out anyway – much love to you S, A and Caity May) wanted me to check back in here.

last week, i survived my fifth suicide attempt.

i also survived my 72 hour hold in an unfamiliar hospital in the middle of fucking nowhere, because there were no beds available at the hospital that is actually in my health district. somehow, i also survived the ANGER that kept trying to trap me. the spite that was driving me to self harm. the hatred that was driving my sarcasm and lashing out at people who didn’t deserve it.

i also wrote a song while i was in hospital – my first song!

i can’t really sing, but I’ll post the lyrics here… the beat is super weird by the way, so maybe just read it like a poem with an overarching chorus?

i was high when i wrote this (another first, maybe needing another post – turns out smuggling in contraband to a mental health unit is pretty easy, according to the person i got high with). don’t worry; i edited it while i was sober.

this song is for steff, who doesn’t read this blog, and will probably never have these words sung to her. but, just as poetry is cathartic, it was a big relief to finally say what i wanted to say… unlike her, i guess… you’ll see.


I miss stroking your shaven head.

And tattoos that distract in bed.

Perfume that smells like loving me

But eyes that say we’ll never be.

Your sm-ile said you wanted to be here

But beneath that grin I sensed your fear.

I just don’t know how I’m s’posed to feel,

while my thoughts are with you still.

I’m des-pe-rate darl to hold you once more,

But flirting with you only makes me a whore.

Cause you / have / a girlfriend.

Yeah you / have / commitments.

I see you in all the windows,

While I’m tryna let go.

Whatever you feed, that shit grows

So tell me, hun, what will you sow?

Why don’t we talk this friendship through?

Maybe over a beer or two

As I slowly learn to stop loving you.

I just don’t know what I’m s’posed to do,

now I don’t spend time with you.

I’m des-per-ate darl to hold you once more,

But flirting with you only makes me a whore.

Cause you / have / a girlfriend.

Yeah, you / have / commitments.

Why’d you mess with my head to waste some time?

Instead of growing yourself a fucking spine.

To say all those things you were wanting to say.

I guess it shouldn’t matter anyway.

I don’t even know who I’m s’posed to be,

Now you’re parting ways with me.

I’m so damn desp ’rate to love you some more,

I’ve stopped caring if that makes me a whore.

But what / of / your girlfriend.

And all / those / commitments.

Well good thing I’m persistent.

Yer a poet, Rosie!

I’m a what?

Rosie, you are a poet.

I’m a what!?

A poet, Rosie.

I’m a poet!

Yes, Rosie, you are a poet.

Me, a poet? But I’m just Rosie!

Well, “just Rosie”, you, are a poet.

No, I’m just Rosie!

Listen here Rosie, yer gonna get yerself a fountain pen, yer gonna go in a magazine, and yer gonna write poems and shit!

BuT i’M jUsT rOsIe

Hopefully, you too have been blessed with this wonderful video and understand my cute little parody of it. But, even better than being cute and hilarious – it’s my dream come true.

I have had some poems accepted by a literary magazine, to be published in September!

On top of that, I also scored the job I have wanted for a very long time as a science entertainer.

AND ALSO I have found a home amongst some spoken word poets who made once a month to share what they’re currently working on.

So apparently good things can happen to me?

There’s that little voice in my head that’s waiting for the slump, because after the rise, I always seem to crash harder than before. For now, I’m lapping it up. And hopefully this happiness will hang around. Until the next suspicious look someone casts me, or the tone of voice I misunderstand, and I fall into the abyss sideways of the emotional rollercoaster.

People keep asking – A Poem

People keep asking me if I’m okay and, quite frankly, I don’t know what to say.

Do I smile as usual, resist the urge to smirk, as if my emotions are connected to my self-worth?

Or do I say what I’m thinking, as I’m collapsing, confess to myself and to them I’m relapsing?

Into what, they wonder, and so do I: into a pit of darkness and eternal night.

People keep asking me for the why and how, as if the ageing of time will trigger memory now.

The latter is easy; a handful, a bottle, onlookers and rescuers I’m tempted to throttle.

The former is blurry; the sarcasm appears, because I’m sure the why is an unresolved fear.

People keep asking, and I continue to refuse, at least until the sensations diffuse.

Inside my soul the incessant itching, the arms and legs constantly twitching.

I can’t help it; I’m distressed, I’m anxious, distraught, for it is only with thoughts of death I am fraught.

Twice now, I’ve survived, barely scraping through. Twice now, I’ve survived, but survival’s nothing new.

Things Change + A Poem

I made a fairly big call recently. I decided to return to my home town in regional coastal Western Australia. It is a place seething with bad memories, and as I have made very clear on this blog before, the source of much trauma.

As I was flying in, I realised something.

This isn’t a bad place. It’s a place where bad memories were made. And this week, I have had an opportunity to make new memories, and this place doesn’t seem so bad anymore. It’s uncomfortable to walk the streets, I have more anxious sweat then I ever realised was possible for a human to produce, and it’s triggering some very unstable mood shifts. But it’s been… okay. It’s been good. I saw my drama family (AKA my youth theatre of twelve years), and it has made me happier than I have been in a long time.

I suppose things change, and I’m glad that for once, they’ve changed in a good way.


Bad memories lurk beneath green rolling hills,

simmering with seasons toiled by decay,

a land marked for its absence and its lack,

even by those who choose to stay.

This place festers with bygones and

the wayward lost, to vices disguised

as adolescent adventures.

This place hides hurt beneath

roiling waves that crumble against the collapsing coast.

Salted waters sting against scars

leaving breathless gasps to mark their paths.

This place is one of hatred and despair,

with privileged joys mistaken for burdens,

with experience lost through ash coloured glasses,

that which cannot be returned nor replaced.

This place is underestimated, with its

stifling heat, and broods of gossips gathering;

the single skyscraper, barely reaching the clouds

that graze the sky rarely and tenderly

to drop an ocean desperately sought

by those governed meticulously by time.

This place is powerfully loaded, and painful,

and desecrated – not unlike myself –

But this place is mine;

this place is home.

Desperate Times, Normal Measures – A Poem

Eclipses decorate her flesh in a myriad mess

of alluring urges and sorrowful representation

of sadness and denial – suppression she says –

and painfully visceral confrontation.

Disproportionate coping mechanisms

and trickling stains and raindrops

without an umbrella or a bandage

or any real predisposition to stop.

What is life, when life is black,

when light is only darkness,

when happiness is only fleeting,

or non-existent, and harshness

is a safety blanket keeping me warm.

It’s the sad truth of this chronic condition,

these desperate measures in normal times have become

normal measures during desperate times.

I’m a plant taking root: a proposition

that I cannot grow without light,

no more than I can without water,

but there are no tears like flooding night.

If my mind were a pool, then the ocean

is an abyss to explore, an escape,

temporary or permanent or otherwise,

soothing waves and an attempt to abate

these thoughts that constantly batter

the ship of my body, bones of my soul,

heart-rigging, and panic-ridden chest.

Don’t follow me, but bring a torch to crawl

by, out of tunnels of sadness, and into

an empty household, bereft of loving kindness.

The Toolkit and First Aid Kit – A Poem

It seems that the more I draw,

the more I sketch the sensations

that arise from riding this emotional rollercoaster,

the more I realise that hands and faces,

cannot heal me anymore than my attempts

to disfigure the same hands and faces.

Self-destruction presents itself in these sketches,

and also in starvation, compensation, self-deprecation.

It is not a simple case of eat, or smile, or stop –

these have never been felt centrally at my core.

These are not things that can simply be enacted,

but rather must be relearned, as a new skill,

new additions to the toolkit beside my first aid kit.

Sketches are plasters that cannot heal my wounds,

but only cover them, protect them,

and just momentarily.

Until the next time I pick up a pencil,

or a blade, or step onto the scales,

and fall into the abyss sideways of the rollercoaster.