Autobiographical Alphabet: Part 1

Hi friends,

For those of you who have been following me on Instagram for the last little while, you may know that I’ve recently released a series of micro-poems there.

If not, the collection is called Autobiographical Alphabet: Life After Nineteen.

The poems were written in 2017, after I turned twenty. In New Zealand & Australia where I’m from, 18 and 21 are considered ceremonious years. Personally, I feel like the transition between 19 to 20 is, linguistically at least, just as important because it marks one’s departure from the ‘-teen’ years (13-19).

With the set structure of the alphabet and the challenge of keeping to only a sentence or two per poem, I wanted to use this series to explore more broadly who I am and what I observe & feel in this awkward phase when I am no longer a child but don’t quite feel like a proper adult.

I’ll be delving into some of the circumstances and intentions surrounding the pieces below. In all honesty, I think that to a large degree, an author’s intent is irrelevant to a reading and it’s important for you to take away what you will from the standalone poems. With that being said, I selfishly wanted to explain them a bit more so I can pour over these memories & experiences yet again. I’m sure there are some people who are curious about it too, so this is for me & you :—)


I wrote this poem for a friend who I’ve known since intermediate (middle school). She is an absolute angel – beautiful, kind, perfect. I don’t think I’ve met more than a handful of other people who are genuinely as soft and pure.

Though sometimes in private I’d wonder if she was a bit too perfect. Maybe it makes me a bad person (I’d never argue to the contrary) but I kept waiting for the day when the image would crack and something mean or unreasonable will spill out…but it never did. When a boy broke her heart, she mourned so gently and with so much poise that it left me unsettled.

I didn’t put my finger on it until recently. Perhaps it’s just me overthinking but it was almost like she couldn’t allow herself to hold onto an ounce of bitterness, even when she had every right to, in case it stained her with something that was too dark and too real. Ugly.

This poem is for her and women in general who were taught that they had to hide their pain. For women who are expected to shirk their own needs forever and always so they can be so good and generous to everyone else with their seemingly endless love and comfort.

What are your thoughts on nature vs nurture? Either way, I was a shy and introverted child. Mum always pushed me to speak to strangers and make new friends. A word she always wanted me to strive for was “bubbly”.

Bright, light, fun, harmless, palpable. Her friend’s child was like this, why couldn’t I be? Over a decade later, I would say that I feel like a carefully pruned bonsai tree who has gotten closer and closer to her ideal. I would say “bubbly” is one of the top 5 words most of my friends would use to describe me.

I still don’t like that word. I think it’s because it feels like an act, even now. It’s so tiring to be friendly and happy, it doesn’t really leave room for much of a personality. I don’t know if it’s who I am or who I’ve been taught I should be and being around strangers acting “bubbly” leaves me so flat and empty. Scariest of all though is that the formative years are over, the shape is set, I truly don’t know how else I can present to and exist in this world.

Continue reading “Autobiographical Alphabet: Part 1”

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The girl with the biggest smile:

puzzle-140904_1280.jpg

she drinks 3 cups of herbicide every night,
to cure the moonlight that pools under her eyes.

 but behind the irises, the onion weeds lie,
and surrounding her heart, the wireweeds thrive.

Melodramatic Caprice

Processed with VSCO with b5 preset
Today,
I’ve forgotten how to be happy.
Unfortunately,
contorting a strained smile
to set others at ease
doesn’t work when you’re confronted by a mirror –

that girl, she hurts more than it’s worth.

but what’s even worse,
is that I can’t even turn this pain
into a beautiful verse
about overcoming difficulties
and learning profound life lessons
because none of that ever happened.

I guess I just don’t know
what’s left to say
when all I feel is
numb.

10994

Octopus
Image courtesy of: Dark-Indigo

The Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench is the deepest known point in Earth’s oceans – 10,994 meters below sea level with an estimated vertical accuracy of ± 40 meters.


I want to be a maelstrom
because it’s difficult
to turn away from a disaster.
Look me in the eye
as I drag you to the murky depths
of somewhere in between
drowning and being free,
tainted flesh and salt water wounds
are easier to touch in the dark,
breathe me in,
before the sunlight slips out of reach.

Can we only find love on the sea floor
because that’s where shadows of desperation
overwhelms sanity?
Watch the rubies spill,
as rock bleeds into rock,
proving that I am broken,
just so you would want me.

As the octopus
wraps itself around my sea-foam heart,
it whispers its melancholy warning –
I am twisted, little one, run away or surrender
and I know I shouldn’t be happy
to give up my autonomy but
in that moment,
I could almost see anglerfish
dancing at the end of the tunnel
in the wake of my supposed destiny.
Neptune,
he did not save me.

Undoubtedly,
humanity
thrives in
maladjustments and oddities
because we are the abandoned children
of the deep sea.

That’s why we soak up pain
and wish upon 
washed up starfish
that we can avoid the same inevitability
and for our agony –
to be special.

Heart to Heart

I have always found comfort in the fact that my world is subjective, that it’s my perceived reality.

It has helped me time and time again to recognise my purpose in life and form a value system I can stand by.

In general terms, I would consider myself strongly anti-deterministic and extremely liberal. In other words, I am a strong proponent that everyone chooses their own fate and are allowed to hold their own world views as long as they do not infringe on anyone else’s right to do the same.

That, I have convinced myself over the past few years, is the best way to make everyone happy. I hate to say this, but sometimes, just sometimes, I really wish it wasn’t.

Continue reading “Heart to Heart”