Smoke inhale in this underground hell. Or maybe it's all meant to be like this. When I rise up and down. Pogo or sway my hips. This is my exercise today. And it feels weird, strange, uneasy even. That there's a burning deep inside those caverns. How did this sensation become so foreign? So that maybe, there may be some remnants of tinnitus tomorrow. Remember that time when...we listened to music all night and there was some sort of...I don't know. Longing to be held. To be held firmly? When we listened and listened for hours and sometimes we stood and other times we sat and laid on the floor even, but we were so fucking high back then, so I guess it didn't matter. And our bodies melded into one another. Our bodies were like these really heavy skin covered sacks that flopped about and merged with the concrete and the sound and the sweat and the bodies and the muscles and everything was sort of different. So that now, I toke, deeply, on another cigarette. Hoping that one day I will get, I will get it all back. The freedom I currently lack when I'm held in another's arms. Though, it could be, that left alongside eternity. Maybe the dystopic truth of it all is...that without this mask, I am just me and that with it I pretend to be a character from some sort of Berlin rave movie.

There's a familiarity to this scene, to the stress of it. As I walk past pretending not to notice and fall into a hushed silence straight after seeing her tits. What is it about this city, about the lack of attention towards humanity. About the abruptness, about all this mess. I wonder and yet I still haven't figured it out. What it is I love about this place and why, when my mind suffers, why, when I can't see the wood for the trees, do I run here every time? Only to realise that it doesn't feel that fine, it doesn't feel that ok to be here on my own, even for a few days. So that I would prefer to just be without. Without a brain. Without feeling again. Watching that woman I glazed by, watching her as she filled another vile full of blood. The streets are lined with distain here, a stranger clammers at the door. I stutter and fall to the floor. I worry. Is it because I'm alone? Like really fucking alone and I do it to myself. I know I do, so that every time it happens I turn around and look to blame but can find only me, me again. And again and again. On repeat. I am my own defeat. I can't rely on anyone? I really can't rest my head, can't hold your hand? Can't ask anyone to do the directions or to find the restaurant or to make me coffee while I rest in bed? This solitary life means only that all my time is taken up with me. So that now I ask for nothing, I talk to no one, I slither through a city undone.

There are marks made. Under the skin of this thin veneer. Other lives that have passed quietly, gently here. And I text you questioning again if I'm enough. Will I ever be enough for someone to love me? To consider me as I consider them. Obviously, I message this with a heap of 'lolz' and 'hahahas'. Only I'm not laughing, I'm crying, and, wondering why being single makes me feel less. Less of a person, less of an asset, less of an authentic version. When I love, I love hard. I say. Only you don't respond. So that now, I think maybe loving hard can only be seen with a negative lens. A shield of complete besotted determination.

Someone who looks really het, is texting me. In fact ghosting me and then popping up every now again in my feed with a voice note and an indeterminacy I should probably heed. And I genuinely am concerned that she's straight which makes me what? Her life sounds like a life I could drown in. So I'm here, thinking do we all need warnings? Like instead of positive affirmations perhaps we need to list our weaknesses: prone to disappearance. Introvert, unlikely to commit. Constantly looking for the one, to replace that one that they lost, or in fact never really had because it's all about ownership. And how can anyone really claim they have had anyone else? How can they? Because really we are all alone. Only now I don't want to come home. Don't want to see those familiar faces of people I invested in and now can't really be bothered to let drain me. I want to run away. I want to be far from here. I want to be far from here. Just not on my own.

There are some people who sit comfortably. Legs akimbo, arms outstretched, feet planted firmly. There are some people who take up space. Chatter crescendoes and turn up the tempo, blam. They are here. And it doesn't matter if my silent, queer body slips by them, or slides along tickling their underside. It doesn't matter what time of day it is or whether you blow them a surreptitious high five, a fleeting kiss. It doesn't matter. Because they are organised. They are who you want to be when you're being watched from the street. They exude confidence. So much so that the gallery becomes home. Along these walls is a different sort of familiar. Heavy the loneliness that crushes existence out there, but in here, in here I have purpose. And they might see me, out there, those people oozing whatever vitamins they took for breakfast and wonder what is this malnourished soul doing in here? Wandering around this city driven by existential questioning. What is it I do with myself in those hours when in between the here and now there are just spaces that fill the time. Let it pass, let it pass.

>Enter the concrete field and turn left.< >It will be straight in front of you.< And I abandon google maps. So that now, as I turn this way and that. He's ready to give up, but part of me loves a mystery, part of me loves an adventure. Every part of me wants to be able to tell this story to you. So that sometimes I'm no longer living for me. But maybe when he starts playing a washing machine and singing into that plastic tin, maybe it is. For me, I mean. And when that sound wraps around my legs and sends shivers up my spine and I reach deep and try and relax in time with the music. I think. I think about all of this and I think I'm almost done. I think that maybe waiting is becoming pointless. And so I wrap you up and place you high on a shelf, I wrap you up and place you somewhere else, if only to conserve what's left of my mental health.

Updated: Apr 30

A COVID project. To write a word every day of lockdown in response or in union with performance by Mariana Reyna Lorenzano.


A fondle, a flame, a titillation, a rub, a moment, a cherished embrace, a roll, a bite, a push, a shove, a conflict, a time, a wink, a lick, a hoping that this is ok with you blink, a rumble, a burst, a yell, a tumble, a trial. Here I wonder what will be and whether I'm just on my own, or rather in this with you, for this second. Something about wonder and whether we are feeling the benefits of together, oxytocin release, endorphin overdrive: of sweat upon sweat, or perhaps flesh upon flesh, maybe even the bubble of noise naked bodies make when they roll about on top of one another: I remember the first time I heard that during foreplay. I laughed too much and apologised it away. Now I ignore it and hope it will happen again, because maybe it means we're doing it right, right? Flatulent explosion catastrophized into something other, something not wrong, something we are doing to get strong, something that upon these sheets we have nothing to be ashamed of.


A web, a thread, a sticky lingering mesh, a frozen in time, a stopping of breath, a subtle indecision, a slow death, a hot, hot breath, a closeness, a stubbornness, a what the fuck is this mess? Escape impossible, any sudden movement will leave me even more stuck inside this stickiness, trapped; lingering. Shortness of fresh air through cavities so desperate to move in these times, in this moment. And so I wait. And then I, head first, held high, bury myself in what only I find. Trying hard, so fucking hard to shake this off, to stick one arm out of this device, to sleep naked at night would be nice. To feel the air on my chest, the one I desire, not the one which ignites incremental heaps of shame, repeatedly irritating every single thought of you.


A malaise brews, a stark difference in taste, a disrupt, a distance, a terrifying instant, a newly adjusted bubble, a tightly wound stumble in the dark, a jump, a bump, a lump, a holding, a telling, a crying, a distancing in the park. I love, I hate, I wonder, I stutter, I live. A pin prick of a lick can change everything and then within a flick of this switch, gone. See how fragile this everything is, this take it for granted solid thing is. And it feels all giddy, light and spinny, nimble, dextrous, all-encompassing textures and then not, nothing. It feels as though it will never be caught, never taught, never change or behave, it feels as though it gives zero fucks, lying in wait while the others disrupt and then once awake, there it is again. That knowing feeling in between sticky legs, every dream will contain. That lust so full to the brim with pain, so hardened by rejection, dogmatic acceptance a thing to keep at a distance. So that now we bury ourselves; two meters, two miles feels too far away.


A growing, a niggling, a disperse, a dysphoria, a realisation, a disbelief, a hundred million negative things, a sweet release, a dystopic clinging, a hardened being, a liberated feeling of skin connecting. I don't think I'll ever manage to understand how quickly this body can crash land, knowing full well that in time, it will rearrange, it will readjust, it will prise itself from out of the dust. I don't think I want to understand that is, just why or even how it needs to be held, to be fought for or even taught that it has more value than it ever thought. So I cower in the darkness, here for an eternity. Hoping that one day the cogs will turn on how you perceive the binary. How you understand the desperate impingement on fluidity and how I see it so completely differently. Lay yourself down, listen to your words, listen to the way with every single micro-aggression you take something away from me.


A siege, a relief, a delight, a disbelief, a complex set of emotions set into a spiral of release, a questioning, an understanding, a night time walk on emptied out streets, an infrared alert, an early morning stalk on the marshes, a ripping from normality, a weighted glare at this stark new reality, a missing, a grief. Under the watchful stare, under the chinook imbuing despair, under the stairs. To those minutes that would turn into hours, frozen in the shadows. Two toy metal cars grabbed in haste or maybe just the grouting in the tiles for distraction, the sheen of each one traced with salty tears of escape. What exactly I was running from I don't remember now. Maybe the echo, the sound of voices raised to scream out loud. But I'll never forget wanting to be found, never forget counting down from one hundred, never forget who would inevitably find me on the ground, the arms that would wrap and the nose that would nuzzle my body into a bundle. Asking me to stop this silliness or to cry a little bit less. Hiding has always been second nature it seems, it's the coming out that rips.


A bitter taste, a crumpled face, a beat that sets this body to a different pace, a smoothness, a softness, a curving, a swerving, a; 'Fuck it! Let's have another drink then!', a this is how it's going to feel for the rest of time babe, a useless meme, a distant dream, a fearmongering scream into a future that feels unknown. We two bodies live here now; unapologetic morning drags on our fags in this 4 by 4 meter patch of concrete, broken hearted: sorting chores, cleaning floors, swapping grindr and hinge advice. And I never knew, I never knew this version of him. I never knew how we could quietly go about our routine a year in. Carrying fragments of our day in beautifully choreographed ways: I take the rubbish out while he plants seeds and in between the weeds, in between the day to day, we make our way. Gently lifting one another when we fall, carefully embracing one another in the aftermath of sickening phone calls. We survive this day, happy, content to be alive in this way, for now.


A roughened surface, a smooth paving stone, a slight gradient, a mild undertone of self-loathing, a distant memory that felt quite scathing, a reminder set, an alarm built into circadian rhythm distracts from latent depression. Pillows, breath, sheets, duvet clinging to swollen sleep. One sock removed in heat. And yet no memory will compete with last night's defeat. If you were here in between the sheets, I would roll my body closer. Four legs, four arms, two faces. The darkened crease of skin upon skin defining nothing, holding so tight to defy Zeus's power. Here; bodies melt, sweat merges and every fluid shared throws caution to the wind of desire. For, spirits will find; they have their way; a destiny some will say; of butting heads so that on repeat it may feel less not more and yet every new day brings them closer to infinite bliss. And so to the cold side of the bed I will turn again, waiting in vain, for a lover who cuts her nose to spite nothing other than lost intimacy.


A jolt, a jut, a push, a spin, a digging in, a tailspin, a nudge, a wedge, a fuck off, a seriously will you just fuck off for a minute, a just leave me alone, a I can hear that really neggy undertone you seem to be taking all the time, a did you even ask if I wanted some wine? When all is said and done we have far less time for the complex array of refractions heard in the well intentioned voice. The up, the down, the sometimes sideways round. And what it means is, what it means is...we are human. So that in this moment or the next we will be just who we are and sometimes, just sometimes; we can't help that, slow it down, stop it or rearrange it. Stark, the crisp horizon of change, the one that melts from pink to blue and back to orange and red again. So that midmorning is that time that fills me with dread. The greyness of the in between, drenched in caffeine. That point in time when there is neither ease nor freedom, just a whole load of chores and no one else to do them. Faced with desperation, this is the moment of arrival. Here is where we choose our method of survival: to be good, gentle and kind or to chastise and demonise. How I talk to myself plateaus until there is no more mess in the undergrowth.


A river runs through, a river full of green, a river with multiple ripples in between, a river wallows, a river separates, a river confluences, a river roams, a river leaves me over here and you over there, a river seems fairly easy to cross except it would involve potentially getting naked and that's not going to happen any time soon, a river leaves me stranded. It would be pathetically easy to jump high, or even to run at it really fucking fast, blast through with my arms and my legs pumped, face contorted and maybe even holding my breath. For now, I'll just look at it. Teasing, tempting, manipulating and then stopping just before the boundary. The edge cajoles the spirit, the mind, the body longs for and yet this is as far as it will go. And there's something about the salivating presence of that freedom, that call, that knowing sensation to take all this hatred away. Other people have done it, you'll say, and yet this day is not the day. This gentle moment shall be slathered in something other, something far less rousing.


A deja-vu, a tete a tete, a this will silently help me fret away a couple of hours, a shower, a wank, a movement that will drain the tank, a listening in, a broken wing, a fucking let me get out of this internal mayhem, a rhythm, a pause, a moment of course. Of course, I wanted to disappear so I sat there for hours. Contemplating ramming into flowers, into rivers and streams, driving to the end of a dream, listening to voices float over me. All of this will one day be a memory, picking up glass like a shattered pillow, screaming into the wild and I know, I know that maybe I seem a little untethered to you. I fucking feel it, but in all honesty, there are some days I would do anything to be the sky. To be able to fall and fly, to be able to carve out every emotion with a single glance of the eye. There are days when all I want is alone. To be alone without.


A night terror.


Anxiety dream. You don't mean?

Wait. Not again.

I am suspended here. Did I just spend a whole day on the internet?

What. Me? High?

My trans body: feels. Ugly. It woke me up. Shorts rucked around hips that two weeks ago. Weren't an issue. My trans body feels. Different.

Fat deposits create a panic attack so well known.

In the dead of night when distractions have flown. And all that worry.

Water collects; unknown access to a future that for now is bundled up in blueness.

Water sits; for days on end. Secrets change and an inevitable impasse of thoughts descend.

Water rolls; through thoughts that cannot be controlled, thoughts that should not be uttered out loud.

What is contained will soon not be and so for the longest of times I’ve wanted to disappear, into this tarpaulin skin, destitute ruin of everything. To dissolve our image.

Protected, protecting all that matters underneath. This, once tight and beautifully adhered to plastic, now jutted and dumped upon by something so tragic. Perpetual ruin of aesthetic admiration meaning that once, once there was a time when all of this mattered. Drenched in purple, bruised in red. Rejection.

Misdemeanours accrue and here I am left staring at the blue. Up and around and sometimes even looking down.

A shelter, a cover, a furrowed brow at something other. Penetration. When is enough too much and have I told you that for however long I’ve known you, I’ve been lost.

Lured by the tipping point from distillation to imagination, this is something else today. Defined by imbalance. Galloping headfirst between chaos and control. What even is enough? Something fuller, brighter, exponential power pulses through and I’m leaving. Leaving us, leaving you, leaving memories stained in blue. When I return will I feel new?

Dissolved in black coffee; leaky yearning. Revelling in ritual abstraction.

Pumped up, lumpy discombobulation of an expectation to be something better, rather than just being. That within this menial existence, I’m not special. There is no fucking special, only inconsequential reasoning at a thing. To possess, to pedestal, to have, to hold in defiance. Without end, fluid intent.

An island rests inland, in the middle, towards the centre, evaporating the answer. Fear oozes from every orifice. Sweaty apparitions of a life half lived.

I don’t remember not being able to disappear before. And yet, here I am again in this crazed aporia. Midflow, midway, in between this and maybe that. Escape impossible, contrived containment.

And the body knows, it predicts, it manhandles and it just exists. There is no one rule for pleasure it seems, when the darkness comes and it’s only me that can hold on, only me that can hold on to all of this dripping, loathing, roaming in dogmatic silence. Woozy delight at intoxicated violence.

There are days when all the colours intimidate, hedonistic dreamscapes, when the brightness calls and only a ladder awaits. Descending into the unknown yet again. A certain inability to determine reality. To play, to laugh, to roam around those delightful paths. And on certain days, those days I vow to never leave behind that self. Gentle creature.

A limitation, an edge, a seam, or an unravelling thread around love. A masquerade that lures togetherness to an end. Inhabiting finality. Wrap it around for all to see, destitute longing of falling. Falling into me. Identified by the madness, the sadness, the rasping haphazardness. And then nothing.

Starting again because that’s what we do. Rebirth of anticipation. Here within abstraction I utilise the very same protocols to stimulate observation, internal introspection. Alone within idolatry. This imaginary self is a paradox of glee. In this moment I am who I want to be, so that whatever follows means that the muscle housing my mind is a memory. Dragging behind for all to see.

There is no rest within agitation. Reliving that moment on repeat so that it can only be seen as some sort of romantic defeat. Enmeshed in erasure; chameleonic lament of departure.

This skin contains and yet, it doesn’t, leaking once more to return to neutral. Inevitable, impossible, artificial paradise produced by every single vice known. Possession towards desire exaggerating an individual. And all at once co-dependent transcendence no longer a possibility.

A rug ripped out and all I can think about is what you did for me.