Lighter Now, Tighter Yet

I will cross my heart on a star named David. 
I will mumble curses at the ceiling. 
I will pound holes in the pavement 
and wake up with another untold lie. 

As lightly as I can try and tread, 
crossing something is as good as breaking it. 
Lighter now, tighter yet. 

I’ll still lose my mind while trying to save it. 
I’ll still fumble with how I’m feeling. 
I’ll still take it as well as I gave it 
and make a new lover of severed ties. 

Despite the unsightly words said, 
dismissing something is as bad as forsaking it. 
Tighter now; it’s all I’ll get. 

It’s a missing part you’ve found after the fact. 
It’s not knowing when or how to act. 
It’s finding yourself back at the start 
with what’s broken and sticking it in your eye.

It’s a needling blindness
and an awkward meeting at square one.
It’s crazy glue and paper hearts
tossed aside; I hope to die. 

As tightly as I bind my broken head, 
I’ve misunderstood how far to take it. 
Lost and found, an erstwhile pet.

It’s a need for kindness
and an insane way of going about it.
I will bleed until I find
someone who loves me enough not to doubt it. 

Formes Frustes – Lighter Now (2016)


Mini Mansions & Brian Wilson – Any Emotions


Beautiful creature,
Head in the sand.
I stand at the altar;
Cry on command.

You could be happy,
But I don’t understand any emotions.

Negative Nancy,
High in demand.
The cards on the table;
I’ll show you my hand.

You could be angry,
But I don’t understand any emotions.

Down on the corner,
Nothing to lose.
Man out of order;
Just bad news.

You could be lonely,
But I don’t understand any emotions.

“But for all I aspire, I am really a liar…

…and I’m running out of things I can do.”

Those aren’t my words, but I truly mean them.

You know when you put on music because your head’s just brimming full of shit? And you wonder if you’ll be able to just let some of that shit go if you ram your head full of noise somehow? So you put your headphones on while telling yourself that you’re justified in doing this, because it’s better than storming out of a room with your fingers in your ears whilst shouting, “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU HAHAHAH SHUT UP WHO CARES” all in one breath. Yes. At least you wouldn’t do that, right?

Except today, the lyrics feel like they’re a bit louder. So you’re going through your device settings or whatever, to see if you selected a different equaliser, just in case. No, that isn’t it. OK, fine. You switch tracks to try and get the words – any words – out of your head, because fuck words right now.

But for all I aspire, I am really a liar.
But for all I aspire, I am really a liar.
But for all I aspire, I am really a liar.
But for all I aspire, I am really a liar.
But for all I aspire, I am really a liar.


But… for… all… I… aspire…


I am really a liar.

I know that it’s a symptom of mental illness to take things too personally, like this song is about me! personally. Not everyone is talking to me. Or about me. Thank goodness. I know this. But that thought seems not to matter when I need to remember it most. When I feel small, when I feel vulnerable, when I feel far too shitty for words, the rational thoughts are just… gone.

Of course, this gives way to the irrational stuff. Convincing myself that maybe I feel this shitty because I am shit. A shit person. Made of shit and full of shit. A shit person who does shit things for the shit of it. Who wastes their shitty time thinking about how shit everything is. What a shitlord. That’s me. I’m a shitlord. Not #1 Shitlord, though. I’m so shit that I’m #2.

And maybe I can’t pretend that music will chase away the shit that I’ve invited into my shitty life. Not today. Maybe I’m just a horrible liar who deserves to eat shit and die. All the things I’ve done are shit. Everything I do to hide my truly shitty nature just makes the whole thing shittier. Rotten. Stinking. Foul beyond belief, to anyone with a nose and half a brain.

I am a disgusting liar.

I am sick.

Twisted filth.

I must be stopped.

How do I even begin my daily routine of kidding myself? How have I been doing this for so long? And why can’t I just do it again today, like every other day? Have I finally reached my tipping point? Is this the point where I completely lose my mind because I finally see myself for who I am and can’t get away from it this time? Am I finally at critical mass, ready to pollute anything around me?

Or am I just

—–draft saved 08/03/2016—–

—–draft resumed 14/09/2016—–

in need of reminding that these awful moods are transient? Temporary. Not so brief, but also not so permanent.

When I’m happy, I am sometimes inclined to tell myself that it isn’t always going to be like this (yeah, I’m great at parties…). Yet, I can’t seem to do this when I’m sad. I guess this is why people have those Live, Love, Laugh signs in their houses, maybe? It’s why I want to write Lighten Up, Asshole on my mirror, definitely. I won’t, though.

Mental floss aside, I guess I’m just glad I don’t feel so miserable right now. I’m not at that level of neat-o, gang! excitement, but it’s nice to be able to cross the street with a sense of purpose, instead of contemplating just giving up and lying down in the middle. Almost anything’s better than that.

MBTI: TMI? Or not enough?


As I take another look at these results, I think of the part in ‘Religulous‘ when Bill Maher talks about having been ideologically vulnerable in the past:

When I was 17,
my first girlfriend dumped me,

and I was sad in a way
I'd never been sad.

You know,
your first dumping is the worst.

And at that point,
you're very vulnerable

to any sort of connection

with, you know--

I didn't get like Jesus-religious,

but I did think a force out there

was communicating to me
through song lyrics or--

numerology I was
very interested in for a while.

You said you were groping
for something at that time.

You know, you make up
an imaginary friend who loves you,

is sympathetic to you
and has a plan for you.

It's much more important.
He didn't have to love me, God,

He just had
to be working for me.

( [Religulous])

…and I try to tell myself that I’m not doing the same thing right now. I know I’m not imagining that every song has a message for me, or getting into numerology, but those are both things I’ve done in the past, whilst annoyingly depressed and immensely confused on many levels. Disappointingly, the so-called answers I found in those two things in particular were promptly replaced tenfold with doubts whenever I thought about them in depth.

Being someone who always wants an answer, no matter how stupid, I find myself asking a lot of stupid questions. I’ve always thought that the stupidest question is the one that goes unasked, but of course I’d say that. Despite this, I’m now shamelessly asking a lot of stupid questions, of myself and the world at large. I’m pretty sure the stupidest one is: why me? There’s no clear-cut answer to this question, and I know this. It just smacks of vagueness and some kind of victim complex. But I’ll still try to sniff something out, like a lethargic bloodhound who eats their own sick, just to throw it up again. I’m sure it’s just as frustrating and gross to be around.

And so, in the ever-shifting tide that is my sense of self, I’m grasping at these personality test results, in much the same way that I once cared about horoscopes or religious scripture or cartomancy. I happen to like the MBTI one most, as I’m sure a lot of people might do. I’m sure the other tests have their value, but probably only as entertainment. The basis this test has in Jungian theory allays any concerns of plausibility as far as I’m concerned. I might be wrong, but I’m far too much in need of self-knowledge and self-belief that I am willing to ignore that possibility, at least for now. One day, I’ll probably find myself going on about how reducing people to sixteen main personality types is a painfully errant and myopic thing to do, but today is not that day.

Still, I can’t help but feel like I’m reading through these statements and attaching too much meaning to them – like how someone would call themselves a Sassy Scorpio or a Laid-back Libra or something like that. Every time I find myself surprised at how on-the-nose my results are, I subsequently wonder if I’m not just giving into some kind of confirmation fallacy. Then, as I find myself reading about how “my type” leans heavily towards self-doubt, I start screaming inside. Choke down another paradox. Scream again.

Go outside. Be alone. Find somewhere quiet. Think.

Why am I giving myself so much shit over the fact that I want to believe in something? Honestly, why am I being so fucking mean to myself? If anyone else came to me with this problem, I’d hardly treat them like an idiot, not like how I do to myself. So, I think I’d better start treating myself a bit like a friend, and not some kind of annoying little douche who just needs to get over themselves and their own bullshit. What would I say to a friend, while being friendly?

> Hey, Ilene. I’m distraught and everything feels empty and pointless. I’m trying to believe in myself and it isn’t working. What do you believe in, that brings you comfort? Could you recommend something, please? – Friend

> hey, friend. shit, that’s heavy. not sure what to recommend, if anything. gotta ask though – what’s wrong? you’re clearly not feeling too good. wanna spill? – Ilene

And, much like Maher, I’ve made an imaginary friend. I’m not sure if they love me or are sympathetic to me, but they are working for me. It’s part of myself that I’ve assigned a voice to, if only for a short instance. And it makes me feel less like I’m a pile of hot garbage without leaning too hard on anyone else, so, almost tacitly, I’m in favour.

It just involves me being nicer to myself, in this moment. Let’s see how I go with that. If it goes badly, I’m sure I’ll move on to the five-factor model. Or red licorice. Or Futurism. Or something. Hopefully I won’t bully myself for it, but rather examine why I am so confused and tentatively idealistic.

Difficult, but a worthy task, I suppose.

A seriously depressing tale

about buttholes falling out. Like, right out of your butthole.

Straight up. Buttholes can just come right out of a person.

Did I mention this is going to be depressing? Because it will be.

You know what an anal prolapse is, right? It’s when your butthole falls out.

Here’s an article by Michelle Lhooq for Vice about buttholes falling out (also kinda about the porn industry), if you’re as curious as I was about what the term ‘rosebud‘ means. And in that case, you might just be an over-thinker whose mind hurts from thinking too much about something you’ve seen in life and what might have caused it.

Guilty as charged.

I better stop putting off explaining exactly what I mean.

Two days ago, while procrastinating something somewhat important, I came across the article I linked to earlier. After reading it, I moved on and didn’t think much more about it. I did the somewhat important thing (eventually, and it took up a lot of time, I might add) and then came back home to go to sleep.
Of course, faced with the sight of my ceiling, my mind went into overdrive.

When I was nine years old, I went with my family on a vacation to Tonga, which you may or may not know is my mother’s country of origin. Anyway, we were there for quite a while, maybe two months, and generally, I loved being there. Some extremely insane shit happened, but those are a bunch of other stories for another day or two. All in all, I loved the place and I was sad to return home.

One of the things that remains burnt into my mind is something I saw whilst there.

Please bear with me; my poor li’l brain hurts and I know I mentioned this is going to be depressing and involves buttholes. And now it involves my childhood. Ugh, even better. Anyway.

I was wandering through my aunt’s yard, or rather, I was about to, because I remember standing in the back doorway, looking for my shoes. It was a beautifully sunny afternoon and I think I was about to go into the part of the family land that has guava vines and mango trees. I was also hoping to see one of the neighbour’s sows afterwards, and her relatively new piglets. I remember I was going to try and name them, even though I already had trouble telling them apart, but oh well.

Shoes: found. Yay, walkies. I saw my younger cousin sitting on the grass a few metres from me, so I called out to him, thinking he might wanna come and pick fruit with me and maybe even feed some to the sow I was fixing to see. I thought it might be a cute, fun thing to do with my little cousin, because of course taking a three-year old to see pigs and piglets is cute and fun.

Relatively simple childhood thought.

I called his name, and he jumped a little. Oh no, I thought. I gave him a fright. It seemed OK as soon as he saw it was me, because he replied with my name and leaned forward to get up from his sitting position. As toddlers are sometimes wont to do, he’d been running around in the yard without pants on after a funny little water-fight some of us had earlier, because it was pretty damned hot that day.

He started screaming and crying when he got into this semi-squatting position, and I looked and noticed something was hanging from him, so I thought he’d sat on something and it was hurting him, maybe? I was confused, so I went over to help and comfort him.

I noticed the thing hanging from him was pink and sore-looking and had pieces of grass and grains of sand stuck to it. I was horrified and confused, but I wanted to help. Not that I knew what to do. Just as I was a couple of steps away, his mother appeared and yelled at him to stop screaming. She then picked him up (very hurriedly and roughly, I might add) and walked past me to take him inside.

As I embarked on the walk / tiny adventure I wanted so badly, I wondered what the fuck just happened. Left alone with my thoughts, I racked my brain to guess what the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck just happened.

Earlier today, I found myself realising that he had an anal prolapse. That was what was attached to him. That was what was causing him to scream his sad screams. So, I wondered, what causes a little boy’s rectum to just come out of where it belongs like that? A little boy who was handed from home to home. One who jumped in fright when his name was called out.

I froze in abject horror.





My eyes welled up as I realised what happened.

Sorry, I better cut this short. I can’t presently deal with this.

50 more miscellaneous thoughts.

  1. Gary Numan’s “We’re the Unforgiven” sounds very Reznor-y, which is nice.
  2. Why is lace called lace? Was the original piece of lace stitched / knitted with someone’s laces? Because, in my mind, that is neither pretty nor fancy. Probably lumpy and a tiny bit dirty. Please let this be true.
  3. Where’d the Sugababes go? Remember them? Bet you remember Mutya Buena, at least. I read somewhere she went bankrupt, which must be the pits.
  4. I’ve been getting a lot of calls from random numbers and it’s scaring me. Fuck’s sake; sometimes I can’t even handle calls from people I know and trust, so just stop it, you cunt(s).
  5. Boots are better than any other type of shoe, I’m pretty sure. APART FROM THE OPEN-TOED / SLING-BACKED ONES UGH YOU CAN’T MIX SANDALS AND CLOGS AND HAVE IT BE A BOOT.
  6. Yes, I am tired of the ‘patriarchy’ / ‘matriarchy’, everyone is. Almost as tired as I am of discussing it all. We should just let the fucktards die out and do our best to make sure their effects aren’t felt beyond that.
  7. I’m drinking a type of tea that’s called ‘be happy‘ and I fucking resent that which means I probably haven’t had enough of it. Maybe I should crack the ‘be sleepy’ box so I can nap through this crisis.
  8. I no longer crave the security that ‘spooning’ provides. There’s something not quite so secure about being jabbed in the backs of my thighs and I’m sure nobody misses eating my hair as I toss and turn and mumble curses at things.
  10. Why can’t I find the Tamagotchi movie anywhere? Excuse me, but my search terms are tight-as-fuck, so c’mon, let’s go, what gives?
  11. I wonder how my brother’s going.
  12. Filling my life with cute things has not made things easier. Just slightly cuter, that’s all. WHAT DO YA KNOW.
  13. I once scared someone away by spouting “homeless drunk conspiracy theories”. Fuck it, actually, it wasn’t just once. I think it’s a useful gauge of quite a few things – namely a sense of humour, ability to discuss things that don’t make sense, how judgmental someone is… things like that. AND IT’S MORE FUN THAN FINGER PAINTS WHICH ARE LACED WITH MAGNETISED HEAVY METALS SO ALL WE WANT TO DO IS TOUCH ON OUR PHONES AND LAPPYTAPPIES OMG WE’RE ALL PART OF THE BIG MACHINE OH WELL AT LEAST IT MAKES ME BETTER AT FIGHTING IN THE STREET OVER THINGS IN PAPER BAGS LIKE BOOZE AND PASTRIES WHICH AREN’T BAD FOR ME AT ALL SO DO YOU STILL WANNA KNOW WHAT I’M WEARING BECAUSE SO DO I OH GOD DO I EVER.

  14. Look here, lack of censorship is more important than proper resolution today. Because.
  15. I always assumed Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty) could burp on command, but he can’t. I still remember discovering I could swallow air and burp it up again… I remember thinking, “fuck Sports Day, but this is still the best day ever.”
  16. I just realised I have two articles open right now: ‘The Gay Men who Have Sex with Women‘ (Broadly) and ‘Inside the Group of Straight Men who are Swearing off Women‘ (Vice).
  17. I had to tie two teabags together because the steeping tab / dunking cord / dip-string THING snapped off one of them. The surviving piece of paper said “be gentle with me, I ‘brews’ easily!” because Healtheries thinks they’re hilarious. Health-arious. Yup, fine. But let’s all take a second to think about, y’know, testicles. Like how it’s horrible that some have to deal with having such a fragile appendage on the outside of their bodies, just hanging off the front like that. Like how breasts do, but at least people like how cleavage looks. OK I’m done thinking about it now. AND I’M DONE FEELING BAD FOR MEN LOL ESPECIALLY THE ‘WHITE’ ONES LIKE WTF CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE & SHIT LOL YEH AMIRITE?
  18. I wonder what animal I’d be if given the chance to switch (you watched / read Animorphs, too, right?). Would I climb? Swim? Fly? Would I be conscious enough to care? Could I switch back or not? WOULD I BE CONSCIOUS ENOUGH TO CARE, THOUGH?
  19. I really should just shut the fuck up forever. Except shutting the fuck up hurts, but maybe I deserve to be hurt. Forever. Oh, god. Just shut the fuck up.
  20. The two-bag tea just burned my lip. fuckshitsucks.
  21. I once opened up a fortune cookie for it to tell me: You would make a good lawyer for no detail escapes your attention. I stuck it on a place on a desk that would hopefully be noticed by an eye for detail, because I am at least as funny as Healtheries.
  22. My flatmate’s cat has taken to placing his paws on my shoulder(s) as a play for attention, and he also does that paw-on-knee thing that I can’t help but anthromorphise. AWWW WHO’S A GOOD BOY. YOU’RE A GOOD BOY, VICTOR. AND WE ARE BROS.
  23. It’s just no good when stuff looks like it should glow in the dark, then doesn’t. All wrong. Back-ass-wards. It’s supposed to look all innocuous and then you turn the lights off and BAM you’re left wondering how you didn’t notice this would happen and YAY. But, no. Sad.
  24. I am deathly afraid of pregnancy, both in myself and others. Almost on cue, a man walked past my window with a sleeping child and it was cute and everything but I can’t deal with these thoughts and humans are humans and feelings are weird and my body is stupid.
  25. Vacuuming is an OK chore, but bed-making can just get out.
  26. Why do people feel ashamed of what they like? People are always gonna give you shit, so go on ahead and enjoy Macklemore / haggis / getting pissed on / sniffing marker pens / rappin’ for Jesus if you want to. Take THAT, society…?
  27. It’s a tiny bit painful to see someone play with drumsticks that don’t match, but such is life.
  28. The more that your mental instability looks like physical suffering, the more sympathy you’ll get. I wish this wasn’t true, and maybe one day it won’t be.
  29. Any more about “cultural appropriation” and I’m gonna burst in an explosion of disgust and pus and annoyance. There are no true originals anymore, only racist gits who tell ‘white’ people they can’t do anything based on another culture (what is ‘white’ anyway? There’s so many types of ‘white’ that I don’t know where to begin, so I won’t). Halloween’s coming up; don’t make me fight you.
  30. There’s no way I’d be able to keep a record of all the books I’ve read ever, but I think it’s nice that some people keep a copy of each book they’ve read. I’m not sure that’d be feasible for me, unless it was a Kindle / tablet type-o’-dealio.
  31. Why is it that I look bigger when I’m naked? Is my brain doing the fun-house mirrors thing again? Fuck knows. Hurry up and get dressed.
  32. I used to intentionally slurp and burble water during exams just so I could see who looked up. I love stoners so much, so, so, much.
  33. What’s the point in calling anyone stupid? The point is to hurt them… isn’t it? I should never do it again. Tolerating it is fine though, because you can feel good about how the other person just lost their cool by calling you stupid. Like if someone hits first, they lost the verbal round prior. Or if someone talks about how Hitler had a good point, they’re most likely not anyone’s sensei.
  34. Isn’t it fun that RuPaul’s Drag Race exists? Now, if only they could all get along… although that may spoil the entire premise. Fuck it, RuPaul’s awesome.
  35. What I like most about hip-hop is all the sampling. Not only because one artist can expose their fans to the other one’s music, but it’s also a dearly sweet and adorable way of showing that one artist was not only once but still a fan of the other, like you may be. I guess that’s what I enjoy about music in general. And, zooming out, art as well. AND LIFE WOAH WOAH LIFE AND THINKING ABOUT IT AND THINGS AND JUNK AND SHIT AND STUFF.
  36. It’s not actually that funny when someone asks what you’re doing, so you say “stuff.” and they say “hahah quit messin with me” and you reply “no, I was just done with typing the word “stuff” because I got distracted by you and forgot the word I originally meant to use.”
  37. To which they reply: “hahah random” and you drop your phone and decide not to waste your time with that shit right now but they’ll call later and get all shitty you didn’t pick up but you’re too busy tripping over yourself and how you may have just sounded and blah blah blah how many drinks did I chill? Anything cold enough yet? I’ma get one.
  38. Should I get fat again just to prove to everyone that I once was? Because nobody believes me. Wait. Did I just ask myself (and you, by proxy, you rather attractive proxy, you) if I should mess with my own body just to prove a point to people I’m making up in my head? God. I’m probably just hungry.
  39. I just looked back during one of the many mini-spellchecks that invade my thinking and therefore general output and saw that “mes” wasn’t underlined. So, I thought, “what the fuck that does that mean” and looked up “mes” just to find: A manufacturing execution system (MES) is a control system for managing and monitoring work-in-process on a factory floor. An MES keeps track of all manufacturing information in real time, receiving up-to-the-minute data from robots, machine monitors and employees.
    I appreciate the robot / factory / machine / productivity references, but that’s not common enough to let slip. This is only intensifying my obsession, here. Aw.
  40. I heard a narrator of a documentary say something about how a certain artist’s creative pace slowed somewhat due to their becoming a father. I’m laughing my guts out, thinking how that person helped create a human and how that’s actually really creative and sorry but that’s dumb to say.
  41. Why is it that a lot of so-called happy music seems to infuriate a lot of people and so-called sad music does the reverse? Should someone tell the children this is the case? With any luck, they might tell us why, right? They’re the future, they should know. Yeah? Is it because we don’t like doing what we’re told? Urrrgh.
  42. I wonder what it’d take for me to make a cat-o’nine-tails for myself. Excuse me a sec.
  43. I wonder how many dead microphones there would be if they could smell the breath of the person nearest. Admittedly, I think I would’ve killed at least 3 – 5? Hard to know for sure.
  44. Is it true that Mike Patton did a shit into Axl Rose’s hairdryer, once upon a time? It sounds like a fairy tale that I wanna illustrate. Because that’s funny as hell.
  45. It’d be nice if Layne Staley was still alive. At least Alice in Chains still lives.
  46. You’re an idiot, Ilene. Never forget.
  47. I should make my art in more ways that aren’t temporary.
  48. The thing about taking painkillers and antibiotics simultaneously is that the condition(s) you’re taking them for sometimes weakens your immune system in a way that the meds can’t keep up with. A piercing I got over three weeks ago is still infected in a way that makes me look cartoonish. I look like I’ve had bad filler injections. It’s so super shit. But it’s made me quiet in a way that I’m curious about. Sure, it’s depressing to be less expressive than you’d like, but I’m introspective anyway and sometimes it’s good for me to shut up and be alone with myself and focus on getting better. As limited as it is, the medications help, I suppose. But it’s still embarrassing as shit and I haven’t been leaving the house much.
  49. A few terms I’ve been hearing that I don’t really like for no discernible reason: “fusion cuisine”, “stunned mullet”, “clientele” (but only when someone pronounces it ‘klee-on-tell’, ugh, it just shits me), “roadside assistance”, “so close, yet so far”.
  50. Will coffee cure my omelette-burps or only make a bad situation worse? Because I’ve had more than enough of that damned tea for now.


How can I tell anyone
that I’ve gone back on my word?

How do I break it to Dad
that I’m reconsidering death again?
Not the conventional methods this time,
but by letting the cancer eat its fill?
The same thing that happened to his mother’s brain.
The father’s mother with whom I share a name.

How can my mother know
not to expect grandchildren, adopted or otherwise?
When test results become tabulated lies?
That her daughter uses her scorched earth for something else?
Cold sweat and old threats.
Don’t worry your pretty little head.

She’s in your area.
She knows the first three numbers.

When you come out, your shit is gone.
Just don’t follow me down the stairs… my shortcut hurts.

Tell the usual suspects I’ll be different.
Better behaved and truly submissive.
Good girls don’t have gag reflexes
or any real guts at all.
We wait until we’re hit before we say anything, right?
Fuck me apart and I won’t say shit… just let me sit in it for a minute.

Or I won’t say anything and let the results speak for themselves.
Because it’s not down to me to tell anyone anything anymore.
If you really must know
then you gotta stick around for the clean-up.

I wouldn’t and you shouldn’t.