by Angela Peita
1. Leave this realm as you know it. Watch the world rise around you in a wall of distress sounds. Listen to the loop of news reports, the tick of statistics climbing the chart, the whispers of prophecies to come.
Watch as your world becomes a distant memory, and is replaced with this new dimension you do not know how to navigate.
2. Begin your incubation process. Make your world small. Hide in your dark bedroom, doom scroll through social media, let the panic set in. Become insular. Make the inside of your head the walls of the world. Relive the dreams you had growing up where you are yelling for help but your voicebox won’t make a sound. Listen to the echo of your thoughts bounce off your one sided conversation.
3. Accept your new supernatural state. Celebrate the work you don’t have to do, the awkward social settings you get to avoid. Lean into to the feeling of existing outside the limits, of breaking out of the structures you felt trapped in.
Settle into the quiet.
4. Emerge as your new ghost self. Attempt to hide your surprise when the world begins to return to the way you remember it. Discover you have lost the knowledge to be human. Notice how the sun is too bright, the cars are too loud, the conversation is never easy. Worry that the transformation is complete.
5. Try to unlearn this departure. Put on your favourite lipstick, pretend to care about the return of routine, practice saying your name into the mirror. Ignore the shifting degrees that mean the before will never quite line up with the after, ignore that you now think in before and after, wonder how it is possible to exist in both.
6. Even though you are back now, understand that the leaving was permanent. That you have gone through a doorway that you can’t return to, that you can only move forward.
See how your world is now a reflection, an image on a still lake, a backwards carbon copy covering the surface of where you’ve been.
Angela Peita is a spoken word artist, youth worker, workshop facilitator and live art producer. She is co-founder and co-director of Ruckus Slam, the hugely popular Brisbane slam and arts company.
by Laila Freeman
The bronze mini-van halts,
Hurling the driver and passenger
Forward in their suede seats.
Nora’s first time driving
And her mom says to ease
Her foot onto the brake
Instead of almost giving
Them whiplash. Now to try parking
in between any of the fifty, empty
White lines on the asphalt, unforgiving.
Newly licensed and curious
For youthful distractions, so naive.
Nora lugs her friends
Around the bleak town,
Sweating with lust for adventure.
Night guides them to the dim
Sea of hard, dark ground
And they share their thoughts
Together in the lone vessel.
Nora soon shuns the world,
Yet she still tells me “My A’s
Have become C’s, I’m barely passing.”
Her eyes are always glazed, but she composes
Herself enough to park crooked
Meeting a crook selling her pink
Champagne. The grotesque wheels suffocating
The pure paint of the lake’s abyss.
Wrong folks, developed into coke
Addiction with her fingertips sprawled
Out to the clouds forming in the van
When hotboxing didn’t suffice
And the forbidden flesh overtook
Nora as the crook became her vice.
Her sensual sins injected
New life--a July birth,
And she had to hammer
Her habits, no longer strung
Out. She resisted him, yet she clung
To his feeble finances,
Like the child clung to her
And some years later the squandered
Psyche grasped the neurons
Together, a miracle and electric
Ecstasy surged through spinal
Fluid when Nora’s daughter entered
The familiar, frantic ocean
And she didn’t brake with ease
Parking within the deserted lines, empty.
Laila Freeman has grown up in Orange County, California, and is currently pursuing her Journalism degree at Long Beach State University along with her creative writing endeavors. She is part workhorse and part bookworm. Freeman is and will always be diligent to inspire and inform others with her writing.
by Rebekkah Law
- Night is luxurious –
Lets water lap its languid tongue
along the shore as we stroll our shadows away;
Asks dear moon: Would you lower your gaze tonight?
Lets garden variety lust
swell up between our toes;
Claims our hearts for a symphony of steel drum solos,
Lets sweaty obscurity pass
her hands over our bodies;
Gifts our mouths to salty pleasure.
- Night is salacious –
Holds tight your lovers whispered promises
learns to share them with you in solitude;
Sliding sandy fingers down your spine one at a time,
Holds your skirt while the sea
sucks your ankles into walking hickies;
Guides humidity to pool through your sacrum,
withholds oxygen from your lungs so the little moths
living there have to flirt with the cilia to survive;
Gently licks you into delirious oblivion.
Rebekkah is a Meanjin-based creative who loves the ocean and the arts. She enjoys playing with her food and has recently decided to spend more time playing with words. Other things you can find Bek doing include: devising theatre, making earrings and dancing for the joy of it!