Sat, 03/17/2018 - 04:05 -- Arlea

So many lines.

So many,

Different kinds of pain that write themselves

Under different names:

Necessity, shame, another I can’t explain.

And still more, more still and,

Is this some kind of game?

No, games are fun, usually –

And don’t involve pain.  

Every time I touch the canvas with my

Monster paintbrush, my heart is already

Racing, pounding; pacing loudly –

My courage, flounders… but only for a moment or two.

I don't want to...

but, "you have to." 

Then, like an artist of a monster trade,

I draw with quick, desperate strokes;

promising pain painfully promises a reprieve as

living colour explodes gently from the secret place.


It doesn’t matter how fine my 'art';

How deep the wound, how far apart

The bits of me that used to kiss,

The hidden tissues beneath this

Canvas, as it were.

The potential buyers (promises of ‘this will be the last one’) are never satisfied.

They don’t buy my work, they simply hide

Amongst excuses and never show their face.

My paintbrush hasn’t stopped, not yet,

Not until it’s ripped from my fingers, and my artwork: ruined.

I didn’t get to finish.

I was going to make everything better.

I was going to stop… all of it.


My brushstrokes are smudged, and skin meets skin

As the needle and thread reverse my work.

I’m not an artist anymore. I’m an escape artist –

From the mentality that reins when my frame isn’t hurting.

But give it some hours, a bit less than a week,

The same nauseating urges will

creep back,

leak in,

take over again.

Nothing’s been won: just damage and shame,

Regret, ruined skin, and (not-so) momentary pain.


now here is a rant
about why we should never
glamourise self-harm...


to glamourise self-harm is disgusting. sufferers go through so much more than the fear, pressure, confusion and physical pain associated with self-harm. there's what drove them to do it, there's the social shame and anxiety, and there's the often permanent physical markings. (remember, self-harm is not just cutting. it can be many things.) i implore you, please reach out to someone who may be suffering! and let's kick stigma's about self-harm in the backside! 

This poem is about: 
Our world
Guide that inspired this poem: 


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