still


/ when i was small my mother used to perch up on the chesterfield in the living room /
mirror asleep along the top of the cushion / the sun's blood caressing her face / bleeding
through the panes while she plucks her eyebrows / she still does it sure /

                                                     YOU DO YERS D'ERE NOW

\ this is the first time i've been in lawn in fourteen months \ didn't realize that much time
has gone by \

                                           MY JESUS YOU GOT TO COME HOME!
                                IT'S CHRISTMAS B'Y, YER FADDER & GRANDMUDDER
                                          HAVEN'T SEEN YOU IN OVER A YEAR

/ i didn't bother trying to explain / how i was in a depressive state /

\ 3 and a half hours scrunched up in the van over the trans canada highway \ 2 masks
glued to our face so we don't bring corona back to the bay \ 1 piss on the side of the road
between marystown and st. lawrence \

/ on our way back / to the house / where i had the cops called on me / when i was 16 / for
being overwhelmingly out of control / can't say i completely disagree /

\ i was somethin' fuckin' else \ besides what my crowd knew how to make a home with \
same spot where i sat at the table with my very first social worker \ doing anger
management i thought i didn't need \

/ it's a mystery to me / how CYFS can force kids between mandatory therapy and juvy /
while the parents are free to quit after one session / how surprising /

\ when i got through the door \ by the christ the whole house was spattered in red green
silver and gold \ ornaments all over the place streeled across every ledge my dear \
snowmen stickers sprinkled along the windows \

/ i have nothing at my apartment / nar decoration nor tree except a whirlwind of ADHD /
how fitting /

\ not a speck of snow on the ground outside \ neither leave on the trees either \

/ i wonder how many christmases will look like this / now that the island has heat records
in august / while the sea level rises /

\ i remembers when judy foote first built the new school \ sure it was closed half winter
long \ couldn't even run a truck through the lot of snow we got \ swallowed the whole
fuckin' guard rail \ and don't even go there about the roads from here to st. lawrence \

/ god love the b'ys who drove the flyers / they were the only thing / that kept us alive
back then / not that i knew the difference anyways / i was only a youngster / glad i had a
week or so off school to spend on the sled / how shrewd /

\ i spent the last year buried in bed or in front of my tv \ trying to find some semblance of
peace \ nearly let myself rot sat criss cross month after month \ something i later found
out you're not supposed to do \ if you plan to walk anywhere anytime soon \

                                                      WHEN YOU FEELS BETTER

/ you'll have to make up for it / at the spasmodique clinique / somewhere i didn't know
existed til i pushed my body far too far / bonsoir mr. pm&r / one more white coat to join
the team just for me / not in crisis but clean up from where i used to be /

\ the nesting place for two giant mats of depression hair \ a recent species of suffering to
me \ beginning with a half hour bent over the tub starting to solve a puzzle i had no idea i
started \ til it was far too gone for me or mom to do anything about \ besides cover my
whole head in conditioner and hope for the best \

/ shampoo'd 3 times prior cause neither of us knows how to read a fuckin' bottle /

                                                  LARD JESUS ITS NOT MY FAULT

\ screams to laughter \ our new normal \

/ and she's still there / holding the shower head / and mine /

                                                   WELL IT NEEDS TO BE DONE

\ it's the first time she's washed my hair \ like this since i was a child \ tugs and all \

                                                           I'M SORRY B'Y
                                               I DON'T MEAN TO HURT YOU

/ long overdue /

\ wash \ rinse \ repeat \

 

black and white abstract self-portrait (photograph)

over+over by Violet Drake

 

About Violet Drake

Violet Drake is a white settler disabled queer+trans writer, artist, actor, & activist born and raised in the coastal community of Lawn on the Burin Peninsula. Now based in St. John's, her multidisciplinary experimental practice has been self taught since youth, writing hybrid poetry and designing mixed media digital illustration since the age of 13. Blending life narrative, land-based photography, self portraiture, performance, and autoethnography, her work emerges from her conceptual framework of trans+corporeal cartographies and existential ecologies. Her work has been exhibited and performed at artist-run centres, galleries, stages, festivals, and classrooms throughout Ktaqmkuk (colonially Newfoundland) including Eastern Edge, St. Michael's Print Shop, Unscripted Twillingate, LSPU Hall, St. John's Arts and Culture Centre, and Memorial University. Co-author of transVersing, she has recent and forthcoming publications locally and nationally in Riddle Fence, HELD, Verses, and Home Out of It.

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