Feb 22
Fiona Ella's picture


there's something reassuring
about the plain rhythm of gloves on a bag. 
after days of being lost, 
six hours from home and trying to be a tourist
all while wrestling with sickness. 
there's something about traveling 
that raises all these lost, uncertain feelings
like your own head is trying to tip the world off balance
or like you're not necessarily
alone in the basement 
being able to beat out your frustrations
calms me down. 
stops my head whirling. 
i only really think of people who get out their feelings
with violence
as those maniacs on midsomer murders 
with no impulse control
but yet here i am. 
it clears my head 
much the same way, i imagine, running does--
but whenever i run my mind wanders
and i end up stuck within myself again. 
here there is only
trying to get the angle right so i don't hurt my hand
Feb 13
Fiona Ella's picture

bothers me a little

in middle school
i was told my grades didn't really matter
that seventh and eighth grade 
were more a test of your ability to survive highly unpleasant social conditions
than anything like academic prowess. 
that was all right, 
i didn't feel really compelled to fail--
school was easy, anyways. 
i tried to fail one class and scraped by with a 90. 
in high school 
suddenly i feel as if
grades are everything. 
not because anyone's told me specifically, 
but because of the underlying sentiment. 
think of your gpa!
colleges look at those. 
everything counts

it's meant to be motivating, 
i'm supposed to be encouraged
that all of my work today is going to the purpose of sending me to college,
even the mandatory, somewhat pointless health and diversity. 
it's just more pressure. 
i am fourteen years old. 
not even fifteen. 
Feb 08
Fiona Ella's picture


11 p.m. 
i finish sketching out music--
too few lines, 
too simple
but maybe it'll come to something
when i can hear what i'm writing down. 
turn of the light and go to bed. 
the house clicks and the dark writhes. 
it's too quiet. the quiet feels cold. 
i'm still sore
from self defense class on sunday. 
some nights it's like
the universe shifts and gets this off-kilter feeling. 
lying there
trying to think of something solid
but it all gives way. 
my identity, 
i'm too young and still changing. 
my writing, 
too uncertain. 
(not much chance of a delay tomorrow
with the snow having already stopped and all. 
it was pretty. i always sleep easier
when something's falling out of the sky.)
the eventuality of death,
just morbid. 
the ground. 
that's good, the ground is solid. 
Jan 14
Fiona Ella's picture


i'm so sick and tired of this. 
it's been a little over two years
and i still can't breathe right. 
sitting doing nothing 
doing anything but freaking out
but my body fights me
and i can't breathe. 
can't seem to draw in a deep enough breath to calm my head. 
then i can't think straight, 
i start to panic
and my heart beats faster
and then i actually am freaking out. 
i'm tired of this. 
not sleeping for hours at night
because i'm too busy twisting and rolling 
sitting up and staring into space
trying to breathe deep enough to lie down and sleep
but it never works. 
and i'm tired of people telling me
that it would go away if i ate better and took deep breaths and got more exercise
because i don't have time to get more exercise
and no matter how deep a breath i take
it's never enough.
and anyone who says that i just need to tell my brain to shut up
Jan 05
Fiona Ella's picture

it's been ages

more music! for a while i couldn't finish any of the songs i started for some reason, so obviously i didn't post them. here's 2. 

the first one isn't all that remarkable but it came out sounding almost exactly how i wanted it to, which is really rare with my music. 
Dec 31
Fiona Ella's picture

i shouldn't write this late at night

i don't think of the new year
as anything special. 
the most exciting thing happening tomorrow
is that we change our calendars
and have to learn to completely rewrite the date. 
and yet i have this funny fear
of missed opportunity
as though i'm supposed to be doing something tonight
other than making pizza and getting into yelling matches with my family
and then staying up til midnight downstairs
not really because i care all that much
but because the new year is something you're supposed to notice. 
like i'm really only writing this
to say that i'm doing something of significance. 
well i hope 2018 won't be awful--
maybe a few good things will even happen--
that maybe i'll even make peace
with being the kind of person who just stays up til midnight
to watch the new year come in
because it seems polite. 
but until then i'm just me 
sitting here as the clock ticks on
Dec 13
Fiona Ella's picture


"um..." i've been trying to get a word in edgewise for the better part of an hour or so, longer than it takes us to eat dinner but we usually sit around the table talking for a while anyway so i don't think there's anything too strange-seeming about me lingering here. except me lingering here is useless if i can't gather up the courage to speak, and it seems like every time i'm about to open my mouth my father will come up with something new to say. he and my mother have been swapping stories about their childhoods. i'm still living my childhood and honestly am trying not to make this a moment that i'll be telling to my children. 

Dec 07
Fiona Ella's picture

i realized last night

a writer is a person
who delights in other worlds. 
a writer is not a person
who uses other worlds to hide
from her own. 
a writer is not a person
who strings together the most beautiful sentences
to hide from what seems like ugliness outside. 
writers do not grow up to live in their dreamworld, 
cos you can create all you want of those
but you only get one shot with reality. 
if i can't learn to grow and live within the real world 
then i'm not a writer, 
i'm a coward. 
not any better than those people who play video games all day
because they're too afraid
of real life. 
the fact is, 
everybody dies and everybody starts out alive
but not everybody lives
and i might be creating worlds that'll go on forever
but mine won't
and i won't. 
and i hate feeling so lost
and not being able to find the words to explain it
because i gave them all up to another world.
Nov 27
Fiona Ella's picture


i can't write
in the quiet. 
without music to listen to, 
my fingers freeze
and my writing turns wooden. 
i tell myself that it's because i can't write
unless that one little part of my brain
is distracted and focused on something else 
but sometimes i wonder whether it's because
i'm afraid of what i might find in myself
in the silence. 
like how when it's really silent out, 
my ears fabricate the noises of crickets
in december
or become even more attuned 
to the tiny creaks of the floor
(convincing me there's a creature slinking across my floor
ready to eat me alive)
anything to hide from the quiet. 
then i wonder if it's that i can't write
when it's quiet
or just that i write differently
when it's quiet. 
wonder why i'm hiding
from silence. 
i ought to know how powerful it is. 
Nov 24
Fiona Ella's picture

musical dissonance

i'm trying to write
and listening to irish religious choral music
turned all the way up. 
in the next room over, 
my mother and brother are watching curb your enthusiasm
while i have sanctus domine deus sabaoth in my ears, 
lots of low-voiced men expressing the deepest sorrow
and am thinking about all the incredibly depressing lives
i've crafted here,
i'm aware of disturbingly cheerful
bouncy band music in the next room over. 
stories never seem to have lives 
unless they're in misery. 
how comedies mask the misery under bouncy music
and endearingly messed-up people 
(now i'm just guessing here, 
since i don't actually watch curb)
while whatever the hell you would call what i'm writing
is just people, 
being miserable. 
maybe the comedies are right...
life can be hilarious. 
or maybe they're both right--