Nov 03
Fiona Ella's picture


i've had anxiety for years. 
my jumpy heart's been beating overtime
since i was twelve. 
and even before then--
when in as in first grade,
the school called in a psychiatrist
hoping to slap a diagnosis on me
and make me someone else's problem. 
he said i was just anxious too. 
my heart beats too fast,
there's never enough air in the room
and i can't crack my ribs open wide enough
to hold all the air it takes
to calm my racing thoughts. 
my brain runs in circles
and the room starts spinning and 
drifts away into another universe i can't quite
get to. 
my stomach starts churning
and i'm afraid i'm going to throw up. 
my chest flutters,
there's a buzzing in my head and i think
i'm dying. 
i always know i'm not, 
but there's that little sliver of doubt. 
my brain has been capitalizing on that sliver of doubt
for as long as i can remember
Oct 14
Fiona Ella's picture

twelve years

i heard today
that they're saying there's only twelve years left
before global warming goes too far. 
twelve years. 
i'll only be twenty-seven. 
i don't want the world to end
when i'm twenty-seven. 
and i honestly don't know what to think. 
there's nothing so beguiling
as the power of denial. 
nothing like wrapping yourself up
in your won problems 
and consoling yourself with the thought
that twelve years is a long time. 
and indeed, 
there's nothing else i can do. 
i can do nothing to change this. 
i can recycle,
and walk more, 
and think optimistic thoughts
but the only thing that that bolsters is my ego, 
my sense that i'm helping the world. 
i already do the first two of those things. 
it makes no difference. 
the people who could actually change this
or don't do enough, 
or maybe it's just too late. 
Oct 09
Fiona Ella's picture

onion of pretension

i get upset. 
everyone does. 
sometimes my emotions get all complicated--
angry at myself, 
guilty of something
i don't even know what,
scared on some existential level. 
sad i can deal with
sad i even sometimes
it's all these other things. 
my thoughts start racing
and i start shutting them down. 
you'd be amazed how fast i can think
and how much faster i can judge. 
these thoughts start racing around my head
and i can't say what i feel
because i can't finish experiencing a feeling
without trivializing it
peeling it away. 
some corner of my mind watches from a distance 
detched and reasonable
and utterly inaccessible.
it's worse when i can talk to someone--
when i'm supposed to have words, 
supposed to make sense. 
better when i'm alone
and i can turn my music up loud
and wait for the storm to pass. 
Oct 08
Fiona Ella's picture


my internal landscape
changes every time the weather grows colder.
it's been true for years--
fall sets in, 
cold weather,
long pants, 
all those lovely jackets. 
changing leaves
mean groans about the inevitable onset of the leafpeepers. 
and emotionally, i...
my mind hones in on something--
my writing, 
someone else's story, 
anything to keep me interested. 
i called it a cycle of obsession
when i was younger and in its clutches
looking out and knowing how preposterous i was
but powerless to stop it. 
i love the cold. 
snow is beautiful, 
and i like sunrises, 
so waking up at a time when i'm able to witness them
should be a good sign. 
it comes upon me slowly, 
enough that i never notice
until winter is here
and everything is grey
and i 
am clinical and deep within obsession. 
i only notice
Sep 17
Fiona Ella's picture


when i went to formby point it was a cloudy day
chilly even though it was july. 
another girl and i took the train out all alone
into the town. 
we bought sandwiches and kinder surprise eggs at waitrose
then asked the lady in the bakery for directions
and then we walked. 
we had no idea where we were going
or how far away the train station was from here. 
we must've walked several miles all told, 
past fancy houses with names like
'greystoke hall'
and places that looked just like those places only a little cleaner
where rich american tourists could stay. 
eventually we reached the point. 
we slid through behind the cars into the nature conservatory
hoping that we wouldn't need passes and, 
if we did, 
that no one would notice. 
and then we walked some more. 
this time, through forests. 
i picked up a magpie feather from the ground. 
Sep 14
Fiona Ella's picture

photographs from london pt 2

note: any of you technically savvy people know why lke all of these are sideways? i don't how how to fix it. sorry. 

so this is the last of the england photos. all from london, most of them are from the london eye. the others are pretty recognizably just london, and the last one is from london pride--i went to london pride! my first pride event ever, totally jumping off the deep end, anyways i'm also a sherlock holmes fan so i had to take the photo. like i said, if anyone knows how to make these not sideways, it'd be helpful. 
Sep 14
Fiona Ella's picture

photographs from london pt 1

hey so i know it's been more than a month since i actually got back from england but i was looking over the photos i took and decided to post some of them on here. 'some' meaning so many i have to do it in two parts... this is worcester (1), bradford (2), the sand dunes in formby (3 and 4, the girl in the photo is not me but you can't really see her face so i think it's okay), london (5, 6, 7, 8). more to follow. 
Sep 05
Fiona Ella's picture


it's my first grade of the year.
solid 100 percent
and i feel a thrill as i look at it even though
i hate this system. 
and it's not even a thrill because it's a good grade
because god only knows 
that grade has a whole semester to go down.
it was only based off of a few things anyway. 
that thrill came from the simple reality of 
having a grade
that curse of last year. 
that reinstituted prison. 
i hate having grades. 
i hate the way having your learning evaluted
kills it. 
i hate how subjects i used to like
are converted into numbers on a page
and those numbers determine my future. 
i hate having to obsess over these,
and i gloried in having a whole summer free of it. 
and now the prison is back, 
and i welcome it with open arms. 
because i no longer know how to evaluate myself
without it. 
Sep 04
Fiona Ella's picture

jack the overrated

So this was partially born out of a conversation my mother and I had about how ever ripoff serial killer in television is doing jack the ripper and partially off a writing prompt I found suggesting serial killers are connected via the dark web. I apologize if serial killer comedy crosses the line. This is a semi continuation of a tiny write I made a while back, which I will put at the bottom if I can unearth it. Didn’t start out to continue that, it just turned it that way. 

“So. For my next one, I was thinking of Jack the Ripper.”
”Jack the Ripper?”
”Classic, right?”
”So not classic. Dude, Jack the Ripper is so overdone. I mean, I was talking to Rob just last week, and he’s just done Jack the Ripper! And Tammy from Sheffield did it years ago, remember Tammy? She was so mainstream. You want to be as mainstream as Tammy?”
”What? No! I just thought... it’s overdone because it works, right?”
Aug 19
Fiona Ella's picture

end of summer boredom

i have a week and a half, 
maybe two,
before school starts. 
tenth grade, 
which means more homework. 
i did my back-to-school shopping today.
i still haven't done my precourse work 
or the essay that i need to write
for the experiment in international living
by september first. 
i know i nee to do them both,
but it's too easy to put it off
and blame my parents for forgetting to remind me. 
and now i'm back in that august frame of mind
where i'm bored of all this doing-nothing, 
ready for something to start up, 
ready to see my friends again,
almost even ready to eat lunch at the same time each day
but i don't want this to ever end, 
i don't want to go back.
not to the institution
to more stress. 
to homework. 
back to scalding tea in a to-go cup
that's still stained with the flavor of someone else's long-ago coffee
(tea and coffee,
Aug 10
Fiona Ella's picture

disorganized thoughts

i've been back for exactly a week. 
one week of sitting at home watching television,
listening to music,
and trying to convince myself i'm writing. 
one week of driving on the wrong side of the road
and pricing things in pounds
when they should be dollars. 
one week of feeling like what little self-confidence i gained
dribble down the drain and away. 
one week of constant reminders to do my precourse work. 
i'm not sleeping well.
it's been so hot, 
you lay down at night and doze in bursts until morning, 
willing yourself not to look at the clock. 
my mother insists i'm jetlagged. 
i never heard of anyone staying jetlagged for a week. 
one of my dad's friends offered to read my television series scripts.
he's a screenwriter, he's produced some things
and even though this is what i wanted--
to be taken seriously--
i don't know if i deserve it. 
Jul 28
Fiona Ella's picture

in between

everyone said i’d change
while i was away. 
i couldn’t imagine being anybody different
just like you never notice what’s changed
until you look back and see
it’s not the same anymore. 
have i changed?
have I become someone new
so caught up in the chaos
that i failed to notice?
because i look back
and around
and i still don’t know where i fit. 
here or there,
at home or away
i spent a month surrounded by people my own age
but i never quite matched
they were too strange
but it’s been long enough
and busy enough
that i can’t fully imagine
what things were like before
whether i’m the same frightened girl
in a new york airport with an overpacked backpack,
a banana,
two bags of granola and no plan
or whether she’s somewhere different
eating granola and fearing the worst. 
in a way i almost wonder if i’ll go home
Jul 03
Fiona Ella's picture

full speed ahead

i decided to do this
way back in december.
i guess when the future is far away enough,
you think you can do anything. 
now it's the day after tomorrow
and doing anything seems like a bit of a stretch. 
i travel well. 
i want to see the world,
and i want to choose a new corner of it to settle down in
but the future is always ahead of me. 
in the future, 
i am a badass, somewhat morbid, wise-beyond-her-years young woman
who can handle anything
because she's changed from now. 
the day after tomorrow, 
i am underslept, sweating, 
and unsocial. 
the day after tomorrow, 
i go flying off into only the semi-known
ideally to get to know it better
but it's frightening, 
to fly away alone--
or without anyone you know--
when you're staring it down
instead of admiring it from months away. 
Jun 08
Fiona Ella's picture

words (a rant)

a few disclaimers: 
first, i fully ackowledge that screaming "fuck" down the hallway
was not the most mature or sensible way for him to respond. 
second, i recognize that the word "slut" is not one meant to be used in polite company,
that it carries enough connotations
that even i, 
embracer of profanity, 
don't use it. 
i don't see, however, why quoting it as said by someone else
is disrespectful. 
i acknowledge that, as this is your school (sort of)
you have the right to attempt to keep goings on
safe and appropriate for all students. 
with this taken into account, 
i object. 
i object to the tone you used when you stepped out, 
after lingering behind a wall for the duration of our conversation, 
disrespecful and borderline threatening. 
it is the tone of voice which suggests
you are all too familiar with the casual use of the words
you vetoed. 
May 22
Fiona Ella's picture


i used to say i was afraid of going insane. 
which is true. 
insanity is terrifying. 
but i've been thinking
that even though there's a specific phobia name
for going insane. 
i'm a controlling person. 
i have to have both the remotes near me when i'm watching things. 
like the world might end if someone else adjusts the volume. 
and in a way i think i'm afraid of going insane
because insanity is the ultimate loss of control. 
the same way i'm afraid of drugs
of alcohol
and anaesthetics 
because those lower your inhibitions. 
your control. 
like maybe i'm afraid
that if i lost control, 
if i stopped inhibiting myself, 
then the person it uncovered
might not be someone
i want to be. 

an incoherent thought i first had at like one in the morning. i know it's short.