Nicola Cayless.
Looking for light in words.

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I am now a poetry reader for the Adroit Journal, and so so happy about it.

from a singularity

and then the cosmos happened,
but you know that part; you’ve
breathed that act, with stardust
in your lungs and an empty moon
inside your heart. you’ve heard it
all before in a manner that makes
your gentle mind spin, a humble
break before the story ends and
it’s interval before act two. you’re
already waiting for the toilet break,
but we haven’t finished yet, darling.
feel your mind flicker in response
to the actor’s words and the stage-
master’s craft. can you feel your 
heart snap and crackle? you are 
but played upon by the big bang
which happened yesterday / a 
thousand billion years ago / now.
you are the subjective knower and
you are the objective known. entrap.
expand & circle ‘round the garden
thrice, collapse & wander ‘round the
exploding dwarf star-now, now, now.

Fiction: when we’re not together.

A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river
                        but then he’s still left
with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away
                                                      but then he’s still left with his hands.

The Boot Theory, Richard Siken

Anonymous :  do you have a book of poetry out yet or is it still in progress?

It’s still in progress, but we’re getting pretty damn close! I can’t wait to show you all - I’ll be releasing in both print and ebook options and I’ll publicise it when it’s out. (I still haven’t thought of a title…)

Sneaky snippet of a poem from my book:

I don’t mean to say you’re unhappy, baby,
I don’t mean to say I’m looking at the pebbles by the road and thinking,
where did you come from, little one;
I mean that there could have been
a little apple tree somewhere in your bowels.

I can’t wait to share the finished collection with you all. x

To Bald Snakes & Men With Stubble

I remember welts upon my back,
the seatbelt drawing blood. 

I can still taste cigarettes
lingering on my thirteen year old tongue. 

I cannot stop tracing the bruises
your elephant fingers left upon my skin. 

I know where you have fled to:
the darkness has taken you in.
When the sun falls, I choke.
You are hidden in every shadow
and lurk in every corner.
Did you mean to frighten, Boogey Man?
Did your fingers probe for fear?

Oh, I have so many names for you, serpent man,
that these verses cannot contain them:
you are the faked orgasms,
the desperate scratches,
the shots of vodka.
Broken noses, teenage angst. Scars and pumped stomachs.
Blood tests and diagnoses and acronyms and silence.

They call me Lolita, I think.
I have other names, but they all just end
in cracked mirrors and nightmares. 

My therapist called this self-destruction.
It’s not.

I’ve just finished reading Colourless Tskuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami and even though I was underwhelmed by the work, it made me realise how much I miss words, and stories, and characters, and feeling a part of something. I need to bring myself back to that place. I need to fall in love with writing every day. I need to make it an integral part of myself.

I am the new Vice President of the Sydney University Literary Society.