Nicola Cayless.
Looking for light in words.

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Anonymous :  Where have you been?

Travelling! I recently got back from three weeks overseas. I spent two weeks in Spain and one week in Berlin. I did not really stay online during that time because I was with my boyfriend, and I only see him once every six or so months. I got back to Australia a week ago, and three days after I landed, university started again, so I’ve been attending classes, buying textbooks, getting used to my courses and getting into the swing of things.

If you mean ‘where have I been’ in a poetry sort of way: I am currently writing and compiling my very first collection of around 40 poems, which I intend to sell via this website! Stay tuned.

Thank you for your concern, lovely one. I hope to be around this place more as soon as I am able. xx

On Shrimp

strange little shrimp. 

who lives on the ocean floor,
who has no need of flight.

who tells anglerfish strange dreams
in other languages (that they can breathe,
grow hands, love separately).

who gets lost in elevators.

who asks for names.

the whale,
swallowing seas,
waiting for something to stick.

the shrimp,
passing straight through.


❝ I want to be crackers in your soup,
I want to be your brass compass. Oh, mister,
Just thinking about you curls the ends of my hair.

— "What Rings But Can’t Be Answered", Rebecca Lindenberg

I’ve finished my first semester of university!

❝ Poetry is the nude that stays nude.

— William Logan,”The Nude That Stays Nude”

'Of Mutability', Jo Shapcott. (Wow, yes, yes.)

I find it so strange when people take a line from one of my pieces, and hold it to their chests, saying, yes, this one, yes, yes. I’m left here wondering what it is about that sentence that means so much to them: is it the words, is it the feel, the smell, taste, hope, meaning? I’m not sure, I’m not sure what I have to offer anyone but myself, and so I put my pieces out and never think that they will touch other people. I write because it means something to me, and sometimes at the end, I think, this is not what it was at the beginning, this is not what it meant to me, but they’re still words, they’re still words, and words mean everything. And then you, dear reader, find those words and you give them milk, and you take them home, and make them feel loved, and that’s what confuses and delights me, because I don’t know what my words mean but maybe, maybe, maybe, you do.

If I could fill my birdcage chest
with prismflies that burned and fluttered,
would the night be afraid? Would Winter melt
in terror? 

If within my wrists there lay a secret flame, 
as small as scars and hope,
and your lips were as kindle when pressed
to my skin, what then would follow
but a forest fire and sacred laughter? 

Together we will warm the frozen wastelands
of the human heart. Together we will watch the Gods weep
when their puppet-strings are set afire, and we are truly

❝ I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.

— "Preludes", T.S. Eliot, Prufrock & Other Observations (1917)


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