The World Is Quiet Here – Rosie Bogumil


Silence sulks.

But thoughts are loud,
louder than my voice will ever be, 
somehow still too quiet to be heard.  

Monsters thrive in these blank spaces: 
nestling amongst the noise
and moving in for the summer.


It seems that the more I draw,
the more I sketch the sensations 
that arise from riding this emotional rollercoaster,
the more I realise that hands and faces,
cannot heal me anymore than my attempts 
to disfigure the same hands and faces.
Self-destruction presents itself in these sketches,
and also in starvation, compensation, self-deprecation.
It is not a simple case of eat, or smile, or stop – 
these have never been felt centrally at my core.
These are not things that can simply be enacted,
but rather must be relearned, as a new skill,
new additions to the toolkit beside my first aid kit. 
Sketches are plasters that cannot heal my wounds,
but only cover them, protect them,
and just momentarily. 
Until the next time I pick up a pencil,
or a blade, or step onto the scales,
and fall into the abyss sideways of the rollercoaster.


Stars and headlights light my path to retribution,
goals in the distance by which I must steer by,
instead of sticks to beat myself up with. 
These mechanical wings have only served to ground me,
when what I need is a runway of open-air adventure
to keep me centred.
It lingers in the distance, that city of no stars,
the coat hanger stretching across the smoggy sky,
instead of my familiar constellations:
the cross, two pans, and Orion the archer. 
I tap in time to the beat in my head, 
but am left quivering beneath harsh gazes.
I carry as baggage 
memories which threaten to throttle me;
cracks in the concrete 
into which I stumble, fall,
and am lost.
There’s this cacophony in my head, 
a plethora of voices,
one afraid
one sad 
one hungry 
and one borderline.
This is my excess baggage:
a cranial suitcase that cannot be paid out,
a constant weight that slumps my shoulders against life.
In their rumpled mustard envelope
crouch the people I’ve left behind. 
Close to my chest to keep them warm –
I’d not want anyone to get frostbite.
A handwoven dream catcher dangles out the edge, 
but this is one nightmare it cannot keep away.
For this is excess baggage that cannot be paid out. 
It follows me,
drags on its broken wheels,
lingers in the potholed paths I traipse, 
and sets its sights on me to follow.
This excess baggage is the sticks; 
this excess baggage blinds the stars.

About the contributor

Rosie Bogumil is a West Australian bred, New South Wales based writer of poetry and short fiction. She has been awarded first place prizes for poetry in the Randolph Stow Young Writers Awards, based in her hometown of Geraldton. When she's not writing stories or performing poetry, Rosie can normally be found studying for her double degree in English literature and Anatomy at the University of New South Wales.

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