There was the time she posed as a proper person,

up at seven with organised eyes,

spinning the wheel of coffee heart and computer clack,

a life in neat multi-coloured folders.


An alarm went off in her pocket—

and now the world stank of Boots’ perfume and cigarettes

she spoke in fluent Bacardi Breezer

knew every bar in South East London

flew through the day to get to the pub on the other side

until life became a barman that would no longer serve her.

Men with magnet mouths waited for her to exceed her limit

found ways to climb inside.


Now she sits like a stale buttered scone

who nobody wants  to pick up or eat

or even look at that way.


She thinks this is delicious and funny at the same time.


These days


she is studying her life through abstract nouns

watching how pretend-friend-people

have the ability to reach inside

to remove the smiley bits

and that is ok

because what they think is her face is see through

what they think of her limbs is hollow


Few know

who the real is

behind the dough-dumb skin

the cratered eyes


She can sing because they don’t know


Some people have stories up their noses

about silly women whose heads keep unzipping

whose words fall out and splash about

and what a mess it makes


It irks them

this girl who doesn’t add up

that can use them as a muse

instead of fighting back


They don’t know that over time

what used to tremble becomes percussion

they look on at the wrongness of her one-woman-band

wonder why she can still sing.






Michelle Diaz author photo


Michelle Diaz has been writing poetry since the late 90s. She has been published by Prole, Strix, Amethyst Review, Amaryllis, the ‘Please Hear What I’m not Saying’ Mind anthology and was awarded 3rd prize in the Mere Literary Competition 2017. She has a son with Tourette Syndrome and had a very unusual upbringing—both of which have been huge inspirations for her writing. She lives in the colourful and strange town of Glastonbury. Without poetry her soul would be incredibly hungry.