Words in a Storm

I’m still writing, still publishing. I’ve been overwhelmed, so I’ve been forgetting to post. ADHD/PTSD in a pandemic is a heckuva thing.

BUT! I’ve had a few things published recently.

My short non-fiction piece, All Ten Provinces and Both Territories, has been published in Flash Nonfiction Food: 91 Very Delicious, Very True, Very Short Stories by Woodhall Press. This essay recalls a time I traded something precious for something necessary. It’s also about how delicious pizza is when your belly is empty.

My poem, In Patient, is featured in litmag Serotonin. It’s an oldie, written about 20 years ago while I was an inpatient at a mental health facility. Challenges related to my mental health contributed to the long pause between writing and publishing this poem. Publishing isn’t accessible to neurodiverse and disabled people, in part because it wasn’t built for us. Indie publishers like Serotonin are creating spaces built for us, by us and because of that, pieces like this can find a home. I’m grateful for the small shifts, but it does make me want more change, bigger change.

I will try to post again soon. Until then, may you find the eye of the storm and take a deep breath.

I ate a thin girl for breakfast today

by H. E. Casson
(CW: Eating disorder, gender dysphoria, body discomfort)

I ate a thin girl for breakfast today
I heard her bones crackle as they gave way
I watched my belly grow in size
I saw the fat distending my thighs
She tasted like two-day-old gristly chicken
I thought, as my arms touched my sides as they thickened

I ate a skinny girl for lunch
I heard her crunch

I ate a slender girl for dinner
She didn’t even flinch
She swallowed the air until she was thinner
Counted every inch

I ate a thin girl for breakfast today
(I used to be like you, I grinned)
In keeping my promise
I fed her a steak
Then carefully shovelled her in

I ate a thin girl last night as a snack
I was a thin girl and I’m not going back

Published in the Meat issue of (Ex)cite (2001).
Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Food To Spare

by H. E. Casson
(CW: Food, hunger, neglect)

“You eat meat?”
She asked, incredulous
I said no
Then I said yes
Sometimes
I suppose
It feeds my gut
And teases my nose
It sits in my throat
And flavours my tongue
It’s comfort food
From when I was young
And mother would feed me
A chop so big
I forgot when I tasted
That it was a pig

But then, she cares
Her eyes are wet
She is a cow, in dreams
I’ll bet
(Just look at those eyes)
So I rationalize

That I was hungry for almost a year
(No politics for that, I fear)
An empty belly made me see
That I eat them
Or they’ll eat me

And lettuce didn’t fill me up
And orange juice didn’t please my cup
But a pizza pie with bacon strips
Pleased my lips

Reminding me of mother’s chops
The happy smell in butcher shops
And times when hunger was not there
And times when I had food to spare

Published in the Meat issue of (Ex)cite (2001).
Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.