How long is a piece of government red tape?

How long is a piece of government red tape?

As long as the Centrelink line down the street. Peasants line up hoping a millionaire hands out $100 bills.

As long as the ATO or MyGov queue — hours spent on the phone with nothing to do, except go insane.

As long as the musical loop designed to hypnotize prepares us to jump through some pretty big hoops.

As long as essential services exclude small businesses whose livelihood depends on everyday life for the poor.

As long as poverty remains below the imaginary line and we consume all the food after the due date.

As long as our bank balances stay in the black, we won’t be charged exorbitant fees for money we can’t make — a pseudo handshake pushing the mortgage back.

As long as we are compliant, stay at home and watch TV and become brainwashed into depression and anxiety.

As long as we stay in touch with the masses of faux friends on social media, breaking community standards in a double blind experiment.

As long as our health needs are met by big pharma and our garden grows GE/GM food designed to fail.

As long as we keep posting photos, videos and shit shows with dildos online, to paint a picture of relief.

In short, go off-grid and make your very existence an act of rebellion for as long as your divinity refuses to be manipulated.

FFS Atlas!

Atlas Justice & Matthew Phoenix

Dad woke up on the wrong side of the bed, Atlas had come in and pissed on his head! A mouthful of urine dribbled down from his chin, ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas, GET OUT OF IT!’

Dad wasn’t off to a very good start and Looby had let off a foul smelling fart! He finally dragged himself out of his bed, and fumbled his way to the toilet instead.

The first pee of the day was always the best, Dad closed his eyes and listened to it. Atlas and Looby had followed him in, then all of a sudden it was silence…

Dad opened his eyes confused a little bit, he was still peeing but couldn’t hear it. He looked down at the toilet and what did he see? Atlas holding a cup under his stream! ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas, GIVE THAT TO ME!’

Atlas looked at Dad’s face with a mischievous grin, then quick as lightening started drinking it! Dad looked at Atlas who was way off the chart and thought ‘this kid of mine wasn’t quite right’.

Dad had a shower and the kids disappeared, ‘this didn’t bode well, they’d be into shit!’ Dad hurried to get dressed and he braced himself, he was expecting carnage so he held his breath.

Dad had been right, they were up to no good, he walked into the kitchen and stood there stock still! His mouth dropped open as he looked all around, ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE NOW?!’

Atlas had opened the pantry door, Two Minute Noodles were all over the floor! He’d been in the fridge and freezer too, all the doors were left open and he’d emptied the food!

Looby wasn’t much better she’d found a toy, ripped it to shreds till it was destroyed. She had pulled out the stuffing with her fine front teeth, it was everywhere even on the TV!

Dad’s face was all red, he was about to explode, ‘if this shit continued, the boy would be sold!’ He’d place a sign around his neck saying ‘Free to a good home! For FU*K’S sake Atlas! THIS IS NO GOOD!’

Dad tidied and cleaned and put stuff away, there was SO much mess it would take half a day! Then he remembered the kids were downstairs but all he could think was he couldn’t hear noise.

He walked down the stairs hoping for the best but any minute now he’d run into the mess and sure enough as he rounded the corner, he could see the tap on and a flood of water!

Atlas had shoved facecloths into the plug, the water had no where to go except out. Up over the edge of the tub it came pouring, all over the floor and down the hallway. ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas! THIS IS ANNOYING!’

Dad had had enough, he felt like a wreck, he’d hardly had time to wake up correct. Almost every morning he had to deal with this, he didn’t know how he was still coping with it. He felt defeated and wanted to cry, he needed to have a long time away.

Good thing it was Friday and thank God for Mama J, she was having Atlas on the weekend for two days. He refocused his energy and got Atlas to school, he’d deal with the mess later that’s all he could do.

Atlas and Looby were no where to be seen, ‘Oh no!’ thought Dad and raced back upstairs – just in time to see Atlas piss on his bed! ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas, GO PISS ON YOUR OWN, and while you’re at it, GO GET A JOB!’

When he got home and looked all around, he felt very sad and very overwhelmed. He let out a sigh and one single tear, people really didn’t have any idea.

Dad life wasn’t much fun in the sun, for a single parent family with an autistic son. There was no support for Dad for respite, he tried everything but no one was right.

Atlas was high risk so care was specialised, there was no one to handle him who was qualified. Not only that but he needed two carers and the fund didn’t cover all these expenses.

Dad pulled himself together and cleaned the whole house, did all the washing and felt proud of himself. He packed up a bag for his weekend away and gave thanks for his beloved friend, Mama J.

He had an hour to himself before collecting the boy so he had a wee nap with Looby the dog. He drifted off all snuggled on his arm chair and started to look forward to not being there.

Mama J really, really did care.

Atlas Justice & Matthew Phoenix

© Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising 2022

Kraken Nemesis

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Worry, picking apart my brain, forms tentacles & infiltrates the darkness demolishing barriers discarding all sense of reason.

Fear, prys open the latch & pokes it’s ugly noggin out amongst folded loops, sensing freedom & an opportunity to breed.

I recoil; form more sunken chests & box in my indignation, push it back down subterranean & throw away the key.

I threaten to rip the legs off my giant colossal squid if she doesn’t do as she’s told!

My kraken nemesis.

That self entitled bitch, sticks her beak in where it doesn’t belong!

I square off, walk the grid like an executioner plans strategy & make the first move.

I am flawed. No better than humanity subdues & ignites.

I feel ashamed
I feel ashamed
I feel ashamed

Finding my place, my people & my self taking an age to surface.

I can’t make head or tails of it.

I float, drift around in the ether, neither up or down — threads like silk ferry me away. Is this what it’s like to crack?

Psychicly split down the middle.

One half tending the earth, grows old gracefully, wears away the lines to paint a picture. The other chips away at my sanity like a termite.

She is mad. A lost cause. A first world problem searching for a third world solution, juxtaposes sense.

I don’t know if I’m any good at treading water. She’s drowning.

I think I’m gonna crack.

Who is there for me?

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Too Hard Kité

Māori Kité (basket)

Those days are over and my ❤️ is resigned.

Too many complications leave me questioning why.

I don’t bother putting my best foot forward.

I’d rather you saw me at my worst and most awkward.

There’s no point in trying anymore to be honest.

I’m too fucking angry to build rapport and flourish.

I don’t want a partner, I’m far too fucked up.

Finding friends is a challenge but that’s good enough.

You can lay it on thick and treat me sublime.

But I’m still gonna take myself home every night.

You just might really be the best thing for me.

But I’m too fucking burnt to begin to believe.

I’d rather push you away and self sabotage.

Than risk trusting you will be, who you say you are.

It’s wholly unfortunate and totally sad.

But I’ve had enough and it was pretty bad.

I like being independent, funky and fun.

I’m afraid to feel beautiful, desired and loved.

I feel myself falling and losing control.

And I fucking hate how it makes me withdraw.

But that’s how it is and for whatever it’s worth.

I think you’re ok but I’m still not so sure.

I don’t know what to do or even if I can try.

Regression takes me right back to being a child.

Then I reflect and feel all ashamed.

Knowing I’m being judged by myself and I blame.

I can feel the anxiety building up inside.

Leave me open, exposed and I lose my mind.

I’m completely imperfect, contemptible and flawed.

Selfish, self righteous and utterly scorned.

I don’t have what it takes to surrender my ❤️.

So let’s call it a day, while we can remember to laugh.

© Copyright 2020, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Traumasutra

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Sitting/

Staring/

Laying/

preparing for the long rest.

Avoidance/

of people, places, sights and sounds.

Depression/

an abyss-like-nightmare that wants to kill me and I battle for my life.

Anxiety/

strangles me to within an inch of my suffocated existence.

Silence/

except for the machine head that analyses and deciphers psychic projections.

Fear/

the worst my mind can conjure, always on the lookout for my nemesis.

Panic/

attacks that leave me exhausted, foolish, irrational, exposed and defeated.

Boundaries/

overflowing – pushing people away, proving that point I once knew.

Distraction/

compulsion’s that envelop me like a synthesized loop; engulfed, and left devoid of all feeling.

Mistakes/

battles to right wrongs, that fail appallingly.

Agoraphobia/

refusing to put myself at risk, unfortunately I still need to eat.

Guilt/

burdens I endure for both of us.

Sensory deprivation/

just to make it stop!

*

Complex PTSD/

is all of this and more.

Trauma/

leaves a lifelong scar.
© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Most Days

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“I’m in my garden planting, weeding or harvesting.” JD Butler

1.

Most days I want to die.

My heart breaks

over the most

stupidest of things.

My thoughts tell me I am not

strong enough

pretty enough

skinny enough

feminine enough

kind enough

friendly enough

sexy enough

compassionate enough

caring enough or

rich enough.

My brain tells me I’m too

moody

angry

sad

depressed

anxious

ugly

scared

fragile

emotional

weak

unpredictable

unstable

flighty

and fickle.

My brain tells me to think

the worst of every situation, interpret every thing as an

attack

snide remark

slur

corner

lie

deception or

ulterior motive.

I really shouldn’t take things so personally.

Others think I’m too

Sexual

Slutty

Useing

Abusing

Needy and

Crazy.

I guess

that’s why he told me I have no friends.

Most days I can’t stand it any more.

I’m too much of every thing or not enough.

I wish I was never born.

/

I’m ok on a good day, but I struggle. Demons,

in my waking hours, have a go at me for every-little-thing that ever was.

How, do I continue to survive?

Most days, I just want to die.

2.

Some days I feel happy.

content

pleased

proud

relaxed

calm

and secure.

I’m in my garden planting, weeding or harvesting.

And I think about what else I want to do.

Paint

draw

read

make

sculpt

weld

and create.

Money holds me back so I continue watering the garden.

Some days I feel optimistic.

I am convinced I’m going to get that job,

find that financial independence,

not go back to sex work although I miss it terribly.

Some days I don’t think about

pain

loss

fear

humiliation

rejection

or torment.

I’m numb, but at least I’ve stopped

shaking in my boots,

jumping all over the place,

looking around every 5 fucking seconds

or wanting to run.

Some days I feel hope that I won’t

take my life

end up on the streets

be alone and lonely

have no friends

have no lover

or find love.

Whats wrong with me?

I live with trauma, fuck up daily and behave like a bitch –

and I dont think I can be fixed

sometimes.

Some days I’m OK.

I smile

laugh

joke

play

make love

not war.

I try not to let the voices win. I try to

bite my tongue

shut my mouth

hold back tears

try my best

please my man

and stop complaining.

I try not to wait for the end, although I push everyone away – my deluded saving grace

is more likely cutting off my nose, to spite my face.

Some days I think I will survive.

But most days, I still want to die.

© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Lady Lazarus & the Voice of Ratified Reason

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“If I had the grace to fall apart respectfully, there would be no need for enlightenment”. JD Butler

He’s using me, I’m using him – both of us working on a palatable means to several ends & everyone’s happy on the dance floor, except me / Lady Lazarus, fully loaded

machinations mimicking my madness & everything I have survived is temporarily erased from my memory / the neglect, the rapes, the con artists & the turning of blind eyes. The violence

of insanity, cleansing the last of my contemptible dirty pieces. A ruse in the end, designed to ratify my plea bargain, still set to drown in a sea of toxic shame, churning

out green bile – something the dogs love to salivate over.

/

It all sounds so depressing, except for the sun that continues to rise; refracted light beams infiltrating my cracks,

forcefully illuminating all remaining fragments of hope that haven’t yet marvelled at a setting sun. I am thankful.

If I had the grace to fall apart respectfully, there would be no need for enlightenment, you would all marvel at my unadulterated halo & drop to your knees, prostrate

but I am a mere mortal woman. No God could ever carry me across the sand or walk on water or set me down on the island of my choice,

without some sort of comeuppance; paying the ferryman requires nerves of steel / I lack the will to either live or die,

in peace.
© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Imagination

Miasma Rose

image

my foetal body holds
nervous balls of Fear
tying themselves into knots
that make my stomach retch –
remembering a time before

my world collided everything
became fission; an existential
explosion of pieces of me
scattered

for a moment I lost my self

loving more
than my desire knows
escaping those merciless depths
drowning me
that miasma of Fear rose
letting go tears

what was once mine
forever stolen

its hard to breathe
here & now my Fear rising
its ugly head penetrating
only a fraction / friction culminating
in pitiful attempts to mollify

comparing my voice to yours
once more scolded, Fear
beyond measure
gulps for air
winded

wishing for all it’s worth
for more – more than life itself
to find peace & love

to seek out that softest place
our Eden here on earth
my beautiful self in your arms
our fruit ripening my garden

she remembers
being pulled this way – that
curtain calls still fall – still
I managed to climb
that long steep drive

her body of evidence
a sixth psychic sense

she is alone Daddy
14,000 years in advance
mister black burns
& black backs down

magic raises her up, my Crone
fragrance budding
watching her blossom
where she will become

Trials & tribulations
wax & wane

Karma will knock you off your feet
no stone will be left unturned

you will have no choice but to cut
off your nose to spite your face

I foresee Death
Charon jigging a jig
my wicked sense of humour
rejoicing

rotting in Hell for all eternity

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved