Flowers Don’t Frighten Me So Much Any More

Christmas, 2003 / No. 11
Art by Ian Phillips
Ian Phillips

Flowers don’t frighten me so much any more.
Logically, I now know they are not waiting for me.
Big daisy mouth waiting to devour my face, my head.
I do get a little anxious when I see groupings of them,
hear them whispering my name,
giggling their heads off.

I wanted not to feel, but to be taken
away. I wanted to lie in the snow and suck
and melt and fuck and not feel. (This
actualizes itself in the lying-in-the-snow
part eight years later, Laura saves me.)

I see images in letters.
I climb into these images
between words. It’s the letters
that seduce me, not the words.
Inside the letters within the
words, there are words.
If you look at words, find
the open letters, blur the
letters around the
open letters, and climb in.

Strawberries along the dirt road, eels
under the
Tire tubes swirling downstream.
Me and her.

I’m feeling a lot of lines
echo and resonate deep within me,

some of the stuff just sends
fascinated chills, and the relief of
feeling understood.

I thought I saw her walking past
my building around 9:30 A.M.,
not looking at it, just walking
ahead, straight ahead, walking
by just as I was leaving.

I am dressed as a naughty,
dirty, mouth in chocolate, clown-red
lipstick, never sleeping, nightmare
eight-year-old girl.

I am trying to force
myself to stay awake.
I hate sleeping through days,
but it’s unbearable. I need to
lie down again, my head
is all pins and needley.

S/he (impossible to tell) said,
“What’s this? ” The gesture was of
gnawing something in your palm.

Now, I don’t know why, but
I felt like my feet were
coming out from under me.
They turned to jelly,
I felt nauseous, and like
a secret had been exposed.
(I don’t know why or what
I’m talking about with that secret)
It still really disturbs me.

This whole week I’ve been off,
irritable, exhausted, headaches all
the time.

I really loved this one.
I found the relationship
between the victim and her
perpetrator fascinating.
Working on the entire school
in terms of mind control, and
the poetry was so moving.

I’m right off, just trying to cope with
everything, everything seems big, I’ve been
eating O.K. stuff that doesn’t usually bother
me, and this past week my stomach’s been

I’m having intense dreams
I can only sense, but not recall.

Then I get angry, worn out eventually,
talking to them, and try to assert

I need to try working
my fragmented self into a structure,
but my mind can’t follow structure,
I loose the thread
and it becomes fragments.
Would the fragments be of
any use to anyone?

I am hungry for success.

I dreamt that I was
in a prison, only
it wasn’t me, it was her.
No, it was a morph of
me and her together.
Her dog was there, too.
The boyfriend was
in jail, too. We had
committed some sort
of murderous crime.
I tried taking pills,
or the boyfriend
gave them to me.
The dog turned
evil and vicious.

I want my main activity to be

I move into my studio Monday.
I can’t wait to make a mess!!!
I bought ten dollars in paper.

The room reflected her bodily process
of forgetting and storing traumatic
memories for so many years, and the
ensuing gush of the return of feeling
to her body, the suddenly not fully
submerged state, the fragmented ice
shards poking and protruding slowly
and relentlessly.

She sleeps underground.
There is no light.
The tiny cracks of light
do not count.
Her hair is peach.
Likes cold things,
all warm things make
her nauseous, even her
blankets. She likes
her blankets cool
against her skin.
She likes to go out
for breakfast at
She sees no self,
only a shadow
of her self.
She misses autumn
and snow. She lives
in a tropical place now.

I also bought myself a sweater, I
love it, I wear it every single
second. It’s beige, with a zipper and a
hood, way cozy. I can disappear, be
safe, be warm, under the hood.

I worry that I am being
quite paranoid with thinking
my legs were going out
from under me and I couldn’t speak,
I was frozen as s/he told it to me.

I went to the hairdresser to get
all the red, my natural colour,
out of my hair, it’s supposed to
be blond, but it’s not and she
left red in it. I hate my red
hair, I look like I did in high
school when I have it, and I hate
that face.

Why can’t I be special?

I dressed. I wandered. I withdrew $1.12 from
one account, three dollars from another. I sold
clothes at a second-hand store, made
ten dollars there. I bought cigarettes and
chocolate. I smoked and I melted.
I smoked hash, cigarettes sang.
I flew downtown.
I shone.
I collapsed.
I woke. I needed water. I was dizzy. My
throat was raw. I stood by the sink. I fell
backward. I hit my head.
I blacked out.

Kim Dawn lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She is an interdisciplinary artist, and a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Last updated Christmas, 2003.