Monika Dryburgh


(March 2008)
Turning and slotting all the way to the
desperate cram-dreamed end
shakehanded 2AM Tetris
shiversweat knee-backs &
fuzzyhead midnight floor.

(May 2012) light seeping in through eyes still closed
mouthwash for my brain
(past cracked lips and cracked lids).
warbling wake-up phone-alarm birdsong,
dreaming of heavy somnolence, recursive
(heavy limbs and heavier eyelids)
in the in-between times.

* * *


(January 2010; with apologies to Adrienne Rich* and Pesha Gertler**)

i am sick,
i am tired
of bumping into all the places
i am told
i am not paying enough attention
to my body, its needs;
or, alternately (and sometimes by the same people)
that i am focusing too much on my body
and how it feels
(never how "i" feel,
although i am implored to "scrutinise my feelings" and
"analyse my thoughts"
as if these, too, are somehow separate
from my 'true' self).

i am told that being
-in constant pain
is not a reason
to "overreact" or "take it out on others".
funny how no one seems to listen
about what's taken out of me,
by what others take out on me
(my body, my feelings, my me):
their anxieities
their demands for normativity
their refusal to see the shades of grey.

Now that i am finally on my way to yes,
i see all the colours.
i wish they would step backward,
"because we live by inches
And only sometimes see the full dimension."

*Stepping Backwards
**The Healing Time


Monika Dryburgh
Youngish Melbournian nerdy disabled linguaphile bricoleur.
Studied: Psychology / Neuroscience / Linguistics / German / Gender Studies.
Currently attempting to construct an interdisciplinary PhD thesis about the lived experience of fatigue in chronic illness from:
sociology of sleep theory / feminist sensibilities / disability research ethics / personal experience.