Jaggers x Lines "Burn Cycle"

Art As a Release for Mental Health 

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Poetry by: Eliana Gray

Pop Duo: Jaggers x  Lines (Eliana Gray and Morgan Smillie)

Photographer: Jessica Thompson-Carr



Burn Cycle


There was this idea that if I put my trauma aside I’d be able to finally live.


Expunge the rotted core and the tree will flower- makes no botanical sense and yet I continue to rotate. Back and back again to the place where something is wrong with me. 


Because, if it wasn’t, why would I be going to therapy?


Why would black ink start to slip between my pores and coat an unseeable slick? 

Why would everyone who touches me come away marked? 


Why would I hate myself so much if something wasn’t, really, truly wrong with me? 


Because I was taught

Because I’m a fast learner

Because even the most un-attentive student will believe a lesson that’s repeated to them daily. 


You’re too much 

(You’re not enough)

This is your fault

(It’s all your fault)


This is just to say: 

Therapy is a process of un-learning, not fixing

I’m not broken, I had dangerous teachers.


This is just to say:

A tree with a hollow core will continue to produce fruit.


So I to go to a room, soak my brain in words other than wrong. Learn to pretend to love myself. Flex the sentence in my mouth like a tongue I’ve no idea to use. A limp and heavy muscle made of fibres not my own. 


But it’s working. Letters dropping slowly like saliva. Alphabet on the floor around me I take my hand 


Wipe the ink off my skin and start writing.


-Eliana Gray

Jaggers x Lines is the Aotearoa alt-pop duo of Eliana Gray & Morgan Smillie. The duo’s debut album Burn Cycle is out on all platforms and is a chaotically joyous, pop-minded album that lyrically explores Gray’s journey of healing from trauma.