Jaggers x Lines "Burn Cycle"

Art As a Release for Mental Health 

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10.06.18

 

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.

© 2023 by Kayla Dewees