Georgia Cranko
...a beautifully volatile and disabled existence of raw humanity, art and activism...
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Poetry

[...fault lines]
05.06.2013
I fill the holes in my mind with these words,
But the darkness shines right through,
It shines where the metaphors are supposed to be,
And stays where my blood runs blue.
 
I never claimed to be a poet,
Just a woman trying to find meaning and some light,
There’s not anything that fits together nicely,
Nor anything that isn’t worn down by spite.
 
I was told once that my thoughts were unthinkable,
That my skin is too scarred and paper-thin,
And maybe that is all true, I am not unbroken,
But my fault lines lead you to what really lies within.
Georgia Cranko
[...the words on your tongue]
27.05.2014
Breathe in, breathe out.
Say it, I can see the words on your tongue.
Just say it, get it out,
Exchange it with the air between us.
Are you comfortable with your own thoughts?
Because rest assured, I am, I have heard them all before.
So let me help you find reprieve,
And a way to traverse this hesitation,
For it has held us in place for too long.
 
You know that moment of sheer social paranoia?
How it makes you scared to speak, to look or move?
The word “petrified” comes to my mind.
Because life has written it on the insides of my eyelids,
As I am sure it has been on yours,
Yet we close our eyes in an attempt to escape the world around us,
In attempt to escape the feelings within us.
 
Breathe in, breathe out.
Count to ten.
And you can hold my hand,
Either hand I don’t mind,
Even though I know you probably do,
And that’s okay.
But they are both all I can offer,
So I will hold them out to you anyway.
 
Even if it takes hours for you to see my body as human,
And for me to see your body as equally fallible as my own,
I will sit with you.
We can compare scars – stories of when our hearts broke,
Of when our lungs threatened to collapse from the grief we swallowed.
 
I will hold you steady so you can let your defences down,
Breathe in, breathe out…
We can laugh at what the world can’t see, what they refuse to accept.
Because laughter is what ultimately sustains us.
It’ll be okay, you will eventually be okay.
We will persevere and hopefully survive.
Georgia Cranko
[... a flooded home]
27.03.2015
To tell of how the tides inside of skin and bone have shaped my flesh,
Is to reveal where the water pools and where darkness remains.
I have overlooked the fact that where it soothes, water also weakens,
For my identity has been formed and diluted many times.
 
My body is my home,
But it has been flooded too often,
Meaning I still have to believe that my capital “I” matters,
To heal repeatedly, to have a room that I can do my living in.
Georgia Cranko
[...uses of anger]
15.01.2016
Even though my bones are constantly slammed against all the things I am not,
I can only feel the trembling reverberations…
Attempting to shatter my spine
(for you see, then they can break apart the self and other effortlessly).
The trembling makes me turn away from all the things I am,
I misplace my power, I misuse my identity,
And I forget which voice is mine.
 
I started with more, but “sorry” is what I’m left with.
I apologise, I know my chronic indecision is a luxury,
That the days I sleep away aren’t afforded to most.
 
But among all that passivity and confusion,
My words fall into the useless oceans of guilt,
Slipping on social legacies that steal lives, and that erase truths.
 
Raw agony deflates my lungs daily.
The grief colours my mind and soul,
These aren’t my stories to tell, my pain to feel,
And yet it is.
 
Turn up the morning radio,
Switch on the Television.
Listen to what is being said,
Then hear what isn’t.
My bones are being slammed against all the things I am not.
 
What shape of anger fits, what works?
What shape isn’t morphed by my constant apologies and sadness?
But perhaps anger hasn’t got a shape,
Maybe it’s a liquid that seeps into all the forgotten parts of myself,
Reminding me who I am, solidifying my truth,
Messy and contradictory, perhaps owning anger is what will make it powerful.
Georgia Cranko
[...motion in stagnation]
1.02.2016
Early morning,
A map is already crumpled in my shaking hand,
Coffee dripping from my lips-
Am I really here?
Are you really there? –
My mind is amiss.
And my feet are heavy.
Lifeless.
 
Finding.
Breaking.
Learning.
Fixing.
Apologising.
Forgiving.
Forgiving.
 
This lifetime is filled with stagnation:
Laying down,
Getting up,
Running late,
Being lost,
Finding it.
Losing it,
And then really losing it.
(…Then finding it again when there’s no alternative)
 
Aching bones, muscles longing for bed –
Did I sleep last night?
What have you been dreaming? –
 
Everything is dusty (nothing is clear).
I try to erase what I have already crossed out,
In motion, but not driven.
Alive, but not living.
 
I wish I could feel the sturdiness of my bones,
Like I wish I could feel the certainty of my life.
But I am too accident-prone.
 
I will my ligaments to hold,
My armour to stay strong,
Just long enough to make a life,
A proper life that is deliberate (not just inadvertent).
Georgia Cranko
[...feeling your familiarity]
14.06.2016
I really want to hold you,  
Hold you steady for a while,
Prove to you that you are worth it.
 
It is foolish to think I know you.
I have met many people,
But you feel familiar –
Something about the way you breathe,
How you try to withdraw yourself from situations.
Like the way I try to inject my absent words.
 
Inhaling before speaking,
All that breath in a pair of lungs is a reminder that you are present,
Here to be heard.
And it comforts me to know that you need to be reminded of that too.
 
It’s funny how occupying space somehow feels like a betrayal,
How it feels like an inadequacy, belying a certain type of existence,
So we survive in limbo, 
Feeling like that it’s better than being somewhere.
 
Yet it still is foolish to think I know you.
I have met many people,
But you feel familiar –
Something about the way you search,
Looking to your peripheries first, trying to locate an answer, a meaning or a lifeline.
You check to see if you are alone.
 
Explanations and rationales have gotten you this far,
This far away from what frightens you, and me, and everyone else,
But your thoughts and words get congested in your ribcage,
And the only thing that is left to cling to is a vague idea of home,
 
I become displaced by similes and metaphors,
When I try to find a place to be without a shadow,
Such places feel foreign, there are no tears, but also no joy.
Georgia Cranko
[...the slight-of-hand in darkness]
10.07.2016
As I discuss or feel desire for life, for love,
For anything that makes my soul quiver.
I discredit it, as a foreign romantic delusion in my mind,
Like as if I was misreading slight-of-hand for a truthful act, or even a cure.
 
Vagueness, the indiscriminate greyness, quickly bubbles back up,
It surges through my muscles like shooting pains,
(But they are not of the growing kind),
It stops me, weighs on my sternum and makes it hard to feel:
Hope doesn’t have a chance here,
It hasn’t been taught how to be resilient.
 
My limbs fill with lead and indecision,
Immobilised by my own reluctance to move,
I remain remaining,
A toxic fire within me warms my bones,
It wants to seduce and use me, and engulf then discard me,
Like all the deep and dark things of myself eventually do.
 
For even the darkness survives on slight-of-hand,
It feels me up, suddenly and without my consent,
Yet it is comforting and secure,
Its hold leaves bruises, but “just to show it cares”.
And it feels real for that moment.
 
I confuse the pain for value, and its lies for my truth,
Because they all fit so nicely in this gap underneath my ribs.
Looking for meaning and marrow,
Crying for something to tie me to this body, to this existence.
 
Georgia Cranko
[...a stitch of desperation]
14.08.2016
I thread a needle on the first try,
But then I stitch everything together too tightly,
So the cotton snaps.
 
The meaning of things breaks,
I found myself looking for loose strands,
Overeager, like a child, I pull one.
Thinking it would make the seam stronger,
A shorthand to love, perhaps.
 
The stitches come undone,
Everything comes undone,
In spite of my attempts,
In spite of my gratitude,
For the fabric,
For the thread,
The things that excited my zealousness.
Georgia Cranko