Warning: Parameter 1 to wp_default_scripts() expected to be a reference, value given in /homepages/9/d675280781/htdocs/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 579

Warning: Parameter 1 to wp_default_styles() expected to be a reference, value given in /homepages/9/d675280781/htdocs/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 579
tori aitken | Electric Cereal

Author: tori aitken

tori aitken is a young queer poet and intense cloud enthusiast living somewhere in the east midlands of england. they are the author of paper birds and can be found on twitter and tumblr.

i don’t want your sun in here

my skin does not want to be skin and i know
i have said this before but my fingers
do not want to be fingers and my eyes are
itching and itching and saying, stars
stars & stars & stars
my knuckles say to me, you are always
my knuckles are itching and itching and
saying, let us go, it won’t hurt
that much. we would string stars through
our joints if you would let us.
my wrists say, hook and curl and wind and
twist. stick your thumbs into your pockets
and dig up the moon.
my shoulders are battered sailing boats.
they hum low bass notes and coil their ropes:
we are young and hungry, they tell me.
we are broad and strong and bloodthirsty.
my mouth —
my heart does not want to be a heart and i know
i have said this before but i am really just
waiting for someone else to come
and clear out my garden here
my hands do not want to be hands anymore
my lungs do not want to be lungs anymore
my eyes say, stars & stars & stars

strawberry yoghurt girl

the gendered body emerges
from the womb. it cries, it breathes,
jaundiced, destined to juxtapose
and tumble and graze. she says
oh my god, what a girl.
the glass tends the copy, he
brushes hair and grass back and
cannot stop smiling. he says
it’s summer soon, debate the
victory we have crawled over
this significant skin. these life-
changing lungs. this glittering
gem, unequalled. and now
after the weaning, things may
return to a new normalcy: back
to citalopram, the clean star of
yesterday, unfamiliar arms.
sickened by serendipity, likes to
shower in the morning, refuses
to eat anything except strawberry
yoghurt for weeks. a noise she
heard in the night is the baby
crying. that blank form filled
out by every new parent upon
birth: girl, sound and whole
girl, will marry a beautiful boy and
have beautiful clones pushed from
beneath her ribs girl. everything she
was or wasn’t, should have been.


here we are
standing very close to each other
but in fact very far away
like stars seen from my house.
here we are
our hands are almost touching
you are saying everything in exclamation marks
you are speaking liquid punctuation
i am saying i am sorry
this is too loud for me.
you are saying am i too loud for you?
i am saying no
(but only just).
i am saying can you please
cut my spine out of cardboard?
i think it would hold me up better.
i am saying please
please take what i am offering.

i found all my copper coins in the dishwasher

i write ectoplasmic kissing scenes and
substitute our names like a secret i am
the only one to know. i am standing at
the arcade penny-pushing but i have
run out of copper coins. out of all the
things i regret you are my favourite.

there’s a mathematical formula here
somewhere that i am missing. i thought
i put it in the dishwasher but there’s
nothing there, i just wanted to take out
the recycling and give you something of
mine that you will have to give back as
surety that this one won’t be the last.

the pavement is crawling along the
earth, i watch it moving very very very
slowly — i want to go back and check
the dishwasher again, to see if that god
damn answer can be found in the sink
or swim. so much of this weight doesn’t
even belong to me. this kitchen doesn’t
even belong to me. i want to put the
weight in the dishwasher, whiz it clean.

i want everybody to stop calling me a
girl. i am selling things for free, buying
air and internet spaces. i think i will only
eat on thursdays, i think i will only write
poems in these clothes right here. i think
i will eat myself up on thursday, until i am
just right. i think there are deities shivered
tiny and blessed in your wrists. out of all the
things i regret you are my favourite.

everyone is laughing because everything is amazing

we talk about empires as if they’re all gone now. those rise-and-fall dynasties, vast and toppling and vast again. look at all of this. look at this grass where you are not allowed to tread. look at this advert of a dog and a woman sponsored by coca cola and everyone is laughing because everything is amazing. look at these hands underwater and how long your fingers look even though they are small in real life. look at my long fingers even longer. let’s hold on, let’s hold on, let’s play frisbee, let’s not care. look at how much stock is put in real life. look at this sparrow that has died against the glass of my conservatory. look at this kestrel that has broken its wing against the glass of my conservatory at higher velocity and has crawled as far as the field behind my house. look, that’s just the truth of it. some people die and some people break their arms. look at us all dying at exactly the same speed. look at me writing poetry even though you hate poetry. look at us talking about empires as if they’re all gone now. look at me reading the iliad and laughing. look at you with your snapchat account. look at us holding hands. look at our hands underwater and how broken our fingers look even though they are whole in real life. look, the bathwater has grown tides. we were good enough for the moon. look at the empty word document. i was going to tell you about it but i didn’t. look, the bus fare is double what it used to be. isn’t that enough? i haven’t been into a philosophy classroom since i was twelve. isn’t that enough? i held hands with someone who wasn’t you by the weir and now look where i am. i broke my arm and they buried me and i got confused. a boy fell in love with me and maybe with you. people keep asking me if i know how to fix cars. maybe i’m dying a bit faster. maybe my skin is going yellow like old paper or miss havisham’s dress. maybe if i stain it with teabags people will stop asking about my university course. maybe i’m rusting over. maybe this empire is all gone now, but i don’t think so. i’m going to walk on the grass where the sign says please do not walk on the grass. i’m going to play frisbee on the grass. i’m going to kiss you on the grass. come on, come on, take your tablets, i love you. we can die a bit slower than everyone else if we don’t think about it. we can be kestrels as long as i am not your conservatory and you are not mine. we can crash a wedding. look at this coca cola advert on the television again. everyone is always watching friends. i don’t even like friends. let’s change the channel and invite the boy over to try and make him smile. let’s love him quietly because he deserves it. let’s live in the tidal bathwater and never leave. we are beautiful and everything else is terrible. let’s tell each other about our therapy appointments. let’s stop buying brand name cereal. let’s have a cat called entropy. let’s always have something to say. let’s stop talking. i’m trying to write a novel but i keep crying on my keyboard. let’s forget all that. let’s sit out on the trampoline and stay there forever. let’s drag the trampoline onto the grass where we are not allowed to tread and when they come to get us we will explain that we are not on the grass, we are on the trampoline. let’s stay still for weeks until the birds think we are trees and land on our shoulders. let’s be infallible. let’s forget to take off our skins before we sleep. let’s talk about empires as if they’re all gone now.