Poetry | My life as an artist

I lost sleep last night—so tired my head is a potato. My life was always art, but work made it dirt.

Is life always dirt? I lost my night working potatoes. A tired head, but my last sleep was art.

My part is in. A new bearing from which thick plants bud. Much depression arises from the underground.

I’m chasing versions of me through alleyways in search of a thought. A furtive heart. A tuber in the dark.

My, so much potato. But I made it art last night. Is life always tired? Night is lost sleep. My head-work was dirt.

My depression is a much-thickened underground part bearing buds from which new plants arise.

Lost my work last night, my life was dirt. My head is but a tired potato. Sleep is a lost art.

Which plants bear the buds from the underground? My depression is thick.

Growth is spoiled. And what of labour? I don’t do work—I hold the hands. Help in my harvest. It’s my soil. Me, I know what I am on to. Please.

A dark thought in a tuber: I am in an alleyway chasing furtive versions of my heart. Search through me.

Hold on—don’t harvest my labour! I help the growth of the soil and I know it’s working. I am the spoils. Please me. My hands know what to do.

I am chasing versions of me in dark alleyways in search of a furtive thought. A tuber for a heart.

I am working on my growth, its harvest, my hands in the soil. Please, help me. I hold the spoils of my labour, and I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do,
I don’t know what to do, and I don’t know how to live with it.


Holly Isemonger

Holly has been published in Cordite, Shabby Doll House and Voiceworks. She is the author of the chapbook Hip Shifts (If A Leaf Falls Press) and Deluxe Paperweight(Stale Objects dePress) . She can be found at hisemonger.tumblr.com and tweets @hisemonger.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Related articles & Essays