is a master of character studies. tats2's work is always technically masterful, but also gives us a brief glimpse of a unique, intriguing personality. Wandering past the faces and figures in her gallery always leaves me happily waiting for her next creation.
espresses such profound emotion with her entrancing literary works that it's easy to overlook the similar depth of expression in her photography. Her words come from a private, sacred place in her soul. After reading RosaryOfSighsx literature, we realize we've seen something real and true and frequently heartbreaking. She proudly and unashamedly shows the world that a person is more than their illness, but is rather, a beautiful sum of many parts. A visit to her gallery is pure enjoyment, though it will likely also leave you shaken and looking for a box of tissue.
VisitsHollow black-hole eyes and arms filled
to the brim with primitive home-job tattoos.
a tear inscribed under his eye
tells of time behind
and time spent inside seedy taverns killing brain cells
forgetting the days
behind the darker bars,
the other cells
littered with tally marks on walls.
'HATE' is inked into the fists that led him to
other hardened fists met incarcerated.
hate breeding hate breeding regret
leading to bleeding out onto cement.
hard time brewing
moonshine under beds
slept with one eye open.
he flicks his cigarette onto the dirt under the house
tally-ho is the only tally he wants in his hands now.
It creeps under his fingernails and stains them yellow
instead of red.
Jamie scrubs at his dust-covered feet,
rail thin with the sweet smell of
marijuana that hangs
heavy over them -
His eyes run brazenly over my body
as he tells me of the guns he owned before police raids on his home,
his run-ins with the law.
"I'm on parole. Been in
The Doppelganger DeathIf I am dead, throw me to the sea
and let me sink.
My bones are soft where you have dug up the remains of drugs
waking in the marrow
and I don't know which part of my brain
is me anymore,
amongst all of those dying ships
and side effects.
those ill-begotten attempts at flying
and the sadness of swallowing
pills for photosynthesis.
I wish I was a tree
and you were the square root solution
anchoring me to the earth
in the tumult.
There are unclean words resting there,
gritty and pregnant with the promise of rain.
I fill my pockets with your gasps
and there are oceans of regret between us.
You like to see yourself in the words I speak
and the empty scripts waiting for a signature.
But when we run and hurl ourselves into the sea
and drink malt whiskey in an August downpour
telling each other our hearts are sunken
I notice nothing.
You're not me anymore.
I'm burying you underwater with three spades
and a red ace of hearts.
My sermon is a renegade of I-promise-I'll-forget-you.
Suicides Learning To SpeakIt’s 6 a.m. A girl is beginning the journey back from Oz, anchored to life by the whirr and beep of machines and tubes. Above her emaciated body, nurses pace, write on clipboards, click their heels and purse their lips. She is oblivious. Her mind drifts in freefall, stuck in an eggshell skull wrapped in nasal gastric tubing and an oxygen pipe forced down her throat like a synthetic umbilical cord. Somewhere, neurotransmitters are sewing themselves back into conscious awareness. There is a person lost somewhere in that body. There is a mind overboard in a black sea, sending up a flare. The nurses are afraid that she will stay in there forever. A family jostles at the side of the bed in the cramped, generic hospital room. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men… I don’t need ruby shoes to find my way home. My name is Ruby, the nurses click their heels and my family makes the wish.
I’m finding my way back to consciousness through the sound
Stories From the Psych Ward (1 of 3)It's 2a.m. and I can hear the nurses' footsteps down the corridors,
with pools of light streaming out of their torches like car headlights in the rain.
Tonight is long and lonely, and voices wash over me in the dark.
Night checks, and rays of light pour over the sleepy shadowed forms of us,
into our eyes. Each black silhouette,
the shape of a patient in the middle of a dream.
I can feel insects crawling under my hands
but I can never dig them out.
Early morning cups of sweet black tea bring
a sense of comfort and normality to being an
involuntary psychiatric patient locked up in solitary.
Sleepless nights lying with outward eyes
at the disembodied hands pushing through the ceiling.
I curl around myself and wish I could disappear.
My hands are red and raw from trying to scratch
out the bugs that crawl underneath. I try to show
the insects to the staff, but none of the nurses believe.
One of the humanless spirits holds my spine
while the disembodied voices whisper "stay as low as you can
Stories From the Psych Ward (2 of 3)I'm so cold I feel it down to the bones,
sitting in the dining hall trembling
over my cup of tea. A huge Christmas
tree twinkles merrily beside me in red, blue, silver, pink and gold.
Patients huddle together outside to talk,
but I'm forbidden to join them,
trapped inside the ward on a category four.
They're all strangers to me, I've spoken to no one.
Smoking their cigarettes in faded pajamas,
looking tired and worn down,
lips twisting into smiles as the smoke
curls down into their lungs.
Nurses find me hiding from evil spirits in the cupboard.
They let me stay inside, safe until the panic stops and
the shadows disappear, give me blankets
to stay warm, until they take me by the hand and lead me out.
Two psychiatrists come to speak with me
While insects pour from my lips
And satellites speak of the death of stars
The voices scream at me
But I talk.
They want me to trust them
They want me to stay alive.
A nurse takes six canisters of my blood,
a deep frothy red. It pours out of my