On Fire by grace mcgrade

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My sister says dreams are the same as real life, but much quicker. We think it's funny that people interpret dreams, but forget to interpret the symbols or characters in waking life.
Fire will always be a potent symbol for me, the symbol of regeneration, of ferocious passion and unforgiving change. Red and intense.  Having walked through it I have assimilated a healthy fear, and weariness in it's riveting ability to swallow things up into some unknown abyss. Bits of myself were swallowed by the same abyss that evening, perhaps my blissful naivety and trust in that which shouldn’t be trusted.

I wasn’t there, but I imagine it started silently. Searing and rising with a hushed urgency across my room. My room was a museum of memorabilia for my short twenty four years on this planet, anointed with totems of adulthood and declarations of individuation from my own broken home. Sometimes when you see the world in an intense and strange way, it is hard to imagine that you could belong or fit anywhere, but you try anyway. You suck it up, and try to guise your distaste in a world that makes people sick. You try and try, and inevitably you get there, with the help of some ethereal magic and sheer determination. That space was the notion that I could anchor in heaven. Fairy statuettes and angel wings. Clothes from simpler times. Tangible evidence that I could adequately be human. almost.


 I imagine it started silently, but ferociously, because I think that fire, above all things, possesses an intelligence unbenounced to twenty four year old girls. Even witches. Fire, like all elements, possesses a consciousness. An agenda. It is the creator and the destroyer. The element of transformation, of passion and will. It removes what is excess and reveals what needs to be revealed.  


It was burning white hot, like a starry virus, gliding across my furniture, mangling and distorting it's contents. Decades worth of love notes and photographs, clothes, feathers, crystals and books all engulfed with a quick hunger. The flowers I pinned to everything, sparking and converting. Drawings and journals that bore witness to the strange and nonsensical happenings of my life, devoured and fragmented into dust. Shoes that lead me through the scottish moors and letters that kept me alive. The fire blurred the edges of all of these things, melding and twisting them into each other. Illuminated, cackling and then suddenly rotten. Ending loudly, eager and furious, intent on transmuting and destroying.Devouring and wrenching smoke down the hallways, spewing streaks of darkness and carbon through the sky. Flames licking the ether with a malevolent determination. Disintegrating and searing into flakes of white ash, floating through the august air, immune to the panic and shock of inhabitants gazing up from the cement. A personal apocalypse. 


It opened my chest up with a searing white pain and broke my heart. I felt like a ghost, shattered and fragmented. Incapable of speech, revisiting the same experience in all of my dreams. It seared down inside of me with immersion and passion. Made me depart from my body, while bright red lights flashed above me, and fall to the sidewalk. It rapidly collapsed timelines of normalcy and calm. It made me softer. It made me stronger. Clearer. Sadder but wiser. 



In the days following, I watched the way people reacted to it from three feet above my body. Floating around hoping that the earth would open up and swallow me, not out of self pity, but exhaustion from living. The way people responded was more alarming than the fire itself, it made the hard ones strange and distorted, and the kind ones sweeter. It was like there was still smoke, a haze and airbourne fogginess that shifted from person to person, clouding judgement and circumstance. Some people displayed a tenderness and hospitality I thought to be the stuff of fairy tales. A miraculous kindness and love that conjured healing in places it did not normally exist. There were scarab beetles that circled my head and blue butterflies everywhere. More synchronicities in those three days than I have ever seen in my life, like I had entered an alternate timeline where crisis made sense. Holy conjurings of signs and coincidences that added an erie design to the whole event. 


Weeks later, I think about the crisis as if I were in that room, gliding with the fire, following it eat up my silk and wood and steel and asking each rising flame questions. Why. What next. Where does it all go. Where does all of it go. 


I don’t know if it is appropriate to think of crisis symbolically, but I’m hardly appropriate and 

always thinking symbolically- and to me this was spiritual. Like a terrible portal, it brought in newness rapidly. Exposed what needed to be seen. All trauma can be like that, a visceral narrowing of timelines, a reveal behind curtains. A change in location, an elevation and intimacy to all my relationships that were truthful, that buzzed with the frequency of honesty and empathy. Fire is not bad or good, it is neutral. Powerful, but neutral. It is our emotions attached to loss that assign meaning. Crisis is sacred, it is initiating, it is loud and revealing, it is the portal from one mentality to the next. It condenses and focuses your personal lense of what matters. It shows you what is real and what is false. There is a dissonance in knowing that I will never be able to look at certain things with the same blind naivety, but there is no room for self pity after the display of love and clarity that followed the events of that evening.
Life is hell and then ecstasy, and any pendulum swings in one direction guarantees the swing in the other.

by grace mcgrade

I hate that I run around in unspent dreams, and the flourescent light in supermarkets makes me feel sick. Sometimes I want to surround myself in green and look for you inside of me. I want to lay you on the summer grass and prance around you, spinning. I want to kiss your wounds and sing away your pain. To listen to the ocean inside your chest. To feel you rattle when you laugh. To intertwine like celtic knots, to fade into each other. I trust you with all of me, until the last star dies. It’s a sensual and intricate contract, ours.

Love Spell by grace mcgrade

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It was not love at first sight. 

It was soul recognition. A buzzing. 

We had to be two feet away from each other to notice at first. It was like remembering a song, once heard, impossible to forget. 


My soul throbs wildly for you, with a shining white longing. You put lightning bolts through my spine. You are a  libido awakening deity, an agent of holistic madness, a megaphone of epiphanies. Built of the Mediterranean, with olive skin and warm palms, and when you sweat you glisten, and smell like oranges and the sea. Your eyes speak of a remote cove in Greece, and tell stories of Gods and their angels, sent down to earth, battling human desire. That seems to be all you think about, a celestial battle of good and evil, of right and wrong.

When you look at me, it is always in an almost pained way, like you are straining to see something you can’t quite make out, or solving a puzzle with a missing piece. You are funny, with a full bellied laugh, that sends comets of sound around the room, that draws your whole body back and forth like a rocking horse, quaking. I love your laugh. 

I liked the way your fingers feel clasping the nape of my neck, the way you recount your dreams each morning, with the same animated expression. Full of wonder, and far too easy for me to interpret.

I want to be your mythology, an unmarked map, a dousing rod for your inner battles. I want you to study my body like uncharted territory, tracing my lines with delicate cartography. I am in love with your inner revolution. You are a rare jewel, a strange unearthed space thing, carrying distinct light fragments of perfect pain and rushing pleasure..shining into you from all sides. Your madness transports people with you. I want to swallow you. I want to be your cosmic experiment. Your avant garde home, your ecstatic adventure.  Your sweet, honeysuckle breath whispers god back into me. 

A Reminder In Trying Times by grace mcgrade

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Let me remind you who you truly are. You are an alchemist, turning all your wounds into fluidic light.

A temporary expression of human density, carved from fractals of kaleidoscopic light and fine woven gold. You are a mutant, an immortal, holistic vigilante.

Comprised of the stuff of stars and carrying the chic, worldly exuberance of important pain. 

You heal through mischief and the fabrication of dreams. 

You are a seance at the Madonna Inn.

You are a dictionary of nonsense words and a tapestry of surrealist mythical creatures.

Chorales of angels chant your name while you sleep. 

You have secret allies behind the veil.

 They laugh at all your jokes and clap for all your mistakes. 

Your world is opening up.

You are blooming and all of matter is calibrating in your favor.

You are a spectacular miracle, the most imperfectly perfect version of yourself to exist in all of time and all of space. You are the symbiotic intimacy of all moments, sounds and colors, vividly experiencing themselves. 

Your avatar is secondary to the cosmic, magnetic pull you carry. 

You are full of wonder, High on hope, hungry for the infinite, and it is looking for you. 

The giggles you make in rooms you leave behind, stay and linger and bounce across the walls like golden comets.

You are the gasping, delightful shock and abandon of a first orgasm.

You are the medium of the in-between, the mouth piece for the stars.

You are a paradoxical mythology, of gods and monsters and angels and loss. You are a festival of chaos and a church of bliss.


A List Of Irritating New Age Excuses by grace mcgrade

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A list of irritating New Age excuses I definitely have used :

I feel like you are projecting a family pattern on to me and I need to go

I’m sorry I can’t do tonight I’m feeling really very psychic

My sound bath went on for three hours

I left the shrooms in a past life pair of jeans

Saging for you! Sorry I can’t make it to the funeral!

I don’t want to see that movie, I don’t want to manifest that

My yoga teacher told me not to


My psychic told me not to

It’s because I’m a Leo

It’s because I’m an eighth house Leo

It’s because I’m an eighth house Leo combust Venus with a messiah complex

My higher self told me not to

My guides told me not to

I can’t have sex with you til I’ve given you reiki


I can’t have sex with you because I don’t want to quantumly entangle with your ancestors

My vagina is a portal and I don’t feel like you are prepared


The Devil is a Man Child With a God Shaped Hole by grace mcgrade

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I was fond of your darkness and perhaps sick for finding beauty in it, because I sought pleasure in the ability to connect the dots and empty parts of you like stars, an Ursa Major of intricacies, of pain and incomplete stories. Unresolution.  A melancholic absence sprawled out like an untouched, unfathomed puzzle. With delicate moments of light, gasps of understanding, clues of knowingness. And then darkness all around, encapsulating- seeking environments that made your insides match your outside, where I stood faint and misplaced, illuminated by dream. Dreams of potential. Dreams of too much knowing.

It exhausting being in knowing. It is even more exhausting trying to forget. I am the inbetween. I have made my home a corridor where I can greet each departing guest. Know too much? Time to forget? I love you. Know too little? Time to remember? I am with with you.


I can say the most, vile grotesque things imaginable when I’m angry.
And women shouldn’t get angry.
They should be soft, and contained and only whisper lovely things.
I am tempestuous and overflow with everything, with rage, with passion, with breath and breasts and love.
I am leaving and I am taking all of my magic with me. I have not shattered and I am not broken.

I want to say that you will never get to touch me again.
I imagine that the rest of your days you will have an unquenchable thirst, a strange tiredness that you cannot fully sleep off. It  drifts you down a reel of memories and words unsaid like libraries collapsing in on themselves. I want to say that every woman after me will be doused in my name. Soaked in my shadow. And you will become dreadfully bored. The thought of your missteps will keep you awake, becoming itch you cannot scratch, and the thing you must have left somewhere. And you, my darling, will be empty.

And I will be full.

I will be your most important pain.

But to say that would be vile and grotesque - and women,

women should never get angry.


My Gemini Moon by grace mcgrade

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I left bits of myself floating in the Scottish highlands, residing in clouds and groves of green right before dusk. In solitude but woven into everything.

The days of keeping people at arms distance as a means to protect me from the intensity of my own emotions are over. I did this countless times, with the words I did not say and the moves I could not make, because my heart was swollen, clenched like fist, clinging onto wounds I mistook for character.

Sometimes I get afraid that if I become someone’s resting place, it will interfere with my freedom, my desire to live based on intuition and spontaneity- without need for explanation. My need to be constantly reborn. To be treading on new terrain. To have secrets. To be wild.

I find myself torn between an insaccepable appetite for luxury and a simultaneous anarchist repulsion against it, wanting to be deeply spiritual and simultaneously delightfully inebriated and away from everything. I exist in polarity and paradox. I need as much spring air as I can get. I am hungry for irrefutable evidence of the impossible. Language feeds me, and I follow it, like an ethereal fog into the woods, endlessly seeking for the words not yet invented for feelings that still feel foreign.

I am trying to anchor in heaven, at a sick time, in a sick place.

I am eager for new kisses, not ones that are bitter or half full. No, they don’t have to feel like butterflies, or fireworks, but make them lasting. Burning. Searing new perspectives inside of me that sediment and consolidate in the deepest folds of soul.

Violently Alive by grace mcgrade

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I have had a sordid love affair with danger and intensity that was once a suitable refuge but now feels heavy. I have always been half crazy, at times cerebral, bewitching and heartless. Impulsive and non-linear. I am unpredictable and hard to capture, because that is how water and fire are; incapable of being held, never appearing the same twice. But I am getting to a place where I have accumulated enough self worth- not from anything that can be taken away, but from the intimacy I have with my own soul. It is from this place that I have lost the desire to be numb, or on the lip of some oblivion. In all the ways I used to want to escape the truth and run from reality, I now want to run towards it, and be immersed in it, and go deeper and deeper.

You are wine, dark wood and stone. Mahogany and rich. Familiar and infinite. Consoling. Sometimes seeping out onto your surroundings, with a peculiar, animal yet otherworldly magnetism. Bleeding on to me like a series of liquid transparencies. You are a creature of strange and mythological beauty. The child inside of me likes the child inside of you. All the things I am terrified to say to you, I whisper to the stars, in hope they will relay my quiet messages.