Emma Magenta



You can weep for 6 years and not even know you’re doing it

Hidden underneath layers of obligation

Yes I can do that 

Sure I’ll be there

What would you like for dinner?


Remember the moment of vulnerability

Fearing forever being alone, maybe it was that?

Or maybe it was the thrill of feeling fire in the belly

I surrendered with a false flag called hope

in the possibility beyond love’s beautiful beginnings.


All the compromises we make out of fear

Just to be loved

Not walk the path alone

Or feel it as a weakness to want another

To please, replace the missing me


I loathe the eye in me

that saw through this mirage

That saw my human me

and not the realised god-self

Sure, we all want love’s beginnings

but are we brave enough for love’s endings?


My error, in short, was this:

mistaking everyone I’ve ever loved for what I’m searching for.





You are made up of everyone you’ve loved

They live inside your capillaries

Ride your blood river

in tiny canoes

made up of forgotten wood

and discarded memories.


You notice them sometimes

when the canoe attempts the impossible

traversing through the aorta

that epicenter

of blood and feeling.


It rides rough rapids

of turmoil

and regret

Sometimes, longing

that terrible longing

the most wretched rapid of all.


When your skin itches

that is them expanding

and contracting

touching your epidermis

a reminder that they’re still alive

forever a part of you


We made up of everyone we’ve ever loved






I’m lost without you. Did I mention that

I scrape my brain cells that hold the memory of you

the way you remove dead flesh from a heel

I keep the skin cells in tiny glass jars

like portable museums.


I carry them everywhere for emergencies

Opening them up at dinner parties

while the normals argue over the cooking method of a spatchcock.


I pull you out from my secret purse

hidden under socially self-conscious tables

I roll your flesh in my hands until you’re real again

while nodding in agreement that yes

thyme and Lemon Jus is a wise choice for a side.


It’s a stupid ritual really

One that only serves to widen the divide between me

and that big chance Buddha moment:

be fucking present


That noble pursuit

Always dull and motionless in your absence

like a train station in those quiet despair hours

between 11 pm and tomorrow.


By the way, if you see a girl running that’s me

and I assure you

it will be from this chance for godhood

what all those new-agers bang on about

the now


That cruel catch-phrase forcing focus

on critical choices made on a whim

all of them now regrettably dumb.


My heart’s a cowboy

too foolhardy with the lasso

that hip gun too

always going off

each time you’re not in view.


Did I tell you,  I’m lost without you?




There is this hell inside me where the flames are mesmerising

its shape fits your outline

that grows and shrinks every time you walk in, walk out.

Tell you what,

I’ll be the empty house and you be the ghost.

I’ll keep my favourite illusions about us in tiny glass jars

like portable mausoleums.


What do you want for dinner?

I'm leaving you

Shall we watch The 7:30 Report?

You'll never see me again

I've made your favourite dessert

You can keep the house.


The funny trajectory of feelings.

They rise up, you take note

they fall away

but, some don't fall away

becoming embedded in your bloodstream

and there's my only enemy right there

inside me

and no matter how much I vacuum the cracks in the floor of my adult house

my childhood just doesn’t change but, maybe

just maybe if I do everything the opposite way I was taught

I might survive.

I thought you were the face of that new way,  

my very own swashbuckling hero.

After awhile though, getting your hopes up

becomes an extreme sport in itself.


If only I knew this:

the best way to keep our romance alive is never getting to know each other.

Refunds for emotional disappointment should be a thing
and weddings should happen under water,
the suffocating non-air can break you in for your future.

You’re working back again? What’s her name?


You know, there’s a freedom that comes with being forgotten.

I can relax and become a mountain again,

free of perfecting myself

just trying to outshine all your golden girls

competing for the crown in your secret world.


I would cry about it,

but I bought 80 pairs of shoes instead,

It will show up on your bank statement.






It’s completely ok to have paper thin feelings

they are a sign that you are connected to everything

and you should never toughen up.


They are brittle ghost sculptures

like a once spectacular spider’s web

now dangling in the breeze, on your porch

the intricacy of all the connecting parts

made senseless by a broken thread

a careless gesture of a human hand

or deliberate, perhaps

in haste to get somewhere by 9 am

that all night effort destroyed in a breath

trampled on by imaginary urgency

of progress, a deadline

profit over humans

those paper thin feelings are what remains

but don’t worry.


The fragile things will one day be the strongest

and the things that are destroyed

will be reborn.


Kneel before the invisible

and you will see the truth of things for the first time

our paper thin feelings are like nature

they will always reinvent themselves

like the web

the toil of the exhausted spider

they will be remade over and over

until our favourite idea of ourselves

is broken, dangling in the breeze

and all that remains is tenderness.

Emma Magenta is an Australian artist, writer, and filmmaker who began her career drawing and writing her thoughts/feelings down on the brown paper book bags and pinning them to the wall in Berkelouw Bookshop where she worked for 10 years. She was offered an international book deal at the front desk and has published 7 books, a SXSW nominated multi-platform animation series and book for The ABC, a TEDX talk "Understanding The Human Heart" and wrote/directed her first AACTA nominated live action short film "Remembering Agatha". Emma is also an exhibiting artist. Website: www.emmamagenta.com 

Twitter: @BrainPornNinja