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Luisa Avia
New Zealand

Four Steps To Standing on a Horse - Penny Howard - 2014
Luisa Avia, 22 years old, residing in Wellington New Zealand. Student at Victoria University. Lover of the written word.

Silent Noise

Her mind screamed at a deafening pitch.
Externally, the silence mocked her.
Silent stares followed her, occasionally sympathetic.
Her entrance silenced the loudest room.
Her exit brought hushed whispers.

Complete silence on the outside, hell on the inside.
She tried to still the voices in her mind.
They gave her no rest.

An idea sprung amidst the noise.
Switch it off, both the silence and noise.
One thousand voices urged her on, she hesitated.
Waited for someone to break the silence, stop her.
Expectant that one would.
They didn’t.


You have a 2cm scar just above your hip-bone,
Your voice raises an octave when you lie,
You can’t fall asleep unless it’s completely dark,
Your eyes water when you’re angry, but never when you’re sad.

You use up all the shampoo,
You hate talking on the phone to strangers,
You talk a lot when you’re tired,
You like eating breakfast food at dinner-time.

You take your coffee black, no sugar,
You always listen to music,
You enjoy watching crime shows on television,
Your lips are incredibly soft.

You have dark hair,
Your eyes are green, I think,
You are quite tall,
You have a kind smile.

Who are you?

Happiness, for sale

I love to read,
I love to write, I said.
Reading is for leisure, they replied. You’ll need to get a real job.
Your writing is nice, they remarked kindly. But, it won’t sell.
That’s fine, I said. I love reading and writing, just for me.
I don’t care about money, it makes me happy.
They laughed at my pathetic innocence
You need money. Money will make you happy.
Reading and writing won’t give you any success.
Working hard will! It will give you lots of money!

Okay, I replied, a little unsure.
But what do I do?
Work hard, study harder, perhaps economics or medicine?
That will give you a good job. A good job means a stable life and success.
And you know what that means - happiness!
But… I’m not interested in economics and I’m no good at science.
They won’t make me happy?
Thank you for your offer but I’m fine. I’m happy right now.
Their faces hardened ever so slightly.
Unfortunately you don’t have an option, they said.
But don’t worry you’ll be happy!
You’ll be able to buy beautiful things!
Nice clothes, a nice car, and one day a nice house!
Then you’ll be truly happy.

Confused, I wondered how you could love a house,
Or how nice clothes could make me happy.
But they seemed so sure, and I didn’t have a choice.
So I did what they said.
I worked and worked and studied. I got a good job.
I earned lots of money.
I bought clothes and a car, a house and even a yacht.
And all the while, I waited.
I waited and waited.
For happiness to come.
They had promised.
They had promised this would make me happy.

Their perfection, my prison.

A spirit trapped,
Held down by constructs,
we enforce.
Limitations deemed necessary,
crushing, conforming.

Caged emotion,
flightless bird.
Buried fear.
Insanity, we despise.

meaning removed.
Relentless pursuit,
life lost.
Blind us,
bury all truth.

Surface fantasy,
horror scene.
Spit it out,