Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Cate Billing

"The voices in my head"

I don't tell you how I feel anymore
You used to listen, nod, care...

Now it feels like you're storing the information
Biding your time



Waiting to use it
When my body aches like my heart
When the only constant I can sense is tiredness
When the voices in my head scream the loudest
That's when it comes...

"All you ever do is think of yourself...
All you ever do is complain.
You're not the only one tired.
Everyone gets depressed.
Why can't you see it?
Why must you be so selfish?
Why can't you think of me for once?"

All I do is think of you
Think of the hell that being with me must be
Think you need sunshine and not constant rain
Think how you should be free from my sadness

I don't tell you how I feel anymore...


TSTmpj:  Of course, while not saying that the "I" in the poem is you in real life, this is a poem that reads as in the Confessional tradition.  Have you read Sylvia Plath?  How does it feel for you to open these sorts of imaginings of yours to the world in this way, through publication?

Cate Billing:  I haven't read any Plath beyond quotes.  I've read about her battle with depression and can resonate with that.  At the moment I am reading Janet Frame The Goose Bath Poems.  She discusses her sense of being disenfranchised in many of her pieces.  "The voices in my head" is an attempt to describe how alienated I feel when the Black Dog Howls.


TSTmpj:  The heavy notes of the repetitions are very effective.  In our darker moments we often feel we are repeatedly banging our heads against walls, and that is the sense I have here.  What is the way out of such situations in real life, for you?

Cate Billing:  When life gets too much I spend time writing the thoughts out.

I experimented with repetition in "Voice" for the first time.  I wrote it to be read aloud.   The repetition and the pauses, along with the use of emotive language, allowed me to work through some things I was going through at the time.  It works well as a performance piece but doesn't seem to lose anything in the "flat form".


TSTmpj:  Relationships are complex, always.  What do you feel the next poem you write may be about, and what tone might it possibly strike?

Cate Billing:  I don't know what my next piece will be.  It depends where the muse takes me.

Bio Note

Cate Billing has been writing since she could form letters.  She’s currently a stay at home parent indulging her writing passion.

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