the self-hypnotist


“…. you are slowly going into a state of deep relaxation. Slowly and surely, your entire body and mind are relaxing, relaxing, relaxing. you are going deeper and deeper and deeper, into a state of deep relaxation. each and every muscle of your body is now relaxing. everything is so peaceful and quiet. now, counting backwards from 10, you will descend a small staircase….  10…. 9…. 8………………..5……………….. …………. ………………..”

the voice of the self-hypnotist tails off into the night. a new night. a new year.  the voice, now distant, fades into obscurity. into oblivion.

i lie in the dim of my chamber with the weight of the night, and gravity of the new year, pressing upon me. my mind is swirling in the crush and chaos, like Betelgeuse, on the verge of explosion.  i can feel the night creep in and saturate the familiarity of my furnishings and turning them into oddities and unrecognisable shapes.  all is quiet. the flickering street light, right outside my window, casts shadows across the walls and ceiling; just as my mind casts aspersions as to what this new year, 2017, will bring.  this new year is barely four hours old and already i am judging her and making assumptions.

[why do we do that?]

it is these early hours of a new year that bring a manic panic and wild sense of urgency.

[calm… focus on that voice, Kathryn…]

 through my open window, i see that the stars are still in their correct places – no need for adjustment; the sea continues to roll in and out just as it did in the old year. another night of constant tides, and glad tidings. the still and almost silent night is punctuated by the odd yelp or peal of laughter from drunks as they stagger home like the walking wounded… or the waking dead.  the last of the NYE party people.  all i can hear now is the gentle hum of distant traffic, the drone of the self-hypnotist’s voice and the yelp of an urban fox.  the blackness of the sky, like a shark’s eye, is murky in my blindness.  the walls of this chamber are illuminated by that lonely failing street lamp outside, casting sparks like a beacon of hope for the lost, the lonely and the fucked up.

Alf, my cat lies, sprawled by my side, on his back with his furry flank exposed in complete trust.  on occasion, he stretches out his paw and pads gently at my hand. no claws. just a tender acknowledgement of our mutual affection.  i lean in and kiss his stomach. he does not flinch nor fight.  he just sighs, softly.  in this light, he looks as though he may be smiling.

i lay back beneath the blanket of night and close my eyes.


there is no colour in the desert. no colour and no sun.  only a clock, where the sun once hung, high in a sky that once was blue.  now everything is monochrome.

with hands on hips, parched lips and bare feet, i look around me. the air is strange.  where am i?  am i still on Earth? the soft, warm breeze whips up a fine salty dust and carries it across the desert valley floor.  the sky is vast and humbling.  large white clouds billow and gather pace.  the breeze sucks them together.  i watch, in awe, as they amass and form a canopy up and beyond me.  why there is no colour is beyond me.  the sky is black.  the clouds continue to change shape and quicken, as if to summon uncertainty.  this reality is in time-lapse.  everything is moving fast, it is only i who remains still.  the clock’s long arms and broken hands spin around and around and around, faster, faster, faster… day becomes night becomes day.  clouds continue to feed my imagination with the flight of dragon-like formations.  what does this mean?   and i am thirsty.  i am so thirsty.

dawn breaks and the clock disappears.  a new sun begins to rise, feverish, in a purple sky.  in time-lapse, shadows lengthen and spread across the desert floor.  i feel the sun warm my skin and realise i am more than thirsty.

for water?

or knowledge?

with this new sun, comes a new dimension.  i look to my right and there is an office. an office with a door but no walls; an office with a desk and chair, a chaise-longue and standard lamp, but no ceiling. on the desk there is an aspidistra, a tall glass of water and a notepad and pencil.  they are placed in position, with near poetic precision, by a wiry and bent old man in a dark grey polyester suit.  his hair is wild; long and grey and his beard is unfurled before him, like a long and winding road.  sensing my presence, he turns to me and fixes himself, pulling down his sleeves, straightening his tie and hurriedly brushing off one or two loose hairs and specks of dandruff from his sloping shoulders.

standing upright,  i see that he is a tall and thin man with a large bony nose and sunken cheekbones.  his round steel-framed spectacles hang off the end of his nose. the lenses are thick yellow and make his eyes look cartoon-like and massively oversized for his gaunt face.  he beckons to me, and gestures to me to recline on the brown chaise-longue.  and so, i do…

the man takes the glass of water and drinks it all down.  my lips are parched and i feel dry.  thirsty.  for water, and for knowledge?  but what of that?

he tells me to look up at the hole in the sky. i relax in the chaise-longue, nestling into its comfort and warmth, and look up at the sky.  he is correct. there is a hole in the sky.  a small puncture wound. i focus on its torn edges as if it were ragged wallpaper and begin to imagine what i would see if i were to continue peeling it away.  what would i expose?  what would i find behind this beautiful illusion.

the man stands over me. he smells like paper.  he then, silently, anoints my forehead with oil, fragrant like turquoise.  i feel myself levitate. his fingers connect with my soul and i feel a stream of information ‘download’ from his fingertips through my pineal gland and down into my solar plexus.

i feel tethered to his knowledge and yet, strangely, free.  suddenly, i am no longer thirsty and i find myself crying at the beauty and simplicity of it all.

he tells me all about the birth of the universe. he explains the many paradoxes and paradigms that have both puzzled and defined us.  he tells me all the secrets: he shows me star maps, new colours, code… he tells me the truth about ‘God’.  he explains the matrices of our existence, and our co-existences in the universes of our past, present and future lives.  he explains why. he explains how.

he instructs me not to tell anyone about what he has shared with me.  there are many forces in existence, he tells me.

he tells me there is much to learn.

he tells me that the human race will not be on this earth in 500 years.

the old man then, taking my hands, leads me into a mirrored-glass pyramid.  inside, he claps his hands, like a flamenco dancer, and a holographic screen appears. immediately, it scrolls through hundreds of names of other human beings, from all over the world.  it is a barrage of information. hundreds of faces flash before my eyes.  instantly i look for familiar faces… my own face, my lover’s face, my mother, my friends…

the old man stands in front of me, commanding my full attention and tells me that in exchange for my newfound knowledge i must make an offering.

as the names of these humans scroll across thin air in front of me, he tells me that i must select 5 human beings to die.

take your time, he says.  choose wisely

the urgency in his voice, stokes my morbid curiosity and i ask him why.

why?  i say, as i scroll through the names and faces of many, many humans. ordinary humans, with ordinary lives.

you will not know any of these people, he says, but choose carefully as these people are all, to some degree, intrinsic to your very own existence.  what fate you decide for them will shape who you are today, tomorrow and who you were yesterday… choose wisely, or you may cease to exist.


the human mind is an unfathomable entity but i guess the lesson here, in this dream, is: while it is great to have a thirst for knowledge, know this: with great knowledge comes great responsibility.


(c) Kat McDonald 2017

i awoke from this lucid dream wishing i could recall the secrets i was told.  it was all too real, but perhaps i am not ready…  perhaps we humans are not ready to know the absolute truth…





associative disassociation dissociation disorder

3d concept illustration of a candy bag

a 3d misconception of life

sunshine and Aretha Franklin. must be Friday. a sanctuary. a day.

reject. eject.

i wonder about the long-haired hitch-hiker at the side of the road, resting his thumbs upon the biggest blue backpack i have ever seen. he wants to be free of this small Scottish seaside town. what makes him happy?

yellow jackets terrorise the kids. ganging up, in swarms of thirty-three to three. they want their sugar lips and stickiness.

Siamese twins stand, holding hands, on an island in the slum and slump themselves down. dual-despondence. real or illusion?

a grey-haired old lady serves hot soup from the street corner. her dirty fingernails in filthy and frayed finger-less mitts do not repulse the starving and the cold.

meanwhile, a young-girl pirouettes on blades in an ice arena nearby. the spray of cold ice rains down upon the young-boy watching in awe of her breasts and the arc of her back. wake up.

Rod Stewart tells Maggie to wake up. i have indigestion.

a young Asian boy on a red bike stops to rescue a red kite, caught in a tree. to set it free. ’tis all he wants.

the sign says ‘get in lane, Lois’. i do my best, but my patience is thread-bare. this is not real.

i can taste paper. eh?

smoker, or vaper? popcorn lung anyone? ‘you can’t do that here, mate’ says the driver. ‘how no?’ replies the man.

‘how no?’ – what the fuck does that even mean?

and a-round-a-bout we go.

green trees spark a thirst for green tea.
free parking. and yes… it’s true…
somewhere, a dog is barking…

white sky. why? windscreen and wounded fly.

for sale. my reflection, pale. the image should fetch $7. you wait and see.

Chinese banquet or dance with a prophet? don’t decide now. you get a free 14-day trial. no credit card details required.

and it is pretty here. in this hand-stitched field of daisies. this is the prettiest blanket.

discovery and shadows, blind. “taxi to Golf City?” no thank you.

a great white shark for the amusement park. her hunger and crescent-shaped tail prevail. she will cut you in two as soon as look at you.

weightless or weight loss. trim the fat.

scrambled brain from Scrabble game. i see Little Miss Muffet has a new friend.

tuning fork or fork in the road. left or right? flat or sharp?

colourful flumes dip and curl from a great height into the cold grey sea, the same sea that many have written about before me.

weak bridge. is it really weak or is it just tired, like me. my week is tiring.

ballet dancers spin in the brickyard and children paint green hearts on the gable end. a smile can disable, disarm. still, the satellite receivers twitch and turn.

i see a rose tattoo on an ample breast. “enough kindness to feed the world” she says.

a mini market pops up in the Land of Churches, whose spires aspire to greater things as the Garden of Eden swings, despite the rust and much mistrust. do you want or need what i am selling? either way, don’t sell your soul or sell out.

scaffold and cemetery flank my path. hope on one side and faith on the other.

i follow the white arrows through the Parish and take the ladder to the sky.

i watch the blue whale in the biggest blue polyester shell suit take to running and the myocardial risk of running a-ground. from bulging seams it seems like this one takes too kindly to the generous offer of mini-marts and TV ads of fizzy sodas at 99c a can. aspartame-based sugar-coated toxin. you in? you want one? maybe a pack of six?

sugar beats, sugar treats, sugar kiss, sugar kill.
and sugar will. wait and see.

there is a new Academy for new minds. am i too optimistic? can we farm a change?

the falcons hide. nowhere to be seen, despite the signs.

slabbing… this way (the arrow points to the left). is there a right way? i guess there is. what of this?

pressing on, i zip through the fields of Beautiful Fife.

i am now east of the wemyss. a town where the wheelie-bins talk. they talk about a revolution and their revolt for our failed devolution, our desperate attempt at evolution. they gather on the pavements, in their cabals and cliques. they are gossiping, chattering and clap-trapping. they are full of shit.

a man struggles with an umbrella by the side of the road but the traffic is under control. the X-men are not in service but the roses are… they climb and clamor, pretty and pink and narcissistic.

a shed with a sea view, as mythical creatures guard the entrance. mysterious.

the sky is a queer dark shade of white, i spot wild garlic growing in the hedge and my mind turns to Erik Weihenmayer; the blind man who climbed Mt Everest.
do i feel inspired or like an abject failure. i am so tired i could barely climb the thirty-nine steps that John speaks of.

what can i say? my week leaves me weak. but it is Friday. a green light.

a green light shines in the hanging garden of this Town of Gallows. a space where people scurry, with furrowed brows they flurry; their dreams pruned and pinned upon the Great British Pound and price of this Lotto life. scratch their cards to scratch their itch. enough rope to hang themselves.

i look across the sea to Rossyln.

i see the bridges. a third now across the Forth. build or burn?

it’s your turn. my mind wonders. my mind wanders.

“tuck in” says the fat monk, or Jolly Friar. jolly fryer. take your cupcakes and deep-fried pies, your nutritional myths and sugar-coated lies. stick them in the lard. drip feed the dripping. your diabetes crippling? not yet. but it will. quick! take a diet pill.

take a look. in the mirror.

breeze blocks of opportunity? cheap but offer no impunity.

i disappear beneath the bridge
and sunbathe upon the rail tracks.

(c) Kat McDonald 2016

– ramblings borne of the delirium & frustrations of trying to make the world a better place.

my hands had grown back…


it was a quiet time. a time where the only sounds are the sounds of my breath and the gentle tinkle of a wind chime in the next room, as a brisk sea breeze trickles in through the open window and tickles its delicate copper pipes. it was a time of late afternoon calm. it was unexpected and unwanted.

at first, i could not believe what i was seeing. the colours… the jagged outline.  a wild surprise.  a hallucinogenic reprise…?  it followed my gaze.  everywhere i looked, it was all i could see.  was i seeing things?  i placed a cool palm over my right eye.  i could still see it.  i placed a cool palm over my left eye.  again, i could still see it.  this wasn’t retinal. this was ocular.

no pain. only colours.  colours and jagged shapes.  with every blink it danced.  it flitted and flirted with me, as it danced across the room, across my screen, across my bare white emulsioned wall, redecorating my room like a psychedelic DMT-infused 1970s wallpaper.

with each blink, the jagged shapes grew and grew and grew.  within 15 minutes i could barely see my previous reality.  everything had been swallowed by this strange morphing organism before my eyes.  no guitar, no walls, no cool palm across my eye. this thing had swallowed everything. maybe it would devour me too, or turn me inside out. but i was not afraid.

i had seen it before. seven years ago.

in my relaxed, yet curious, state, i ventured outside into the April sunshine. the sky looked terrifying, but beautiful. birds would fly into its jagged mouth and disappear. buildings disappeared. trees disappeared. everything i looked at seemed to disappear. even my own hands disappeared.

i returned to the cool shade of my apartment. i could not see the front door, but i knew it had to exist as i had, merely moments before, exited from it. i stepped in through the jagged fray and into my bedroom, closed the blinds and kicked off my boots. they too vanished, into the jagged clutches of this strangely beguiling entity. i stripped naked and threw my clothes into its hungry jaws.

naked, i fumbled and felt my way to the kitchen for a glass of water. the floor seemed to fall away with each step. i then stumbled through to the cool sanctuary of my bedroom where i slipped beneath the duvet and closed my eyes. the smell and feel of freshly laundered cotton felt incredible against my skin. i lay down in the darkened room, a perfect calm. the twisted jagged rainbows continued to morph and move around, dancing behind my shut eyes, like strange protoplasm.

hypnotised by its beauty, i fell asleep.

one hour later, i awoke to discover the entity had gone… perhaps it had folded in on itself. perhaps it had devoured itself. perhaps…

my clothes lay jumbled on the bedroom floor. one boot was in the hallway, the other beneath my bed. everything looked spat out, but dry.

my hands had grown back.

i opened the blinds.

i could see.

i could see.

i could see.

(c) Kat McDonald 2016

– ever had an ocular migraine? there is no pain. i am no stranger to migraines and they can be debilitating. ocular migraines? i’ve had three. this was the third and most spectacular. as beautiful as they are, they are not something i want to see again any time soon… if you have not had an ocular migraine before, do not panic. they only last 30-45 mins. there is no pain. but if they persist, seek medical attention.

did i take the yellow pill, or the pink?



a harlequin bows to greets me, backstage. with one graceful and balletic movement, he offers me his gloved right hand. a hand with six fingers. i take his hand, and let him lead me down a violet-scented corridor with forty doors into the deepest realm of my subconscious.

where the fuck am i?

the air is fragrant and warm on my bare legs, as i am wearing nothing but a simple white shirt. my breath echoes around the cathedral vaults of my mind. in the temporal lobe, a blue ginger candle burns bright; its tiny flame licks itself clean, casting off enormous and wondrous shadows across the triforium of my inner vision, a stained-glass gallery of memories – old and new.

in the centre, there lies a bed. a bed adorned with silky smooth chocolate sheets. i slip into its creamy coolness. the harlequin whispers:

“this is where i leave you… what happens now is your doing.” as he hands me an emerald ring.

he takes four steps back, bows, without averting his gaze, and disappears into the inky darkness.


the emerald ring burns as bright and exquisite as fire in zero gravity.  i watch, in shock and awe, as it melts into the skin.  lying on my back, gazing up at the ornate ceiling, it is then i remember…  the ceiling depicts enchanting scenes of woodland creatures, like the wallpaper i had in the bedroom of my childhood. exactly like that. i am captivated.

all of my six senses spin out of control as my mind pixelates and begins to break apart, crumbling. it is quite humbling.  i am a fractal; spiralling out of control but the sensations are beautiful.  i close my eyes and drift in arms of the Chaos. Chaos is my mother.

oh mother. i came from inside you.  her voice, soft and low, is soothing. she is manic. she tells me how she never enjoyed sex.  i am confused. how did i come to be, if not borne out of ecstasy?  heavy and shaken, i awaken.

the unmistakable feeling of fresh air on my face stirs me from my bleak reverie and i find myself, in a white linen bed, upon an Alpine mountainside. the air is white. i feel light as light. there are four goats, standing, staring at me. they are chewing, ruminating on something… i stare back. the black goat, with large twisted horns, speaks to me:

“you seek answers” he bleats. “you are inside you…”


with a jolt i find myself on the ceiling of a round chamber, looking down at a pack of wild painted dogs. they scavenge and scrape. they wait for me to fall so they can pull me apart and feast on bone and gristle. they whimper and simper. their mouths, foaming. their teeth, bared. snarling, their eyes burn into me.

a beautiful young boy, of eleven years, walks into the room through the wall and picks up a red violin. he begins to play. the wild painted dogs become placid, docile; turning and turning twice before settling down. the music is beguiling and i find myself dancing.

the harlequin reappears and throws me a ball of fire. i catch it in my left hand and rub my palms together.  with two fingers, i smear the ash and grease across my face, like war paint. i am wild, like those painted dogs. he throws me another. the flames cannot hurt me because i am a child of fire. Inferno is my father.


punch-drunk and bewildered, like a wildebeast with a lionness upon its back with her mouth clamped on the jugular, i clutch my throat. i am bleeding. i have been bitten. smitten with eternal life. who is this beautiful creature, in turquoise velvet? i have been turned and returned to this strange and promised land. he holds me, in the palm of his hand. he is fair and fey. i look into the galaxies of his turquoise eyes and see my own reflection. my throat is cut. the blood flows. a thick, red gloopy wine.

did i take the yellow pill, or the pink?

i frantically chase that memory but it flickers and rolls into the static, like an image on an old cathode ray television set, blinking and on the brink of its own obsoletion.

my mind is awash with bizarre and bric-a-brac.

the violinist suddenly stops playing. he lays down his red violin and tells to me to:

“run: the wild dogs will smell the blood.”

and so, i run.

i run into a beautiful emerald-green ocean, disappearing beneath the ninth wave… returning to my self.

image & words (c) Kat McDonald 2016

– the mind is a wonderful entity.

why are there two moons in the sky tonight?

so… i lie in the dark and wait for the pills to take effect.

pain, in itself, in its purest form, can twist the mind into delerium.  it can turn the mind into a fun fair – a weird and wonderful place.  it’s all about mind over matter, control…

but what happens next?

what happens next is expected when opiates numb and distort one’s reality.

i lie in the dark. the window is open. the mild chill of a calm December night trickles in; a welcome winter breeze, heralded by the gentle tickling of the wind chime… a sound like my lover’s whispers, soft as his lullabies.

my eyes feel heavy, like poppies, laden with sleep.  codeine is fanciful, in her red velvet dress, in her coquettish play.  she likes to play mind games.  she is not good for me, but i cannot breathe without her tonight.

i feel myself begin to dissolve into the bed beneath me. my bed, an ocean bed. i look up behind closed lids and see the room is filled with water. i can hear the sea. the soft light from my dying cellphone illuminates the water. the water is salty. i can taste it. i reach out, with tingling hands. the fabric of my ocean bed feels like velvet fur. the water is soft and enveloping. entangled in seaweed, i stretch out.

the whole body is tingling. i can feel every atom of my construct. my being. every particle. every photon. i am light. i can feel myself break apart and dissipate into the walls. i could walk through walls. am i upright?  i can feel every particle vibrate, quiver. i shiver. sharks circle above me. i feel myself break apart – i could float up through the ceiling or disappear down through this bed, through the foundations of this building and return to the earth.

i follow the light, i become light. every photon dispersed, scattered. am i horizontal? i no longer know. i look down at my feet. i am upside down. which way is up?

a rainbow in my hand. the colour yellow smells acrid and tastes bitter. like dandelions. but butterscotch is sweeter.  yellow is not my favourite colour, green is. green has a hollow taste and sounds like distant church bells. i follow that sound.

but wait.  what is this colour i see now?  i have not seen this colour before…

the sea breeze beguiles, it feels like my lovers hand across my cage of ribs. gentle. i urge the pale pink sea breeze to keep touching me.  “don’t stop…” i moan.  i taste the breeze on my lips.

i must find Adam, i need a new rib.  i search for him.  he is hiding beneath Codeine’s velvet skirts… Adam. a cross-dressing dwarf with a beard longer than his limbs and the hemline of his emerald green sequined frock. he extends a hand, and we dance. we spin around and around to the sound of church bells.  distant church bells.  when the pealing stops,  he gives me a rib.  i kiss him lightly on the forehead and walk away, weaving my way through a field of giant strawberries.

i reach out to touch a strawberry, it begins to glow and throb – like a beating heart.  the smell seduces the senses. i take a bite… sweet as honey.  where did they come from?  they are all around me, as far as the eye can see… a sea of giant strawberries, ripe, red and rare.

are they really this big?  or is it i that is small?  i take another bite… the juice runs down my chin. sticky and thick, like honey.  i touch another one… it begins to glow, pulse and hum… a sound i have not heard before but it is music to my ears.  i touch another, it too glows and hums, in harmony… i weave through the field, making sweet music.

at the edge of the field, the land falls away into an infinite chasm. i look down and see eleven beautiful white-tailed eagles circling below. their piercing cries fill my mouth with the taste of wood and sets my ears on fire.  their cries sets off a ringing in my ears… like a wind chime.

i step off the edge…




the most beautiful eagle, with piercing eyes, soars beside me – it is then i realise i can fly. we soar together. i have never been this high before.

i hear my own joyous laughter as i fly with the eagles, my arms outstretched.  my fingers are my primaries.

he speaks to me:

“cashee cam a waa naa poonta”

his eyes are intense and i let him carry me home, where i lay curled up like an embryo upon his downy bed. i nestle in while he fans me with his big, beautiful beating wings.  the soft thrumming sound lulls me to sleep.

why are there two moons in the sky tonight?


i am back in my room, on my ocean bed, amid seahorses. they shimmer as they flit by me. i make my way to the surface and break the meniscus.

i am in a field of corn.  a beautiful field of dancing golden corn. the taste of butterscotch is strong, sickly sweet.  the sky is violet. the crows talk to me. they are as large as houses.  they tell me i hold the key to a map.  i draw the map on the back of my hand.

i follow the contours of the map… and i find myself in the palm of my own hand.  the dwarf is there.  with a chimpanzee.  the chimp takes my left hand and traces the lines on my palm. he grins at me, chatters to me and wraps his arms around me, holding me close.

the dwarf turns to me and asks if i saw the two moons?  he takes out a silver hip flask from under his dress.  he unscrews the top and takes a swig, offering it to me.  i cannot refuse.  it would be rude to.

it smells musky and has a queer taste – like watermelon and rubber. i drink it all down, while the dwarf plays his jew’s harp.

the chimp wraps me up in pale pink tissue paper… around and around… sounds become muffled from inside this strange cocoon.

i lie and look at the moons. i can hear them rattling as if they are made of tin.  battered tin, peppered with bullet holes.

but why would someone want to shoot the moon?

why are there two moons in the sky tonight?

i ask the dwarf about the interloper moon.  he says it is only the chosen few that can see her and tells me to sleep as he scatters me with poppies…



(c) Kat McDonald 2015

another codeine dream…



a new fever has me in its clutches… i can feel her long, bony, icy fingers twist my spine and contort my brain… i need paracetamol… i need a glass of water… i need to sleep…

but sleep won’t come easy…

paracetamol… a glass of water… bed.

i climb into bed… i am shaking… my hands are tingling… am i hungry..? am i over-tired..? i feel exhausted… i feel sick… nausea rushes at me like a jealous mistress… my head feels twice the size it should be… my forehead is hot… my feet are cold… i am shaking… i swallow the pills and wash them down with a long drink of water.

i climb into bed… the pillow feels cool beneath my heavy skull… i close my eyes and then it starts… i must ride this out until it breaks…

micro flashing neon lights spark inside my minds eye, igniting visions… visions… murky, but i look deeper… deeper into the grain and chaos… i see a face… a man’s face… it is Stalin… he is standing outside an old house… a house on a wild beach… a house with a red door… suddenly, he vomits all over himself… then dissolves into a puddle on the ground… i look out to sea… but the sea is not a sea… it is a vast expanse of rippling silken fabric, billowing in the breeze… i look up to the sky… a pterodactyl swoops in low over the water towards me… i duck for cover and close my eyes tight, anticipating being snatched up by the giant predatory bird… nothing… the wind has picked up the pace and snatches my breath… i gasp and open my eyes… i find myself atop one of the steel eagles that grace the lofty Chrysler Building in NYC… i am terrified… the wind is strong… my hair whips my face… i am too scared to look down… but i do… and now my palms are wet, sweating… i cannot hold on, i lose my grip… but wait! i am typing… i am sat at a desk, in the middle of a forest, and i am typing… typing incoherent words on a sheet of stiff, white paper… The typewriter is old and battered and clunky… a pale blue Olivetti electric typewriter… my curious eyes follow the flex… it is plugged into a giant snail… the sound of my fingers tapping the keys rattles my brain… the words make no sense… the words make me shiver… i open a cupboard… an old farmhouse style larder- just like the one my Aunt Mary had at Fullerton Farm… i open the door and find hundreds of tins of Baked Beans… i close the door… but the door is a mirror now… i stare at my own reflection… i smile to her, but she does not smile back… she is naked… pale, gaunt… two headless horses appear behind me… one black as night, The other white as snow… the white one speaks to me in a language i cannot comprehend… but we start to dance… the floor beneath me turns to silver sand… the sun is beating down on me… i pull the quilt around me and nestle into the comfort and familiarity of my bed, despite the madness of these visions… visions i have no control over… i cannot make them stop… they come, in a flood… my mind is a fairground… i look at my hands… six fingers on each hand… i cut off the tips of my fingers with a large pair of shears… they are bleeding… i put on a pair of bright yellow rubber gloves and go outside into the night… there are two moons in the sky… both are full and resplendent… the night is cool… i am alone… i look to my left and the buildings start to crumble and fall… an apple falls from the sky and rolls towards me, stopping at my feet… It speaks to me… beckoning me to take bite… i pick up the lilac apple and bite into its soft, juicy flesh… it tastes salty… so i throw it away… it explodes on impact… in the distance, i hear a child’s voice… it is my lover’a son… he appears out of nowhere, wearing a flappy bird t-shirt and red jeans… he is barefoot, as i am… he takes my hand and tells me to follow him… i do… suddenly, i find myself, alone, inside a computer… i look at my hands… i am made of pixels… i peer through the screen and see a morbidly obese man, sitting on his sofa with a boxful of donuts… he is playing a computer game… he is controlling me and my movements… he is controlling the CGI world i now find myself locked in… i like it here, but i cannot stay… i call out for my lover’a son… but he is gone… he has left me a note… it reads “gone fishing, be home Tuesday!”… i smell coffee… i look down and find myself in a bathtub full of warm, steaming coffee… it stains my skin… my lover appears… he dries my wet skin with a cloud, gently patting it dry… he lovingly combs my wet hair and strokes my face… we kiss… and float out the wind into space… we swim through the stratosphere and look back at Earth… it looks radiant and blue… i take a bite… it tastes like battery acid… the shock cuts my tongue and i spit out blood and a chunk of France… “it never used to taste like this…” says my lover, his eyes filled with tears… he spits a mouthful of India out into the blue stratospheric air… he fades into the night… “soon…” he says, blowing kisses as he dissolves into the ether… i find myself in a deep, Belfast sink… the cold tap is turned on and the sink is filling up with tiny sea horses and goldfish… they sparkle and shimmer and swim around me… but i need to urinate… i open my eyes, climb out of bed and make my way to the bathroom across the hall… my legs are shaking… i feel weak… perhaps sleep will come soon… i hope for a dreamless sleep… but instead, i find myself in a field full of rabbits… hundreds and thousands of rabbits… rabbits of all different colours… the pink ones are my favourites… odd… i hate the colour pink… but they are the friendliest… i reach up to the sky and reel in the sun… i hold it in my hands… it burns, but only momentarily… my cold hands chill its fire and it turns from burning amber to brittle blue… the sun shatters in my hands… i am left holding fragments of turquoise glass… i throw the shards up into the air… they tinkle and twinkle against the sky, like dying light… The tranquility of their peaceful chimes turns into an ugly chaos as the fragments of harmless light turn into bullets… they rain down all around me… everything has turned to dust… children lie dead around me… women scream… another bomb goes off… the ground shakes, like the thunder of the apocalypse… there is no colour… everything is grey… the course of death… i hear the wail of an electric guitar… someone, somewhere is playing a guitar… it wails, like a wounded animal… i cover my ears and crouch down, holding myself… crying… i open my eyes and see a young deer, chewing a leafy twig, at the foot of my sweating bed…

the pillow is damp… i turn it over and, with trembling hands, i gulp down a glass of cold, clean water… i close my eyes… please let me sleep… a dreamless sleep… please… these rapid fire flashbacks of former trips inside my minds eye and visions of my subconscious’ innermost thoughts and fears, as surreal as they are, are raping my brain… i am exhausted… i want calm… i want to feel well again… i look at the time… three hours have passed… i have been away for three hours…

i take two more pills, and water… and close my eyes…

but wait! my feet are covered in sand…

(c) Kat McDonald 2014

skylines and scythes


and lathe
and violins
and deformed limb
and daggers
and reflections
and temples
and soy shakes
and scythes
and new colours
church bells
and a hand-job
and conversation
and forwards
and green
and Christmas trees
and orgasm
and repeat
whale song
and Oppenheimer’s cloud
and heartbeat

(c) Kat McDonald 2014