Sex, Desire & Fear in 'Life Poems'

Indulge in the first of Bethany Burgoyne's poetic shorts, exploring sensuality and relationships, one story at a time.



Writer and artist, Bethany Burgoyne, has been expanding her literary portfolio by moving into poetic storytelling. Having grown up consuming the work of Sylvia Plath and finding solace in Stevie Wonder's song lyrics, Bethany's introduction to contemporary poets and rappers led her to start writing with more rhythm and honesty. Sassy souls - Tomi Adegbayibi and Salma El-Wardany - have inspired the discourse Bethany embodies explaining how "I witnessed this powerful impact their writing had. It comforted me as a reader, making me feel less alone with those feelings and thoughts we all have but are scared to articulate."


Salma El-Wardany's poetry taught me the power of words; of recovering a memory and taking control of it's narrative


From this place, Bethany put pen to paper and started practicing letting language flow naturally, without too much thought. "I didn't want to add any pressure by seeking perfection, and often what I wrote wouldn't seem to make sense. But instead of get hung up on it, I just saw what words tumbled out of me and played." Over the course of a year, Bethany started to feel more confident writing in short form. She'd get excited when finding new words or phrases that "had that Sassy energy!". Often loaded with intensity and animalistic imagery, Bethany's style work has further refined to articulate personal frustration and fears that she says "have a tendency of bubbling beneath the surface. I'm British - we're awful when it comes to communicating how we really feel. In my poems, I found myself bursting trapped bubbles of anger, sadness, and fear." In this way, Bethany says she has found her mental health to improve, simply by letting herself express in the form of poetry.


I try to make room for people to weave their own imagination onto the scenes I set... finding themselves in the words I write and share


Through visual language, Bethany leads her readers into a world of emotional movement, documenting the relationship she has with herself, in response to others. When discussing her work, she explains how "freestyling poetry without filtering out any emotions or experiences has helped me unpick many of my erotic experiences and intentions." With sexual interactions underpinning much of her work, Bethany approaches the subject of relationships, sex, and desire with refreshing honesty. Her words attempt to provide a new form of sensual expression so others feel encouraged to reflect on their own intimate lifestyles. "I try to make room for people to weave their own imagination onto the scenes I set. Maybe emotions or memories arise in response to some of the language I use. That's what I wish my readers to invest their time in - unpicking their reactions and finding themselves in the words I write and share".


Bethany's Sassy inspirations. From left: poet Juliana Yazbeck, musician Eliane Correa, performer Kuntessa, singer Nesta Stephan

I created this space in solidarity with my fellow creatives, to provide a familiar home of inspiring female faces. It is their courageous acts of sharing that continually reinforce The Sassy Show's mission - to transform the portrayal of womanhood within media.


'The Broken Vase' is the first in a series of written shorts Bethany will be sharing on The Sassy Show. As the founder of our platform, she explains how "I created this space in solidarity with my fellow creatives, to provide a familiar home of inspiring female faces. It is their courageous acts of sharing that continually reinforce The Sassy Show's mission - to transform the portrayal of womanhood within media. These poetic shorts are my own contribution to helping reshape our narratives - as artists and as female-identifying people." Bethany hopes that in sharing her work, others will feel encouraged to publish their stories on The Sassy Show. We are always here to help tell your story, however that may look, feel or sound like within the wonderful world of multimedia. Drop us an email at hello@thesassyshow.com and let's walk together in our matriarchal movements.


 

The Broken Vase

by Bethany Burgoyne



Praise my tiny balls and sing me to sleep.


I was a cocoon, trapped in the hibernation of doom


Curled up, forlorn, wasting in the rotting shell of old fruit


You were stinking out my basket of wheres

I carried on pretending you could mix up a recipe of care,

building an appetite to feed me.


It was a cold winter, I’ll say that.

August, Spring, the night of christmas and the birds still didn’t sing

Wandering to the west coast of my own easiness.

A sandy beach that was never going to bring me much hope


There was the fat left on the lamb, the bones bitten and tuned to play like a flute

Air breezing across the pockets of what was missing,

A letter that I think was dismissed as a wish, rather than a confession


I’ll fit my hand around this part of the past

Conjuring up the wand and passing spells to disbelieve.


Nothing educated about it

Not much to say apart from

At last


Fresh grass

Greener at last

The broken vase.





You can read more of Bethany Burgoyne's poetry in the latest edition of SHE. Magazine - an annual publication, providing a platform for sharing shameless accounts of the female experience.


Tune into Bethany's Sassyness on IG @bxsassy