poetry by teah dunning

I started using poetry and prose a few years ago as a coping mechanism for my anxiety and depression. I hope through my own introspections, people can find something to connect with and find comfort in.



Eternally teetering on the edge

Wanting to touch the flame but knowing better

Enough adrenaline to get me to the finish line but not enough stamina to pass through

Organs jumping

Scattered beat, timing all wrong

Romance of a lifestyle that's void of such

Fingerprints, nails, knuckles,

Jawline, cheekbone, flake of skin

Familiar enough with the sensation to know, but not feel, eternally.


I am perpetually caught between two places. A state of flux. I am too sympathetic and too apathetic. I want the best for the world but am deeply invested in self-preservation. Everything comes down to self-preservation. Use of others for personal gain. Dabbling in streams of others’ conscious for a fleeting feeling, a cocktail of danger + ecstasy + comfort. Guards strategically marked around tissue so as not to become scarred. A good person once told me I was a closed book and it made my stomach drop and my heart soar in the same instant.


Pull you in with honeydew

Sickly sweet

Spit out the seeds


To the untrained eye

Stubbornness and perfectionism is the vice

But it's apathy

The Aftermath of curiosity

That killed the cat


The visitor to the garden

Of brambles and thistles and vines

That which thrives

Leaves and branches tumble and scratch

Protect and infect

Defense and offence undiscerned


I feel like times getting away from me

but I'm only twenty
the whole world spread out on my kitchen counter


hesitation or indecisiveness

I don't even know what time is

is it my fault or just the screams of preconceived notions getting stuck on the carousel inside my head


look at this tiny town and it's single story skyscrapers
keep your colours painted the same as the night sky
I want to find a place where dull navy stands out amongst the rest of the cityscapes


and you tell me you feel sorry that I can't see it the same as you

but fake sympathy feels worse than fake snobbery
but it's another day when I look at the amber lights perfectly spaced between one another

it shouldn't take me a drunken spontaneous $50 solo trip home to figure that out

who'd have thought in such a small amount of time I'd feel more at home with the ocean salt smell and mill dog then I ever did anywhere else


And I will cry and scream and FEEL, until there is nothing left. Until the marrow in my bones turns to liquid, pouring from my tear ducts and running down my cheeks. My blood boiling and evaporating at the prospect of another love, person, lost. My lungs drying out, crumbling into a million tiny pieces, each one smaller than a single dust particle, simulating the tidal wave pressure in my chest one last time.

People will rip out your soul because they don't have their own, and throw you to the ground because it's nowhere near as scary as carrying you with them. They'll slice your skin open with their tongue and fill the abrasions with the venom they spit. And they will leave you in the corner, nothing more than a crumpled heap of useless organs, empty, because they think it's the best for you.
And I will not cry nor scream nor feel, because there is nothing left. But with this shell I can fill it with whatever I want. Wild flowers and starlight and fire in my fingertips. I will fill myself with beautiful things, ready to sustain themselves and then wither and die once more when the roots of someone else invade my space and upheave everything I tried so hard to grow, and I will let them. And it will be devastating and tumultuous and beautiful all over again.

ballad of scary socials

i’m not trying to be antisocial
or make excuses for my flakiness
and you're all wonderful people
but maybe a little too wonderful

it's not your fault or mine
you're all just a little too tiring
my heartstrings play their chords for you
but they're also tied to my brain
and believe it or not sometimes I know myself better than anyone else does


Once upon a time, there lived a girl. A girl whose skin was made of paper, whose thoughts were a recycled and regurgitated letterpress. Whose bone structure syntax was held together by the book binding of the people who walked in and out of her life, and stayed long enough to autograph the pages of her mind. The girl with the explorers ego, the caretakers soul, and the lovers self. The girl who was terrified of the idea of individuality, because never did she know who she truly was. What she failed to see was, no one does. That individuality was a psychological construct made to trick us into complacency via dopamine rewards. We’re all just a Van Gogh painting, whose electrifying colours are representations of the people we meet. We’re all masterpieces manifested from the same core components. She’s a Starry Night, and they’re a Wheatfield with Cypresses, and someone else who won’t be born for another hundred and fifty years could grow up to be  Sunset at Montmajour. I’m still not sure what I am yet. But I want to know- I want to find out. Paint me Van Gogh! I want to see in colour.

Teah Dunning is a 20 year old writer from Perth. She spends her days making coffee and patting dogs, going to local gigs and watching Rupaul's Drag Race on repeat. See where Teah gets her inspiration from here


Fairly Hairy Zine Excerpt by Ivy Bullen

It's time we learn to love our crust.