Monday, September 19, 2016


Vivarium; my debut collection of poetry.

Families survive only in photographs;
  their souls hiss through scratched LPs’.

VIVARIUM is a playful melange of lyric poems, list poems and dramatic monologues concerned with feelings of entrapment; where relationships and place are both held up to scrutiny and cherished. By turns hypervigilant, deeply sad, murderous and hopeful, Gemma Boyd’s succinct poems are infused with honesty and black humour. They feature everyday objects, a paedophile, an actress, a robotic bouncer from 2020, an eBay listing, and moments of freedom experienced through music and a communion with the English countryside: ‘spiders will hatch and crawl down their mothers’ legs
                                 like so many new beginnings’.

You can purchase this handmade, coptic bound edition of my book with hand-drawn illustrations by me, on my website: under the link, 'Online Shop' for £20.00 plus shipping.

To at last be able to hold Vivarium in my hands after writing, designing, editing and publishing it, is a dream come true, but for the past two hours my OCD has been compelling me to check it word for word and to obsess over the spelling of odd words I never had a problem with before... but now it's time to STOP IT, and to just let my book do its thing!

This week I continued to be able to stall (for hours) compulsively seeking reassurance from my partner, Jan, that no lone man had raped, attacked or contaminated me as I went about my daily business, plus I fed my cat for the first time in months without immediately writing down that I hadn't poisoned him. Watching TV helped me to distract myself from the godawful intrusive thoughts that accompany this OCD. 

One morning while I was doing my daily yoga practice, I spotted my cat's box of food on the side and managed not to obsess about it. I'd just completed Brett Larkin's 'Grounding Root Chakra Guided Meditation / Stress Relief Meditation' which had really calmed my brain and body: 

My counsellor, T. suggested that instead of thinking about the atrocities others could inflict on me as I'm walking down the street, I focus all my love and attention onto myself. I tried this and I could rise above my fear of most of the lone men I encountered one afternoon - until I got home and had to seek reassurance from Jan that I was safe.

I'm finding it enormously difficult relearning how to function in the world after having had my experiencing marred by OCD / PTSD for over 10 years, but at least, little by little, I'm beginning to feel more ME.

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