The brain wasn’t built for this

Tamicah Rasmussen

I feel trapped in a mind that’s not mine. 

It is said that once nothingness 

becomes tangible, it ceases to exist 

because the brain wasn’t built 

for empty. 


They say the brain wasn’t built 

for everlasting burned shadows covered in smut and tar. 

It wasn’t built 

for the black smear of nothingness that seems to go 

on and on and on. 

The brain wasn’t built 

for isolation and prisons. 

It wasn’t built to be stuck 

in a concrete room with no windows, with no doors but just a foggy grey tempest. 

A darkness so torturous, 

banging and screaming on the damp walls 

ricochet into melodies.  

It makes you believe there are others here with you, you go insane. 

The brain wasn’t built to be trapped 

in rooms it can’t escape from. 

Yet here I am. I am 

trapped in a mind that 

is not mine. 

A mind that can no longer be mine. 

It circulates between heartbreak and loneliness, 

trauma and comfort,  

stuck in adolescences and won’t grow out of it. 

I’m trapped in an inside-out 

mind that still believes the ideologies and aesthetics 

of a teenage girl, 

not a semi put together twenty-three-year-old. 

I’m trapped in a mind that is an agoraphobic, 

and new possibilities and ideas are my toxic waste. 

And the loneliness that hits isn’t that reckoning. It’s like a familiar shadow that my mind hides behind. 

I’m in a mind that’s no longer mine, 

and it feels less dystopian but rather 

more utopian, because a mind that 

is no longer 

mine – that seems perfect. 

All I’ve ever wanted was to escape, and it seems 

my mind has left me without 

showing me the way.  

Author: Tamicah Rasmussen is a twenty-three-year-old writer. She writes poetry, short stories and novels with themes varying but the one thing they mostly always all have in common, is romance. Her lifetime goal is to have her own poetry book and novel published, to travel the world and to be constantly surrounded by animals and art. When Tamicah isn’t writing, she’s reading romance and fantasy novels, or playing cosy video games with her cats being close by.

Artist: Lilian Martin is a writer, poet, and now artist based in Meanjin/Brisbane, who wants to publish their own zines one day! They used to be keen on the art thing in high-school and have slowly been trying to ignite their visual spark once again. They have begun incorporating visual elements into their writing career by designing magazines, doing illustrations, and making graphics for the QUT Literary Salon. You can find both their writing and visual work at

Accessibility Reader: Tuesday Tomlins

Editors: Euri Glenn and Brock Scholte