on one cold night in london / i sat beneath the twinkling lights / and i thought i knew who i was

age 16, teenage angst-ing in london. taken on an evening i wrote about in my songs of youth.

“on one cold night in london / i sat beneath the twinkling lights / and i thought i knew who i was (..).”

then: i was in london for a summer course at goldsmiths, the university where my amore brian molko studied drama. i was in a transformative period of turmoil, which i later unpacked in a few articles published that year. yet, back then, i did not write much about the giddiness of it, which i want to highlight today: the giddiness of being a besotted schoolgirl, daydreaming between classes of the life her favourite rockstar lived in those university halls. wrapped up in mind twirls, i would wonder,

did he experience the delicious mix between ache & thrill that i was experiencing? did he wander the streets at night like i did, finding solace in the graffiti splashed upon walls? did he understand the sadness in him in ways i did not understand the sadness in me? 🤍

every night, i listened to him sing: “i am weightless / i am bare / i am faithless / i am scared” & “wrapped in lust and lunacy / tiny touch of jealousy / these bonds are shackle free” and i felt a desperate want to express the workings of my mind the way he did. to live vicariously, to share vicariously. to be alive, and sad, and jolly, and love and hurt.

i will share one of the, hmm, rough accounts of the turmoil side of things. it’s in romanian. you can read it here: http://www.sub25.ro/…/ce-vrem-de-la-brian-molko-in…

i will only translate the ending, as i feel distanced from it – in all the ‘good’ ways. it sometimes makes me uncomfortable to read past works in which i was so open, but overall i am proud of my teen self for expressing herself fully and not sugar coating her experience.

“when the sun rose, i was leaning against the window of my dorm room, with my hair dyed green, with smudged eyeliner and one broken nail. with lady of the flowers on repeat. black sessions, 1997. brian began the set with a poem he only recited that year:

Lady of the flowers, they’ve been dead for hours.
Interflora (..)

and i felt that i could be okay.”

the feeling was correct. 🤍

songs of youth | foreword

foreword: “The one consistency in my life, from childhood to the teenage years of angst and to the blooms of young adulthood, has been writing. I wrote to make sense of the world around me and of myself, I wrote to express myself, I wrote to connect to the world and to myself.

This is a collection of poetry written between the ages of sixteen and twenty. Brian Molko of Placebo, who was the soundtrack to my teenage years and the one who hypnotised me with rawness and alluring born-to-die sadness, once said that, when you are a teenager, you react to the world that surrounds you with great emotionality and intensity, with full heart. He mused that growing older is a process of finding semblances of sanity. This collection aims to illustrate exactly that; it is not written by an adult looking back with maturity, nor tenderness to their early years, but by the teenager who is in the midst of experiencing the turbulent highs and lows of being thrown into life.

This collection of poetry was a creative project I compiled as an undergraduate student of Creative Writing at Lancaster University. It includes unpublished work, as well as work that has already been published.

It is structured in three sections: ‘teenage angst’, ‘my loss is my root’ and ‘at last, light’, which chronicle the journey to adulthood through churn, grief, and joy.

You may notice that the poetry is written in lowercase. More than an aesthetic choice, lowercase marks the teenage search for identity and reflects how disconnected teenagers feel to themselves. As a teenager myself, I found it difficult to capitalise ‘I’-s, as it seemed as if I was proclaiming who I was before I knew.

This collection explores the beginning of the search for the ‘I’.


🕊 the cover art i fall in love with more and more every day is by Holly Robinson🖤🤍🖤

kindle: https://amzn.eu/d/0duef5g

paperback: https://amzn.eu/d/0duef5g

(u.k. links, do message me for the link if you are from another country & are interested in ordering 🖤 thank you so!!) 🕊

teenage angst, placebo rage | songs of youth

“teenage angst” is the first section of my book, “songs of youth”, and it is compiled of poetry i wrote as a raging teenager. i entitled it after the eponymous placebo track, in which brian molko scratchily sings: “since i was born, i started to decay”.

in the depths of my teenage angst, i followed placebo on tour and wrote live reviews of their delicious gigs! what a better day for a tender run through memory than today, the 3rd of may – the 2nd of may is considered the official placebo day by ‘cebo lovers. you can read “Placebo: Desire, Heartbreak & Dark Romanticism” here:

🎸 (eng) https://www.flickofthefinger.co.uk/…/placebo-wembley…/ (2017)

🎸 (ro) https://www.dissolvedmagazine.com/placebo-desire-heartbreak/ (2017) – lengthened!

since songs of youth came out, i have been revisiting my favourites and sinking into brian molko’s voice. it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that i wrote most of this collection with their tunes ringing in my ears or chest.

i am so happy that they exist & i can delight in their music. forever grateful that they raised me on tones of diffidence, with an appetite for delirious experiences – and freedom. 😁

you can order my book here:

polaroid of me teenage angst-ing in london after a spectacular placebo gig in 2018. 𝖏𝖚𝖘𝖙 𝖓𝖎𝖓𝖊𝖙𝖊𝖊𝖓, 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖆 𝖉𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖒 𝖔𝖇𝖘𝖈𝖊𝖓𝖊 📽 (by the way, i turned nineteen at a placebo gig, screaming these lyrics at the top of my lungs!)

my youth spills on dancefloors by Téa Nicolae

*poem published in Kamena Magazine, 2022. written in 2019. from my ‘teenage angst’ collection.

pitch-black clubs,
dazed fridays.
my youth pumps through my veins.

high heels,
shiny fake ids.
my youth grounds me.

grimy dance floors,

my youth bursts inside of me

it glides through me


as my heart throbs beneath my skin
matching the music’s beat

i please my youth
bending my body obediently
with the deafening bass

the synth dismantles my mind
and my limbs are not mine anymore
they follow the sound

there is no past
or future
only my body
spinning madly
only the music
twisting in my ears
only my youth
spilling on dance floors
from the crashed bottles of wine at my feet