my own reflection

alone
who can i blame
but me
alone
my screams
fall on my own
ears
alone
i look at my reflection
really look
this time
not me reflected
in someone else’s
eyes
but
me
standing before
myself
will i hold
myself
up
or push me
down?

i’m thinking of changing my look. i think i could pull off some faux fur. and maybe martinis might be in order.
i have been sober many days now…it is not pretty.

i am going through some stuff.
what? no? not you!
yes, but different stuff. like my usual stuff is sorted & put away, and now i am on to new stuff.
i feel like i am trying to wriggle out of an old skin…but i am struggling to get that fucker off my back.
lots of anger & snarky behavior…which then causes a spiral of guilt & oh-my-god-i-suckness.
fun fun fun.

i wish i knew how many layers this onion has…how many more levels i have to do before i win.

this is a card i’m sending to my sister for her birthday (shhh)

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cable-knit sweater

i pull on my depression
like an off-white
cable-knit
sweater
thick & heavy
like an irish fisherman
would wear
& i pretend
it looks good on me
it’s comfortable
at least
my depression
well-worn
though it is getting
a bit ripe
from being worn
so long
i snuggle deep
into my depression
fantasizing
i can stay there
deeply mired
&
barely aware
of the daily
struggles
that
knit
me such a
snug
sadness.

originally posted on august 29, 2018…i really liked this one & thought it might look good with bamboo pen for the invisible exhibitionist…& i do like the way it looks, but i imagined doing it with a small head being enveloped by the sweater…. however, as usual, my head got away from me.
i might try doing another version–as i love this image & verse so much–but i did like this version enough to post it here.

my mood lately, i wish for that sweater…it’s more like uncomfortable underwear mood right now. something isn’t fitting right, but it’s too much trouble to change my clothes…that’s my mood.
maybe i’ll do a page on that.

looking for answers

it was the early nineties when i had the dream.
i had been in therapy for awhile
terrified of the dark &
miserably unhappy
but one day it lifted and like a light switch
i was happy & no longer afraid–of anything
it was around this time i had the dream
was it before?
was it after?
are the two things related at all?

the dream was disturbing
a crazy-ass dream
where i was a mighty warrior
a tiger
and other clans would send warriors to fight me
i would mercilessly slaughter them
sometimes though
the other clans would send me young girls
to be with
as a way of collecting
my seed….

fucked up, right? that’s a fucked up dream for a 21 year old girl in iowa. i have been thinking about it a lot lately. wondering if the dream & my becoming happy & brave, have anything to do with each other. a past life remembering healing a present life hurting.

in the dream, i was represented as a tiger–but i was human. recently, googling like crazy, all i have been able to figure out is that tiger is representative of warriors and the such in china.
so i started reading up on china’s history to see if i can figure out anything about this dream…but i find myself more drawn to the mongols, of course.

i keep looking to so-called professionals & friends, but as usual, no one ever answers my emails. so i guess i’m on my own.
my own master
the answer to my own question.

the above illustration is a sneak peek at my patreon page post for today. i also have a glimpse of this post on longing to open from the other day:

as well as the very first postcard being sent out to a patron!!

oh! & all of these illustrations remind me that today is the spring equinox
balance between day & night…balance between light & dark…balance between rest & change.
wake up, it’s time to grow
happy ostara!

queen of hearts

i don’t like
the way my heart
quickens
when i see your name
i don’t like
that my first instinct
is to hide the crazy
to trod
gently
to not
scare you away
i don’t like the yearning
i feel
when i see your eyes
when i read your words…
the last thing
i need
is another
broken heart.

this was originally posted on july 24, 2018.
i used bamboo pen on the re-do. i really like it. i am hoping to get enough of these together that i can publish a book of self-portraits & free verse. so stay tuned.

this morning i was heavy with dreams. usually i wake up and can’t fall back asleep even though i don’t want to get out of bed. this morning, even if i tried to wake up, i was pulled back into dreams.
my dreams did not want to let me go.
they were fun too.
i had moved back to austin, texas & was having romantic trysts with two of my more tragic crushes.
ah…yummy.

this was written as i was considering having a crush on someone. however, that person kept being such a bonehead that i could not fully fall head over heels for him.
that’s the problem with crushes.
i’m fickle, & they usually piss me off before i can be completely crushed.

after writing about needing some mad love so i can lose some weight…i started thinking about my crushes.
other than johnny shipley, in all my years of tripping into love, there is only one other crush who did not end up disappointing me & still holds a bright spot in my heart.
jimmy phillips.
ah…he was a sweet one. even though he borrowed my toothbrush & then told me it was time to get a new toothbrush…he was still too good to be true. maybe if it’s the right guy, nothing will disappoint me. then again, both jimmy & johnny ran for the hills after just a short romantic interlude with me. maybe i only fall for impossible men…but that’s a post for another day.

so there’s the tough bit, y’all. i fall in love easily…but i fall right back out again almost just as quick.
poop.

fair to middlin’

to quote myself over on my patreon page:

my shadows are part of who i am. without those dark spots, you wouldn’t be able to see my bright colors & beautiful light…. without my dark bits, i think life would be much more dull.

i am still creating over there, should you want to do the dollar a dance to see what i’m up to.
here’s a sneak peek:

meanwhile.
i’m doing okay-ish. i keep crying & wondering why i am so sad & then remembering the folks in new zealand & then crying some more.

i feel like i am on a cusp…but i often feel that way. maybe i just live on the cusp.

& i updated my profile picture. i love the old one (from spring of ’16) but always felt weird posting serious comments with a laughing face. i know it shouldn’t bother me, dark & light & bright & shadows and all that…. one of the reasons i liked my old profile picture is that it was one of me with my hair down–as it was taken in the morning (i often wear a tiara first thing in the morning) before i got pissed off at my unruly hair & tied it back. but lately, i’ve been wearing my hair down…my own little attempt to embrace the wildness that is me. to stop tying myself back. so here’s a picture of that.

one day my smile will return. i just know it. being on the cusp & all….



gorey laundry

my dad
he was
embarrassed to be
my dad
he thought
i was weird
different
abnormal
my dad
he was
embarrassed
of me
of the way
i dressed
of my being
outspoken
with opinions
contrary
to his own
my dad
he was
embarrassed
to be my dad
embarrassed
that i wanted to be
a writer
an artist
he tried to convince me
of the mistake
i was
making
he did not believe
i could possibly
succeed
i would be a failure
…how embarrassing
he was
embarrassed
of me
my dad
a man who did not
show his hand
a man
who kept so much
hidden
my dad
he could not bother
to hide
his
embarrassment.

i was to give a speech at my high school graduation because i was the salutatorian of my class.
my dad did not want to go to my graduation because he was sure i would embarrass him.
on my perfect little sister’s wedding day, i was put in the uncomfortable position of being her maid of honor. my dad’s words to me?
“don’t embarrass your sister on her day.”
he told me i would regret following my dreams. he told me that no one actually follows their dreams. he told me i had to be practical.
my dad.
spent so much time pushing me down.
when i eloped with a stranger (because i just wanted to believe that someone could really love me,) he said, “you’re not my problem anymore.”
i guess
now that he’s dead
i can say that right back to him.

thanks to edward gorey for this illustration inspiration

i could tell “worse” stories about my dad. about his alcoholism and his violent temper & how terrifying my childhood was…but the weird thing is, though that stuff was terrifying…it didn’t hurt nearly as much as living a life knowing what he thought of me.

needed: mad love

okay. i am still waiting on my sexy punk rock lumberjack poet.

speaking of lumberjacks, i am totally built like a lumberjack…or a linebacker, if you will. seriously. i have “man hands” and size 11 feet. my ideal weight is 150, anything under 145 would probably be too thin for my frame.
as an adult, i have only been that weight once, briefly. historically (before children) i was around 160. which was comfortable for me.
recently i went through my journals of that time in my life when i could have been called skinny (2002 to be exact.) i mean, i was eating well & exercising…but most of my life i eat well & exercise. plus, i was still drinking somewhat actively at the time…so….
i could not figure out what was different, but around the beginning of 2002, i lost a bunch of weight, it just fell off of me. i was super sexy & healthy. i worried that people might think i was doing drugs–that’s how fast the weight came off.
the reason i am obsessing about it right now is because i am all of a sudden at my heaviest weight ever. even heavier than i was during my pregnancies.
it’s disturbing.
okay, so i’m perimenopausal & that apparently wreaks havoc on one’s weight.
but holy fucking crap. i could feel fat rolls on my back today & my thighs are all of a sudden extra chunky.
so i’m kind of freaking out.
i am also cutting out dairy, simple carbs, and (sob!) beer.
i am doing yoga every day (i always do) and am starting to do a cardio exercise daily as well.
so
i was out walking today to get back in the habit (i used to power walk at least 2 miles a day back in the day but have fallen out of the habit since coming to rural illinois.)
& while walking, i remembered what happened just before i lost all that weight.
i fell in love with johnny shipley, an adorable punk rock muppet-looking bartender in lexington, kentucky.
head over heels.
& we dated for like a week before he dumped me for his rich little lesbian friend. however, i continued to stalk him for months. months. when someone tends bar in a pool hall down the street from where you live, it’s really easy to stalk them. & i still get a little tingly when i think of him now, so many years later.
sigh.
but i had just come out of a long & miserable (okay, year & a half) marriage where i felt so ugly & unwanted. proceeded by a two year relationship with a narcissistic & abusive fuck named travis. proceeded by being dumped by someone who said they would love me forever.
falling in love felt awesome.
& apparently, it triggered my body to become smoking hot.
love.
it makes sense.
mind over matter. hormones. all that.
i even dreamed it recently. i literally had a dream saying that falling in love would help me lose weight.
so
i need to fall in love.
it’s been a long & miserable time–17 years this time–17 years of dealing with my 2nd husband & being manipulated, rejected, cheated on, & treated like crap.
i need to fall in love & remind my body that despite it all, i am still young & lovely.

i am re-posting my version of “the kiss” by gustav klimt because i am too tired to ink something…it was this or a picture of mikel jollett looking super sexy (that’s redundant.)

feeling gorey

over on my patreon page i did an art journal page about my dad. somehow, using edward gorey in the illustration seemed to work.
this is the first time i have borrowed from edward gorey–one of my favorite male artists & an early dark influence on my life & art & sense of humor. i was pretty excited about doing it. i might try to do more in the future when my posts are particularly dark & dreary.

i have also done some other art journal pages (on enlightenment &
on ghosting)

as well as another page of “stolen.”

speaking of…i watched warrior queen, a movie about boudica–a celtic queen who kicked roman ass.
i can very much relate to the ancient celtic lifestyle as well as their hatred of romans. does that prove i lived a past life as a celtic queen? who knows. but i am enjoying creating my story about it.

sustained on rejection

am i sustained by
rejection
like a panda
surrounded
by bamboo…did rejection
become my staple
& now
now that the bamboo
is scarce
do i actively seek
rejection
lumbering
past greener pastures
to find my
desolate
patch
of bitter rejection
where i can sit
uncomfortably
& gorge myself
on defeat?

one of the problems with not always being able to illustrate my thoughts as i write them (this one was written 10 days ago & i am just getting to it) is that i do not always remember what sparked my free verse ramblings.

my childhood was a big pot of rejection. out of six kids, i was nobody’s favorite. my younger sister (closest in age to me) was mortified by me & even suggested i do myself in. my peers at school actively avoided me. i was charlie brown on valentine’s day. i eventually had to go to a neighboring town to find a boy strange enough to kiss me.

so…did rejection become a familiar “friend” that i sought out as my adult life began? seeking out the boys who didn’t want me. focusing on them. throwing myself, relentlessly, at them. sending out stories to publishers without first attaining the necessary writing skills. staying on the fringes. watching, but never joining.

do i still seek out rejection? will i ever stop expecting rejection? will i ever believe i am good enough that i will not be rejected? has it become a self-fulfilling prophesy that keeps me exactly where i am?

just some musings as i wait to be rejected by a publisher & an art award…not even entertaining the idea of dating because–look at me–who the fuck would want this?

the other day i read my tarot cards. they told me that i need to learn to like myself. they told me to stop obstructing myself. to stop living in fear of moving forward.
but…i am not sure i know how to do that.
they never tell me how to do it.

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