never fall again

never fall again

the last time we had sex
i could feel how much
you hated me
it oozed out of you
spat out of you
& froze my skin
burning me
the last time we had sex
i knew that you couldn’t
stop wanting me
but that you had forced yourself
to stop loving me
…needing me
the last time we had sex
you couldn’t get away
from me
fast enough
your touch was hostile
your eyes
empty.

never fall again. never feel that pain. that’s where my thoughts are these days. does he even remember me every valentine’s day? probably the fuck not. but here i am. broken-hearted.
always
broken-hearted.

maybe when i’m dead i will stop obsessing over him. or i will just go looking for him in my next life.

ack!
that’s one tattoo i leave out of every self-portrait. the tattoo i got for him…with him. the tattoo that hurt the most. and still hurts.
i think about getting it covered up…turned into something else.
maybe i would if i had some money.
so y’all should buy the book i illustrated so i have money to cover-up a tattoo that won’t let me forget where i left my heart.

fuck me.
we all know i’m never getting rid of this tattoo.

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casting my spell

i mixed the wax
melted it fast
yellow for communication
(i just wanted to hear his voice)
blue for protection
(i’m not sure this is a good idea)
red for love
passionate love
(maybe i should have skipped the red?)
& white for purity
in my intentions
(i just wanted to hear his voice)
in the end though
the candle
is a muddy color
an earth color
“same as my heart,” i think
as i cast my spell
i dip the wick
& dip it again
the needle intertwined within
& the candle that forms
from the muddy wax
looks like a potato
a sad potato
“same as my love,” i think
as i cast
my spell.

i keep showing up naked in these self-portraits. dude. i am rarely nude in real life. maybe my inner me would rather be naked?
i dunno.
but here i am.
lumpy & nude again.

& seriously, valentine’s day is the worst for me.
all i can do is remember my best…& my most terrible valentine’s day–just a year apart, with the same person.
a million years ago.
the best was when we went and got our matching ear piercings and flew balsa wood planes in the park.
the worst was when he gave me a pair of white doc martin wingtips that i had so so so desired…and i realized he was leaving me.
men always give me the good stuff
when there is something dark
in their heart.

destroyed

i hate feeling like this
every year
since he has died
i hate it
i never knew
this level of hopelessness
with all the bad stuff
toppling
the way it
does

i hate feeling like this
every year
since he betrayed me
i hate it
i never knew
this level of hopelessness
with all the bad stuff
toppling
like it
does

my brother’s death
my ex-husband’s birthday
one day
that destroys me
every goddamned
year.

i used to joke that dusty and i would never be able to survive if we had to depend on each other in a time of crisis.

then my brother died
on dusty’s birthday
& i don’t think he ever forgave me for it.

i decided to divorce dusty the day of the funeral.
never had i ever seen a complete lack of empathy in a person
as i did that day
dusty intentionally hurt me as my brother’s coffin lay before us.

of course,
anyone who knows this story knows
i did not get rid of dusty for another eight years after my brother’s death
meanwhile dusty played me like a fucked up fiddle, even convincing me that it was my fault he was cheating on me…right in front of me….

sigh.

all this pain surfaces now.
this time of year.
my dead brother
my narcissistic & sadistic ex….

i lay awake at night & count my scars.

unreasonable

the pain
that special pain
of losing someone
suddenly
& for no good reason
no
everything does not happen
for a fucking reason
it does not
there are so many
senseless happenings
in this goddamned
existence
unless…pain
unless pain is it’s own
reason
but
that
would be just
completely
unreasonable

this time of year is just one big clusterfuck of bad memories
& bad feelings.
shitballs.
i have this fucking dark cloud hanging over me. every move is like i am underwater. just trying to tie my fucking shoes or something.
& it feels impossible
& i hate myself
for not being able to pull it together.

wake up, it’s time to heal

the voices came
& whispered to me
you are not this person
twelve years of anger
a lifetime of anger
you are not this person
it is time to heal
it is time to heal

page4

i recently learned about clairaudience. as soon as i read the description, i was like, “well, i have that.” imaginary friends, talking to one’s self, hearing voices, channeling advice, craving sound, hearing messages in songs….  i do all that.
so now i am trying to listen better.
last night–when i was trying to fall asleep–the voices came, & i was told that it is time to heal.

today is an anti-versary for me. 1997…so what is that? 20 years. 20 years ago, all in one day, i was molested & my dog got hit by a car and died. i have felt the weight of it every year since. i was in a terrible relationship. my life was a mess. i tried to straighten out the mess, but i kept going right back to it. the abuse. the neglect. the anger & hurt.

page5

now it’s time to heal.

it’s time to rewrite what today means to me.
today is the day i choose to start healing.
today is the day i choose to let go of the anger & hurt.
to embrace the beautiful in me & let go of the ugly that keeps me company while holding me back.

time to embrace my role as a mom.
time to celebrate who i am as an artist.
time to see what a healthy relationship looks like.

time to heal.

page6

 

my dead brother

having someone in your life die changes you as much as, say, having a baby.
i would not be the artist i am today if i had not become a mother. i would be a different artist.
and i would not be the person i am today if my brother had not been killed eight years ago today. i would be a different person.

my big brother…sigh.
he introduced me to movies. that is one way i remember him. he took me to see raiders of the lost ark when it was in the theaters and i was all like, “this movie sounds stupid.”
and then i was all like, “that was the best movie ever!”
he took me to see the empire strikes back when it came out
and i remember as we walked back to the car after the movie, he said, “it’s leia. they are talking about leia.”
and i had no idea what he was talking about until return of the jedi.
he brought a copy of terminator home from college and as i watched it, he would say, “surely he’s dead now” every time they thought they had destroyed arnold schwarzenegger.
he introduced me to one of my most favorite movies ever blade runner.
and to another dytopian influence a boy and his dog.

self2

these two pictures were done for a drawing class where i was supposed to do two self-portraits that were meant to be hung together. the top one is from a photo of me as a baby with my brother mike.
the second one is a self-portrait of me in tribute to the polaroid taken of sarah connor  at the end of terminator.

his life and his death are both heavy influences in who i am today.
sometimes i don’t know how to feel about that.

here is a poem i wrote in a writer’s workshop about it:

heavy

when someone close to you
dies
it becomes part of your description
she has brown hair
a nice smile
and her brother is dead

birthdays are the hardest
his last one
i didn’t know
it was the last
his voice sad on the telephone
my pledge to keep in touch
this time

we live in a world
where I can obsessively search for
intimate details of his death
available in short video
burning plane
gray matter splattered on a playground
his last words, “oh, fuck.”

notorious IT guy for the other side
the forrest gump of stolen elections
everything reminds me
of him
the sound of a single engine  plane
sad songs on the radio
politics, christmastime, and charismatic men

i drink irish whiskey this time of year
but it was scotch at his wake
four years now
four years since the last election
four years since the plane crash
a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream
murder republican style

when someone close to you
dies
do you let it redefine you?
hello, I’m connell
a mama, a student, an artist
let me tell you
about my dead brother