my cracked wheels

i fall in love
as a way
of hating
myself
the cracked wheels
that turn

animate my soul
are powered
by a crush
my heart
crushed
so i can shine
my light
on 
someone 
else.

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choosing to survive

except
i chose to be alone
i did
i did not
i did not choose
for my ex-husband to be an 
asshole
but i did choose
to live without an asshole
in my life
which meant
i was left all alone
& lonely
i accept that i have ultimately
made that choice
& am also
choosing
not to simply let anyone
any warm body
be
the company
i so desire
so
yes
i choose
to be alone
even if
i would rather not
be
lonely.

i felt that it was important for me to acknowledge this to myself. to know that i am not just a victim of my life. i make choices to try to be stronger & to try to heal the pain and damage i have suffered. though i believe my decisions of late will help me in the long run, that doesn’t mean i enjoy the immediate effects of them. 

meanwhile, i went to iowa city to check out their developing eco-village. it was beautiful & the people were really cool…but i do not have anywhere near to the money i would need as it requires actually buying a flat or duplex. 
i will talk to them to see if there are any options for a broke-ass mama like me…but i don’t think it is someplace i can move to anytime soon. so i am still trying to figure out my next move, a move back to community and away from the isolation of my homestead.
but i was happy to–briefly–be back in iowa city. i wish i had never left. 
i wonder what that parallel universe looks like….

on the topic of money. i have decided that i have to actually demand child support from my ex-fucker. i mean, dur. or rather, i shouldn’t even have to demand it–he should just be paying it. but that is not ever going to happen. he is paying just a token amount because i let him get away with that & now he actually has a job where he could afford to pay more…but he is not. he is not supporting his children because he doesn’t think he should have to. 
this makes me so sad. 
and i really do hate being the heavy.
and he is so good at making me feel like shit whenever he puts me in the position where i have to ask him for anything. 
oh! 
and i did tell him, when we did the minion swap, that if i were using him as a punching bag (as he likes to accuse me) that would mean i was angry about something else & taking it out on him. 
i let him know that he is not my punching bag because the anger i am directing at him is anger that i have at him–my frustration with him…appropriately directed at him.
fucking manipulative motherfucker. 

i am…alone

i am
sylvia plath
i am
vincent van gogh
i am
the bronte sisters
yes
all three
trapped on the moors
watching 
the moon
blow across
a sky full of stars
blown
by a relentless
wind
worlds exploding
within our imaginations
while loneliness
feasts
on our souls.

you are due a little break after this one. an optimistic-ish upturn as it were. i mean, it’s not hearts & flowers…but less doom & gloom. i am the moon after all. i wax & wane most gloriously.

i have not yet tackled the task of going through my journals for “poems” & art work to be put together in a collection.
i have been a bit down on myself (no! me??) and prone to comparing myself to others to whom success seems an easier venture…and hating them most enthusiastically….
but i am going to do it. i’m going to put together a collection. i’m going to publish it. and i will have my own group of people who enthusiastically hate me for it.
also, i need to start the cards i was commissioned to do.
and i am waiting to hear back from the one who commissioned this

as they have told me they want eleven more illustrations. 

plus, you know, searching for a new home…raising four minions…preparing for winter…training a puppy…deciding what to do with livestock who won’t stop being naughty…oh! & apparently bartering with the father of my children to see if he is “willing” to pay more than $200 a month child support so i can take proper care of his four children…just the normal to do. 

emotional cargo pants

sometimes i think
i must be crying
someone else’s
tears
must be feeling
someone else’s
pain
must be haunted
by someone else’s
ghosts
how could one person
feel
this
much?
maybe i am cursed
maybe i am blessed
maybe it is
my destiny
to pocket
not just my own
suffering
but a piece
of everyone else’s
as well
people who don’t have
all the pocket space
i do
i must be a pair
of emotional
cargo pants
used to carry
all the woes
of the
world.

you know,  emotional cargo pants to go with my sweater of depression. to be found in my neurotic wardrobe.

this one’s a bit messier than usual. the thought was difficult for me to express in the right way. i suspect there is a spectacularly poetic way to do it…but i am falling short & struggling with it.
additionally, my rapidograph pens were being assholes….as is in their nature, but i still love them.

when i was just a girl

when i was just a girl
not yet a woman
i hung a sign on my wall
declaring
“i am destined
for greatness”
one day
a male friend
scoffed
“what? you’re going to marry
adam ant?”
i was
beyond
offended
(still am) as if! as if
a woman could only be great
through marriage
when i was still a girl
not quite a woman
i spent eight hours a day
writing
& writing
novels
first in longhand
then typed
it took about nine months
to birth one
when i was just a girl
not quite a woman
i was broken
already
broken by an
abused
childhood
an abandoned
childhood
i was broken
but
i was
still
whole
until one day
i discovered
the “greatness”
of men.

to say i was an awkward child would be an understatement. to say i was a strange child, also, understated.
needless to say, boys were not knocking my door down.
i was shy & dressed funny.
which was probably the best thing for me. i was safe from myself. however, once i figured out the whole boy-catching thing, things went downhill for me pretty fucking fast.
i let them tear me apart.
i gave them the best parts of me.
and i have been recovering ever since.

on the bright side–i am recovering.

stuck like this

i can feel
the broken parts
inside me
clenching into a
fist
determined
not to be
removed
not to be
healed
staking their claim
to my ego
to my
self
a vice-like grasp
on every
thought
that dares to
venture
out
testing the waters
of my personality
today
“you are a useless
&
awful
person,”
they whisper…but
to me
it sounds like
a scream.

okay. so i write these pages as the thoughts tumble through my brain. so the date on the page is the date i wrote it. i illustrate them in the order i write them.
some days i have several thoughts screaming to be heard.
some days my brain is nice & quiet.
it often happens that i have several pages of script before i get an idea for what image should be with each page. usually i am a day or two or even more behind on illustrating my thoughts.
so! it often happens that by the time i illustrate a thought, i have recovered from it. if that makes sense. i mean, this whole ordeal is just a long, drawn-out exorcism.

ta-da.
(in other words–i feel much better now…but this thought is a valid one…the battle inside me. parts of me wanting to heal–other parts fighting it tooth & nail.)

don’t worry

spirits
ghosts
whispers of things
i do not know
a flutter
at the corner of my eye
voices
bumps in the night
letting me know
i
am
never truly
alone…
if i don’t
answer the door
don’t worry
one of my other
personalities
will
i am safe
tucked
into
the corners of my mind
trading secrets
with my demons
&
arguing
with my angels.

this is what happens when i start a thought on one day and finish it a day or two later. ha! i kind of like it.
in my effort to not escape me by binging on god-awful tv shows per netflix, i am only watching movies on netflix.
the other night, i watched the kindergarten teacher with maggie gyllenhaal. it has a five year old writing poetry and–of course–i started comparing my own “poetry” to his (which i am sure was actually written by a team of adults.) like i do with my art. then i have to remind myself that it is okay for me to be in love with someone else’s style…it does not mean that mine sucks.
right?
that’s the story i’m sticking with.
anyhoo…this random thought free verse started one day finished another…it kind of (just a little bit) reminded me of the poetry in the movie.

short story long.

and i do constantly argue with my angels. they are all like, “focus on you, heal you…” and i run off with the demons because they have a six pack, several seasons of some completely pointless & poorly written tv show, and smoldering looks of come-hither.

also, because i don’t seem to have a mother personality in place for myself–just a horde of wild women & some really awkward pre-teens–i keep going outside in the snow without shoes on to chase goats.
so my head cold should turn into pneumonia anytime now.

INKtober twenty-eighth

i am autumn
i am change
i am ready
to rest
to let go
to prepare
for
spring.

…if i survive winter.
i felt calm, hopeful even, when i wrote this as i watched the wind blow across the blue sky outside my window.
then something cracked & damaged inside me shifted. my rabies flared up.
now i am not so sure that i am anything other than a dead mom walking.
maybe i am not meant to rest.
like my own dear mother always said, “no rest for the wicked.”

INKtober twenty-fifth

i am not broken
i am not broken
is my mantra
today
i am not broken
i am not broken
should be my mantra
every
day
i am not broken
i am not broken
is what helps
me try
to stand
a little taller
a little stronger
helps me be brave
helps me live
to fight
another
day
even when
all
i want
to do
is
surrender.

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