death or marriage

so in the late 90s
i was contemplating suicide
life
just
seemed
pointless
then some guy i met in a bar
proposed marriage
after knowing me
just a few weeks
& i thought marriage
might be a little less
permanent
than death
so
i agreed
having the theory that
if i could
just
meet
someone
who did not irritate me
maybe i could make it work
…& that is how
i met my first
husband.

marriage. less permanent than death. there’s my tag line for the event.
we eloped to the smoky mountains in tennessee where a civil servant read us the words outside of his mountaintop home.
it didn’t last long.
the ceremony or the marriage.
he didn’t irritate me…but he was also pretty emotionally unavailable. and one thing i need to be available to me is emotion. a kind heart. a shoulder to cry on.

my parents here.
lots of epiphanies to why i’m a disaster in relationships. lots & lots & lots of little clues to that destructive part of my personality.
so much fun.

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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

(written in 2012)

and so this is christmas

i used to joke
every year
“will this be the christmas
someone dies?”
dark jokes
somehow kept us alive
my dysfunctional family
…then
two years in a row
someone i loved
died
right around christmas time

my parents have
planned
to visit me
this christmas
unbidden
the thought
popped
right back into my head
again

so i drew my bottom half the way i always drew christmas trees when i was a kid. does anyone see that? i liked that idea.
my folks, whom i am estranged from–yet whose house i live in–are coming back to visit me? my kids? their house?
and i am terrified.
i think it triggered a lot of the darker stuff i have been posting in the last few days, their planned visit.
my parents…let me tell you about my parents….
(it’s a bladerunner reference…i’m not really going to tell you about my parents. that is a whole series of psychology books)

i buried myself

i try to bury myself
with life
with living things
land, plants, pets, livestock
children
i hoard
to try to fill a hole
that deep dark unquenchable
hole
i call my heart
to feel needed…
but that need
it overwhelms me
& all i want to do
is run away
to shed my skin
to start
anew.

i’m in a bad place. i wish i knew why. i am a bad person. i wish i knew why.
sigh.
my biggest fear is becoming my own parents.
tonight i felt like i have become their shadow.
i don’t want to be my parents.
i want to be a good person.

but as my mom liked to say,
the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

pray for me, my lovelies…

the color of my tears

the color of my tears
is the color of my eyes
some muted mix
of blue & green
that falls freely from my eyes

i get my brother’s birthday & his death day
mixed up in my head
he was born…
three weeks (& 45 years later)
he died
the last i spoke to him
was his birthday
so it is the last i remember of him
from the end of november
to almost christmas
it all blends together.
the end of him
& every time i see 12:19 on a clock
i forget that it is the birthday
of my children’s father
& only remember
it as my brother’s death
day.

loss…lost

i was breastfeeding
my second son
when i got the call
that my big brother
was dead
…plane crash
he crashed his plane
i’d just gotten his christmas newsletter
“keep christ
in christmas”
& his devastation
over the election of obama
to the presidency…
i had been making fun of him
to one of my liberal sisters
earlier that evening…
just around the time
his plane crashed into an ohio suburb

i usually start my pages with words & finish with a drawing. this one i drew first, and then the words came.
tomorrow is my big brother’s birthday. he would have been 54. he died 9 years ago.

the worst thing

what’s the worst thing
you can do
to the girl
who is full of anxiety
constantly looking to her worst-case-scenario
the girl with the abandonment
escapism
issues?
you.
her diabetic boyfriend
her diabetic fiance
the love of her life
you know what you could do?
you could go into insulin shock
once a week–at least
you could do that while you’re driving
even
crash your truck into a utility pole
& laugh it off
leaving her desperate
& terrified
you could do that
while never-ever realizing
never-ever admitting
that you are hurting her.

you were happy to let me take the blame
when our world fell apart.

this one. the one i should be over by now. but–you know–stuff it all down deep enough & you won’t have to deal with it. just keep piling more crap on top of it.
except…it seeps out. and i end up sending him psychotic communications. desperate pleas for forgiveness. and he just plays me like a game as usual.
i did awful things in that relationship. things out of my character. things i have never done to anyone else. and all i can do is blame myself…but what if i did it because i was so scared he was going to die on me?
i was sure i would come home & find him dead. so many times i came home to find him convulsing in insulin shock. what happens the one time i don’t make it home in time?

me.
a girl terrified of death. a girl terrified of being alone. a girl who would shut down rather than risk feeling for a creature that might die on her….

fuck the fuck.

it hurts so much to let this surface. i guess that’s good?  i mean–is healing supposed to hurt this much?