don’t walk away

though i feel comfort
at the thought
of a no-more
a
never-more
i am invested
in this story
& long to know
how it will
unfold
will i laugh?
will i cry?
i will not stop
turning the pages
of my life
even if at times
i feel
like
setting the book
down
& walking
the fuck
away,
i come back
i come back
i pick up
where i left off
my story
this
is not
the end.

originally posted on august 31, 2018

another one towards the one day realization of the invisible exhibitionist.

i tore up so many versions of this. i am still not completely happy with the final…but there is a lot i like about it too.
i am not sure why i went with lewis carroll’s drawing of alice for this one. i do know that i have always loved this illustration. when i re-did it, i worked from my version of the illustration, without looking at his, which is my habit. to work from my own art that i first borrowed from someone else….
if that makes sense.

anyhoo!
i noticed that this as well as my last post are about survival & not doing myself in as the little voices sometimes suggest…so that’s nice.

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& for my next trick…

surviving myself
may be
the best trick
i have ever done
now you see me
now
you still
see me
i’m still here
manacles
straight jacket
cement shoes
submerged in a tank full of every tear
i have
ever
cried
&
i climbed back out
i
survived.

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.

five years later…

excerpt from my short story “jesus fingers”

You feel like you are inviting badness into your life every time you mutter “the little fucker” to yourself and every time you regret not killing it when you had the chance—every time you think about it just disappearing from your life and how easy that would make everything. You can’t help fantasizing though because everything just seems so hard now. So fucking monumentally stressful.

And your body that you were anxious to have as your own again—where is it now? And the days you were anxious to have as your own again? How many more years before that happens now? Five? More? With number three you kept thinking, “Just get through the toddler years this one last time and there won’t be any more toddler years to deal with. Just get through the breastfeeding one last time. Then I won’t have to worry about what I do to my own body—it will be mine again.” But now you sink into despair, realizing it will be even longer. Another baby to soothe to sleep. Another toddler to watch with an eagle eye. Another toilet training. Another kid’s meal to buy if you can actually afford to go out ever again.

five years later

i am defeated
by a five year old
he crushes me
so easily
maybe because
not much of me is
left
he destroys me
so easily
screaming & screaming & screaming
until i am
lying
on the floor
sobbing
i am nothing
as i wish
silently
reverently
that i had never
become
a
mother.

ps.
writing both of these pieces, my short story and this free verse, it helped me to deal with the overwhelming anguish around my conflicted feelings about motherhood.
i wouldn’t trade poppy for the world, but that doesn’t mean sometimes i just don’t want to be a mom.

i wake up crying

i wake up
crying
i am
crying
for everything
about everything
the dead goat
in my garage
the toilet
that desperately needs
cleaning
my lost youth
clothes that no longer
fit
the blood that flows
out
of my body
the bickering of offspring
the
non
stop
bickering
of offspring
my own
shortcomings
my own
lost
emotions
my cold cold
heart
my being trapped
penniless
with no where to go
no one to love
me
no one will
ever
love
me
i cry for
everything
i wake up
crying.

there are probably better things i could be crying about. like the state of my country. the suffering of so many people…everywhere. the dying oceans. vanishing species. clear cut forests….
i wish i could rise above my own misery to find a way to help ease the misery of the world.
but my overwhelming life just crushes the life out of me sometimes.

without hope

i don’t know
what i could possibly
be hoping 
for
what would even cure
this
thick
bleak
sludge
i call my soul
what could ever change
my hopeless situation
i mean
it’s
hope
less
that is
without hope
that one thing
pandora supposedly kept
from escaping
her box
hope
hope is gone
because really
i’m pretty sure
it was never there
to begin with.

this is from the other day when i was in a deep dark place, deciding that i should just do away with hope because what had hope done for me lately?
in case you’re wondering
or conference calling me with the suicide hotline
i am feeling less bleak today. 
i mean, if i think too hard, i could probably recall my reasons for eighty-sixing hope. however, i am going to try to float a bit above that abyss for now…until i trip & fall into it again.
until then….

ps. it doesn’t make sense. if pandora opened the box & let loose all the horrible things onto humankind…but slammed it shut before hope could escape, wouldn’t that mean hope was locked away from us? or that the awful things flew away from us? one or the other? why was hope in there with all the horrors anyway? wouldn’t it be kept in a box with love & kindness? or why keep hope in a box at all. let the little fucker run free.
i mean
i get it–but it doesn’t make sense.

credit to arthur rackham whose depiction of pandora i borrowed  heavily from.

courting death

self soothing
is thinking about 
the blade against my skin
self soothing
is a match 
to burn it all to the ground
self soothing 
are the words
rolling around 
in my rotten brain
no one has ever loved you
anyway
self soothing
is a free fall 
away from my nightmares
and into a comforting
emptiness
love
love is the easy answer
if by easy 
you mean
impossible
death
makes more sense
no longer fantasizing about love
saving me
only 
hoping
for
death.

death. the ultimate distraction. no. i don’t really want to die. most the time i plan on living forever. but some days there is something deep & dark inside me. an overwhelming lack of hope. 
it has a lot to do with escape. that’s what the thoughts of death are. i mean, when i was in the midst of it, i thought, what if i didn’t die–but just disappeared?
it was all the same to me. well. actually disappearing was more desirable than death.
i am sure other mothers feel this way. i am sure none of us like to talk about it. i talk about it because i have to.
if i keep things inside, it only gets worse. 
squeeze it until it bleeds…& then it can get better.

i am not sure how i feel about this illustration/self-portrait. i feel like i am…too sexy? is death sexy? i wasn’t going for sexy. i’m not sure it is even sexy. trust me, i do not feel sexy. 
i do like the illustration…it feels comic-booky to me. i just feel like a fraud for having drawn/painted it.
don’t ask me why. 
i don’t fucking know.

seven hundred years

sometimes i feel 
like i have been alive
for seven hundred years
i barely
remember 
yesterday
so for all i know
i’ve been alive
forever
&
i wonder
if i’ll ever look back
on these days
of struggle
of isolation
from the comfort
of a soul mate’s 
embrace
look back
in wonder
& awe
how did i ever survive
such desolate
times
to feel peace 
in my heart
while remembering
a time when peace
was a fantasy.

this, and a few more pages to come, were written yesterday when i was feeling especially hopeless & suicidal. good times…. being a single mom with next to no support system. i need to tell y’all, do not try this at home.

strangely, once i accepted that there was nothing to hope for, i felt a bit calmer. that’s me. finding comfort in the concept that i will never find comfort. 

this page does not have my standard issue self-portrait…unless you consider that that is my soul flying under the full moon. 
owls symbolize being able to see what others cannot. i identify with the owl, though i assume everyone else can see what i see. 
which, i guess, is not the case.
so!
i make art.

i may have gotten a little carried away. i think i painted my words out.

color me lonely

if lonely is a color
surely it is black
wait
or gray
gray like that shirt
that makes me feel
institutionalized
not orange 
like my favorite
swanky 
sweater
if lonely is a sound
it has string
instruments
definitely
string instruments
maybe vocalizations
but
no words
if lonely is season
it is
late
fall
i know you would say
mid winter
but
late fall
is when everything
leaves.

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