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.

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fiercely believing

how do i exist
if no one believes
in me?
my parents
believed in me as a pretty baby
a quiet baby
not so much
when i bloomed
into a strange flower
different 
from them
short of cannibalizing me
like disillusioned 
hamsters
their belief 
faded
sisters
believed in me
in theory
when convenient
one brother 
believed in me
i can say that
because he is dead
& no one can tell me
different
teachers & therapists
well sure
but they were paid to
boyfriends
husbands
i was a game
to win
an uprising 
to squash
a puzzle
to berate
no belief required
friends…?
seemingly quick 
to betray
to disappear
to spout belief
while demonstrating
the opposite
so
much like the tooth fairy
whom i kept alive
way past the age most 
let her dissolve
i keep myself alive
fiercely believing
despite evidence
urging me
to fade away.

while crying in the shower yesterday, i wrote this poem. with the challenge of getting out of the shower & past four screaming minions to the journal on my desk to compose it before it washed away down the drain.
picture that.
i did get dressed first, so be sure to add clothes.

karl shapiro, i think, once wrote a poem about crying in the shower. i think i used to recite it in speech contests. little did i know how useful that poem would prove.

this thought is a bit melodramatic, i suppose. a bit emo. angsty. 
but, seriously, it is something i struggle with. i find it very difficult to believe that anyone believes in me. 
and if they do, i dismiss it as their not knowing me well enough to know any better…or knowing that one day they will stop believing & walk away.
i think it is our nature
at this point in our history
to not believe in each other
to not have invested feelings for one another
in a culture of convenience & right now
belief is too risky.

i made peanut butter cookies (which are kick ass) and i am going to make lo mein & eggrolls for dinner.
thanksgiving just has a bad feeling for me. a holiday of bad energy. as a pagan witch, i have like three harvest holidays & believe in giving thanks every day…so thanksgiving really is redundant for me.

but i do hope y’all are having a good day.
i believe in you!

ps. while pooping this morning (i do my best thinking in a locked door bathroom) i decided i really do need to put my melodramatic art journal musings into a collection with self-portraits. you know, one of those self-publish books.
how do i do that? are their sources that any of y’all recommend? thoughts? 

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.

tumbling down

i have lived my life
like falling down
a flight
of stairs
except
of course
i was totally pushed
or
at least
tripped
before i fell into my own life
half-assed
&
so totally
not
paying attention
hitting each step
as i fell
(i’m picturing one of those
circular, iron
staircases
you know
one with lots & lots & lots
of unyielding steps)
now i am
sprawled
at the bottom
of my own
life
…fuck it
time to get up
i guess.

so i was living in madison, wisconsin, attending UW madison, studying art & writing. i was pretty happy…except dusty didn’t like to work & did like to have girlfriends on the side.
i was having trouble affording rent in madison…and was losing myself to my fucked up relationship with dusty.
i told dusty he could choose between his girlfriend & me, the mother of his children & his supposed soul mate.
i told him i would leave madison if he did not choose me.
he did not choose me.
so as 2015 ended & 2016 began, i packed up the minions & moved 2 hours north to rent from a friend in manitowoc, wisconsin. there i started to get involved with the grocery co-op they were starting as well as getting involved in the local farm to school program & the local community garden. i felt like i was finally finding the community i wanted to be in.
six months in, after learning that my parent’s place was available to me, my “friend” kicked me out of her house. i still don’t know why. but dusty (who since i had left him all of a sudden decided to choose me) was on board with moving to illinois and had me convinced that the end of times was coming with the 2016 election. did i want to homestead–or was it a reaction to an unstable economy & society? a paranoia that dusty fed every chance he got….
did i want to move to rural illinois…or did dusty? he came with me and lived here for six months before i kicked him out.

now i’m here alone with a yard full of animals that cost more than they benefit…with a house that is too much for me to care for…with no support system or community in sight….

and i’m pissed off.
i thought i was doing what i wanted to do, but looking back, i think i did what i had to do as well as what other people wanted me to do.
and i’m pissed off.

i know that i can live like this if i have to (butchering my own meat & raising livestock.) and i do want to continue with living sustainably and continue growing my own food, but i was doing that when i lived in town & had access to a community. i don’t have to isolate myself to bumfuck illinois to do that.

crap.
dusty always was good at covertly isolating me. now i’m locked in some fucking tower waiting for him to rescue me?
fuck that bullshit.
i’m building a ladder.

INKtober twenty-third

another dead  end in the  labyrinth of  my life i
turned  a  corner  &  was all  like, “no y’all,  this
this  is  the  way  out—-i  know it for sure now”
only to  find yet another  gushing  wound  that
better serves to be held fast apply pressure for
godssakes i’m  going to bleed out… wait, where
was i  headed with this…. oh yes,  another  bad
decision….    another  wrong  turn….     another
immersion into false hope, losing myself in the
cult  of  my  own  personality &  not learning a
goddamned  thing from all of my  many  many
many
mistakes

i don’t always illustrate my journal pages with a literal depiction of anything pertaining to what i wrote…but sometimes…i do.
just be thankful i went with pan’s labyrinth rather than trying to portray myself as gerald the goblin king & his mighty bulge.

anyhoo.

and my flock of dodo birds.
don’t forget the dodo birds when i am making decisions based on pursuing my own extinction…playing with self-fulfilling prophesies.

but my fevered brain is settling once more into a holding pattern of isolation. embracing my lonely.

comic idea: how to properly & carefully choose netflix shows to pacify & sedate a lonely heart….

INKtober thirteenth

i hope
i want you
for healthy reasons
i hope
i have
grown
& am ready
to embrace
the ups & downs of a grown up
relationship
i fear
i want you
for unhealthy reasons
like
you almost destroyed me
once
before
maybe you can
finish me off
this time
i suspect
i want you
due to a gypsy’s
curse
how else
could my heart
swing
so suddenly
with every ounce of energy
it has
in your
direction
from out of nowhere
i fall in love
with
the
desperation
of someone searching for
post-apocalyptic
doritos.

INKtober twelfth (beached)

i am paralyzed
no matter which way i go
i am certain
i will fuck
it
up
i am trapped
my life
a torture chamber of indecision
i want to go
i just want to take off
run away
say “fuck it”
& start all over…
but if i do
will i soon regret it?
will i always
always regret it?
i don’t want to be
alone
anymore
but i will
surely
choose
the wrong company
the wrong companion
&
i will
find
myself
missing my solitude…
there is nothing
nothing
i can do
right
i am frozen
frozen
in fear
of
being
me.

so the official inktober prompt of the day (which i am by no means required to use in order to participate in inktober) is “whale.”
while i love drawing whales & am especially fond of humpback whales…it seemed more suitable for me to beach myself.
so this is me
beached.

on a similar note–i realized today that i have no idea how to spell “12th” as a word…good thing my 12 year old knew…(wait–i think i see a pattern)

& i am going through a rough patch. i find myself thinking i should quit the homestead adventure…or, at least, curtail it…. i also want to quit illinois & head back north/northwest (not in a hitchcock way.)
but all this is waaaaaaaaaaay easier said than done when one is broke but with a yard full of livestock living rent-free.
also
i want to be closer to my ex-husband…in more ways than one…& history shows that to be a bad idea…but i am notoriously bad about history.
both of these things are weighing heavily on me. resulting in mental exhaustion & severe bouts of crying as i question every motive i have and every bad decision i have ever made.
it super sucks.
i’m not sure i want to be me right now. i feel like i’m just a complete fuck up waiting for my next fuck up.

INKtober eighth

am i delusional
or spot-on
what is my motivation
here
is this a healthy urge
or a desperate
& warped
longing?
what is it i really
want?
i don’t know which ending
to root for
the one where we finally
work things out
see the error
of our ways
& determine to love each other
right?
or the one where
i triumphantly
move on?
if my life is a movie
would i be yelling at the screen for me
to run to him…
or away?

so many questions. i am trying to sit still and not do anything right now because my brain is obviously suffering some sort of…what? maybe i’m having a stroke. i just don’t know which way is up right now. the other day i googled “is it possible for people to change?”
i mean, i really want to believe he can change…sigh.
so basically i am emotionally paralyzed right now–or, rather, it’s like when they put a patient in a coma intentionally so they can deal with something life-threatening.
it’s like that.
i am in an emotional, self-induced coma for the time being.

phoenix rising

i realized something today
i am pretty fucking awesome
whether i’ve had
a beer…or two
or
am stone cold sober
whether my bathroom is clean
or the scene
of a toxic event
i am pretty fucking awesome
warts & all
literal & figurative
losing my mind
or all fucking zen
i am incredible
fantastic
amazing
think what you will
of me
but i am the only
one
who
knows for sure
i am
totally
fucking awesome.

after 250 self-portrait art journal pages (this is #251) in the past eleven months…it was bound to happen.
i felt good writing this…it was a bit harder to post as i am all, “what if i’m wrong? what if i suck?” but i totally felt it as i was writing it.
confidence.
belief in myself.
and it felt good.

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