enough

i watched him fall down
a full flight of stairs once
& land on his feet
i was totally attracted
to how self-destructive
he was
that tended to be
my favorite part of people
the part i could
recognize

the part i could

understand

that wanting to erase yourself….
i took him home that night

that falling down drunk night
i lured him away
from the other girls
with their naughty reputations
“for his own good” i told myself
i lured him with promises of blowjobs
it was the second time 
& last time
we would have sex
for as much as i loved him
& obsessed over him
for all the years i spent following him
with my heart on my sleeve

it turns out
he wasn’t self-destructive enough

to love me back.

dove soup

the dove sits on the telephone wire
watching me do yoga, poorly
like i was feeling out of sorts
& yoga only confirmed
how badly my mind & body
are aligned. how ungrounded
how uncentered i am
& the bird watches all of it
through my picture window…
usually a lone mourning dove
is a comfort
an echo of my own lonely heart
but today it feels like a taunting
a mockery
& all i want to do
is shoot the damn thing off of its
spy’s perch
& have dove soup for lunch.

fraud alert

seeing my books
on discount
hit me much harder
than i expected
i am already too fragile
of late
my exhibitionist
more exposed
than invisible me

i’m trying to fly instead of falling…but i just keep tripping over myself. what the what. i hate this. i guess i need to take a breath & not push me too hard…but i can’t let me slip backwards either.
in other news, i had to fire my handyman as i am sinking further & further into debt and guessing i have to figure out how to fix madness manor by myself?
so tired of doing things by myself….
and as getting by on my good looks is not panning out…i had to get a paying job, but at least it is working with plants. of course, now i have to worry that i am not actually qualified to work with plants….
there was a personality test with the job application. i was sure i blew the personality test. who the fuck would hire me?
but they did hire me.
why? i’m not sure i would hire me.
and after i post this, i am headed over to the viroqua public market to drop off more art because my drawer at home is overflowing. now my spot at the market will be overflowing…i only sold just one last month.
i googled how to promote myself….
fuck.
i peeked out…couldn’t find my shadow…and now i’m headed back into my hidey hole.

coming soon!

tara over at raw earth ink sent me a sample of things to come for my next publication
the invisible exhibitionist!
so exciting!
for you who weren’t with me from 2017 through 2019, i was obsessively inking self-portraits & vomiting free verse in an attempt to root out the damage that kept me broken.
i wrote about everything & anything that went through my head or that i felt inside me.
i exorcised as many demons as i could find
& ended up making friends with a few of them.
i did almost 500 pages of self-portraits.
during 2020, i hung up a show at a local art spot & more than one person told me it should be a book.
so!
it’s going to be a book.
every time i read what i wrote back then, it makes me cry all over again. i was a raw as i could be.
and i share that rawness in hopes that someone who needs to see it will. in hopes that i can help at least one person not feel alone.
i am looking forward to seeing it all together in one book.

happy valentine’s day from an ice monkey

confusion is nothing new

teeth & gums & nakedness
nothing new
a series of dreams
that never come true
but can i really say
i never get what
i want
when wants change
& needs are undecipherable?
needs
i would like to get
what i need
teeth & gums & nakedness
men following men
through my room
moonlight
sunlight
lamplight
condom wrappers
& nothing fulfilled
but i got
what i wanted
for 30 seconds
teeth & gums & nakedness

yes. my name is “mary jo” & yes. i was a pretty promiscuous 24 year old once.
this is my favorite poem that i have ever written.
it was written after a busy summer in ’94 that began with my breaking up with the love of my life and ended with my reuniting with the love of my life after a bunch of indiscretions.
then i went away (with him) to an all girl school in roanoke, va (hollins university) where i workshopped my poem as well as classics such as “bukowski’s undertow” & “tiny tortures in this hyperactive ghost town” which can be seen in comic form in my newly published book confusion perfume & other neurotic comics.

in other news–i made so many valentine’s this year, y’all! i like to reclaim valentine’s day as a day of love & not necessarily romance. and i am so full of love. ink covered love.

ps. happy year of the (big blue) ox!

pps. my scanner finally gave up it’s ghost, hence the buttload of blurry photos. i did invest in a new scanner that should be here soon. buy a copy of my book to help me pay for that!!

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