itching to leave my cocoon

itching to leave my cocoon
itching to bloom
i’ve been in here too long
safe & snug
throughout my cold & dark
transformation
into a bright eruption
a moth to the moon
a bee to a flower
my purpose
awaits.

stream of consciousness verse. that’s basically how my brain works. if you ever have a conversation with me in person, it’s not too different than reading my brain outbursts here & in my art journal.
disjointed thoughts
mixed metaphors
backstories
in all the wrong places….

but i digress! i am itching to get out of my cocoon. i feel like that is what my time here at my childhood home has been. i feel like that is what my submerging myself into my art journal exploration of my dark & drippy psyche has been.
i’ve written out all the parts of my brain that i can right now. i’ve written them out to make room for new thoughts.
revolutions & epiphanies await.
just have to shake free of the rest of this
chrysalis
rise from my tomb
& go.

for a front row seat to all the amazing things i will do…just a dollar a month, y’all.https://www.patreon.com/emjemccarty

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boxcar willy

i have found
i can start a poem
about one of them
&
end the same
poem
on notes of an
other
i have found
i can start crying
over one of them
&
then forget
which one
i am crying
about
maybe
that long
train of men
is just the same damn
boxcar
going past
going past
going past
while i stand
stuck
at the
crossroad.

this has happened a lot as i have let go of the notion that seymour was any different than dusty.
now i get them confused.
i feel the same sense of loss…the same frustration…the same sense of abandonment…the same anger towards the both of them.
i have noticed patterns in the men i end up with. but now i am beginning to suspect it is just the same guy, going out the door, putting on a hat & fake mustache, and coming back in.
or–at least–that’s what it feels like.

i don’t want to be a racist

i grow
but it is not
enough
i evolve
but i still have
a million years
to go
i check my thoughts
my actions
my reactions
who am i
i am not
who i am
i do not embrace
change
for the popular
or the political
i embrace change
because
it is
the right
thing to do
to grow
to evolve
to be ready
to work
a million more years
if i need to.

i grew up in an extremely racist area of illinois. a sundown county. my parents were rarely blatantly racist, but it was there. subtle racism right alongside the subtle sexism & homophobia.
my town was white white white. in high school i had a biracial classmate, and we all thought he was very exotic.
i am grateful for things like sesame street and fat albert for showing me worlds other than my small town at a young age.
but it wasn’t enough to stop the programming. the racist thoughts from rooting in my brain.
because, even though i abhor racism, i still have racist thoughts.
i used to use it as proof that i was a bad person, but then i read that what one is programmed through upbringing, culture, & society to think is one’s initial thought in a situation. the thoughts that come after, is that person’s efforts to rewire the programming.
and those little voices are loud & persistent. they don’t tolerate my racist programming at all.
yay for that.
but, holy crap, when will the programming go away? will it ever go away?

the programming also pops up with sexist and homophobic opinions, which i find especially weird since i identify as a bisexual feminist. i guess i shouldn’t be surprised that i was programmed to also hate & judge myself.

i mean, after all, hasn’t this art journal project been all about exorcising those demons?
but i am so incredibly uncomfortable writing about this and sharing it with whomever reads it. i feel like such a bad person.
but i will continue.
it is one thing i can do.
i can change.

scribbles & doodles & coloring pages

as i drink my tea
forsaking the coffee
(which taunts me
yumminess
paired
with
addiction
& achy kidneys)
i eat my toast
with jam
and referee
squabbles
while considering
my own scribbles
an itch at the back
of my mind
something undiscovered
something untapped
i can feel
something
wonderful
if i can just get my pen
& brain
to work as one.

i was watching flowers on netflix, a delightfully dark british sitcom. the patriarch of the family flowers writes dark children’s books about trolls. the illustrations immediately drew me in. so i started doodling some trolls of my own to see if i could.
today i found this other doodle on the brown paper that i use in between sheets of my journal to keep the ink from leaking onto blank pages. i doodle on it sometimes, but hadn’t looked at it in awhile. i found this drawing appealing in the same way as the troll illustrations.
however, i am not sure where to go with either one of them. so i guess i will just keep messing around until i figure it out.

meanwhile, i have become misha’s artist on demand for coloring pages. she had me do two more this morning and has requested a mom & dad dragon with baby dragons after i do a picture of myself & her dad riding a swan.
i asked if the swan could be flying while i am pushing her dad off of the swan, and she began pretend crying & ran from the room.
sigh.
the things i do for my minions (i don’t want to be near that motherfucker even in illustration. i can barely look at the illustration for “absolution” from a few days back. ack! but now i have to ride a goddamn swan with him….)

ps. unlike her brothers, misha is not colorblind. just to be sure, i asked her about her colored page, “what color is the grass?” she replied, “orange.”
& i said, “awesome.”
my girl.

fallen V

you always got
angel food cake
on your birthday
because
you were the
good
one
how is that right
you wondered
that the devil’s food
is so much
yummier
than the angel’s?
doesn’t really
encourage
so-called
goodness, does it?
& your goodness was
so totally
so-called
they labeled you
“good”
because
they
didn’t
know
what
else
to
call
you
you, in your quiet
contemplation
of the world
around
you.

i hate angel food cake. every year i got an angel food cake on my birthday because i was the “good” one & my irish twin–the one my mother preferred to me–got a cake that actually tasted good because she was the “bad” one. devil’s food.
ha!
i wasn’t good. i was just quiet. and deeply aware that my household was unstable & dangerous.
so i was quiet & appeared to behave…& i waited.

outside the box

i feel
stuck
in the ground
rooted
a tree that longs to run
a dandelion
watching her fluff
on the wind
so badly wanting
to be fluff
on the wind
i want to squat
in a church
or an abandoned warehouse
some place where i can ride my bike
from room
to room
or steal a paddle boat
and learn the river ways
i want to dig my own
hobbit house
go to bed
under the stars
because i haven’t built a roof
yet
i want to teach my kids
show this world
how to live
literally live
outside
the
box.

progress

i am almost finished with this commissioned piece.
i like it. it reminds me of shel silverstein (who happens to be one of my favorite male artists.) so i felt happy about that. i also love being able to get messy with my ink.
i just emailed the people who requested it & quoted a price. then vowed to myself to start doing that before i accept a job.

so there’s that.

also! i find myself, when thinking of good things to come, thinking of artwork rather than relationships. which is a big step for me. i tried to express that in my last journal  page “a letter for me,” but i think maybe i didn’t say it the way i meant.
i am trying to explore these things further in my art journal, but i have just gotten started.
meanwhile…
my minions are back from their week at their dad’s and i am struck by how i go from living in an isolation tank to living in a house full of feral monkeys. it’s quite a shock to my system.
something i should maybe start preparing myself for…other than just buying alcohol.

yesterday i heard my ten year old boy (iggy) say of my seven year old girl, “misha is running a fight club–” i did not catch the rest of the conversation. i just hid.

then while i was doing yoga for ptsd , iggy & fidgit put on a movie i got for them and then iggy was in the doorway lamenting that the movie was black & white and how could i do that to him as i know he just hates black & white….
i assured him it would turn to color as it was not a black & white movie, and i kept doing my yoga.
fidgit then appeared in the doorway after some loud scuffling. he said something about iggy attacking & injuring him but all i could think to do was ask (of the movie) “is it colored yet?”
to which he replied, “no, but it will be soon.”
“good,” i answered right before he began wailing about my not caring that his bruise would soon have color.

for some reason that communication mix up really struck me as funny.  i started laughing & could not stop.
i would think i was losing my mind…but i am going to blame the yoga. yoga tends to release things for me. usually i cry. it felt nice to laugh like i did not know how to stop.

even though i probably further traumatized fidgit. (it still kind of makes me laugh though)

INKtober twenty-ninth

you killed the me
who thought i could be
a good
mother
you picked her apart
tore her down
slowly
…deliberately?
did you want
me
to fail?
you turn
away
every time
i show you
the pain you caused
& then i wonder
why
do
i
still
try?
it’s ridiculous
really
that i am
still
still
still fucking
trying
to convince you to care
about
me
the person you destroyed….
why
would you care
ever
much less
now?

so this took me long enough to figure out. if someone is okay with hurting me once…they are probably going to be okay with continuing to hurt me and they probably aren’t going to be sorry about it.
i’m a bit dense sometimes.
okay, i’m often a bit dense.
especially about people who i think should love me…but really really don’t.

the difference between want & need

this is the day
mark it on your calender
this is the day
you no longer need
a relationship
to feel complete
to feel a purpose
a relationship
is like the beer in your fridge
you enjoy them
in healthy amounts
they leave you empty
if abused
you crave them sometimes
you think you can’t get through
the day
without them
sometimes…
but you can.
this is the day
you know that
know it to be true
being drunk on love
is no longer
a healthy option

keep a clear head
today is not the day
to lose yourself
today is the day
you find yourself.

while i am not giving up beer nor relationships, i am recognizing that i do not need either one in my life in order to make it through a day, week, month….
sixteen years ago today, i had my first date with dusty. at the suggestion of my soul sister, tara, i am changing the significance of today’s date.
today i stand tall & whether i have a beer later…or go on a date eventually…i know that i do not need to.

i keep ending up with flower heads. i’m not sure what is going on there. as always, y’all are welcome to analyze my art & let me know what is going on.

without fail, after i have posted art here, on tumblr, & on instagram, i realize i once again forgot to clean off my scanner & there is a stray hair or an ink smudge or both on my scanned artwork…fine…let’s just think of it as my copyright/watermark. 

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