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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works in progress

i survived mother’s day…just barely
noticing via instagram posts
that i cringe when husbands praise wives
& when i see daughters & mothers together
but am okay with sons & mothers
…hmmm
you don’t need to look twice
to see where my damage is….
but i survived
and will live to see
another
mother’s day
& maybe not be such a
train wreck
next
time….

here are some commissions i am working on. i realize, the more i ink, what my style is exactly–& i try to stay true to it.
i am excited to see how these will turn out…& hopefully the people who commissioned them will be just as excited.

and for those of you wondering about my patreon page:


mothra’s day massacre

here’s a funny story
some years back
i noticed my ex
burying something
in the dumpster
knowing he never took out the trash
my curiosity was piqued
so i went
dumpster diving
for mother’s day…
turned out
his stalker girlfriend
had left a mother’s day bouquet
of tulips
on our doorstep for me
unlike all the weird little notes
& gifts she left for him,
he saw fit to throw the tulips
in the trash…
that might be
the only time
i got flowers for mother’s day….

okay…not funny “haha”…more like funny in a really really painful way.
mother’s day & i have a terrible track record.
with a husband who said on the first mother’s day after my giving birth to his son, “why would i get her anything; she’s not my mother?”
with a mother who didn’t seem to know the first thing about mothering…but who was always happy to complain, criticize, & be cruel….
with my own conflicted feelings on being a mom….
it’s a fucked up day for me.
yet…i caught myself buying a necklace for myself…i think it was supposed to be a surprise, for mother’s day. so maybe i am starting to heal?
maybe.
a celtic trinity knot necklace. a protection symbol. with green amber ( my favorite.)
it’s nice to know that i remembered to get me something nice for mother’s day.

the image is a card i sent to my little sister last year for mother’s day…it was the closest i could get to saying “happy mother’s day.”

mother grim

open a beer
or open a vein
whiskey shot to the head
or gunshot
you don’t know
you don’t know me
& how it feels
sometimes
to try
every day
to be a mother
to these ones
every day
every day
every
day
i make this decision
bag of wine
or bag over the head?
relish these years
when they are little
they say
kids grow up so fast
you don’t want to miss it
they say
miss it?
i am deep as fuck in it
living it
despite myself
every day

have you ever heard of “highly spirited children?” yeah. i have four of those.
they are wonderful, beautiful, brilliant, funny, explosive, screamy, dramatic little things. i love them dearly, but sometimes i find my thoughts wandering over to the dark side.
right now they are with their dad–who again–challenged our placement agreement.
whenever he does, i examine my determination to keep being their primary caretaker–to make sure i am not doing it for selfish or controlling reasons.
i discovered that even though i sometimes think i am a crap-ass mom…i completely believe it is best for our children to have me as a primary caretaker. even though i sometimes feel i am going insane with the stress of being a single mom & of raising four strong-willed children, i think i owe them that little bit of stability that being with me gives them.
i have been there for them since day one. i have a commitment to them. so, sure, sometimes i think dark thoughts, but hopefully–expressing those dark thoughts will help me work out those demons so i can be a better mom.
that’s important to me, being a good mom.
not a traditional or conventional mom, but the mom they need me to be. a crazy-ass mom who (most the time) can roll with the punches.

ps. i don’t drink box wine or else i would have known to call it box wine not bag of wine. oh well….

& 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.

pea-ed off

lately
i have been
thinking of life
like
the princess & the pea
no–
the pea
is not
for me
you see
i know i am a princess
a true one
at that
for look how easily
my skin
bruises
not to mention
my heart…
the pea is for
every man
i encounter
i hand him
my pea
to see
who
he
will be
but
so far
i have found more frogs
than
princes.

this one cracks me up. but it’s true. i will think, “hey, he’s kinda cute.” then he will do just one thing wrong, and i will be like, “eww. what did i see in him?”
just little things too.
it might just because i am of a certain age with a certain history of dating any fucking mo who came along.
i think i wrote about this the other day. probably after i had written this page. everyone’s a bit of a disappointment to me right now.
yet still i wait to be crushed by the one who can’t sleep a wink because my pea is too hard. (what??)
speaking of, i am goofing off over on okcupid again.
why?
boredom? desperate but not serious? longing for a deep conversation with a nice pair of eyes?

oh! in other news, do not read rick springfield’s memoir–it’s a real stinker. like i have to tell you that.

my own reflection

alone
who can i blame
but me
alone
my screams
fall on my own
ears
alone
i look at my reflection
really look
this time
not me reflected
in someone else’s
eyes
but
me
standing before
myself
will i hold
myself
up
or push me
down?

i’m thinking of changing my look. i think i could pull off some faux fur. and maybe martinis might be in order.
i have been sober many days now…it is not pretty.

i am going through some stuff.
what? no? not you!
yes, but different stuff. like my usual stuff is sorted & put away, and now i am on to new stuff.
i feel like i am trying to wriggle out of an old skin…but i am struggling to get that fucker off my back.
lots of anger & snarky behavior…which then causes a spiral of guilt & oh-my-god-i-suckness.
fun fun fun.

i wish i knew how many layers this onion has…how many more levels i have to do before i win.

this is a card i’m sending to my sister for her birthday (shhh)

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.

gorey laundry

my dad
he was
embarrassed to be
my dad
he thought
i was weird
different
abnormal
my dad
he was
embarrassed
of me
of the way
i dressed
of my being
outspoken
with opinions
contrary
to his own
my dad
he was
embarrassed
to be my dad
embarrassed
that i wanted to be
a writer
an artist
he tried to convince me
of the mistake
i was
making
he did not believe
i could possibly
succeed
i would be a failure
…how embarrassing
he was
embarrassed
of me
my dad
a man who did not
show his hand
a man
who kept so much
hidden
my dad
he could not bother
to hide
his
embarrassment.

i was to give a speech at my high school graduation because i was the salutatorian of my class.
my dad did not want to go to my graduation because he was sure i would embarrass him.
on my perfect little sister’s wedding day, i was put in the uncomfortable position of being her maid of honor. my dad’s words to me?
“don’t embarrass your sister on her day.”
he told me i would regret following my dreams. he told me that no one actually follows their dreams. he told me i had to be practical.
my dad.
spent so much time pushing me down.
when i eloped with a stranger (because i just wanted to believe that someone could really love me,) he said, “you’re not my problem anymore.”
i guess
now that he’s dead
i can say that right back to him.

thanks to edward gorey for this illustration inspiration

i could tell “worse” stories about my dad. about his alcoholism and his violent temper & how terrifying my childhood was…but the weird thing is, though that stuff was terrifying…it didn’t hurt nearly as much as living a life knowing what he thought of me.

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