the violence we inherit

i wonder as i replant all of the basil babies
my son’s cat
dug up in the night
i wonder
was there a voice in my dad’s head that day
a voice that urged him to stop
or to at least take a beat
& think
about what he was doing
as he loaded his gun
or was he too loaded himself
sound voices unable to reach a brain fevered
with the excitement of an excuse
to do violence
what did he think about 
as he blew out my cat’s brains
& destroyed the last of my childhood dreams of love
dreams of feeling loved
of feeling safe
as much as i want to do violence
to my son’s cat
i will not
i know the feeling will pass
i know it is important not to hurt my son
know if is wrong to hurt an animal
who is just doing what animals do
i hope my son
feels loved
i hope he feels safe
i hope his cat appreciates that even though i am 
sometimes void
of the empathy that normally haunts me
i am able to recognize right
from wrong
however
even though i assure myself that i am not
my father
i am grateful to the cat
for having the sense to hide
before i found my damaged seedlings
so that belief
did not have to be
challenged.

i don’t remember how old i was when it happened. i’m pretty sure a lot of the details were told to me. but i don’t remember by whom. all i know…or all i was told…was that my sister had put nester the bunny, my baby brother’s pet, on the deck in a cardboard box. my sister did this so she could clean the living room. she cleaned in an obsessive-compulsive way. she cleaned because it was something she could control. she cleaned to survive. so nester was put in a cardboard box on our deck so my sister could do what she had to do.

my cat was a farm cat as my parent’s didn’t believe in house cats. my cat was a big tomcat covered in scars. i loved my cat like nothing else. 

my cat found the bunny and with his own set of survival skills, he broke nester’s neck. this is what i was told.

i remember that midnight then ran under the deck to hide. i am not sure how he knew to hide. but that is where my dad found him. telling the story for years after, my dad would say my cat was laughing at him while my dad pulled the trigger.

what about me?

where was i? was i screaming? was i crying? i remember knowing. i knew my cat was going to be shot. what did i do? was there anything i could have done?

i was already damaged by this point in my life. recent readings have me wondering if i suffer from attachment disorder due to emotional & then physical barriers that kept my mother from bonding with me as an infant & into my childhood.and the violence my father was capable of kept me in a pretty constant state of fear. i am pretty sure i was just hanging on by a thread at this point. my dad had already been responsible for at least one other instance of killing someone i loved when he put my pet mouse out in the rain. 

i think this was it.

the straw that broke the camel’s back and left me unable to love. to trust. to bond with another living creature.

…until i had children of my own and found a fierce love somehow…somehow…still burning inside me.

“foxy” 16X20 inking on canvas…$200

quixotic updates

i am working on this new ink on canvas tentatively titled “foxy.” i really like working on canvas & now that i am down to my last free canvas, i am thinking of buying more for future creations.
that bunny keeps hopping into my art lately. i have even started a children’s book starring him.
fun fact. after i wrote the text for said children’s book, i went to my sun porch, looked out the window, and watched three bunnies eating dandelions in my backyard. i stood & watched for at least ten minutes. if you have never watched a bunny eat a dandelion, you are totally missing out.

in other news, i went through all my journals looking for “fodder” for books & stories. i have decided to focus on one project at a time instead of being easily distracted & starting new projects without finishing old ones. after the children’s book illustrations are done, i will focus on finishing the text & doing illustrations for my novel, a better life through sock puppets.
i am trying to give myself credit for what i have achieved. i let myself be proud of the fact that i found so many random ideas & sketches worth working with! including the above gem from 2016.

so i am not moping. i am rebuilding that fucking tower & giving myself credit for doing a good job with it.
as they say in my home state of wisconsin–forward!

feral

i have been enjoying doing ink on canvas. it is a different process. i have to think more about what i am doing. i guess i’m exercising a new part of my art brain.
this one was inspired by a journal page. i’m not exactly sure what is going on. i keep staring at it & trying to figure the story out.
my art is always always always about the story.
speaking of which. i have been doing some brainstorm doodling. i am on the verge of a new comic (that might be a mishmash of many other ideas from other stories playing in my head these past seven years.) right now it is percolating…& doodling….

up top: “veronica”
16×20 inking on canvas
$200 plus shipping

girls girls girls

mostly i’m just staring at blank pages
blank canvases
a busy mind
spilling ink
& seeing what happens….

so this past week i have spent $300 that i don’t have to pay two different plumbers for a total of 15 minutes of work. i am broke as a joke & living on credit and praying to the universe that art sells…that books sell…that this job comes through…that my ex gets a job & starts paying me child support again…that i somehow win the award issued by the sustainable arts foundation despite four or so failed attempts to win it in years past….

i need to learn plumbing…in addition to carpentry & tiling.
or sell art so i can afford to pay for help.

up top: “gretchen”
20X16 inking on canvas
$200 plus shipping

left: “clarice”
8X10 inking on watercolor paper
$40 plus shipping

right: “lambkins”
8X10 inking on watercolor paper
$40 plus shipping

trying new things

are we just bundles
of cells
hurtling through space
on some rock
whose movements
are all do to an attraction
to a ball of gas?
or is there
more….

crisis of faith. right? who’s with me? but if i don’t believe in something greater than myself…what then? it doesn’t help that i have at least two nihilistic little anarchists running around my house declaring there is no point to it all.

fuck a duck.

i am playing around with ink on canvas as i feel my scorpio’s need to keep on growing & transforming. i have a huge (like 3′ X 4′?) sized canvas i want to do a mural on. but first i am practicing on some canvases i have been hauling around with for almost 20 years.

also, i am going to write one (or two) more pages of moses jones before putting her away. i don’t know if she is done or not, but i want to focus on other projects so i am bringing her to a stopping point so i can move on.

there are a number of projects always whirling around in my brain. i think i need to just throw a dart, pin one down, and get busy.

better late than never

when i was not even yet 20
i had written
three or four books
& working on the next one
plunking away
on an electric typewriter
sending off pages & pages
to publishers
& agents
getting back
an impressive collection of rejections
i knew i was going to be a famous
author
i knew it…
but life got in the way
& hope
dreams
years
lost
to
“but what are you really going to be?”
&
“shouldn’t you be looking for a job
with health insurance”
(punk rock little me
thinking
as long as i have planned parenthood
why do i need insurance?)
somehow
without looking
i am almost fifty
still punk rock
but not yet
nor
anytime soon
a famous
author
however!
soon
a published
author.

my collection of stories–some from those times when i was 20…some from an almost 50 (but still punk rock!!) mother of four…and all the time in between–my collection of short stories has been accepted by a small press in ohio.
a punk rock press, of course.

i should be excited…& i think i am…but maybe after so many years of being quietly unpublished, i am not sure how to make noise about being published….
give me a day or two.

meanwhile, i have started a new art journal series about my being feral. that is, decidedly not a domestic goddess. it is over on my patreon page along with my other art journal pages.

and happy earth day, y’all…but, remember, every day is earth day!!

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