ghosting illinois

in the spring of 2016
i lived in manitowoc wisconsin
i had begun volunteering
at a community garden
working with
farm to school
& helping to launch
a cooperative grocery
things i had wanted to do
most my adult life
i was doing them
joining a community
on the icy shores
of lake michigan

circumstances changed
my landlord decided
she needed more space
my ex decided
we should try again
my parents moved away
and i had a free place to stay
who doesn’t want
a free place to stay
but
as we all know
nothing
is free

i’m trapped in illinois
isolated
no community
no urban scene
any where near
for
gardening
& creating green spaces
i am stranded
right in the middle
of a giant fucking green space
(turns yellow though
when the corn has tassles)

i want to ghost
illinois
move to a town
large or small
but a town that needs
someone like me
a town that wants
someone like me
a town that loves
someone like me
a town
maybe
in iowa?

throwing a dart at at map. what about decorah iowa? it has nice assonance. i do enjoy a good ass..onance.
i don’t know. any thoughts? anyone?
i have to stay within kid-swapping distance of their dad in southern wisconsin…but i don’t want to be too close. plus people in wisconsin do not like me very much.
i used to live in iowa city. for the first four years of my adulthood i lived in iowa city. and i did love it. i ended up ghosting it because i was 22 & the world beckoned & my therapist wanted me to stop dating & focus on healing…so i skipped town & moved to illinois (briefly) & binged on boys before beginning a state-hopping escapade, full of boys.
but that is another story.
i liked iowa city. and i like the idea of going back to school & being close to friends…but i also like the idea of finding a small community in a picturesque setting.
hmmmm?

i’m hoping to be out of here by my birthday (july 12–mark your calendars!) as both a big happy birthday to me and as a fuck you to my folks who are headed back up here to wrap up loose ends.
i know, really mature…but you should meet my parents before judging my desire to avoid them at any cost.
plus my kids are still traumatized from their last interaction with my parents.
(never ever ever should have moved back here…but that is a lesson learned)

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an open book

he says
i never told him
why
when actually
he just never
never listened
to all the times
& all the ways
i did tell him

i have always
been
an open book
that no one wants
to read
i make the words
louder
the pictures
brighter
only to have my cover
snapped
shut
that much quicker

i try so
so hard
to be seen
to be heard
fearing the attraction
i have never gotten
but craving
that
validation
so badly
so fucking
badly

this was originally posted in may of 2018. i re-did the illustration. now it is another finished piece for my the invisible exhibitionist project.  it was based on an egon schiele painting.

all of me

there was a meeting
& a vote
a consensus
(minus one)
where the nihilist
the fatalist
the realist & the idealist
decided
it was time to do away
with the
optimist
“she fucks everything
up,”
it was agreed
raising expectations
so high
too high
only to see them
crash
when the rest
cannot keep up
don’t even wanna
keep up
leaving everyone
ruined
feeling as if they
were drowning
in that glass
half-full
of unrealistic
dreams
& so
added to the agenda
“how to kill
the
optimist”
…to be
continued….

so i’m not saying that positive thought is dangerous–i am saying that unrealistic positive thought is dangerous.
so, like when i am taking baby steps and things are going good & i am feeling good
but then a little voice pops up and says, “you know, you are so awesome, you should just throw caution to the wind and leap over that bottomless abyss.”
is it optimism? or something entirely different? for the purpose of this page, i have called it optimism. i mean, realism can be positive. and idealism is totally positive. but that part of me that sets me up for failure by making me think i can do more than i can do (or even want to do) that voice has to go.

as much as i admire homesteading. i was perfectly happy doing it in my own small way in an urban setting.
but that little voice was all–no, you should go to the country & go full blast homesteading.
and i did.
now get more & more animals to take care of!
and i did.
and now i am isolated, overwhelmed, and miserable.

so death to the optimist who gives me misleading advice. death.
die die die.

ps. my hair this morning looked exactly like the me smoking the cigar. the “optimist” has the hair-do that she does (two little buns) because i find myself thinking it would be a cute hair thing to do…it’s not. not on me.

ps.ps. i am going through a tremendous energy transformation right now. it was happening already, but then i started reading dodging energy vampires and my world turned upside down.
there will be more on this….

credit to “dogs playing poker” for this illustration

love notes

love is trying
to find me
i dream it
in the night
love is on its way
it’s just that the phone
reception
is bad &
i keep dialing
the wrong number
but love is
determined
& sends me
messages
any way it can
so i check the mailbox
with
religious
fevor
i watch the sky
for
smoke
signals
i check the leg
of every
wayward
dove
because
love
love will find me
like a dandelion
wish
on the
wind.

i like to throw y’all a curve ball every once in awhile. let my inner romantic take the wheel. she deserves a turn. i mean, my demons wreak havoc with my art journal.
of course, some would say that love is just another demon.
maybe
maybe
but by now
it’s pretty clear
i dig my demons.

this self-portrait is another rip-off of a gustav klimt. i changed the color scheme but kept the hairdo. i’m not sure i can pull it off, but thought it was close enough to the real thing.

white picket fences

do oddballs
get happily ever
afters
hallmark family photos
where
the dad
is smiling
being a dad
do weirdos
get second
chances
after they choose the wrong
guy
hallmark family photos
where the stepdad
is smiling
loving the kids
as if they were
his own
do freaks
get white picket fences
&
sunday dinners
&
a shoulder to cry on
instead
of one
that
turns
away?

feeling a bit like the orphan looking through the window of a happy family.
i know there is no such thing as normal & hallmark moments…or is that just something we misfits tell ourselves to make it through the night?
i know social media is designed to make everyone & every life look perfect & enviable…
but i still sometimes cry, knowing that there really is–on that profile page–a man who knows how to be there for his wife & kids, and that there is oh so definitely not a man like that in my life.
never has been
in my life
not my dad
not either of my husbands
not one of the dozens of men i’ve dated….

and i cannot bring myself to believe that the odds are that tilted against me. then i know it must be me. then i feel stupid, awkward, ugly, & unwanted. not even an orphan…i am a stray dog with three legs and matted fur bound to be euthanized when no one adopts me.

crap.

i would apologize for the melodramatic pity party…but i feel too sad & gross.

just for the record– i am almost never naked in real life (and my wings are not so visible)…the nudity is symbolic of my bearing myself via my art journal self-portrait series. also, it is an effort to normalize natural bodies. or that’s what i tell myself. maybe i just don’t want to bother drawing clothes….

still invisible

every time i think
of writing
you
the words turn into
poetry
before i can pen
them
& next i find
myself
hoarding my own
words
clutching them
close
not wanting to
share
wishing myself
invisible
again
remember when i was
invisible?
camouflaged inside my own
life
unremarkable
me
oh how i miss
my
solitude
but these words i show you
now
they are my new
camouflage
because, really
you may look
but you still can’t
see
me.

just feeling a bit conflicted about how visible i make myself. there is comfort in being invisible. as much as i try to be seen…sometimes i want to disappear.
most times.
just call me the invisible exhibitionist (so totally a title to an upcoming memoir)

i wake up crying

i wake up
crying
i am
crying
for everything
about everything
the dead goat
in my garage
the toilet
that desperately needs
cleaning
my lost youth
clothes that no longer
fit
the blood that flows
out
of my body
the bickering of offspring
the
non
stop
bickering
of offspring
my own
shortcomings
my own
lost
emotions
my cold cold
heart
my being trapped
penniless
with no where to go
no one to love
me
no one will
ever
love
me
i cry for
everything
i wake up
crying.

there are probably better things i could be crying about. like the state of my country. the suffering of so many people…everywhere. the dying oceans. vanishing species. clear cut forests….
i wish i could rise above my own misery to find a way to help ease the misery of the world.
but my overwhelming life just crushes the life out of me sometimes.

needless to say

to avoid having needs
met
i seek out
impossible men
seek out
self-fulfilling prophesies
teaching me to forget
my needs
bury them deep
it is not safe
to
need
close down
after all
you don’t need
anyone
do you?
need leads to want
need leads to betrayal
need leads to pain
how can i open
myself
to need
when i have taught myself
so thoroughly
that need
hurts?

so.
when i was a kid, my parents didn’t meet my needs. they wouldn’t or couldn’t. instead of becoming more needy, i shut down. i decided that if they wouldn’t meet my needs, i wouldn’t have any.
seriously.
if you read in one of my fallen posts about how i was the “good” one–they thought i was good because i never asked for anything.
nothing.
i refused to give them the chance to not meet my needs. i knew they would reject me–so i didn’t give them a chance to.
so so so fucked up.
what kid doesn’t need?
this one.
then of course, i grew into a woman who dated men incapable of meeting my needs.
so.
i didn’t have any. or if i did, i buried them deep until they became a molten core of anger & hate. resenting people for not being who i needed them to be as i refused to admit i had needs.
basically, i suspect everyone is eventually going to reject me, so i never let myself need anyone.

long story short, i am extremely self-reliant and independent…but i am now unable to need anyone–thereby i don’t connect with people on one basic human level.

yay.

working the healing wheel by maeanna welti has been pretty awesome. at each season on the wheel, there is focus on an area to heal. samhain was fear. solstice was needs. i am still working solstice…but looking forward to what i will learn about myself come imbolic.

searching for treasure

i am inside myself a lot these days
well, most days
okay, every day
i am also
beside myself
with loneliness & isolation
that i think would be relieved
by companionship
but maybe i am one of those people who
even after dreams are achieved
will remain
empty

i’m shopping for a publisher. i think my collection is complete, but i am so tired of proofing & editing, that i cannot stand to read through it even one more time to see what needs to be polished.
i am over on the poets & writers site looking though all of the small presses. i have found a few dozen, but i keep looking because i expect to be rejected multiple times and want to be prepared.
i am tired of looking at publishers.
much like my personal life, i just want someone to walk up my driveway and say, “i am here to take care of all your (publishing) needs.”

alas…my driveway is empty…and in serious need of being re-graveled.

the map painting is one of many treasure maps i have made for different art assignments at uw-madison. fuck me, i love a treasure map.

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