shark guard

this is not poetry
i am not a poet
i cannot stress that enough
i never imagined myself poetic
never
ever
ever
it’s just that free verse
is such an easy way
to say
what i need
to say
nevermind the rhyme
i am not a poet
not
ever
ever
i just have a lot to say
a lot rattling around
in this brain of mine
& the easiest way
to get it out
is to
just
blurt
in free
verse.

so i got rejected for the second time by the sustainable arts awards for mother artists & writers.
poop
i really really could have used the money.
also, i can only find rentals that say “proof of employment!” telling me i need to be earning three times what the rent is.
the real world just fucking sucks sometimes.
but!
am i down?
am i out?
no. for some fucking rainbow shooting out of unicorn ass’s reason, all i feel is hope.
so fucking weird.

i wrote the above not-a-poem because one of the critiques of the portfolio i submitted to the sustainable arts foundation commented on my sub-par writing while complimenting my artwork.
so!
just trying to keep my spirits high…though, again, weirdly they are staying up all on their own.

the above image is what happened when i tried to do a commissioned seascape that included a mermaid. here is the same seascape yesterday before i changed it:

do you see what i did? i put in another shark. it occurred to me as i was trying to fall asleep, another shark would create a “guard” effect rather than suggesting the mermaid was in trouble. or, at least that is my take-away.

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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:


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….

caged bird drawing

clipping digital
coupons
entertaining children
with my drawing
skills
(at least someone
appreciates
them)
baking bread
washing dishes
cooking meals
wiping butts
dreaming
of
being
fabulous
while living life
in the body
of a low income
middle aged
single
mother
of four
i took the bait
without seeing the
trap
i made my nest
without seeing the
cage
now i sing my
song
but
nobody
hears
me.

more moping.
you would think, after thirteen years, i would have a hang of this motherhood thing.
but no.
i still look & wonder & cry that i am alone at it.
alone & broken.
maybe in a parallel universe i have a supportive husband who did not make my life hell for shits & giggles.
maybe in the parallel universe, being a mom does not feel like a trap & a cage.

meanwhile….

this is my playing around with a bamboo pen. i did it awhile back, but realized i had never posted it. i thought it looked kinda cool…so.

meanwhile,
my day is filled
with my day job of artist
on demand
for some
demanding
children,
fists full of magic markers,
shouting out scenes
for me to draw.

color me goofy

i cannot get anything done today. seems i am chained to my drawing desk. doing art on demand so misha–& now poppy–can have pages to color. this is what i get for refusing to buy coloring books….

so when i suggested that instead of drawing me & dusty riding a swan, i could draw poppy & misha on a swan, poppy shouted, “i get to be in front!”
misha refused to compromise.
so i drew me & her dad–and i made sure that i got to be in front.
ha!



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.

fly, my lovelies, fly

i love to set
my demons
free
go
fly
my lovelies
fly from me
swoop & terrorize
with shrieks
of
delight
as i loose you
onto the world
loose you
from my cobwebbed
mind
& you take with you
the dense
darkness
of my heart…
i never ask
what you did
my demons
when you
return
to roost
i only
revel
in the short but light
time
of mine
in a head
in a heart
that is
not
haunted.

yesterday i posted about my crap-ass experiences with my own motherhood. i was in pieces as the words spilled out, but by the time i posted them, i had pulled myself together.
because i wrote it out
i let it out
i am not joking when i compare my art & writing to an exorcism.
it so totally is.
my art & my writing keep my demons at bay. keep them from gnawing too deeply into my soul.
some of my stuff might be difficult to read…but don’t worry, you don’t have to read it.
i, however, have to write it.

itchy fingers

no pages written
no pictures drawn
looking at other people’s art
& being
down
on
me
wondering
when i will get it right
when i will
win the race
trying to find my way
and feeling like
i’m going in circles
today is a new day
but
in all fairness
so was
yesterday.

just me. fucking around with lines & colors & concept after looking enviously at the art of other artists on instagram.
i looked through five journals today, trying to figure out which of my self-portraits i like the best to do a final draft of. that is a lot of me to look at. and although–yay–i like a great number of my self-portraits, i suppose i am going to have to narrow it down. maybe i will try to get some audience participation 
who wants to pick self-portraits for me?
i also worked to edit my short story, “together, tangled” while sharing my laptop with three minions who think they should all come first. c’mon kid, is daniel tiger more important than my becoming a successful writer? 
i guess that depends.
eventually, i got tired of the editing & pulled out my journal to see what would happen if i put pen to paper.
but even in my goofing off, i am working towards being a better artist, a better writer. 
i feel very grateful that the things i love to do are the things that i love to do. 

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